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The gift that keeps on giving

Today’s tale is for my Beloved Beauties of the industry, for the Stylists, the Salon Managers and the Salon Owners. As October draws to a close, the ever present Holiday season is peaking over the horizon. Myself, I have been thinking about and planning for the Holidays since August. Before you ask, no, I do not have a Christmas sweater on, nor do I have the Jingle Cats as my ring tone. I have been thinking about and planning for the Holidays for the shop and for the Salon, hopefully you have too. I cannot stress this point enough – Retail is a vital part to any Salon, not only for the profits – for client retention. Trust me, I know of what I speak. At least once a week one of our retail customers becomes a client of our Salon, because we offer an array of products and different product lines, we offer our time to explain the product they are purchasing and we take the time to show how to apply the product…the Salon they used to go to does not.

The Holiday Season is the best time of the year to introduce some retail items to your Salon or to add to your existing retail line up. All the companies offer great Holiday packs with HUGE savings to the customer/client and to the Salon. The perks of offering retail during the Holiday Season ;

– Many holiday packs come with a free sample size of a new product – A terrific way of introducing your clientele to a new product.

– All holiday packs offer a HUGE savings, some up to 40% – another great way to introduce your clientele to a new product line. * ( offering your clientele a savings can help alleviate their worry of spending too much)

– Holiday packs are a great introduction to your clientele to show them the difference between Professional Salon products and the products they find at the local department/drug store. It helps your clientele realize the worth of spending a few extra dollars year round for great hair.

– Offering retail to your clientele helps them to achieve Salon results at home. Their hair will be more nourished and in turn more appointments will be made, because your clientele will know that you care about how they feel about their hair, and that you care about how their hair looks in between appointments.

– Holiday packs are great for those last minute gift idea’s. *Husbands/Partners LOVE them – takes away all the guess work about what to buy. (…and the product is prepacked – no worries about a box or bag).

– Flat Irons and curling irons are always on sale in November and December, in turn you can retail them at a lower price than suggested retail. Explaining to your clientele the difference between Professional styling tools and those they will find at the local department store will make the sale – honestly – telling them that they can have the same curls at home or the same sleek straight hair at home with the tools you sell – they will buy them.

– Speak with your reps. Many times they are able to give you a holiday pack free of charge that in turn you can offer as a draw to all your clientele and customers. Every December our shop offers weekly draws every week until Christmas – Always a hit!

Now, before you get all “What about after the holidays? What do I do with all the leftover packs?”. Well, first of all, if you are promoting the products with every client and customer, you shouldn’t have many left. For those few packs that are left over, an alternative is to separate the product and put each separate bottle on sale of a few dollars less then regular retail. Your clientele and customers are still receiving a savings and your Salon is still making a profit.

A Salon that offers retail will; increase the retention of existing clientele, increase their walk-in traffic and become more profitable, plain and simple. How do I know? I see it happen every day. I do it everyday. Retail, when truly embraced by all in the Salon, can cover all the expenses of the Salon – rent, utilities etc… . Again, I know of what I speak. I do it everyday.

Retail at the Holiday season (and all year ’round…had to add that ) helps the Salon and helps the clientele, it truly can be the gift that keeps on giving.

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What does this do?

A woman comes into the shop, picks up a can or a tube, looks at it puzzled, then asks “What does this do?” – a phrase I hear everyday. There are many styling products out there that look similar but are quite different. The packaging and the color of the pomade you just picked up may look like the paste your stylist just used but it is quite different. The can of hairspray may be the same shape and color of the thermal setting spray your bff uses, again, it is quite different. Being me, I have compiled a list, a “what it does” list if you will, with some examples, so you have somewhere to begin. * Almost all Professional Salon hair care lines will offer each of these products.

Mousse – A great product for all over volume and hold. Some mousse will foam up like whipped cream when dispensed (metal can), – Joico JoiWhip. Others, Liquid mousse for instance, will have a more watery consistency and pool in your hand (plastic bottle) – RUSK Plumping Mousse, a great option for baby fine hair. *Best results on towel dried hair, followed with blow drying

Root Boost – To be applied directly at the root to add volume – gives lift at the root alone. Root Boosts are in spray format, some foam – BIG SEXY Root Pump, some liquid, NIOXIN Root Boost. Both work well, it comes down to personal preference of a foam or a spray. *Best results on towel dried hair, followed with blow drying.

Gels – A very versatile product. Great result on damp or dry hair – depending on the style/look you are after. Gels can be used on towel dried hair for volume and control while blow drying, or on dry hair for a more slicked back look or for control for a more funky style. Gels can be an awesome tool for roller sets as well. Usually available in medium – JoiGel Medium and firm hold – AG Hard Gel, and some to offer a shine factor. *If you have darker hair, look for the product to say non flaking, like KMS HAIRSTAY Styling Gel & QUANTUM FixGel.

Shaping/Styling Sprays – A hairspray that comes in aerosol and pump format that comes in 3 hold factors, (Aerosol) soft – AG Aerodynamic, medium – Sebastian Shaper, and firm hold- Goldwell Magic Finish. (Pump – Joico JoiFix Medium). A workable spray = able to brush and restyle your ‘do as needed without giving yourself a beehive or a breakdown. * A firmer hold can get too sticky if too much is applied, so if you like to brush your hair throughout the day, stick to a soft to medium hold.

