#AskNeeko: The Flow of Perseverance

It’s not about us; it never has been and it never will be. It’s about you. Bottom line, I can post as many pictures of hair as I want on our social media pages, I can type blog posts until my fingers fall off, but the only thing that matters- and that will EVER matter- is that you are impacted in some way. That you leave our Instagram page feeling motivated or exit out of our blog page feeling inspired and like you learned something. That is what it is all about. So, I gave you guys free reign to come up with a question for owner, Neeko Abriol, and here was the one we chose:

“Our salon loves your salon. Salon Sessions does it expertly. We are a salon with an apprenticeship program because we are responsible to young stylists in giving them the opportunity to succeed in our industry and because it is out responsibility to elevate the industry. That being said, are you finding that new stylists coming into the industry struggle with perseverance  If so- how are you building the confidence of your new stylists without diminishing your own energy.” – @lunchsalon

Great question from an amazing salon. As he was fixing lighting in our photo studio, I got a few minutes with Neeko.

Perseverance (noun) Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Why is perseverance a trait that is harder and harder to come by lately? Heres what he had to say:

“The new workforce coming into the industry- their best characteristic isn’t perseverance. So salon owners and managers have to realize that the only way you build perseverance using a flow. Desire, Decision, Devotion, Delight. Anybody can say “Hey I want to be a hairstylist” but it’s going to take that desire to make a decision and say “Hey you know what, I am going to be a hairstylist”. So from that decision to become, then follows a devotion. The devotion determines wether that decision is going to be followed through. Once you have the devotion to your craft, it will lead to delight. Not only will the client delight in it, not only will someone else love their hair, but you will delight in the moment too. After, you desire to do more and dedicate yourself to that. That is the cycle that creates perseverance. It can’t be googling or watching youtube videos. Knowledge has to be tested on the anvil of experience.

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Knowledge has to be tested on the anvil of experience.

If you don’t have that challenge, those trial and error learning moments to see if it actually works, theres no way they’re going to persevere. Durability is the ability to endure. How do you pick a football player? There are 3 kinds of players- (1) the guy that gets hit and stays down, (2) the guy that gets back up, gets hit and gets back up, and (3) the guy that is actually hitting everybody else. THAT is the guy I want, the one knocking everyone else down on the football field. Thats the guy that has desire, devotion, and now has delight in his sport.

My best advice is to put your new assistants in that program of training and reward. That is the only way to counter not persevering, the old fashion way. You gotta do it, you gotta get your hands dirty. There is no shortcut to persevering, you have to grind and you have to hustle.  The reason that the generation coming in looks for shortcuts is because of this new world of apps. They have allowed us to do shortcuts. I’m not downing the fact that the app stuff is amazing, I mean, we now have the power to save time on anything, but now we are now  looking for those shortcuts everywhere. You got to embrace the grind, and that grind is going to set you apart from everyone else that are using the shortcuts- the ones that are on to the next easiest thing. Forget all of that, I want someone who is going to grind and stick it out. Everyone doesn’t get a gold star just because they participated. Accolades and rewards are based on advancement. I want to be able to reward you for progress, not fairness.

 

The main thing I would like to get across to the millennials is, ask yourself, “What am I doing different?” because preference and choice make the human experience remarkable.”

-@neekobackstage_

A question to ask yourself RIGHT NOW: 

What do I bring to the table that is uniquely me?

 

To bring it all together, perseverance is not a trait that is taught overnight. There is no secret to persevering. As salon owners, I think it is crucial to create a balanced environment where beginner stylists feel safe to mess up, but still hold the bar for their skill set high. When you are fresh from State Board, it’s scary enough transitioning from school-life to salon-life. Being in an environment where mistakes are okay and where mess ups are not judged is a breeding ground for positivity.

Perseverance is the ability to get back up one more time than you are knocked down. For the newcomers into the industry, perseverance is the strength to try that graduated bob one more time- even though the last one you did didn’t come out the way you’d hoped. Perseverance is mixing that color that you know you didn’t do the best job on last time. When you genuinely love your craft, you want to be perfect at it and I think that as hairdressers, we are so hard on ourselves if a client doesn’t come out exactly how we pictured it in our heads. If you are passionate about hair, passionate about touching peoples lives through hair, you will persevere. Hard work comes with the territory of being successful. Embrace those long hours at the salon, those sleepless nights trying to figure out the angles to that haircut. Embrace the stress of running around on a busy Saturday morning shampooing, sweeping, and washing dishes. Embrace the fact that you are going to royally mess up on a color or a cut. But the one thing that is most vital in these uncomfortable situations is that: You are learning. Knowledge has to be tested on the anvil of experience, and each experience is making you a better hairstylist.

