May 12, 2015

Finding the RIGHT Salon to Begin Your Career

“If you fail to plan, plan to fail!” We have all heard this phrase before, and many of us have probably experienced it in one way, shape or form. This doesn’t have to be the case with your career in cosmetology!

Often times, students find themselves in a position to discover more about the salon(s) that they are interested in. Although there are many ways to find the answer to your questions, often times having the right questions can be difficult. At Hays Academy of Hair Design, we strive to provide our students with a realistic and transparent understanding of what salon life is like. However, we also know and explain that each salon is unique and provides a different atmosphere than any other salon in the community. The goal of every student is to find the right salon, and it is our goal to help them in that process.

When it comes to talking to a salon owner or manager, there are specific things you need to have prepared. Of course, your hair, makeup and clothing should be well done, wrinkle-free, and as professional as you are capable. In addition, we recommend that you dress to that specific salon atmosphere as you will be more comfortable that way! Have your cover letter, resume, references, and portfolio ready for the salon owner or manager to observe. Be as calm, attentive and personable as possible because your first impression will either make or break you! Although you are working hard to make a good impression, know that they need to be making a good impression on you as well! When you get the opportunity, be sure to talk to the stylist you are observing or the cosmetologists you are around. These employees know the in’s and out’s of this salon and are a wealth of information.

When talking to the salon owner or manager, you should be prepared to ask questions. The following list includes a sample of questions that you should consider asking;

What color line do you utilize?
What product lines do you offer for retail sales?
Do you offer continuing education?
If so, how often, and what is the cost to the stylist?
Does this salon have an associates program that offers specific training detailed at this salons signature services?
What is the base rate for commission?
Will the commission rate increase over time or will it be the same?
Do you offer any benefits? (ie: health care, 401k, paid time off)
What is the dress code?
Do you help promote the stylists, or is that each stylist’s own responsibility?
What is something you feel that starting stylists need to improve upon?
Do you have any specific requirements for starting stylists?
Do you provide backbar supplies?
What are stylists required to bring and maintain?
Do you keep electronic files of clients prior services and product sales?
Are stylists required to sign a contract?
If so, what are the stipulations of that contract?

Keep in mind that these questions aren’t going to be suiting for each salon you visit. If you would like to formulate a list of detailed and specific questions for the salon you are visiting, consider meeting with your student services contact to formulate a solid list of questions! We would be glad to assist you in this!

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