Finishing Sprays – A hairspray that is exactly that – a hairspray to be used to finish off your style. A firm hold – Joico JoiMist, or an Ultra Firm Hold – BIG SEXY Spray and Play Intense. These sprays are not as workable and can tend to get sticky when too much is reapplied. Available in aerosol format (see above) or pump – Joico JoiFix Firm or Matrix Finishing Spritz. ** Joico’s newest addition – Joico POWERHOLD is a very versatile hairspray – it is a finishing spray with a hard hold factor that can be brushed through and the hair restyled without a sticky residue or matted mess, and offers 72 hour humidity resistance. ***Some offer a shine factor such as KMS HAIRSTAY Maximum Hold.

Wax – A great styling agent for sculpting certain styles. Waxes can offer great texture and definition. Some waxes offer a matte finish – American Crew Matte Wax, some offer shine – AG WAXX- the label will always state the hold factor and shine factor. Most waxes will appear hard in the container (not liquidity – is liquidity a word? …sounds good to me).

Styling Glue – Exactly that. A styling glue for the hard to hold style, think Mohawk circa 1982. Joico Ice Spiker is the best I have come across-holds up in a hurricane.

Clay – A medium hold styling product. Offers a matte finish – Sebastian Craft Clay. A product that looks and feels like, well, clay.  Quite workable and best for shorter styles. * Hair Paste is very similar to Hair Clay, has a firmer hold factor and matte finish – KMS HAIRPLAY Molding Paste.

Pomade – A pliable/workable styling product. Usually a watery consistency – d:fi d:tails Pomade. Great for separation and slicked back looks. Most pomades have a high shine factor, so a little goes a long way. Use too much and you could end up looking like Danny Zuko.

* Pomades/Clays/Waxes – all mimic each other – it really comes down to the hold factor/shine factor you are looking for and how you feel about products in your hands. Pomade/Wax tend to be a little more sticky, Clay tends to be more dry.

Thermal Sprays – A spray that offers thermal protection while using a blow dryer or flat iron. Available is aerosol – bain de terre Magnolia Spray, and pump bottles – Redken #11 IronShape, GOLDWELL Sleek Perfection & Quantum Heat Shield. Some thermal sprays offer a shine factor and offer little to no hold factor.

Thermal Setting Sprays – A spray that is to be used to help set a style, such as curls or an updo – Matrix Biolage Thermal Setting Spray. Most thermal setting sprays will offer a medium to firm hold factor. An awesome tool to use with hot rollers or a curling iron to keep the curls all day. * Not recommended to be used with a flat iron.

Shine Spray – a great addition to any vanity. Shine sprays will add shine to your ‘do. Shine spray do not have a hold factor, their job is to add shine. Some shine sprays will offer thermal protection – SOMA Prism & bain de terre Glossing Spray.

Cuticle Sealer – A serum to be applied to towel dried hair (for best results) to tame frizz and flyaways and lock out humidity. Offers a low shine factor and thermal protection – SOMA Solace.

 

 

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Step away from the scissors and listen for a minute

“This is not what we discussed. Look at my hair! What am I going to do? I can’t go to work looking like this!”. – you are picturing a woman right now, aren’t you? Yes, most people picture a woman uttering these phrases when she has received a bad hair cut…and that is the first problem. Women are not the only ones that suffer from bad hair days and bad hair cuts. Our lovely gents do as well. Actually, in my experience, men seem to be the victim of bad a hair cut/style more often than women. For some reason, many stylists seem to think for their male clientele. A gentleman comes in looking for a new style and ends up walking out with the same cut his father gave him sitting in the kitchen with the #1 guide…when he was 4 years old.

As you know, I manage a retail shop/salon. I have many men come into the shop for their hair products, from KMS HAIRPLAY Molding Paste to d:fi molding cream. Some of my lovely gents like to spike up their hair with Joico Ice Spiker and some like to slick it back with American Crew Firm Gel. Some gents like a bit of shine – SOMA Prism spray is a great choice -no hold, just lovely shine, and some like a matte finish – AG STUCCO is great and a big seller. What all my lovely gents have in common is they want to look good. They want to look professional and creditable in their profession – from Welder to Physician. What they don’t want is the “Charlie Brown” head, or as mentioned above, the cut they had from dear old Dad.

Many times, unfortunately, men come into the shop asking me “Do you sell clippers?” – they ask this because they feel their only option is to shave their head because they just cannot face another bad cut, or having another stylist not listen to them when they tell them what they don’t want their hair to look like. I know, believe me, I know that clients/customers do not always explain themselves very well. It is our job, as managers, owners and stylists to take the time to be sure we understand what it is our clients/customers want. When the gentleman in your chair says he wants it short – ask him how short. Place your fingers on his head as a point of reference if need be – every stylist has had a client that when they said take a few inches off, they really meant half an inch. What the client pictures as short may not be what you, as the stylist, pictures as short. You need to clarify. You need to be clear. You need to stop thinking for your client. If you are not sure of how to cut men’s hair, or you only know 3 cuts for our gents – pick up a copy of Canadian Hairdresser, or Salon magazine or hop on Google and go to http://www.behindthechair.com and check out the images and tutorials.