 

#salonsessions | @salon_sessions

Lauren Enriquez

@laurenenriquezz

Dyson’s Hair Dryer; Most Challenging Invention Yet

The experts in all things air flow have officially broke the internet.

Wednesday, Sir James Dyson took the stage in Tokyo to introduce what could be the most revolutionary advancement in the hair tools industry in 60 years.

It’s called “the Supersonic” and Mr. Dyson himself said that this invention “feels a lot more personal than usual.”

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What Makes The Supersonic Different?

  • Intelligent Heat Control: Dry without worrying about extreme hear damage. Air temperature is measured 20 times every second, keeping the temperature under control. You can dry without the risk of extreme heat damage.
  • Ultra Fast Drying: controlled, quiet high-velocity airflow
  • Engineered For Balance: With the motor in the handle, not the head, Dyson’s hair dryer is engineered for balance. They’ve turned convention on its head and put the motor in the handle. Completely rebalancing the dryer’s weight and shape for less arm ache.
  • Magnetic Attachments: Concentrator and Diffuser that attach magnetically and are cool to the touch.

Back To (Beauty) School?

I think the most interesting part about this project is that Sir James Dyson felt it was so important to get this hair dryer right, he actually sent his team to beauty school to make sure they made the best product possible. When it comes to vacuums, I can pretty confidently say that everyone expects the same thing. Hair dryers are a totally different story, my list of what I expect from a hair dryer can be totally different than what your list consists of. To understand what Dyson’s consumers want, Dyson had to understand hair- and what better way to understand hair than going to hair school.

“Trust me when I say there are many more approaches and angles to blow-drying than vacuuming in the world. British women want volume. Japanese women want straightness. No one wants hair damage. And then we had to create a fleet of robots specifically to test that over and over again.” -Ed Shelton, Designer.

 

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A group of young engineers attended styling classes to  better understand where Dyson can improve the technology of the dryer. After classes, they realized how important the heat shield technology is. The problem was how hot the attachments got while styling with the dryer. Dyson created a shield around the dryer and the attachment so that it is not hot to the touch when a consumer goes to remove it.

On top of the beauty school knowledge, they also enlisted the help of celebrity hairstylist, Jen Atkin, to give advice on what her and her clients expect from a hair dryer and to also be a brand ambassador (look out for her tutorials on youtube using the Supersonic).

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The Supersonic is expected to be on sale in Sephora stores by the end of this year with a price tag of $400. Will you be grabbing one?

 

@Salon_Sessions | #SalonSessions

Instagram’s New Algorithm Explained + What This Means For Your #Hair Pics

If you have been on Instagram at all over the last couple days, you have probably heard about THE UPDATE that is supposedly going to completely ruin Instagram and send it into a downward spiral. (Seriously, even celebs like Kendall Jenner have tweeted their distaste for the update.)

My feed has been swamped with pictures like this;

pictures of users scrambling to have their followers be notified when they post a photo. I’m here to tell you that the dreaded update is seriously not that serious.

Update Explained:

What Instagram’s new update is going to start doing is showing you more of what you like, based on the history of your actions at the beginning of your feed. So when your feed first loads, the first handful of posts will be pictures that Instagram feels like you’ll be most excited to see, based on the history of your interactions. After a few of these pictures, your feed will go back to chronological order. Instagram is not taking away content, instead, they are pushing more of what you like to the top.

Why is Instagram choosing to use a new algorithm? To make sure that every time a user is on their app, they are taking in only the best it has to offer. With over 400 million users, Instagram needs to ensure their platform stays relevant, making 100% sure you see the posts you want to see. Twitter has implemented the same concept to their app with a “Show me the best Tweets first” option in your settings and a “While You Were Away” recap of the twitter users you interact with most. The social networks are personalizing your timeline specific to your taste.

