Telephone: (336) 922-hair (4247)
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This is the first in a 5 part series of 50 questions to ask your stylist (we didn’t think anyone would be interested enough to read all 50 questions at one time!). Of course, you don’t have to ask every stylist every question, but even choosing one of them can help you decide if they are a good fit for you and possibly even keep you from making a mistake in a relationship before you even sit in their chair!
This seems straight forward enough, but you might have to follow it up with some additional questions. As the owner of a salon myself, I’m the quintessential example. I’ve been licensed since 2001. However, during that time, I’ve worked at least 75% of my career in corporate salon jobs doing administrative stuff. So, yes, I’ve kept my finger on the pulse of the industry, but the girl in the chair next to me who got licensed 3 years ago might be a way better fit for your services. It depends what you’re looking for. Maybe ask more questions.
This isn’t redundant to the previous question. Stylists are actually taught at most beauty schools to anticipate this question and are mentored to include their schooling in their answers. If a stylist has an answer that suggests he or she has been doing hair less than a few years and it really matters to you, ask if their tenure includes their schooling. Did you know that in the state of North Carolina you can earn your cosmetology license without ever touching a human? That’s right: the state allows students to do ALL of their training on mannequins. You could literally be the first head a new stylist touches if you pick the wrong salon or the wrong stylist. (It’s right here in black and white: http://reports.oah.state.nc.us/ncac/title%2021%20-%20occupational%20licensing%20boards%20and%20commissions/chapter%2014%20-%20cosmetic%20art%20examiners/subchapter%20t/subchapter%20t%20rules.pdf ) By the way, Tocco Haircutters doesn’t hire brand new graduates and we train them OUR way before they ever touch a paying client.
Tocco Haircutters considers itself a full-service family hair salon. As such, our service providers are trained in every aspect of every service we provide. Sure, some stylists are better at certain services than others, but everyone here is trained to a minimum. That might not be the case everywhere. Your brilliant balayage artist might not be able to artfully blend the line in a faded man’s haircut the same way he or she blends your color. Conversely, your deft mens’ work stylist might have no clue about the color wheel. In either of these cases, being licensed for many years or doing hair since high school still don’t guarantee a good outcome on a service that a provider doesn’t get to do very often. Again…. ask, ask, ask if it’s important to you!
This seems to piggy back on the previous question, but if you’re in the salon for a haircut, you should know about the person’s haircutting skills. Just because a salon charges top dollar for haircuts does not mean they are haircutting experts! In fact, a stylist in a salon that charges, for example, $50 for a haircut, will by nature take more time with a client. This ultimately means they physically can’t service as many people for haircuts in a day. Conversely, our haircutters average 10-20 haircuts EACH per shift. In a week, a stylist at a high-end salon may have done 5 haircuts amidst their other services. If one of our haircutter had a busy week, he or she has done nearly 100 haircuts. We generally have more experience based on sheer volume! (No pun intended!)
In many salons, the stylists pay the owner a set fee to do business within their shop. While it seems like this might not matter to the consumer, it does mean that if you have an issue with your service, since there is likely no one with authority over the booth renter to help you resolve problems. Your stylist is fully self-employed. It also means that the salon cannot dictate what products your stylist is using (we know of a real-life example where a booth renter was buying color at the dollar store!), whether your stylist is taking classes to stay relevant, whether a stylist is paying taxes and playing fair, and whether or not a stylist actually shows up for your appointment. It also effectively ensures that the person at the station beside your stylist is essentially his or her competition. They may act like they’re friends and may even be friends outside of the salon but since they are indeed separate businesses under the same roof, they are, at the heart of it, competitors for your beauty dollars. Maybe you like this loose business model; just make sure you’re asking if you’re concerned with any kind of consistency.
Similarly to the pay structure for booth rent, in this arena, commission stylists are paid a portion of each service they provide. While this business model can provide unlimited income for service providers, it can also mean you’re being sold things you don’t need or even want. If a stylist can successfully increase your service ticket, their pay is obviously higher. It also creates a mentality among staff of “owning clients.” After all, if you end up in another stylist’s chair for your next haircut, that stylist earns the percentage of your bill. For this reason, Tocco Haircutters chooses to pay its employees by the hour, just like in every other industry! We know that this creates teamwork and an environment where stylists are happy to help each other. It also ensures we only suggest services or products that you need or might enjoy! Perhaps most importantly, we are efficient since you don’t have to wait for a particular service provider to have an opening. We know that your time is valuable, and we want you to come when it’s convenient for you, no matter who has the day off or is already booked! Sure, you can have a favorite haircutter and request time with him or her—but you can see any of us! No hard feelings and no hurt pocketbooks! You are the center of our business model!
Tocco Haircutters believes that this is discrimination pure and simple. Not every man’s haircut will take less time than a woman’s haircut and vice versa. Charging a different amount based on body parts is nothing short of inequity and bigotry. Several states have banned this practice, including California and Vermont, and some cities, New York, are aggressively handing out fines for violating a law against it. We hope North Carolina catches up soon. While there are completely legitimate reasons to charge different prices for different services, chromosomes are not reasons.
Stylists who are genuinely engaged with their craft have better equipment. You probably won’t know just by looking which shears are high-end and which ones are junk, but like in other areas of life, if the shears are stamped “made in China,” there’s a good chance, they’re not high end. (Side note, same for Pakistani shears. That seems to be a place mass producing junk hair tools.) You can also ask where their shears from beauty school are. If they’re using them in their career, think twice before getting a haircut from this stylist. Schools are notorious for providing inferior equipment with a mentality of not “teaching someone to drive in a Maserati.” A blowdryer is another indicator. Professional dryers have 9-foot cords and are relatively quiet so that at least some conversation can still happen. A home blowdryer with a short cord that sounds like it’s a jet engine ready for takeoff is a simple way to gauge that someone doesn’t care about their tools (and probably your hair). One more side note: Tocco Haircutters bought all of its stylists high-end shears for Christmas last year. They work hard for you and they deserve it, and as a company, we care about the outcome of your haircut.
Hint: major hairshows in the US are in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Orlando. The company that runs the Orlando show, the nation’s biggest, also runs smaller shows in Birmingham, AL, Columbus, OH, and Philly. If your stylist’s answer is “Charlotte,” he or she is probably behind the times. Rookie stylists don’t know the difference between the big hair shows and the smaller regional ones. Oh. Did we mention? Tocco Haircutters pays all expenses (transportation, lodging and show admittance) to take employees to at least one major hairshow each year. We think you are worth it.
Yes, your stylist should be inspired by “Mom’s work ethic,” and their beauty school teacher’s longevity in the industry, but if you are looking for something state of the art in your hair, your stylist should be able to name at least one or two gurus in the beauty industry. Since Tocco Haircutters pays its employees by the hour, if they don’t have a customer in their chair, we encourage them to watch inspiration videos during downtime. A stylist should light up when you ask this question. They should start blabbing about everyone they’re following on social media and how they saw their favorite celebrity stylist do that cool new thing! If that excitement doesn’t burst from them when you drop this question, you might want to consider dropping them. We’re just saying….
5389 Robinhood Village Dr
Winston Salem, NC 27106
Telephone: (336) 922-hair (4247)