MANCHA_MODEL_cropEli Mancha owns Bang Salon in Chicago’s trendy Wicker Park neighborhood. He’s a NAHA Hairstylist of The Year winner and believes in the value of hairdressing competition. He now teaches men’s cutting and grooming as Artistic Director for Lock ‘N Loaded, but traveled with Rusk for about nine years.

This past Monday, he contributed to the career advancement of more than 60 members and guests at Cosmetologists Chicago’s October FIRST MONDAYS class.

His haircuts were spellbinding and the complementary hair color amazing…but it was his philosophy of the business of beauty that especially caught our attention.

Here are some juicy tidbits from Eli Mancha…to you

  • We are all Individuals. We are all Creatives. We are hairdressers. We can do what we want…there is no right or wrong way to do a haircut!
  • Just because I didn’t go to college, doesn’t mean I’m not educated. I’ve traveled the world and learned something from every place and every person I’ve met. That’s what’s so special about being a hairdresser…we have the freedom of choice to do and be what we want.
  • I insist my staff takes every advantage to finish their clients’ hair. Even our men clients need some product, perhaps a little flat ironing before they leave the salon. This is our opportunity to be real professionals and do something they cannot do for their hair themselves. It also gives us an opportunity to turn every client into a retail customer.
  • Teach your clients to put their hair product first on their hands just as they would put on hand lotion…. on both sides. Then start applying in the back of the hair where most people have the most density and where the most product is needed. Then move towards the front with what’s left on their hands. This will work much better for the client at home than glopping it all in the front.
  • I like it when clients are a bit nervous about what I’m going to do with their haircut! It gives me a chance to create…and yes, I admit, show off a bit! But I always know what the finished cut is going to look like before I start. Before I pick up my scissors, I visualize every aspect of the finished cut.
  • We are often called therapists for clients. But we are far more than just therapists! We are healers…. we can make people feel better about themselves. That’s why they really need us. They need to feel better about themselves.
  • If you truly want to call yourself a hair stylist, you need be able to work with every hair texture. I don’t appreciate people who say, “I can’t.” What you say you can’t do is, I believe, something that you don’t know how to do.
  • If you don’t like to do something…you’re probably not good at it! Work to learn how and you will like it more. Turn your weaknesses into your strengths.
  • Even if you are nervous inside when you are cutting hair, you have to project an image of confidence with you clients.
  • I believe in creating the type of clientele I want to work with not the other way around…it’s so much more fun to cut their hair than on clients with whom I can’t relate. My clients love me because I feel exactly the same about them.

Finally, a few of Eli’s technical tips:

  • Work the interior first, the perimeter last. This will help with clients who are concerned with what you are going to do. You can always take off more of the perimeter…you can’t add it on later!
  • I don’t crosscheck my cuts when I’ve finished my cut. For me, it’s all about speed and productivity in the salon. I do my crosschecking when I texturize the cut. And I texturize every cut. If I need to remove a corner, I do it with my texturizing shears.
  • I use my texturizing blades more than anything else in cutting…even more than straight blades.
  • My chunking shears are really safest for creating volume and texture, without length removal. I start two inches from ends to create a “city skyline” effect on the strand to add to the texture.
  • I always texturize bangs.
  • And I use my chunking blade to add texture on curly hair for volume, never a razor. My curly hair clients and I can deal with any frizz with the right finishing products. But the texturizing adds the volume they want.

We suggest you look for Eli Mancha’s Lock ‘N Loaded classes at America’s Beauty Show next March.



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