I use Youtube to show my kid music videos from the 80s. His favorite thing to do is watch Minecraft gameplay posted by users whose sole income (and I mean six figures) comes from advertisements on their channel. But there is a potentially darker side to Youtube. It’s a two-sided issue. There are DIY hair ‘experts’ who post tutorials that lead to severely damaged hair. The girl who burns her hair off with a curl rod is one. Just search for ‘Bleach Fail’ and pass the popcorn. A woman with over 50,000 subscribers talked about shortcuts to using bleach and then lifted her fringe to reveal an entire patch of broken hair.
Secondly, anyone with a smart phone and a touch of narcissism can record anything they want about their hair. Happiness with hair or disappointment. There is the crux of the matter. Negative word of mouth can spread much farther thanks to the abundance of social media. The old saying ‘There’s no such thing as bad publicity’ is WRONG. Establishing, maintaining, and protecting your reputation…your brand…is an ever evolving process that lasts an entire career. How can we as hairdressers prevent these situations?
1) Don’t ever start a service until the outcome has been mutually established.
2) Meet their eyes and let them know they can let YOU know if they need anything changed.
3) Don’t rush them through their time to see the finished product.
4) Ask them what you can change.
5) Follow up a week after the service.
Here’s the cold, hard reality. Haters gonna hate. Trolls will troll.
Follow the above rules to a tee and avoid miscommunication. Do the best you can do and apologize when you fall short. And don't...DON'T...let yourself be bullied by a guest.
Spotlight time: this recently happened to me. A video series of half-truths and dramatized mania about hair I did caught me off guard. I apologized and it continued to where I felt manipulated and bullied. Bullied. I will say it again. Bullied. Before I engaged in a flame war I remembered an intensely abusive relationship from my youth and the lessons I learned from it: can’t argue with crazy. Words and images on social media can represent a hairdresser’s career almost as much as the style produced. Don’t be afraid to #destroythetrolls, as always #DestroThehHairdresser, and remember: sometimes the problem a guest has is about them, not you.