#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

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

VS Fashion Show- Maria Makes History

When you think of the hair at the Victorias Secret Fashion Show, you automatically think flawless beach waves and sun kissed balayages. Maria Borges is changing the status quo, she made Victoria’s Secret hair history by walking down runway with her natural hair.

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Angolan model, Maria Borges, has walked down the runway for Victoria’s Secret 3 times prior to this influential moment, each time sporting long, black extensions and signature VS waves, but this time, she walked completely natural. “I told my agent I wanted to walk in the Victoria’s Secret show with my natural hair,” Borges told Essence. “I was nervous, but I had to do it. When they said ‘yes,’ I didn’t expect it, but I was so happy!”

Victoria’s Secret reps LOVED the idea. During casting, the lingerie label asked 23-year-old Borges to come to auditions, but to leave her extensions at home. Borges was estatic. “We were all nervous because I didn’t expect them to answer so quickly,” but that “yes” turned into one of the most iconic VS moments since their first show in 1995.

Styling Borges’ hair for the show was totally a breeze. She wanted her hair as natural as possible. She aimed to let her gorgeous texture take the stage. “I asked them to only put in olive oil spray and that’s it. I was happy because it took 10 seconds to get ready. It was the first time I didn’t have to straighten my hair. It was so easy and I loved it,” Borges said.

Care at home is just as simple. Her product of choice? Olive Oil!

“Be strong. If you say you’re beautiful without hair and makeup, then they will believe you. It’s about being confident and always being yourself.” – Maria Borges

Borges took the leap of faith and underwent her ’big chop’ after Riccardo Tisici, Givenchy’s Creative Director, encouraged her to do so. By the time Givenchy’s Fall/Winter 2015 show rolled around, Borges was already rockin’ her short ‘do.

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Maria Borges modeling for Givenchy’s Fall/Winter 2015

Borges told i-D how having her hair short and natural has really pushed her to discover her own personal brand as a model. She wants to see her industry embrace diversity and individuality. ”The industry—thank God—has become more accepting of individuality. They accept whatever makes you feel comfortable, cool, and beautiful,” she tells i-D. “I think that for those of us who grew up watching Naomi Campbell and all the top models who had beautiful long extensions, it’s freeing because now you don’t have to adhere just to that standard. You can change, you can go natural, you can have different colours, and you can be yourself.”

We are loving the hair, Maria!

Catch Maria and all the gorgeous Victoria’s Secret Models on

Tuesday, December 8th @ 10pm on CBS!

@Salon_Sessions | #SalonSessions