Advice on handling nervousness and social anxiety around clients

SalonGeek

Help Support SalonGeek:

Rnicole93

New Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2022
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
Recently I have been getting so nervous around clients that come in the salon and it is affecting my work I get so nervous because I have gotten negative reviews in the past month ever since I have gotten so nervous and and terrified of messing up and potentially losing my job because I’m very passionate about what I do and the Last thing I want to do upset the clients and honestly sometimes I have been questioning if I should continue to be a hairstylist or not
 

ronray

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2015
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
1,457
Location
South Wales
Recently I have been getting so nervous around clients that come in the salon and it is affecting my work I get so nervous because I have gotten negative reviews in the past month ever since I have gotten so nervous and and terrified of messing up and potentially losing my job because I’m very passionate about what I do and the Last thing I want to do upset the clients and honestly sometimes I have been questioning if I should continue to be a hairstylist or not
Talk me through the scenario if your want? Lets get some clarity on what happened, and see what we can put in place to avoid it for the future. Try not to take it personally when a client isn't happy, I know it's hard, because eive been there, and sometimes still find myself there. But trust me, when you realise that you can't please every person that walks through the door, will be the moment you will learn to relax a little bit more :)
 

Rnicole93

New Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2022
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
Well I introduced myself as their stylist I asked them the type of style they want and if they have any plans then I quiet down and focus doing the clients hair and that’s where things go down hill. I’m an introvert and socializing is not my strong suit and that’s another thing that makes nervous around clients
 

Rnicole93

New Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2022
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
By going down hill I mean not letting me do my job as their stylist for example sometimes as I blow dry the clients hair they will chime in try to tell me what to do or do it them self or ask for another hairstylist which is another reason I have become so nervous around clients
 

TheDuchess

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
930
Reaction score
1,092
Location
Bath
I’m not a hairdresser, I’m a beauty therapist, and I’m British so we have slightly different styles - but I think I still have something helpful to say.

The first comment I would make is that whilst It’s nice brushing hair and doing something with your hands - clients are not a craft project. You can’t zone out into your happy place when you are touching someone. They will notice your inattention to them, and start to feel neglected and ignored. it will feel like you aren’t focussed on them and it is the person that is your client, not the hair

It is your job to behave in a welcoming and confident way.. The second tip is to understand that you can “fake it, until you make it”. Everyone feels nervous in the beginning. We all have to get through our feelings of imposter syndrome and anxiousness. Some people struggle with this more than others. That’s life. For instance Some people learn to read easily and others struggle - they can’t say, “oh it’s too hard for me, I’m not going to learn how to read” they just have to try harder and put more effort in. So you need to commit to learning how to behave in an client friendly manner.

My husband is autistic so he watches videos by “Charisma on Command” on you tube. Since he’s been working from home during covid, he’s got to know everyone in our village and he teases me about my awkwardness! Try this one

When you are concentrating, your body language might become “closed” and your facial expressions might be misinterpreted. So think about ways to cover this. I can never see what my hairdresser is doing half the time, because he’s got my head tipped down, or tilted. Or he’s standing sideways on to me.

Watch what others do in the salon. Watch how they interact with their clients and copy some of their techniques. I tell my staff that their life is not a soap opera for a client to get a fresh instalment on when they visit. You can keep your private life private, so you just need to have a formula, a list of 10 questions that you can ask or topics that you can introduce that you have prepared in advance. Listen to the response you get and expand around the topic or question that seems to excite the client.

it’s reasonable to ask how the client is doing and how they have been. To ask if they were happy with their cut last time as well as what they want for this time. You should pay a compliment to help create a connection - their hair is in great condition, or really strong and thick, or beautifully curly, or comment on something they are wearing - a piece of jewellery or a scarf, or how much a colour suits them. Be warm and natural, touch them as you compliment or look into their eyes. Ask if they normally wear their hair up or loose or however they arrived in the salon. Do they need their hair to look in a particular way for work, are they happy with that look off duty or would they like another option? Smile and hold eye contact, agree what you are to do for them and then start work

During their service ask if they happy with their hair health and how do they take care of their hair? Have a few home care tips ready to share. Ask what products they use and talk about application techniques to get the best results. Talk about how much shampoo to use, one wash or two, leave in conditioner. When they return ask them how their hair has been and see if they tell you how your tips worked out. (It’s always tricky when they say “I did what you said and it’s been really good, that was surprisingly helpful, thank you” and you can’t remember which tip you gave them!

During service ask if they have any upcoming plans (maybe they need their hair to look at its best for this event) and keep records for returning clients, make a note if they are off on holiday or have a party or a birthday.

In the U.K. we are used to discussing the weather for 5 minutes or more with great interest, other passing the time topics include the difficulty of parking locally, congestion on the roads.

Clients will often introduce a topic and you should create a space for them to choose a subject. Very often several clients have similar concerns, so you can recycle conversations with a few tweaks - children’s schools are a big topic in my salon. I don’t have any children in school but I can quote “one of my clients” or “several of my clients” and whatever I have to say is listened to with great interest.

Planning holidays and the impact of Covid is another popular subject - some people are carrying on travelling as normal and “to hell with covid” others are “waiting and seeing”. Again I can reference my other clients to help me out, so I can comment on destinations and how easy/difficult it was to have a good holiday - just reflecting back to the client their own viewpoint. Stay away from controversy!

