I have owned barbershops in Albany, New York for two decades now. Until about 6 or 7 years ago we did not have a barber school so 90% of my staff has been female. The guidelines below are what we have used and enforced to maintain the success we have had a Gregory’s Barbershops.
Professional Dress Guidelines For Female Barbers:
Even though female barbers are selling men’s haircuts it is just as important to keep you hair looking healthy and clean. Your hair should always be styled at work and up to date. I strongly suggest against wearing a ponytail to work. Unless you are incorporating it with some kind of updo style it just looks like you ran out of time to get ready and through it up. I know it is easy for me to say because I have short hair and it takes me no time at all to style it but it will make a huge difference. You are selling haircuts and overall appearance and it could be the difference maker between gaining and keeping a new client.
Your clothes should be clean, freshly ironed, and stain free. Even if you have a uniform or mandatory dress code you still have some control over how you look. Make sure you clothes fit properly. Not too tight or too baggy. Also, if a skirt is allowed it should be worn to or just slightly above the knee. Invest in better quality clothing. Customers will notice you are taking pride in your appearance. If you have the freedom to wear whatever you want I caution you to be careful. You are in the barber profession and you should make sure you look like a professional. If you try to make too much of a personal statement you will not appeal to the masses. I recommend a collared dress shirt, dress pants, dress skirt (to or just slightly above the knee), and dress shoes. You can vary your wardrobe with different colors and patterns to show some individuality but you will always look professional. The more professional you look, the more confidence your customers will have in your ability. You will also be able to charge more than if you wear jeans and sneakers and look like you are going to the mall or the gym.
You have many more choices than men when it comes to your shoes. I would recommend dress shoes or dress boots. Make sure to select shoes that are going to be comfortable. You are going to be standing up all day so it is a good idea that the heels are not too high. Stay away from open toed shoes or sandals. Besides being against sanitary codes you run the risk of getting a hair sliver and having it get infected. It may sound funny but I got a hair sliver in my thumb that got infected and required three surgeries by the time it finally cleared up. Find a balance between looks and comfort and always keep your style classy and professional.
When wearing jewelry stay away from big dangling ear rings and necklaces. They can be distracting, can dangle in the customers face when you are shampooing them, and they can also catch on your cutting tools and combs. The same principles apply to wearing a watch as with the male barbers. Not too expensive because you are going to get it wet and get product on it.
You are dressing for the clientele you want. If you always maintain a professional image you will attract customers who also take pride in the way the look. These are the customers that will pay good money, tip well, and appreciate your service.