How To Market Yourself As A Hairstylist

Winning a new customer is much harder than retaining an existing one. This tried and tested rule is certainly true for hairstylists.

It’s an art that takes time, passion and strategy. Hairstylists should not be content with their professional skills alone, but should also put on their marketing hat to turn their practice into a successful profession.

It is much more than promoting yourself by projecting an image – marketing yourself as a hairstylist starts with the ability to understand customer needs and providing them with the services that they are delighted about.

Communication is the key

Word-of-mouth is the most powerful means of reaching out to prospective customers – and the best place to start is your existing customers. While a professional hairstylist has to develop an impeccable ability to listen to customers, they should not hesitate to have an open communication with their clients.

This is not about convincing your client about your abilities, but is more about using the opportunity to establish your authority and expertise. Remember that while the customer is always right, the customer does not necessarily know what they want. This requires you to be as much an effective communicator as you are a professional hairstylist.

For instance, you may want to explain various hairstyles and perms to customers proactively to figure out what they want. You may also use visual aids, such as showing clients photographs which would help them choose the right option.

Feel free to offer your suggestions, show them the options, prescribe the right choices and help them make the right decisions. Building trust, establishing your expertise and satisfying customers could be achieved through open communication with clients.

Discover your USP

Not everyone is good at everything – a Jack of all trades could well be a king of none. However, you could develop your expertise on that one area till you are known for that Midas touch.

Is it your ability turning men into models in less than an hour? Do you have the passion to curl someone’s hair to absolute perfection? Let your clients know what your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is, and market it to the core. Talk to your clients about what you specialise in, or portray your success stories through adorable photographs in your studio.

If you know websites or portals that feature hairstylists who specialise in specific styles or target markets, try having your salon’s information featured in them. Always have a business card handy to hand out to your customers. You could also encourage clients to visit the websites featuring your salon and leave comments or feedback.

It all starts with discovering your USP and projecting it to your clients. And it goes a long way in marketing yourself to prospective new clients.

Focus on client satisfaction

Every customer who walks into your salon looks forward to a pleasant experience. They trust you with their appearance, looks and social life. And they believe you have it in you to create a statement out of their hair.

This leaves you with an opportunity that is much more than just dressing your client’s hair. With all the emphasis on promoting yourself as a hairstylist, you should seldom lose focus on your customer needs.

You design your customer’s social experience and their personality with your hairstyling rather than just fixing their hair. Pursuing formal qualifications, such as ICI Diploma or ICI Advanced Diploma in Hairdressing, would equip you with all the winning ingredients of addressing your client needs and providing services beyond their expectations – the best word-of-mouth communication that markets you as a hairstylist starts with excellent customer service.

Promote customer loyalty

Customer service skills and the ability to read people are important traits for hairstylists. After all, you are dealing with people and personalities that trust you with their looks. This is where you could improvise on your relationship-building skills to promote customer loyalty.

Apart from giving them the look they want, you also need to be there for them when they need you. That means having a backup plan by making arrangements for your loyal customers to be served, when you yourself are not available occasionally to serve customers.

Another way to promote loyalty would be by providing your customers incentives and discounts for them to come back to you. Remembering their names and birthdays and offering coupons or discounts that help them relish their special days are ways of reaching out to your customers in ways that they will remember.

ICI courses allow you to study at your own pace, with ICI Diploma and ICI Advanced Diploma in Hairdressing designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge to market yourself as a hairstylist. Check our hairstylist course and enroll today.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.