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Looks are here to stay!

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Have you ever thought of checking out the salon staff? Were they well-groomed, well mannered and well-shod? The point to consider here is if they can’t look good themselves, how will they make others look good?
Be attractive to attract customers today, visual impact is as important as verbal impact. The way you are perceived by others is based on how you present yourself. And when we talk about the salon and spa business, you can’t take yourself for granted. During your regular salon visits, you may find many immaculately dressed hairstylists. In fact some are also seen flaunting their ‘signature’ style, be it their flashy shoes, handlebar moustaches, or cool geeky frames.

bblunt
Well groomed stylists have become an inspiration for their clients (Image Courtesy bblunt.com)

Remember, Sapna Bhavnani, the celebrity stylist, who doubles up as a star. Not to be missed are her tattoos and hair colour variations. Another expert who is versatile with his is the Mumbai-based Aalim Hakim with tattoos, pierced nose and what not! There is nothing more alluring than the sexy, short hair of Adhuna Akhtar. From her Mohawk to Pompadour and to head shots, she definitely knows how to create a statement. Even our gen-next is not far behind, all the premium salons such as , , , , , , , , – the salon, SAKS, AN John and Geetanjali, have the most stylish and well-kempt youth onboard.

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Now the question here is why do these professionals have to look like they have walked out of the pages of a fashion glossy at work? The answer lies in our inherent thinking of judging a book by its cover. According to Gourav Bhardwaj, Creative Stylist, LOOKS Salon being smart and well-groomed definitely works on the salon floor. “We not only give our clients a new look, but we are also an inspiration for them. During their consulting sessions, we spend a good amount of time with them, so if we are’nt well-groomed and aware, they might think that the stylist is sloppy. So it’s true that being attractive helps one in attracting the clients.”

The young stylist keeps a track of the evolving hair trends via the internet, magazines and shows and tries to incorporate them in his work and dressing habits. He further adds, “I like to play with textures and shapes. I design my haircut, it doesn’t matter who’s doing it, but I make sure the stylist should be fit and well-groomed.”

Exhibit beautifully to the world
Shahid Shah, Creative Director, Toni&Guy Delhi has the same opinion when he says that your personal grooming and appearance should be par excellence. Maintain the highest standards of hygiene and look good, as you are going to be working very closely with a client. No one wants to be attended by someone who is not presentable and neat. “We represent style, however, if we only don’t have it, there’s no point of being in this profession”.

During my recent visit to a salon in Australia, I spotted hairdressers wearing a certain hair hue and being inquisitive, I asked one of them – is the colour part of your dress code? I still remember the smart answer. He said, “If we will not be able to carry it, then how will we promote it? If we do not look dashing, how will we groom others.”
Continues Shah, “Different people have different mindsets. It’s true clients do get mesmerised with your looks to some extent, but if you don’t do a good job, you may end up losing a client.” On the other hand, he also feels that when you compete, your looks don’t work for you, your work does. “One should not forget people have paid for your cut and not for your looks,” quips he.

To be a good hairdresser, one must be high on ettiquette. “The way you behave in front of your client, for instance, be on time and pleasant. Education is coming up in a big way. One gets to learn multiple things apart from just the basics. Gone are the days, when we just cut hair and said good bye to our clients, as now there’s so much more than that! During our internal trainings and professional courses, we are taught everything – from cutting hair to following a code of conduct and dressing up on the floor to conducting shows and more. There is so much more happening!”

The parallel
It’s observed that Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore have very stylish lady hairdressers. The capital has a brigade of male hairdressers who are well-groomed, fit and technically strong, but there are very few female hairdressers in the same league, which needs to be taken care by salons.

Looks are here to stay
The bottom line is that while nobody expects one to be packaged into something one is not, appearances reflect upon our self-esteem. At a salon, one simply cannot afford to run around in those undone, messy hair or casual clothes. One needs to put the best foot forward to find and retain clients in the long run. Otherwise it’s over before it’s even
begun. The thumb rule is from one’s looks to presentation to consultation to job to a goodbye note, everything has to be bang on and no aspect can be ignored.

Signature Style
Raman Bhardwaj is often spotted in casual red shoes Savio John Pereira never gets away from his sunglasses Dhruv Abichandani always has some colour running through his hair Akshata Honawar loves her striking red hair colour. The salt-n-pepper look of Rod Anker and Jawed Habib gets a thumbs up Ambika Pillai has always sported a short curly mop Natasha Naegamvala has a never fading crush on her fringes Never-ending hair and facial styles of Nikhil Sharma, especially his Mohawk.

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The Pro Talk
As per the recent survey by bayt.com, 78.6 per cent of respondents believed there was a direct correlation between being well-groomed and professional progress. Here’s what experts have to say:

Andy Rawat, Fitness Manager, Six Senses Spa (India)
Rawat has become the identity of the brand. The quintessential man practices a combination of exercises every day and also keeps a check on his diet to avoid any skin and health issues.

Steve Mick, Creative Director, Blliss by Ravissant
Being well-groomed is of paramount importance in my craft, as your looks attract customers and they believe in your confidence. Apart from this, there needs to be eye contact between the costumer and the hairstylist. I use proper, good quality shaving products and a moisturiser. I go for fortnightly facials, take a proper diet, supplements and get enough sleep to look fresh and energetic at work.

Sonali Bhambri, Director, Toni&Guy Master Franchisee, North India
While hiring a fresher,  we definitely consider his style and communication skills, whereas the grooming can be done later on. Good looking with excellent communication skills make you a package. When a person is good looking, but dumb, he is of no use to us. Strong technical knowledge is also given equal weightage. The ratio goes as: 30 per cent looks + 30 per cent communication skills + 40 per cent technical knowledge.”