We catch up with Tony Sawaya to talk about maintaining relationships, demanding customers and his collaboration with Nstlye.
Were you always interested in being a hair stylist?
My interest started when I was about 16 years old. Every summer I would pick a new hobby or activity and do it. When I was around 16 or 17 years old, I joined a hairdressing summer training course in Beirut, and this is where I found my passion for hair styling. Two months later, I came across an opportunity to work as a hairdresser for a makeup centre, and this is when I decided to start my career in hair styling. I took a course in London, then came back to Beirut to open my first salon 25 years ago and the rest is history.
Are customers in this region more demanding in terms of service standards?
Arab women in general are more demanding, however this is not necessarily a bad thing, they are more aware of trends, what they like and what they don’t like.
How do you ensure your service standards are met in your absence?
It’s important during the hiring process that we introduce people into the company who have the same passion I have, and instill in them our brand philosophy. This is done thought regular and in-depth training and having good managers to motivate and guide them.
Tell us about the new Hair Room by Tony?
The Hair Room by Tony Sawaya is located in Dubai’s DIFC district and was designed to create a greater awareness of hair services at Nstyle. The partnership formed by merging the iconic Nstyle name that is well renowned in the region with my personal experience as a celebrity hair stylist.
You’ve worked with some high profile clients. What has been the key to maintaining these relationships?
I would say it’s about maintaining a high level of customer service and remaining consistent in the quality and technicality of my work. I’m also a people person, which also helps to naturally build relationships.
What would you say are three things that any successful hairstylist should have in mind?
1. Stay up-to-date with current trend and continually educate yourself on new techniques
2. Stay in control – I work alone which allows me to remain in control of my appointments
3. Maintain good, authentic relationships with customers and celebrities