“If there is too much noise, people stop paying attention.” -Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia

What Does This Mean For Your #Hair Pics?

Being in the beauty industry, we know how important it is to have our work seen. Instagram is the best, least expensive way of marketing yourself to potential clients you would have never met in person. Instead of asking for your followers to “Turn On Notifications” for your posts, put your time and energy into getting to the top of your followers feed.

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If you keep putting out great, valuable content, there will be no need for your followers to turn your notifications on; you will be at the top of your online communities feed every time.

–  @LaurenEnriquezz

@Salon_Sesisons | #SalonSessions

The Blonde Journey; Things You Should Know

If you were born with dark locks, I know at least ONCE in your life the thought “I wonder what I would look like blonde..” has popped in your head. There’s no other way to put it; becoming blonde is a journey. At the first swipe of bleach on your hair, you are engaged. These are the must-know things before you decide to decolorize.

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Khloe Kardashian’s 2 Year Blonde Journey (collage by @vixenhair)

  • Communication Is Key. Consultation. Consultation. Consultation. This part of the appointment is crucial for your stylist to get to know you. Wether you realize it or not, this has a direct affect on your whole look. If you are an avid surfer who curls your hair only once in a blue moon, your color, foil placement, levels lifted will be extremely different from the lawyer who does their hair every day. The more in-depth you get, the more personalized your color will be. From there, your colorist will be able to set up an in-depth strategy on how you both will get to the end goal right after your consultation. You will both be able to create a timeline based on what type of blonde you both agree on and what your budget is, and each visit getting closer to your end goal.

 

  • Know How Blonde & Your Budget. Make sure the type of blonde you want to be coincides with your budget. A few face-framing highlights will be much less expensive to keep up than a full blonde balayage. And a full blonde balayage will be less costly to keep up than being root-to-ends blonde. Always make sure you factor your budget into finding your perfect blonde, because if you can’t keep it up, it’s not for you.

 

  • Stay With The Same Colorist. Leaving your colorist halfway through your journey for blonde is like ditching your wedding planner a day before your wedding. You’ll have to re-tell her everything; what time the flowers will be arriving, the dinner seating arrangement and why your aunt absolutely can NOT sit next to his aunt (yikes). Same with your hair. Your stylist knows your hair after a couple sessions, they know how much lightener your hair can take and what toners just don’t work for your tresses. This is beneficial for you because you don’t have to go through the consultation process again. (side note: the only time I would recommend leaving your stylist is obviously if you aren’t happy with your results after a couple sessions or if your hair doesn’t seem healthy. Being a hairdresser is like dating, you aren’t for everyone. Find your perfect match.)

 

  • Be Openminded About “In Between” Colors. Your stylist cares. They will never let you walk out of the doors with an ugly color, but again, this is a journey. Remember that every session you have, you are one step closer to your end goal. Embrace the steps and remember that this is best for the integrity of your hair. (and who knows, you might end up loving being a light brown.)

 

  • Home Care Matters. Invest in good products, this will make a world of difference in your color. I know spending dough on something that will never leave your bathroom sounds like a bummer deal, but the products you use will have a huge affect when you sit in the chair. (trust me, they can tell). When your stylists recommends an at-home masque or a repairing conditioner, it’s so your blonde journey can be sped up to get you to your end result quicker. Bad quality products won’t repair the hair, slowing down the process.

 

  • Be Patient & Realistic. Rome wasn’t built in one day. Be patient and realistic about your journey. Trust me, your stylist wants nothing more than for you to say “This is exactly what I wanted.”

 

Being as natural brunette who is currently a pretty light shade of blonde, the best piece of advice that I could give is that blonde is not a destination, it is an ongoing journey. Bottom line, the longevity of your hair is our greatest concern. Healthy, beautiful hair is what we aim to give you.

 

@Salon_Sessions | #SalonSessions

4 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Buy Professional Hair Products Outside Of A Salon

A search on eBay or Amazon for your favorite high-end salon products will always render a bunch of hits, most of the time at crazy low prices. Since these products in the salon can be a little on the pricy side, it’s always tempting, seriously tempting, for clients to go looking for deals online. Here’s 4 reasons why that is not exactly a great idea.

