Over some banana infused alcohol (don’t know the name but it was amazing) and Japanese food with my friend and hair stylist Jacob, I asked him how he knew what hairstyle to give each person. His answer: it’s all about the client.
When he cuts hair, he asks himself a number of questions:
- Is this low-maintenance?
If it’s high-maintenance, the client will be upset once they leave and realize how much work it is to take care of their hair with this new style.
- Is this right for the season?
Jacob thinks about each season – the weather, the clothes a user will wear, etc. – and then cuts and styles accordingly.
- Is this trendy and modern, but not editorial?
People often show him images in magazines. The problem with these hairstyles is that they aren’t good for everyday use. Jacob thinks about how to get the essence of these hairstyles while maintaining its practicality.
- Is this wearable?
Does this haircut fit the person’s face and bone structure?
- Is it easy to replicate?
Everyone is familiar with the following scenario: go to the salon, get a hairstyle you LOVE, then never be able to replicate it at home. When Jacob is styling a client’s hair, he thinks about the person and how they would be styling it themselves at home. This way he isn’t using techniques only a hair stylist can do or results only he can achieve.
I was amazed at how much thought went into a haircut and style. I knew that it took skill and that Jacob took pride in his work, but I honestly didn’t realize how much he was thinking about the client the entire time he was doing his work. But it makes complete sense.
Jacob is the best hair stylist I’ve been to. I’ve been going to him for four years. There was even an 18 month break where he moved to Chicago. He was so good that the first week he was back in New York City I started going to him again. He has the most attention to detail, always keeps me looking fresh and modern, gives me different styles for the changing seasons, and manages to make it maintainable so I can style it well every day.
I always knew he cared about each customer, but I didn’t realize how much thought went into it. Right then, I developed a new respect for him listening to him talk about his passion for his career.
Whatever you’re creating, client services is all about the end user. It’s not about what you want. Whether you’re digital product designer or a hair stylist, always keep that in mind when producing your work and you will get the best results.
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