More Than Just a Hairdresser

Donna Piromalli

Publisher: BalboaPress Pages: 180 Price: (paperback) $13.99 ISBN: 9781982293741 Reviewed: August, 2022 Author Website: Visit »

To be a successful hairdresser, Donna Piromalli writes in her book More Than Just a Hairdresser, a person needs skills well beyond technical proficiency. Savvy hairdressers, she notes, require soft skills— e.g., emotional intelligence, good decision making, conflict resolution—as well as a genuine love for their craft.

Piromalli is a professional counselor, mediator and coach; she’s the founder of the Australia-based Counselling, Mediation & Relationship Centre. Thus, she’s well-grounded in the personal growth niche. Here, she offers advice on how to develop skills that, she posits, can transform a hairdressers’ relationships with peers and clients.

Piromalli begins by addressing the demeaning idea that hairdressers aren’t valuable in the workplace. She urges readers to “let the jokes and derogatory comments roll off [their] back[s].” She then talks about the importance of communication, noting that “sometimes you will have to navigate awkward client situations,” listen to “shocking details of a clients’ life,” and so on. The goal is to keep improving those interpersonal skills.

Other subjects include valuing integrity, countering negative self-talk and staying on track when naysayers aim to derail your aspirations—and more.

Piromalli is clearly well-intentioned, and she offers some helpful nuggets of advice (e.g., “To have integrity, you must do what is right, not what is easy”). Unfortunately, her narrative is highly disorganized, often veering off-topic. For example, the chapter titled “It’s a People Business,” starts off talking about the importance of relating to clients, then veers into discussions about personal motivation, self-regulation and the ability to reason—none of which appear to relate to the initial topic.

Additionally, the narrative is often repetitive (the power of positive thinking appears numerous times), and the author tends to conflate personal happiness and career success. Readers will likely get lost in the tumble of ideas.

Current and aspiring hairdressers will find useful tidbits here and there, but the book requires better editing to keep the author on point so that readers remain engaged throughout.

Also available as an ebook.

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