In my second year as a barber, I learned an important lesson that I'll never forget. It was 2001 and across the shop I watched a co-worker use a razor for a full-shave on his client. From behind me, one of our newer barbers asked, "Do you know how to use the razor?" The truth was that I didn't, at least not with the finesse and confidence that our co-worker was showing off. "No, not like that!" I replied. Without hesitation, the new barber said, "Well, lather me up and let's go." I jumped into action, grabbing the can of white shave lather and placing it all over his head, I reached across the station for the razor and proceeded to shave. One stroke! Two strokes! Three Strokes! PERFECT! Those were my thoughts as I was approaching the very top of his head to complete the shave.
All of a sudden, I noticed something different as I was shaving towards the forehead on the very middle of his head. Skin started peeling onto the blade and I distinctly remember hearing a subtle grunting voice (almost with controlled anger) say, "Don't stop. Just throw some nick relief and keep going." That's when it dawned on me that I not only did I cut this man, I took a chunk of his scalp off.
This was how I learned my lesson. What really helped was how my co-worker was calm and talked me through the steps I needed to take to solve the problem. I tell this story whenever I'm asked about my beginning razor experiences. Just three days ago I was asked, "Do you ever get nervous with a challenge?" and my immediate response was, "I almost never see or look at things as a challenge, I see them as an opportunity." I could have very easily at the age of 17 or 18 (when asked to use the razor for the entire shave) declined but I didn't. I took that challenge as an opportunity to learn the razor (which for years I was afraid of) and learned a whole new skill. Prior to using a razor, I never felt the need to use one because I thought I had perfected the art of adjusting & modifying my trimmer blades to cut just like a razor and if I ever needed to get it closer, then I would just simply use an electric shaver.
What I didn't realize though, is that adding definition with a razor adds to the client experience and that regardless of my comfort level or what I thought I knew, if I really wanted to put my clients first, I needed to learn eventually. There are many things to learn about a razor (like how to hold, the different types, etc.) but there’s something about a clean and defined shave or edge up that makes a client feel refreshed and brand new; it is well worth the investment of your time to educate yourself just to go the extra mile for your client.
To sum it up, here's what you need to do if you're nervous about jumping into the world of razor definition:
Photo: Click and Photo
In this post, we showed how taking chances, learning new skills, and focusing on the health and safety of your client can encourage the people who visit your shop to come back for future appointments. Here are two tools that can help you build these skills:
Customer Service For Beauty Professionals Online ClassCustomer retention is key if we want to have successful careers. Use this online class to make sure clients have a great experience every time they're in your shop.
Infection Control Online ClassThere was also a technical lesson here: the importance of infection control and sanitation practices. Take this comprehensive online class to make sure you know what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation to Cifredo's.
At 15 years of age with an opportunity to apprentice, Cifrèdo's first assignment was tearing down & restoring every pair of clippers in the drawer of his barbering mentor. After 7 years of hands-on experience, Cifrèdo humbly ventured off to open his own first two chair location. Now in year twelve, Cifrèdo'zTM Barber Saloon offers world-class services for their diverse clientele with a fashionable standard of excellence & experience.
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