  • Quality. Seriously, who knows what is actually in the product you’re buying when it’s not from a salon? There have been a countless number of cases where a client has bought a product from a 3rd party and even though it was in the correct packaging, the product was watered down, mixed with other products, or past their expiration date. When purchasing products from a 3rd party, you never really know what is in what you’re buying. Unless it’s straight from the source or a partner, it’s questionable. The extra $5 that you spend in salon on your favorite Tonic Lotion from Bumble and bumble. is to ensure you get exactly what you paid for and nothing else.

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  • Stylist Knows Best. I know it may sound like there isn’t much to hair products or that the descriptions on the back are all the information that you may need, but there is much more than meets the eye. After a session with your stylist, they have already spent a couple hours with your hair. They will be able to tell you exactly what products you need and how to strategically use it depending on your specific hair type or regimen. I’ve seen stylists recommend the same product in completely different ways. We are so well trained on exactly what to prescribe to each individual person that we do it in the grocery store. We sit in hours of product knowledge classes so we know precisely what regimen to design for you. The extra bucks you spend in salon is for us to be able to share this knowledge with you and make sure you go home knowing how to use these products in a way that will best benefit you.
  • Support Your Salon. Being able to carry product lines in salon like R+Co, Bumble & bumble, and Oribe aren’t as simple as making a phone call. To ensure brand equity, these product lines have to thoroughly look into the salon as a whole. Salons have to fill out applications and brand representatives from the lines have to visit each applicant to make sure they fit the criteria the line is looking for. Not only can it be challenging to get the product lines in a salon, but to make sure the salon product shelves are stocked and looking their best is a job in itself.
  • Totally Illegal. If those reasons above aren’t enough of a deterrent to stop you from buying online, think about the fact that it’s totally illegal. If products aren’t being sold from the actual entity OR a network salon / business, it is not considered be from the company. Some big product lines have spent millions of dollars in trying to make sure this crime is cut down to maintain a strong brand. Some scammers have gone as far to actually dumpster dive in Sephora dumpsters to get empty bottles of products to resell them with fake ingredients. Gross.

 

You wouldn’t buy a Ferrari and use cheap cleaner that might bleach your seats. You wouldn’t use dish soap to wash your most expensive ballgown. Make sure the money that you put into your hair is always taken care of by products that are reliable and straight from the source.

 

@Salon_Sessions | #SalonSessions

From Tokyo To Los Angeles- Meet Chiyuki.

If you were to run into her on Colorado Bvld., she would give you a gentle smile and a delicate “Hello.” but behind the chair, she is creating some of the most badass work in the industry.

 

Our new girl on the block, meet Chiyuki.

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Chiyuki was born and raised in Japan & graduated from Tamagawa University in Tokyo  for International Economy. Like most hairdressers, she questioned her career choice. “I was always thinking about becoming a hairstylist, but I always had the doubt in the back of my mind. ‘No, No, No. You can’t do this.’” After Chiyuki graduated University, she came to her fork in the road; Do I stick with what I studied in University or do I follow my heart and do hair? “I always thought ‘Is it too late?’ because the majority of hairdressers go straight to hair school right out of high school.” Chiyuki sat down with her parents to tell them her dilemma, and they encouraged her to do what made her happy. She told herself ‘it’s never too late’. A weight was lifted off her shoulders; from that moment on, it was all about hair.

Chiyuki started at her cosmetology school while assisting a small hair salon located in Yokohama, Japan. At this salon, she became an expert in extensions, braids, & dreadlocks. After  3 years, Chiyuki decided to move to a bigger salon, right in Tokyo, where she was educated on Sassoon-style cutting. She worked there for 7 years but always felt like her heart was in Los Angeles. “I always loved the culture of the United States, I used to visit Los Angeles to see my mom’s best friend. I always loved the style of the city.”
With nothing holding her back from her passion in hair, Chiyuki decided to move to United States.

I had to ask her why. Why leave all that you know; your family, your friends, the life that you’ve built in Japan to come to a foreign place like Los Angeles? With both cities being staples of the world, why leave one to go to another? Her answer was simply- Creative Freedom.

