1. BRAND YOURSELF
Make sure you show your best work on social media and post only what you want the world to see. Avoid posting random pictures, and don’t post excessively about non-related topics (food, everyday life, etc). Instead, focus on posting what you want to promote, and when you do post pictures, make sure that they are great quality! You want to take branding your business seriously. If you do want to post about other topics, I suggest creating an account that is separate from your professional one.
2. KNOW YOUR SELF WORTH
Stylists can easily get overwhelmed by trying to take in every client and offering low rates. At the end of the day, if you exhibit good quality work, charge what you are worth. You do not want to be taken advantage of, and when you overbook yourself, you may put the caliber of your work at risk. I cannot stress enough that if you know you are sincerely good at what you do, then your prices need to reflect that (charge what you’re worth)! Your clients will come back to you because they value the results and because nobody else can compare.
3. CHOOSE QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
You’ll make more money if you focus on the quality of your work rather than the number of clients you have. I focus on perfecting my work with each client, and I make a point to never leave a client unsatisfied. If you focus on quality, you'll build a reputation that's irreplaceable and word of mouth will spread like wildfire. Be sure you don’t rush your work and always give it 120%!
About a year ago, I colored a client's hair, but I wasn't completely satisfied with the outcome (there was no love effect for me). I knew I could have done better, and even though she was pleased with the result, I asked her to come back the next day, so that I could master it. I truly care about my work, so I wanted to ensure that her hair matched my initial vision.
4. STAY CURRENT
Don’t get stuck by focusing on only one style. While it's fine to perfect a style, trends are constantly changing, and you need to stay current to stay ahead. It's one thing to know your trends, but it's even better to create your trends. Educate yourself and be bold.
When I started in Beverly Hills, I didn’t feel current because I was only performing root retouches and highlights. Therefore, I moved to a new salon in Melrose with a younger, edgier clientele because I wanted to be aware of the up-and-coming trends. If you are not ahead of the game, you risk losing your clientele.
5. AVOID DRAMA/GOSSIP
This one is HUGE. Gossip not only affects you as a stylist, but whether you realize it or not, the negativity deriving from gossip also affects your clients. You always want to radiate amazing energy! My clients find themselves at peace when they are at my studio, which is what I love about having a private space. One of the main reasons I decided not to work at a salon is because there is so much gossip and drama that goes around. When I am with a client, I solely focus on my work, and I don't have other stylists crowding the space.
When you don’t focus on the drama, you are going to focus more on your business. Negativity affects your work and your clientele; they’ll be able to notice (trust me). Whether you are a hair stylist or not, wherever you are working, you need to be professional and promote positive energy.
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My responses to three of your "Ask Larisa" questions:
1) Ann Guevara asked: "Where do you have your prices, and how can I book an appt with you?"
LL: I'm currently not booking any new clients due to the fact that I am booked solid until 2016, and I need to accommodate my loyal clients. I will slowly be booking new clients including all the 700+ inquiries pending. Thank you for your love and patience. Xo
2) Michele Savinsky asked: "Hi Larisa, how often does hair have to be trimmed? Every stylist has a different opinion some say every 6-8 weeks others every 12-16 weeks, what do you suggest? My stylist always cuts hair dry, are their benefits of a dry cut verses wet?"
LL: In my opinion, I think every person should get a haircut every 3 months. Even if it's slight, it will keep the hair from getting split ends and eventually causing breakage. Depending on different textures and the health of the hair, you may need to get a trim more often. I like to cut hair wet to have full control, and then after I dry it, I go in and texturize it. Every stylist is different and has their own way of cutting hair. At the end of the day, all that matters is the result of the cut. Xo
3) Michelle Gamboa asked: "I get hung up on people feeing like they're in my chair for too long... for a full head of Balyage highlights with or without a base retouch, I can spend 3-3 1/2 hours start to finish Easy.... How much time do you allow for each client and how many clients do you see in a day and do you double book? Thanks! Your work inspires me daily.... Xoxo from Fayettville, AR"
LL: I give myself a 3 1/2 hour slot for each client for a full service color. Although I have two chairs in my studio, I normally only do 1 client at a time to give my full attention to them. I will be hiring an assistant at the end of the month, so I will be able to start double booking more freely since I will have extra help. I book myself 3 clients a day and add on retouches, haircuts, toners, and deep conditioning treatments clients. Xo ❤️