Mar 8, 2021

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The Beauty Industry Epidemic


Dawn Bradley stands beside her client in a salon chair with wet hair and a black cape. Dawn is wearing a leather jacket & has a concentrated look on her face as she cuts hair. text overlay reads "the biggest mistake I see hairstylists making in 2021"

“What they feel, how they react, isn’t mine to own”

Welcome back to another episode of The Anxious Creative! I feel like I say I’m so excited to dive into this episode with you too often, but it’s the truth! I really love being able to sit down and chat with you. This episode is jam packed.

You can also listen and subscribe to The Anxious Creative on iTunes, Google Play and Spotify.

Welcome back to another episode of The Anxious Creative! 

I feel like I say I’m so excited to dive into this episode with you too often, but it’s the truth! I really love being able to sit down and chat with you. 

This episode is jam-packed. I’m talking about something I see happening way too often in the beauty industry that I can only describe as an epidemic. 

Buckle up, friend, ‘cause this is gonna be a wild ride. 

Confidence isn’t Being Conceited

Let’s be honest, you KNOW you’re a kick-ass service provider. 

The problem? You play small because you don’t want to come across as cocky or conceited. Internally, you know that you’re awesome, but you feel like you need permission to brag (humbly of course) about yourself. 

There are so many skilled and talented stylists and beauty experts out there, but there’s such a lack of confidence. And with that lack of confidence comes a lack of communication. 

I remember thinking that I can’t ask questions or tell my client that what they want isn’t possible because they’re gonna think I’m not good at my job. 

I used to promise clients the sun, the moon and all the stars, then I’d go into the back room, sweat dripping from every pore, praying to the hair and color gods that it would work out. 

Why? Because I didn’t know how to communicate to them. 

I was so afraid of telling a client that I couldn’t achieve what they wanted because if I told them, they would think I was no good or I didn’t know what I was doing. 

My lack of self-confidence came out internally with me thinking that a good hairstylist, a skilled hairstylist, a talented hairstylist would KNOW how to give them the results that they wanted. 

So, I prided myself on my “excellent customer service”. Recovering people pleaser, I always said yes. Even when I couldn’t follow through, even when I knew that it wouldn’t happen, that the science couldn’t do it. 

If you’ve been around long enough you’ve probably heard me say this before:

You’re not a people-pleaser, you’re a people-disappointer. 

You’re so afraid to disappoint them in the moment that you end up disappointing them in the long run. 

Don’t be an ASSumer

People-pleasing also has a lot to do with assuming you know how someone’s going to react.

And here’s the thing: we need to stop making assumptions.

That’s the epidemic – we assume WAY too much. We assume that if we’re honest with someone they aren’t going to trust us. 

We assume that by telling somebody that “I like this idea for your hair, but it’s not going to be possible today” that they’re going to think we’re unqualified, un-talented or that it somehow reflects on our capabilities. 

Wanna know a secret? When you stop assuming and start becoming a stronger communicator you will see the success of your career and your business skyrocket. 

Stop assuming…

  • You know how much your client wants to pay for their hair

  • That they’re going to think you’re unqualified

  • How much time they have

  • They’d rather have the cheapest color and not the end result than pay more and have their desired end result

We assume *so* much. I want you to take a second and think about the last time you assumed something. (Not just in your business either, but in your own life) 

Realizing you are making assumptions out of fear is the first step towards becoming a stronger communicator. 

Fluffing Your Ego

Becoming a stronger communicator means putting aside your ego. 

We all have ego, and it’s often validated externally. A lot of us mistake our ego for our self-confidence. But the lack of self-confidence fuels us to search for ego satisfaction.

We’re so insecure of being able to stand up for ourselves that we bring our insecurities into business and we show up as our insecurities. 

I remember being so terrified to tell someone “I love that idea, but we don’t have time for it today”. I filled in the blank ALL.THE.TIME.

Instead of asking questions, I would make assumptions. 

The real secret to life-long, raving fans is to start giving your clients options. 

How can you start giving people options in your business?

