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The Psychology of Hairdressing : Hairdressing Articles
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The Psychology of Hairdressing

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The Psychology of Hairdressing

Postby Love Hairdressing » 13 Jul 2011 02:44 pm

The Psychology of Hairdressing

It is often spoken of that our job as a hairdresser when working in a salon environment requires 10% ability and 90% psychology. This is the ratio given in the Sassoon ABC guide and although it could be argued that the ratio is more like a 30:70 split, there is no doubt that the success of any haircut is dependent on our ability to interpret the wishes of the client. The confidence of a client in your ability is often gained or lost within the consultation on your first meeting with them.



The ability to think quickly in order to process and evaluate your clients wishes is paramount to your success as a hairdresser. The consultation is your time to use your skills in gathering information in order to use your creativity in creating a style that both suits and makes your client feel great. ‘The Sassoon Way’ divides the consultation into three distinct phases. Note that ‘failure to complete any or all of these stages will be the cause of any later problems’.



Phase 1

Listening and observation – Take into account the following:

- Client physique, proportions and profiles to help you choose suitable shapes and lengths.

- Did they stride into the salon with confidence, nervousness or appear intimidated?

- What style is their clothing (smart, fashionable, casual)?

- Use eye-contact and re-assuring gestures whilst asking open ended questions (questions that cannot be answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’)

- Be a good listener. Take time to listen not only to what is being said but also how it is being said.

- Make a mental note of their body language when your client is talking to assess their character.

- You need to be able to offer a cut/style that suits their lifestyle in term of time and skill required to maintain the style.



Phase 2

Recap of information – Phase 2 is where you need to repeat the information you have gathered and use your creativity to turn it into ideas for your client’s hair.

- Use the client’s terminology to reassure them that you have be listening.

- Use physical points on the clients body to indicate lengths and shapes. For example, shoulder, jaw, chin.

- Do not use jargon.

- This stage should not be rushed but if you have asked the right questions, this should take no more than a few minutes.

- By the end of phase 1 and 2, you and your client should have a clear understanding of the proposed style.

Stage 3

Agree on a course of action. This is where you need to be positive, firm and convincing. Once agreed on a course of action, stick to it. Any indecisiveness will only undermine the confidence built in phase 1 and 2.



Eye contact and body language

Facial Expression

‘A simple smile can make others feel more at ease where a frown can make people see that you are aggressive or unsure of something. We use facial expressions to get our points across in the right context. For example, your message would suffer if you were saying how angry you are with a huge smile.’

Eye Contact

‘When someone talks to you, do they look directly at you or look away? Maintaining eye contact when talking (or listening) to someone gives an impression that you/they are confident and honest. Making little eye contact can say that the other person doesn’t like you, is nervous or shy, or perhaps believe that they are higher in status and think that eye contact isn’t necessary.

“Making little eye contact can say that the other person doesn’t like you”

Also, look out for it if you believe that someone isn’t being truthful, as most people can’t keep eye contact when they are bending the truth.

However, someone looking at you non-stop is stressful and in these situations you should throw your hands around a bit more or point to brochures and objects to distract them. Staring is basically seen as an aggressive act and can also be interpreted as being unbalanced.

If talking to people outdoors, avoid wearing sunglasses as this can be very uncomfortable for the other person and can give an image of trying to hide your identity (a shifty salesman, for example). In addition, try to blink as less as possible as this can make it difficult for the other person to understand you (due to being distracted). Blinking less also gives an image of confidence.’

Summary

‘Body language comes in many forms, as you have seen above. Different people have their own ability to recognize body language and they will recognize it with different meanings to other people. So, when you use body language, one person may see it differently to the other.

When we don’t know someone, we use their body language to get first impressions of them. In most cases, the impressions we make are wrong, as a positive form of body language may mean something negative about them. For example, someone who moves around a lot may be seen as energetic and efficient. In some cases, this may be correct, but it can mean that they are uncomfortable in the situation and also nervous.

Use body language to make you appear more confident, powerful, trusting, etc depending on what the situation may require from you. If you give off negative signs, then it could be the difference of achieving your goal (e.g. a successful presentation, proposing an idea in a meeting, discussing a task with an employee, etc).

Also, try to recognize other people’s body language. By doing so, it could mean that they are/aren’t interested or that they feel threatened by your presence: in which case you can change your body language to make them feel more at ease.

If you ever get the opportunity to have a presentation by you video taped, you may see things you would never have believed!’

Attentive Body Language

When you are in conversation or otherwise attending to what others are saying or doing, you body sends signals to the other person as to how interested you really are. Attentive body language sends a strong signal of real and deep interest that is both flattering and likely to result in reciprocal attention.

It was said that if you met with the English 19th century politician William Gladstone, you would come away thinking he was the most intelligent and witty person in the country. If, however, you met his peer Benjamin Disraeli, then you would come away thinking that you were the most intelligent and witty person. Disraeli, it would seem, was somewhat more skilled at paying attention.

Listening
A person who is attentive is first of all listening. This can be of varying intensity though attentive listening is deep and interested.

Ignoring distractions
There are many competing stimuli that demand our attention. If a person ignores distraction, from phone calls to other people interrupting, then they send strong and flattering ‘I am interested in you’ signals.

Stillness
Body movement often betrays distracting thoughts and feelings. When the listener is largely still, the implication is of forgetting everything else except the other person, with not even internal dialogue being allowed to distract.

Leaning forward
When I am interested in you and what you have to say I will likely lean slightly towards you, perhaps better to hear everything you have to say.

Tilted head
An attentive head may be tilted slightly forward. It also may show curiosity when tilted to the side (although this may also indicate uncertainty).

Gaze
An attentive person looks at the other person without taking their gaze away. They will likely blink less, almost for fear of missing something.

Furrowed brow
Concentration may also be shown in the forehead as the eyebrows are brought together as the listener seeks to hear and understand the other person.

Wanting more
An attentive person seeks not just to hear but to be ready to listen to everything the other person has to say.

Patience
When you want to hear more from the other person you are patient, listening until they have finished speaking and not butting in with your views. Even when you have something to say or when they pause, you still patiently seek a full understanding of them and give them space in which to complete what they have to say.

Open body
Open body language shows that you are not feeling defensive and are mentally open to what they have to say (and hence not closed to their thoughts).

Slow nodding
Nodding shows agreement and also encourages the other person to keep talking. Fast nodding may show impatience, whilst a slower nod indicates understanding and approval.

Interest noises
Little noises such as ‘uh huh’ and ‘mmm’ show that you are interested, understand and want to hear more. They thus encourage the other person to keep talking.

Reflecting
When you reflect the other person back to them they feel affirmed and that you are aligned with them. Reflecting activities range from matching body language to paraphrasing what they say.


References

http://www.bizhelp24.com/personal/body- ... ntact.html

Sassoon ABC cutting hair the Sassoon way

http://changingminds.org/techniques/bod ... e_body.htm


If you enjoyed this article, head over to http://www.hairdressingtraining.lovehairdressing.co.uk for many more FREE articles and video's

Chris
Chris Halls

Love Hairdressing - Online Hairdressing Education

Web:http://www.lovehairdressing.co.uk
Twitter: @lvhairdressing
Blog:http://www.hairdressingtraining.lovehairdressing.co.uk

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