Sitting in the hairdressers the other day, I had to take deep breaths to calm my frustration with the junior hairdresser who was taking so long to dry my hair it almost needed cutting again before he had finished.
It made me think about the whole experience of putting yourself in the hands of other people over something as critical (well to most people) as your appearance. I realised that there are parallels with what clients must go through when working with branding experts. First you choose the hairdressers, mostly on recommendation, or price or randomly from Yellow Pages. First impressions count, are they friendly, presentable, can you relate to them? What does the other customers' hair look like?
Your senior stylist or salon director is introduced to you, but you are put in the hands of a junior. Awkward conversations follow whilst your hair is being washed, "Going out tonight? Going on holiday soon?", and as I am not heading out to nightclubs, or a week in Ibiza the conversation falters. But then relief is on hand when the expert appears. This is the part that separates the good from the poor. Do you trust them or not, will they really listen to what you want, have they done this for lots of others or are you being experimented upon as practice for winning a hairdressing award?
But even if they are all that you want there is still that element of fear, will I like it? Can I manage this style myself? Will they get it right? Quite often I leave the hairdressers slightly doubting what they have done, only to discover that actually they were correct, it is right for me and easy to look after. I chose my hairdresser carefully and have built up a good relationship with them over the years. My hairstyle is never a complete rebrand, it is always a tweak. I may notice the change, but the public wouldn't!
Although this is a light hearted comparison it is helpful to really understand what a client must go through in trusting designers, and how we must strive to avoid them wanting to grab the hairdryer and do it themselves!