Convincing a customer


When I went to beauty school, little did I know that part of the training was going to be diplomacy and psychology, but it sure was. Or maybe I just learned it really fast because it was the only way to survive in the job.

Some times a customer would come in and show me a picture that was the style they wanted their hair to look like. Nine times out of ten the style would not work for their hair but it was hard to get them to understand that it wouldn’t work.

One woman brought in a picture of a wig and she wanted her hair styled just like the wig. A wig is usually not real hair and the fiber is curled to do that particular style and only that style.

A wig usually has a lot of hair which makes it look really good too. This particular woman had thin hair, you couldn’t see her scalp yet, but it was thin and very fine. This was not a style for her hair.

The wig had the hair on both sides coming forward toward the face and the woman’s hair grew one side forward and one side back on the sides. This is normal on 99% of the people because our hair grows in a circle around the head and that is what creates that little pattern at the top of the crown that people call a cow lick.

I told this woman it would not work but she just kept insisting on that style so the only way to teach her that it wouldn’t do it was to set it that way and send her on her way.      I told her when I was finished with her hair that the right side that grew back from the face would be going back in the morning when she got up and it would not look like it did right then.

I don’t think she believed me and she was thrilled with her hair when she left because it looked as close to the wig picture as I could get it with the amount of hair that she had.

I received a call from her bright and early the next morning that her hair had not stayed overnight. It usually did but this time it was not like I had combed it. I asked her if the right side had reverted to going back instead of coming forward onto her face.

She said: “How did you know which side didn’t do well?” I said: “I told you yesterday that it wouldn’t work and that the right side would revert back to its old way over night.”

She always believed me after that when I told her a style wouldn’t work on her hair. We all have to learn the hard way I guess.

I am one of the 1% that their hair doesn’t grow in a complete circle. The top of my hair and the sides all three grow back towards the back of my head. There was a style in the 80’s that was perfect for my hair and I loved it.

It was cut short around the ears with the little point in the front of the ear. The top was cut short in the crown and longer towards the bangs. My bangs fell to the middle of my nose when they were straight.

I would curl all the hair on the top and the sides back and then the bangs would just fall over the forehead. It was a neat style and my hair would stay days after it was curled with a curling iron because it was cut to do that and it grew that way.

I had a customer come in and ask me one day to cut her hair like mine. She normally wore her hair off her forehead, it was curled back from the face but off the forehead, and I asked her a couple of times if she was sure.

I told her my hair was cut to do what it was doing. She said yes she wanted that cut. Here is another one that wouldn’t listen to me. But the customer is always right. Right??

So I cut it like mine and sent her on her way. She never wanted to pay to have it curled when I cut it so she left with it dry but not curled and combed. I was happy with the cut on her hair and knew that it would do exactly what my hair did when it was fixed.

When she came back in four weeks to get a cut she was not a happy customer when she sat down in the chair. She started in on me the minute the cape was around her neck.

She was mad because the hair wouldn’t stay off her forehead. I just laughed which probably didn’t make her any happier and told her: “Do you remember me telling you that the style is cut to make the hair to do what my hair is doing?”

She admitted that she remembered that conversation. I told her it was doing exactly what I had cut it to do and I was happy that the cut was doing what it was supposed to do. That didn’t make her happy and she said: “I want it like yours.”  I said: “It is like mine.”

“No,” she said, “I want the sides and the back like yours and the top like I always wear it.”  I told her I had cut it like she wanted but we would cut the top back like she always wore it and the rest like mine but the style wouldn’t look mine. But she was happy then.

Sometimes all the talking and psychology does not help convincing a customer that what they want is not realistic or what they want. We are all human and sometimes we have to learn the hard way to listen to others who might really know what they are talking about. To contact Sandy: [email protected]


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