Today I was watching the owner of the salon I work at do a blowout. This blow out might have taken me 45min max. I’ve been doing hair for the better part of 12 years now and I’m realizing something as I watch Benjamin Mohapi finish out his clients hair. Now, it’s not that I don’t feel like my clients look great when they leave my chair but my attention to detail might have waned a bit. Maybe I wouldn’t even say attention to detail as much as just pure effort. When I watch someone like Ben work, it makes me wonder if I could do more, and the answer is most definitely, yes.
I cut a classic bob when I interviewed to work at Salon Benjamin. I hadn’t cut a classic bob in a good minute and I probably spent 2 and a half hours on it. I could have definitely spent more. After Ben hired me and we were discussing my appointment times. I quickly stated that it would not take me more than an hour to do ANY haircut. He said, “it just took you 2 and a half hours to cut that bob” and than continued with ” id rather you take 3 hours to cut a perfect haircut than an hour cutting a mediocre one”. OUCH, I most likely will never take 2 hours on a haircut in a non interview setting but the point remains clear.
There might come a point in everyone’s career when they take their work or maybe even their clients for granted. Clients, if you’re fortunate, become friends. The problem is that the relationship tends to get casual. You might not give them the service you would afford a new client. Perhaps, you do not feel the same urge to impress them. This could be subconscious but it’s something we should all be conscious of. This has two very important sides to it; one is that if we are not taking pride in each and every section of the hair, we are compromising the integrity of our craft and our work, the second is that we are at this point giving our clients just enough to make them satisfied rather than leaving them elated every time, primed and ready to shout your name from the rooftops.
Since I’ve started part time at a new salon after freelancing for the past two years, I admittedly have a little too much down time at this place, but it has given me the opportunity to sit down and watch some truly passionate people do hair. It would seem like Ben has created an amazing environment. Since everyone gets to watch him spending gratuitous amounts of time making a haircut perfect, it inspires everyone else to give that same sort of attention to whatever service they are performing. In the end, if you have downtime, watch your coworkers work. Don’t go smoke, don’t go nap in the break room, hang out and watch. You might pick up something, and at the very least, pick up some things not to do. If your passion for your craft has seen better days, try to remember that feeling you had when you got your first assisting job. Your career was an open book, everything you watched inspired you. Put some real effort into finding that inspiration again. Hopefully Lost Hairdressers is helping.