William Collier: Synopsis of a Memoir, Pt. 16 - A New Enthusiasm

December 02, 2015

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With the Thanksgiving holiday last week, we decided to delay our weekly post. Thank you for your is #16.

The House of Edward Salon was closed on Monday, as were most salons, and the events of the previous day (the Sassoon Event) had my enthusiasm raging. I spend most of my Monday going over images of the different haircuts thinking who I might consider for a particular style. I knew I was going to have to generate some younger clients to experiment on. Our location was very suited to recruiting clients... with the Cornish Art Institute right up the street, all the apartments’ buildings near by, combined with my excitement and enthusiasm my recruiting efforts were effective. Just for the sake of clarity it took a few weeks to get a little momentum, however, I could feel the potential and I was determined to be as busy as possible.

While getting more established with the clients of the salon my enthusiasm was contagious. I was careful not to get carried away with my new found ideas and continued to keep the clients happy with their regular appointments. I was however, quite willing to share my story about attending the Sassoon training and any other information that would support the vision of my future in the hair industry. The owner was very supportive; he often complimented me on my work and especially my passion. This support was not felt throughout the salon.

Herb Hall worked at the complete opposite end of the space and was so busy he only left his area forairwave 3 memoirlunch or a smoke break. Herb was very established with a unique styling technique referred to as “air waving”.  He was a master with an air waving comb and blower. This method was not applicable for everyone; it worked best on hair that had some body and even better with a slight curl. He worked with an assistant, Mary Ellen -- they were quite a team. An average day for Herb was 12 to 15 clients; his technique was similar to clients that came each week except they did not sit under the dryer and were expecting the style to last a week which meant lots of hair spray.

In another section there were two women that had been at the salon for years and were also very establisbubble-hairstylehed. Their technique was right out of beauty school and they followed the rules to a tee. Everything they did was textbook perfect and they were busy repeating the same procedure over and over. I could feel a little of the "old pickle in a very dark place" syndrome occurring. They were not rude, but they made it clear that I was the new kid on the block and I should mind my P’s and Q’s.

After a couple months went by I was starting to get busy applying my new ideas. I arranged an informal meeting with the owner to explain that I had spent time and money obtaining additional training and I wanted to define myself as a “hair cutting specialist”. He responded favorably and expressed his willingness to support my intention. I also explained that I wanted to raise the price of my haircuts to which he replied, “Okay, you want to increase the price from $3.50 to like $4.50?” and I said I wanted to double the price to make it $7.00. There was a slight hesitation; he either saw or felt my determination and said, "Okay".shag memoir 16

The Shag haircut was creating quite a commotion. The younger women were drawn to the ease of managing their hair without having to set, back comb, or use hairspray. My appointment book was starting to fill up. One day when the salon was unusually quiet, I was organizing my work area, just staying busy when Mr. Bennet entered the room. His assistant was out to lunch or maybe running an errand providing us with some privacy. In an informal manner he shared that a concern had been expressed by the two women working in the other room. Their shag2 memoir 16commitment to the techniques they had mastered were being challenged by my anti set and spray  technique. The concern was directed to the haircuts that had not been properly finished, and therefore did not meet the standard of the salon. In his impeccably appropriate and patient manner he pointed out the flaw in their argument, “I hear what you are saying, however, he is doing more haircuts than anyone else in the salon and is charging twice as much.” I appreciated his support and ability to accept change. The times they are a changing…


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