Going to barbershool is the first step toward building your educational foundation as a barber. This is not something to be taken lightly. Just showing up to school everyday is not enough. You have to take your education very seriously and take an active role in to make sure you get the most out of barbers school. In this three part series on how to be successful in barbershool I am going to cover 8 important areas you should to focus on.
How To Be Successful In Barber School – Part 1
BE 15 MINUTES EARLY EVERY DAY
Plan on being fifteen minutes early for school every day. This will give you time to put your things away, clean your tools, get a good seat in the classroom, finish up any last minute preparations for your first class, etc. By being early on a daily basis you will be developing one of the most important habits you can have for your future.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
Every school has a dress code. Make sure to stick to it and show your teachers and classmates you take pride in your school. Go above and beyond just wearing your uniform. Come to school with your clothes ironed and your shoes freshly shined. This will make you feel better and more professional as well. Get in the habit early on of dressing for success.
TREAT OTHERS WITH RESPECT
This is a great topic for our business because you are communicating constantly. You have teachers, administrators, fellow students, and customers. Make sure to treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. Always try to keep a smile on your face. Smiles are contagious. If you are in an uncomfortable situation and it is possible to remove yourself, do so. The fastest way to success in any customer service related field is to treat people in a respectful and friendly manner.
Stay tuned for How To Be Successful In Barber School Part 2 coming soon….
When learning how to cut men’s hair – always be on time. This can take on a few different meanings:
- When taking appointments make sure to be on time for you clients. Schedule them far enough apart so that if someone is 5-10 minutes late you won’t run late for the next customer. The only thing to be careful of is scheduling appointments too far apart where you can’t get all of your customers booked and/or you have too few appointment slots in a day which will cost you money.
- If you are working strictly on a walk-in basis it is equally important to stay on time. Even though the customers waiting do not have an appointment you still do not want the wait to be too long. In todays’ world everyone is extremely busy and time is precious. Establish a base line for how long your haircuts will take you and stick to it. Customers respect and expect this consistency.
A few suggestions that can help you stay on time are:
– Wear a watch to make sure that you stick to your allowed time. I wouldn’t wear an expensive one because you might get it wet and you will probably get chemicals or products on it.
– Another tip is if I get talking with a customer and I am running behind, my front desk coordinator will come and sweep for me giving me the subtle hint to get moving.
Your customers will greatly appreciate your timeliness and it will result in increased retention rate, commissions, and tips.
One of the most important things to consider when you are learning how to cut men’s hair with clippers is how high or how low you are going to cut the fade. There are a lot of things to consider as you think about this question. Some of them include cowlicks, hair thickness, hair color, head shape, surface of the scalp (lumps, bumps, and/or dents), moles, scars, customer’s age, customer’s job, desired hairstyle, and the customer’s preference.
A very important note to keep in mind is that no matter how good you are at cutting men’s hair with clippers, if the fade is too high or too low your customer will not think it is a good haircut. If the haircut is 100% technically correct but it is not exactly what the customer wants they won’t be happy. This is especially true with the fade haircut customer. It doesn’t matter if they are a young kid or older suit and tie professional. These are the most particular and hardest customers to please.
The topic of this blog is how to deal with scars when cutting men’s hair with clippers. When you are asking the customer how high they like their fade make sure to ask them if they have any scars. If you are uncomfortable asking the customer that question, just spend an extra few seconds combing through the hair in an upward motion so when the hair is lifted up you will see if they have any scars. You will most likely find scars in 2 areas. In the temple region and/or on the occipital area which is just above the nape of the neck. If the scars are any lower than that there is not a lot that can be done. They are most likely going to show no matter what. Just make sure the customer is aware of that before you cut their fade.
If you find scars in the higher areas leave the hair thicker or darker in those areas and fade the hair low. When cutting the fade start arching the blade or floating the blade away from the scalp about ½ inch below the scars so you have room to fade the hair just below the them. If you go any higher you will run into the scars and they will show.
Throughout my 20 year career as a barber and an educator the most common question I am asked is “how do you fade hair without leaving a line?” My answer is simple. If you don’t make a line in the first place you won’t have to worry about fading it out. I want you to repeat this statement to yourself every time you are about to begin a fade. “FADING HAIR IS SIMPLE. IF I DON’T MAKE A LINE I DON’T HAVE TO FADE IT OUT.”
Now I will explain how to make leanring how to fade hair much easier. Start the haircut on the top instead of the bottom. The first advantage of this technique is you are removing length so you can see your work better. When you start the fading technique with the clippers you won’t lose site of the cutting blade in the excess hair. The next advantage is the clipper will cut through the shorter amount of hair much easier. As the head rounds in at the top take an imaginary line parallel to the side of the head until you run out of hair. This one technique will save you an enormous amount of time and improve your fades drastically.
This technique works best with the Oster 76, Andis BGRC, or Andis MVP. These are all detachable blade clippers with metal blades. The power of the clipper plus not having any of the teeth covered with a plastic attachment allows the blade to move through the hair with ease. It also works very well with a powerful adjustable clipper such as the Andis Master or Envy, Oster Fast Feed or Topaz, and Wahl Senior and Designer. Make sure the attachments used with this clipper fit extremely tight so you don’t run the risk of it falling while you are fading the hair.
If you follow these steps, not only will you be giving better fades, you will be able to work slower and more relaxed while finishing your fade haircuts faster.
How should a barber dress is one of my favorite topics and a major contributing factor to a long profitable barbering career. This article is going to cover what I feel is one of the most important things you can do in the barbershop to increase your clientele and make more money:
These are the most common questions I hear when teaching:
– How can I charge more for a haircut?
– How do I get more requests or appointments?
– How do I increase my tips?
– What can I do to get my customers to interact with me on a more professional level?
I have been cutting hair in the barbershop for 20 years and have felt like this myself many times throughout my career.
I am going to answer these questions with more questions:
– Do you dress like you are worth more for a haircut?
– Do you dress like you take pride in being a barber?
– Do you dress as well as if not better than other professionals?
We are in a grooming business. Customers come to us because they want to look better so we have to make sure we look our best at all times.
I highly recommend wearing a nice pair of dress pants with a freshly ironed, long sleeve dress shirt with a collar. A knee length skirt is also very professional for female barbers. For both men and women if you really want to impress you can never go wrong with a tie. Make sure to finish off with a pair of comfortable, shined, dress shoes. If you are going to wear a barber smock I still recommend wearing the professional attire underneath. Look at any turn of the century barbershop photos and this is exactly what you will see.
If you follow these guidelines you will be amazed at the difference in the way your customers interact with you and the increase in your tips. Demand for your services will increase and you will in turn be able to raise your prices.
Give Yourself a Raise!!!