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SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS: A HAIRDRESSER’S GUIDE

surviving the holiday stylist tips

The books are full, the clients back to back, and there’s a whole social season thrown into the mix. All of a sudden, your go-to strategies for keeping healthy, wealthy, and wise are out the window. So we turned to the country’s top hair pros for some very personal advice on how they manage work and life during the most wonderful season of all. Eavesdrop here and get ready for your days to be calm and bright…

PAUL NORTON SAYS…

· I’ve always found that my energy stays up if I avoid sitting or eating an actual meal at a table during those long holiday workdays. (#FoodComa!) Having some healthy snacks handy or a green juice is all I really need to keep going.

· Maintain your creativity by stalking upcoming artists on Instagram. I follow some people who are actually still in beauty school. It always reminds me how much fun it is to be learning about hair and seeking out new things every single day.

· Always try and make work fun during the celebratory season…even if it means wearing a tacky-yet-festive sweater or sweatshirt. I’ve found that when you enter a room wearing something ridiculous and seasonally appropriate, it always sets the tone for holiday cheer.

DENIS DE SOUZA SAYS…

· I take vitamins regularly to stay energized during the holidays, but I think that going to work with a great attitude is even more important. When you send out a positive vibe and have fun with your clients, the time in the salon will pass quickly.

· Make sure you schedule time with friends and loved ones: Go out to nice dinners, enjoy a movie; schedule a short trip if you have the time. But also remember to energize yourself in quiet ways…say, by looking at fashion and art magazines that keep your creative juices flowing.

· Pick and choose your evening parties carefully if you have busy days in the salon; and make it a rule not to stay too long or drink too much.

· Even though it’s the cheery season, that attitude should be mandatory all year long. After all, it’s important to remember that we’re in the customer service business!

BETH MINARDI SAYS…

· Go home after work as many days as you can. It’s a crazy season, so resist the urge to hang out with the gang on work nights.

· Do not skip breakfast or lunch—no matter HOW busy you get! Think of your work week as being in training for the big game; which means no sugary pastries and doughnuts to start your day; and limit yourself when clients bring those goodies in.

· Maintain a reasonable schedule. Remember, the holidays are for you, too. No one is happy—including your clients—when you try to squeeze three appointments into one. And if you make people wait, they only become more stressed.

· Give yourself a “time-out” every hour to sit quietly…even if it’s just for 90 seconds.

· Wash your hands between clients, rinsing them under cold, running water, and drying off thoroughly. The change in temperature helps refresh you; and you’re cleaning the “energy” at the same time.

· Drink water all day long; I like a squeeze of lemon to keep it interesting and refreshing.

· If possible, schedule at least one massage during the holiday season.

· At night, enjoy a 15-minute soak in the tub with Epsom salts. Elevate your feet to give them a break from the long day.

· Start thinking about 2016 and get your creative juices flowing. Envisioning a fresh approach for the New Year can invigorate you and keep you motivated.

· Don’t kill yourself over someone else’s meltdown. No matter how hard you try, SOMEONE won’t be happy; so just take it in stride and move on.

CHERRY PETENBRINK SAYS…

· Have a big, healthy breakfast. As hairdressers, we often power through the day without nutrition.

· Remind yourself why you love your job. This is especially important as the energy level and momentum dwindles down later in the day.

· Have fun, new suggestions for your clients in cut, color, or finish. Sometimes, the subtlest of changes can be creatively fulfilling throughout the day.

· Avoid neglecting your own celebration during this time of year; but be mindful if you have clients booked the day after your festivities. A two-drink-max rule plus plenty of rest is an important part of professional discipline.

· Recognize and respect many different celebrations that may be happening during the holiday season. I like to burn scented candles and provide festive token gifts for my clients…everything from candy canes to trial size products. Even consider personalizing a regular service—like an essential oil hair treatment—by adding a holiday scent to the regimen.