Making the transition from classroom to salon floor can be daunting. Not only is it far easier to practice your techniques on mannequins and your fellow classmates, but you also have the comforting hover of your instructors to keep you on the right track.

Even though working on the salon’s clinic floor still means you can ask for help when you need it, your clients are there too — watching what you do and expecting great results.

To assist you in preparing for this important shift, here are five helpful tips.

1. Practice on a mannequin first.

Especially when it comes to techniques that are outside of your comfort zone, it’s always best to make your mistakes on a mannequin. All of us have services and techniques we really don’t like performing. Unfortunately, clients will ask for them, and it’s best to at least have a semi-confident handle on their execution.

2. Have a few icebreaker questions in your pocket.

Spending a significant amount of time in close proximity with your client as you style their hair or perform another salon service means you’ll inevitably end up chatting. That’s a good thing! Still, sometimes the conversation doesn’t take off naturally, and in that case, it’s good to have some icebreaker questions on standby. Here are a few to start with:

– Where are you from originally?

– Have any fun weekend plans?

– Have you been enjoying the ___ weather lately?

3. Practice having conversations with potential clients.

Having a conversation with yourself in the mirror can be … awkward at times! But don’t let that deter you (or just do it when you’re alone driving in your car). The point of practice conversations is to get your sensibilities used to finding common ground with others.

Another good way to practice is to try and “break the ice” with the people you see in day-to-day life: a coffee barista, a new student in class, friends of friends, or another parent at your child’s school.

4. Glean advice from students already on the floor.

Before you hit the floor officially, have a chat with students who’ve already been working there for a time. Ask them what they wish they’d known when they were in your shoes.

5. Make your first appointment with a friend or family member.

Choose someone you feel exceedingly comfortable with and ask them if they’d be okay to serve as your first on-floor client. Especially if you’ve already been using your family and friends as “guinea pigs” for your newfound talents, this can make the transition to the floor far easier.

Be sure to use the tips above to ease your transition onto the salon clinic floor. With preparation (and a few calming deep breaths before your first shift), we know you’ll do great!

Long Island Beauty School prepares its students not only to pass the state boards but to be confident in their skills learned. Interested in learning more about starting a beauty career at Long Island Beauty School? Contact our Admissions Department today!