How to be the best apprentice
Apprenticing at a salon for the first time can be intimidating especially for a newly licensed cosmetologist. Here are some important lessons I've learned along the way that may help you grow as an apprentice.
1. Keep an eye on the schedule. Before the day begins, look at the schedule to plan for potential conflicts, new clients, shared clients, cancellations, or last minute add-ons. The more information you know about the day, the smoother the day will run. If you know a client is getting her roots touched up at 11:00 with Stylist A, but has to be to Stylist B at 12:00 for a haircut, make sure those stylists know they are sharing that client to keep them on time.
2. Know the names of your salon's clients and become familiar with their personalities. Remember details about conversations they share with you or things they have coming up in their schedule. At their next appointment they will be pleasantly surprised you remembered that "thing" about them. Even being able to recall which way they part their hair is a bonus!
3. Anticipate the needs of whom you are assisting. Preparing stations or work areas for a client's service saves the time of the stylist and makes the service run more efficiently. For instance, if your stylist has a highlight coming up next, make sure there is foil prepared, get them clips, combs, towels, refill lightener bowls during the application, anything they might need that would save precious time if they have to step away from a service to get it themselves.
4. Don't be a complainer! This is a big one that can affect the whole staff. No one wants to be around a negative Nancy. If you get asked to do something difficult or dirty, or have to deal with everyone's least favorite client, just get in there and get it done. Complaining doesn't get you anything and also makes you look bad to your fellow staff. Turn that challenge into a learning opportunity.
5. Ask questions. If you're a new apprentice and unsure of how a certain service runs, or think there might be a better way to do something you're tasked with, just ask! There are 100 ways to blow dry, shampoo, detangle, curl, and even drape a client. Stylists will share their preferences and its good to learn those. Take pieces of information from everyone and learn how to make it your own efficient process.