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She told me that in Japan, the clients like to stick to a status quo. “So for example, if I recommended a hairstyle that was out of the status quo, the client would second guess it; ‘Is this too much for me?’ I would always try to stress to them, “Be unique!” but in Japan, some of the hair that I like to create is out of most clients comfort zones.” In the United States, we love to be unique with our hair. Adding our personality to our tresses is something we have loved for years. (remember the iconic feather extensions?) In Japan, hair is extremely detailed and precise. “There are so many extremely talented hairstylists in Japan & I learned so much, but wanted to give more unique hair. I can be more creative here.” Chiyuki told me with a huge smile. “When I visited LA, I saw so many people that were unique. They knew what they liked.”

 

“Its not only about hair. When I’m doing my clients hair, that is the closest I can get to them. I am kind of shy, but when I’m doing hair, I can touch them, and I feel like I’m becoming close to them. A mutual trust. When I’m finished and they look happy, that is the most amazing feeling to me.” -Chiyuki Furuta

 

 

Sometimes your passion can take you places you’d never think you’d end up- like half way across the world for Chiyuki. We are more than excited to have her on our team.

 

@Salon_Sessions | #SalonSessions

How To Stand Out In An Online Crowd: With Jonathan Serna

1.4 million hashtags and nearly 660k followers, Behind The Chair has become a staple of the online community in the hair world. To be “featured” means you get to have your work displayed in front of hundreds of thousands of hairdressers hungry for knowledge and inspiration. To be featured once is definitely an accomplishment in your professional life, and Jonathan’s work has been featured 3 times since the beginning of 2016.

The question we are dying to know; how do you get noticed in such a competitive industry through a social platform?

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I have to start by saying how incredibly humble of a human being Jonathan is. Every time he has been featured on a popular Instagram, he is nothing but grateful & gracious that the work he pours his everything into is recognized by such a huge entity. After a busy Wednesday, I asked some need to know questions.

Why do you feel like you keep getting featured?

“I feel like I keep being featured because I genuinely love what I do. I never feel like I work because I have so much fun connecting with my clients and establishing that relationship. I feel like if my love and passion shows in my work, and entities like @ModernSalon or @BehindTheChair_Com can see that, THAT’S whats capturing the attention.”

What are your tips for Instagram?

“There is no rulebook or guideline that I could set, because I don’t feel like my account is any better or any more special than anyone else’s. If you have your own Instagram account, run it that way you want. If you are happy with it & branding yourself the way you want to be branded, wether its simple and minimalistic photos or if you like pops of color and attention grabbing pics, do what you want to do. Because I’m doing me and I feel like it’s helped me get to where I am and is getting me get to where I’m going. I am staying true to who I am as a stylist.

But if I have to get technical, I make sure my pictures:

  • are crisp & clean
  •  have even lighting with no shadows
  •  are taken on a plain wall.

Thats the style, the vibe, & the mood that I want my page to have. I like everything to be cohesive. Keeping that look as a whole on an account is important. I think thats where your professionalism shows and I feel like  brands like @ModernSalon & @BehindTheChair_com can see & pick up on that.”

Why do you do what you do?

“This is actually a very hard question. It is a feeling of gratification that I get from this craft that I was blessed enough to be able to do with my own two hands. I get to bring out the inner beauty in others that I see in them and help them feel better about themselves. When I am allowed to sit down with someone and bring out what I feel is the best part of them on the inside and show it on the outside, theres no better, more gratifying feeling than that. Just like everyone, I have my own insecurities, but when I get to be the medium that helps someone get rid of some of their insecurities about their appearance, I feel like it helps mine go away too. This is exactly why God put on this earth.”

Last words of advice?

“Don’t measure your success by how many features you get, don’t measure your success on how many clients you have, OR how many followers/likes you get, but measure your success based on how happy YOU are doing what you’re doing and how happy you make your clients. At the end of the day if you go home and wake up the next morning & all you can do is think about doing hair again, then I think you’ll be successful.” -@JAndrewSerna

 

“They buy the stylist BEFORE they buy the service.”

Before even a comb goes through the hair, before any color is mixed, and before the shears are even out of their case; They buy the stylist before they buy the service. How do you stand out in an online crowd? Live your passion. If you are living your passion, it WILL be noticed. We are all put on this earth for a specific purpose, some find that purpose at an early age & for others, it takes a little longer to find. Whatever the case may be, finding that niche and being completely passionate about it will always make you stand out among the rest.

 

@Salon_Sessions | #SalonSessions