I hope this is helpful. Good luck and let us know how you are doing.
 

ronray

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2015
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
1,457
Location
South Wales
By going down hill I mean not letting me do my job as their stylist for example sometimes as I blow dry the clients hair they will chime in try to tell me what to do or do it them self or ask for another hairstylist which is another reason I have become so nervous around clients
Has your manager or any other member of staff addressed this?
It's not polite for the client to do that, but I remember being fairly new and still very nervous, and now, looking back I can see how that had an impact on the whole appointment!
If you're not confident when talking to them about their hair, they won't be confident in you doing it.
You mentioned being at risk of losing your job, is this something that has come from management? Because any competent manager would work with you to discover what the issue is and help you work on it.
How long have you been hairdressing?
 

gc2233

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
77
Reaction score
59
Location
newcastle
I really do feel for you as I was the same. maybe chat with one of your colleagues/ salon manager/ family member and share your anxiety - talking about it helps.
I think every stylist goes through this period. I remember being a new stylist in a big company, in awe of everyone else and their ability. My work was never good enough in my eyes and I felt so unconfident in my ability. But I was my own worst enemy. I was over critical over thinking everything and that’s where the downward spiral starts and sounds like where you are at now. I’m sure your friends will give you all the positives they see and will not see any of the negatives you see
Once you think a negative thought stop. Restart your train of thought into something good and positive. Set yourself little goals not huge ones.
do you have salon training nights?Help out with teaching the assistants. Passing on your knowledge will build your confidence.
what Is it in hairdressing you love? I used to love doing bobs and curly hair blow drys. Get a few models to train yourself and perfect your hair cutting skills doing the thing that inspires you and that you love doing. The rest of the chit chat conversation will follow I promise you. It’s all bollocks anyway haha
Accept too that some clients you will never have a rapport with - some you will have a right laugh! There used to be a client at my old salon that would blow dry her own hair no matter who was doing her hair that day so don’t just think it’s you - some people are just like that.
there also used be be a stylist who would tell reception not to book any short haircuts in his column, he was so funny said his fingers were too fat to cut short hair 😂 so everyone has their doubts in themselves. Wish you all the best and you WILL get there.
 

Skylacalliex

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Liverpool
Hi from a fellow introvert. I began hairdressing in 2009 and to say I was nervous and anxious is an understatement. I am a shy person, so I found it hard to begin with. Although as my training went on I became very confident in my abilities. Which I think helped me overcome a lot of my anxieties in general. So after a few years of getting used to being a stylist, I got to a point where I felt really comfortable behind the chair. But, still not quite as comfortable as the extroverts around me. I was still the quieter one (I say was, as I took a break from hair in 2019, I’m recently beginning to go mobile) my boss would quite abruptly tell me I need to talk more.. the thing is I did talk enough, sometimes she would walk in see me zone out for a second. And because I am a quiet person in general, she just assumed I was ignoring my client which was not the case. I was targeted for it a lot. But, as I had a loyal clientele I didn’t understand her problem. She didn’t spend much time there so she wouldn’t know! Anyway, that pressure from my boss made me hate the environment and resulted in my break. My clients always returned to me, I had a good amount of returning clientele, so I just didn’t know what more she wanted from me. I found it easy to pretend to be confident in the end. What I didn’t find easy, was not being myself and pretending to be a very loud over the top personality. It’s just not me. I think it’s ok to be on the quieter side, as long as you at least try to engage in a conversation, confidently consultate, and just try your best to keep a conversation flowing. Also not all clients want a very chatty stylist, so knowing when and when not to push a convo too hard is also something to be learnt.
 

gc2233

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
77
Reaction score
59
Location
newcastle
Hi from a fellow introvert. I began hairdressing in 2009 and to say I was nervous and anxious is an understatement. I am a shy person, so I found it hard to begin with. Although as my training went on I became very confident in my abilities. Which I think helped me overcome a lot of my anxieties in general. So after a few years of getting used to being a stylist, I got to a point where I felt really comfortable behind the chair. But, still not quite as comfortable as the extroverts around me. I was still the quieter one (I say was, as I took a break from hair in 2019, I’m recently beginning to go mobile) my boss would quite abruptly tell me I need to talk more.. the thing is I did talk enough, sometimes she would walk in see me zone out for a second. And because I am a quiet person in general, she just assumed I was ignoring my client which was not the case. I was targeted for it a lot. But, as I had a loyal clientele I didn’t understand her problem. She didn’t spend much time there so she wouldn’t know! Anyway, that pressure from my boss made me hate the environment and resulted in my break. My clients always returned to me, I had a good amount of returning clientele, so I just didn’t know what more she wanted from me. I found it easy to pretend to be confident in the end. What I didn’t find easy, was not being myself and pretending to be a very loud over the top personality. It’s just not me. I think it’s ok to be on the quieter side, as long as you at least try to engage in a conversation, confidently consultate, and just try your best to keep a conversation flowing. Also not all clients want a very chatty stylist, so knowing when and when not to push a convo too hard is also something to be learnt.

exactly right!
A forced unnatural conversation is uncomfortable. Don’t ever feel you have to force conversation.
And I HATE chit chat for chit chats sake! And there are clients out there that feel the same.
As a manager of a salon of 10 stylists every person is as valuable as the next for their own personality. You need that range and if the manager or other staff don’t see that then it’s time to move on as there are plenty other places out there you would feel comfortable in. It’s sad that you didn’t get that at your place of work. Some people are just narrow minded sadly.
 

Latest posts

Top