This is the first of a three-part series on men’s salons with artist-at-large Caffery Van Horne. With Caffrey’s background in fashion and fifteen years experience in the international hair industry, he sits down with Salon to tell all about putting together a style for men’s salons.
Part 1: Caffery on Style
Have the Right Look
Developing your style in the salon starts right from the beginning. Think of the customer. They come to your address—chances are it was through a referral—they see the outside, then come in, and they’re greeted at reception. Taking off their coat, they notice the hairstylists at work. Inside their head, they’re probably thinking about which stylist they’d want to sit with, because chances are they want a stylist with the kind of hair they’d like to walk out with.
Your staff reflects your salon’s style. How is your staff dressed, do they look good? It’s a visual business. You know, unfortunately there are lots of great hairstylists but if they don’t look good, you’re just going to get by. It really is about the vibe you’re putting out there, and customers pick that up visually.
Customize your web presence
Also, think seriously about your website. In this day and age, everybody looks you up online right away. If you’re an indie salon for the indie guy, show that. Same goes for the conservative suit guys up on Bay Street; the business-casual guys who are buttoned-down; the fashion addicts who work in an environment where individuality is valued. Post work of your client’s hair on your website. You need to show what you can create, what your style is all about, and ultimately what they can expect. If you’re not moving to reflect what the customer’s looking for, chances are the customer’s just going to walk out.
Create a lookbook
What you want to remember is that it’s an image-based business. You’re selling business. You can’t sell, “I’m good”, to someone who has never seen your work—they’re going to base their decision to come to you based on your book, what you’ve done.
I have a LookBook I’ve put together with all these pictures that weren’t necessarily published in a magazine, but I just put them together on my own. When clients come in and they want hair books to look at, to see what kind of looks they can have, what better book than a book you have created? Because you’re not just showing them a good hairstyle, you’re showing them a good hairstyle that you’re capable of. People like evidence of greatness.
Read Part 2 for Caffery’s take on customer service
Photo by Peter Tamlin