After more than three decades in the business, Redken Global Artistic Ambassador Sam Villa knows a thing or two about finding success as a hairstylist, and has the accolades (and reputation) to prove it. So how does he do it? Hard work, a positive attitude, and communication. And of course, an entire arsenal of amazing products.
"Opportunity rarely comes and sits down in your lap, and even when it does, we don’t often recognize it,” Sam says.
"If we want to be outstanding hairdressers,
we need to search for success, hunt it down and grab hold.”
If that sounds more easily said than done, not to fear — Sam took the time to share his five tips to becoming the most successful hairdresser you can be.
KNOW THAT THERE'S ALWAYS MORE TO LEARN
The true key to success? Never stop learning. "We only become what we plant,” says Sam. "The quality of our learning is a direct reflection of the quality of our work, so learn all you can and then apply it in your own creative way.” He suggests tapping into your community, and taking every chance you have to learn from the people around you. Another place he turns to for hairspiration? "I recommend the 2019 Redken Symposium, an educational event you won’t forget!”
STOCK UP ON PRODUCTS
As all stylists know, your work is only as great as the products you’re using to get it done. "A successful stylist begins with a product line that he or she truly believes in, and can recommend with confidence to get the proper results,” says Sam, who relies on Redken to give him the results he needs. "Remember that product is a necessity, not an option. Redken products allow you to style without limits.”
COMMUNICATE POSITIVELY WITH CLIENTS
Remember: Attitude is contagious at the chair. “I am a firm believer that communication builds wealth, and communicating knowledge with a great attitude is very important when it comes to succeeding at the chair in today’s world,” says Sam. “I encourage you to have fun and be positive. When you have a great attitude, people will seek you out.”This rule also applies to front desk support, because it really does all matter.
BE CONFIDENT IN YOUR SKILLS
You are your own biggest cheerleader, and believing in yourself really is the ultimate key to success. "Everyday behind the chair you have an opportunity to embrace your ideas — which, by the way requires courage,” says Sam. "While I can’t tell you the formula for success, I can share with you that the formula for failure is trying to please everyone. Stand behind that chair with courage and remember that having an idea is like chasing a butterfly — the more you chase it the more it eludes you. But if we focus on the task at hand, the idea lands softly on our shoulder.”
ADD VALUE TO YOUR WORK
These days, when guests come into the salon, they want something more than the usual color, cut, and style. "Today as a hairdresser, imagine yourself as a teacher at the chair,” says Sam. "Add value by showing a client simple trick they can perform at home. An example: Teach a client how to do a simple 2-strand braid. While the color is processing (if you are not double booked), grab a long hair mannequin and tripod to teach the client some simple styling tricks. Showcase your talents on the salon floor. Remember, there is no value in the back break room."
Photography: Courtesy of Redken