This is the last of a three-part series on men’s salons with artist-at-large Caffery Van Horne. Caffery has a background in fashion and 15 years experience in the international hair industry. This week, he shares his take on offering solutions for men’s hair.
Talk to Clients about Their Needs
One question I always ask is what do they do for work? The haircut I’d give to a lawyer wouldn’t be the kind of hair I’d give to an advertising guy. It’s a big question of what clients wear, how they want to be seen. You have to talk to them. But you have to win them over first so they’ll be able to talk honestly with you about their needs.
I find that I have to ham it up to them. Men like funny, and that’s a big deal. At my salon, clients typically come early and there’s always a bit of comedic dialogue going on in the shop. Guys have an expectation when they come into a men’s salon and not a barbershop, so you want to let them know you can be bros. Then they can be open. You’re the guy that they can ask embarrassing fashion questions to, because they don’t want anyone to know that they’re challenged. After a while, your word is golden. What you say is their business, you know?
Soft-Sell to Product-Challenged Clients
Typically, the problem you’ll run into with most guys: they don’t want to use product. So you have to find haircuts that don’t require a lot of product, and that can be a challenge for hairstylists. I start the conversation by saying, “I know you’re not going to be using product.” While I’m cutting, I’ll say, “This is how it’s going to be when you come out of the shower.” Then I show them the difference if they style it, and I introduce them to product.
What I also do is order a few extras when I’m making an order with my supplier, and I’ll give clients the products I used on them, showing them how to use it. It’s weird marketing but it works, because trying to get a guy to buy if they know they’re not going to use it won’t work. But if on the first time around I throw them one, they’ll try it out and I’ll hook them in. Or maybe if they’re hesitating, I’ll offer them product that’s half-full so he can try it out, and if he likes it, the next time we can arrange a full bottle he can purchase. Overtime you build it into the price point. It just makes you cooler because you gave them free hair stuff.
Online exclusive collection – One Dress, Four Hairstyles
A client of mine was telling me about his younger sister, and wanted to do something special for her grad. We went and chose a beautiful dress, and then spent a weekend styling. She wanted to know what hair works with the clothes, and I thought that’s an interesting question that a lot of young girls have. So that’s how the idea was born, and I developed five hairstyles she can work, and also did her makeup.
Photo: Arkan Zakarov
Check out Caffery’s hair and makeup in his online collection!