And I know this is going to be uncomfortable. Because when we’re not strong communicators and we struggle with anxiety, we fear what people will say and react and we want to be able to control it. 

By trying to have control we sabotage the appointment and the relationship without clients. 

We shut things down instead of giving them an option. 

Let me paint you a word picture…

Your client comes in and shows you their inspiration for what they want. You double-check their booking and see that you only have 3 hours together. The image they’re showing you looks like it would take about 5 hours. 

Now, before you assume you know what they want, let’s have some honest communication:

“I know you want this hair today, we only have 3 hours booked and that’ll take about 5 hours. So we have 2 options. We can book you in for the 5 hours, which will be a little pricier, but we can get you that end result. Or this is what we can achieve today in the 3 hours that we have. Which sounds best for you?”

Now you’ve put the ball in their court and it’s up for them to decide. 

Honest Conversations

You’re not scared of confrontation, you’re scared of honest communication. 

It’s time to start reframing that fear in your mind

What they feel, how they react, isn’t yours to own. But you need to be honest with them because the last thing you want to do is promise everything at the beginning of the appointment and then end up flustered and backpedalling at the sink. 

If there’s one thing you take away from this episode it’s this verbiage:

“I’m going to show up and do my best with my skills, talent and wisdom. But I need you to know that your hair plays a part in this and I can only do what your hair is going to allow me to do. So I want you to know that I’m giving my best today and I’m coming with all my skills, talent and wisdom, but at the end of the day your hair has to cooperate. And I’m not saying this to scare you, I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence if I didn’t. I know this isn’t something that’s said enough in our industry and I really believe that this should be a standard in our industry and we need to have these conversations more because I need you to enter into this fully understanding the risks involved.”

It’s honestly crazy to me that our industry doesn’t require a signature when performing chemical services. Name one other industry that uses chemicals that doesn’t have clients sign off saying they understand the risks involved?

I bet you can’t. 

That’s why I created my free on-demand consultation workshop. To help show you how to build trust, respect, loyalty and authority with your clients. 

Confidence Comes from Within

I know you’ve already got a list of “okay but what if this happens, Dawn??” scenarios ready to go. But I don’t want that to be an excuse for not building confidence. 

So when a client comes in and you communicate honestly that you cannot give them their desired results and they fire back with: “well so and so said that they could” I want you to use this response:

“That’s amazing! In all my years of doing hair I haven’t seen someone be able to [do the thing you said you couldn’t do]. But if this person feels confident that they can get you there, then by all means go book with them and get it done. ‘Cause if they feel confident that’s awesome! I just wanna warn you that I’ve never seen someone be able to [do the thing you said you couldn’t do] and that would be my hesitation. But if they’re confident, you can totally go see them.”

It takes confidence to be able to say “I’m not comfortable doing this because in my knowledge and expertise, this isn’t possible”. I used to be so scared to say that and have people think I’m *not* confident. But the confidence comes from saying that you’re not comfortable. 

It’s totally okay to say: “you know what? I’m not the person to do this for you. I don’t feel confident that this can be achieved in your hair. And I would rather you be upset with me for saying no than be upset with me for doing something on your hair that doesn’t turn out the way you hoped.”

Admitting something isn’t in your expertise, is not saying that you’re unqualified. 

You might even be surprised with the amount of people that thank you for your honesty. 

Know that you are worth it, you are worthy, you have the skill, you have the knowledge. And I know you are so capable. 

Are you ready to stop assuming and start offering your clients options? Shoot me a DM on Instagram @dawnbradleyhair and let me know that you are in for this. 

The best way you can say, “yes I’m in” is take a screenshot of this post and tag me in your IG stories and let’s change this industry together!

Thank you for spending time with me, it’s always a great time. See you on the next episode!

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I am just a small-town, Canadian gal from the prairies who teaches thousands of creatives around the globe how to earn 6-figures stress-free!

Hey, I’m Dawn!

“Rock Your Business” Course Creator, Host of “The Anxious Creative” Podcast. Named by Salon Magazine as Canada’s #1 women of influence.

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