"Sell Some Damn Product"

Salon ownership is rough.  

Without generalizing, here's the breakdown of the breakdowns for this minority group.  They are ultimately responsible for maintaining the facilities, purchasing supplies, paying utilities, and paying their stylists.  Add in marketing and support staff and education, all of which is paid for by the $$ stylists bring in performing services.  It is a delicate mathematical formula; if the cost of running the business is not met with the money collected from clients for services rendered, eventually the salon closes.     

With all the delicacies surrounding financing, salon owners also have to contend with the perception that their staff thinks they spend their free time like this: 

Michael Levine of Michael Levine Hair wrote a powerful article.  'Dear Hairstylists, We Are Not Taking Half Your Money.'  Having managed a salon, I can attest that it is accurate.  It is refreshing to see a salon owner be transparent.  Technically a better title would be 'Dear Hairstylists, We Are Not Keeping Half Your Money.' Between commission percentages, product charges, and taxes, half a stylist's money does go bye-bye from what they bring in and that is where a lot of the disparity and frustration comes in.

I go along the journey with him all the way up until the last three paragraphs.

So let’s talk briefly about retail. When your employer asks you to sell a little more retail, yes, the profits from those sales are extremely helpful to the salon’s bottom line. Yes, the salon owner needs these sales in order to keep the salon looking good and running flawlessly, as well as allowing the owner to sleep at night and not be miserable to be around because the business is thriving. Those retail sales allow the salon to hire an extra assistant and to allow the staff a little more leeway. To permit the owner to provide better education with special independent guest artists not paid by product companies. To make sure the annual Christmas party is good and all expenses covered. To make the salon a better place to work.

But we don’t want you to pressure those retail sales. We want the clients to see us as experts in their hair and trusted advisers on what products will solve their hair problems. You see, retail sales are actually a barometer of how well you are doing your job and how the client views you. People don’t buy from people they don’t trust. They also don’t send friends and family to people they don’t see as amazing. By you adding “fixing your clients’ hair problems and giving styling lessons to everyone” to how you view your role as a hairdresser, you will see your retail AND service dollars start to skyrocket. And that is a really good thing for you, and when you are performing well and making a great living as a hairdresser, the salon starts to increase profits. Both of these are wonderful things for all parties. It’s win/win.

So the next time your employer seems grumpy, consider the pressure this person is carrying each day just to try to keep their dream and investment alive. And then go out there and give a styling lesson and sell some damn product.
— Michael Levine

And then go out there and give a styling lesson and sell some damn product?!?!

This is a great example of how one tiny piece of communication can alienate someone.  Paragraph 1 = salon owners really need retail sales to keep the business going.  Paragraph II = great example of why we should be recommending product to every guest.  Because we are the experts.  Paragraph III = are you telling me to STFU and go sell product?????

 Wait am I being yelled at or not?

Wait am I being yelled at or not?


We don't sell anything.  We tell a guest what we recommend.  The Elitest of the elite educate stylists not to spend their clients' money for them with regards to not assuming whether a guest can afford this service or that product.  Can't have it both ways; stylists give expert advice and it is ultimately up to the guest.  

The authenticity of the entire article, which up until That. Last. Sentence. is concrete...but with those sixteen words, it now sounds like we as non-salon owners are being berated for not selling enough product.  To add in the 'damn' is even worse: it sounds like No Fucks Are Given about what product is sold, whether it is right or wrong for the client but hey go sell some damn product.

Am I the only one that feels this way?  I wish that last sentence could be edited out of the article because it is, until that point, a compelling and essential piece of information delivery. And then I went from being informed to being cussed at.  How would you feel, Destroyers, if your manager or salon owner sat down with you, took the time to run your numbers so you knew exactly where your money went, and wore their heart on their sleeve and then cussed at you?  Tell us in the comments below.