Think about this for a minute, I mean really think about it – what would happen if a woman sat in your chair with shoulder length hair and said she wanted something shorter and you gave her a pixie cut, because that’s what you thought she wanted and you thought that would be best…what would happen? A meltdown of Nuclear proportions, that’s what. When a woman is sitting in your chair looking for a change or something shorter, as a stylist, you may spend up to 20 minutes on a consultation, to be sure you know exactly what it is she wants, how she styles her hair at home, what products she likes to use on her hair and what she has done with her hair in the past. I believe our Gents are worth the time as well. Men are a key component to a successful Salon and retail business – they deserve our attention.

In my 20 years of customer service and in my 10 plus years in our beloved biz of Beauty, I know one thing with absolute certainty. Women may give you a second chance. Men will not, and honestly, when they aren’t being listened to…who can blame them?

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More options than the “comb over”

Today’s tale is about hair loss. Women and hair loss. Yes, it’s true. Ladies suffer from the effects of hair loss just as much as the gents – we just don’t talk about it. It isn’t the kind of thing people like to talk about at parties. Today I am gonna get this conversation going  to shed some light on the reasons for hair loss and how we can control and even stop hair loss in it’s tracks and even help the weakened hair that you currently have become stronger. Now lets get this party started.

Before I begin, take a breath and remember, it’s gonna be alright. Don’t be frightened. Remember, knowledge is power. There are five known factors of hair loss;

Genetics – A family history of hair loss. Testosterone turns into DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) – a natural occuring age related hormone. Too much testosterone = the body turns it into DHT. Before you go and yell at your Dad – too much testosterone can come from Mommy too.

Nutrition and Diet – a diet that is higher in animal fats, rapid weight loss and liquid protein diets can result in a lack of amino acids such as biotin, zinc and iron – all of which are an essential component for healthy hair.

Stress/Trauma – stress and trauma can increase the production of testosterone which in turn can increase the production of DHT – this interrupts  the growth cycle of the hair.

Medication – certain medications can and will affect the growth cycle of hair. Many hormone therapies (even the Birth Control Pill), steroids, some forms of chemotherapy, heart medications and thyroid hormone replacement can be the culprits of more tresses being found in your hair brush. Always speak with your Doctor when you find any change in your skin, hair or overall well being. Sometimes altering the dosage can help stop or slow down hair loss.

Over all Health – changes in lifestyle, such as weight loss, illness, and pregnancy can affect your cycle of hair growth.

Now, before you go and Google the nearest wig shop, or run into your bathroom and count the hairs in your hair brush, take a breath. I have given you some of the reasons why you may be losing your hair or why your hair is thinning. Now I am going to give you a solution. I am giving you a tried and true answer – a product that can stop hair loss in it’s tracks and help your hair become more nourished and stronger, in turn, help it grow. The product is NIOXIN.

NIOXIN is a hair care line formulated for men and women who are suffering from thinning hair and hair loss. The key to NIOXIN is it is a 3 product system – using all 3 products is key and to achieve the best results. The Cleanser(shampoo), Scalp Therapy(conditioner) and The Scalp & Hair Treatment (a leave in). *The Scalp & Hair Treatment is key – it cleanses the scalp and follicle. NIOXIN offers systems for those of us that do not chemically treat their hair – System 1 (normal to thin looking) & System 2 (noticeably thinning), for those of us that chemically treat our hair (perm/color/chemically straighten) you would choose System 3 (normal to thin looking) & System 4 (noticeably thinning). *If your hair is more medium to coarse, System’s 5 & 6 are the systems formulated for your hair.

NIOXIN offers a beautiful array of conditioning treatments and styling products, from deep conditioners to mousse to hairspray. Many of the styling products are alcohol free. If volume is what you are looking for, let me introduce you to your new best friend… NIOXIN DIAMAX. This serum increases the thickness of each existing hair strand and makes the hair look and feel 3 times fuller. Dispense a pea size amount ( I kid you not – a little goes a long way!) It can be applied before blow drying or on dry hair to add the extra bit of height.

Check out their website http://www.nioxin.com for more information, great styling tips (that don’t include the comb over) and beautiful support.

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Make the call

Today’s tale is for the Stylist’s and Salon owners. Today’s tale is about the ever present “no show” and how it disrupts the day, if not the week at the Salon. Now, before I get a “PREACH IT SISTA!” from all the stylists out there, you may want to hold back your enthusiasm a wee bit, for today’s tale is about the responsibility of the no show – the Stylist’s responsibility.

No one likes being stood up. No one likes standing around, waiting and wondering if their client is going to show up, wondering if their client is just running late, kicking themselves for not taking the walk in that just arrived because they weren’t sure if their client was coming or not. From time to time a stylist will have a “no show” – a client that doesn’t come in for their scheduled appointment. No call. No text. No show. Not only is this a disregard for the Stylist’s time, it also is taking income out of their pocket and potentially interfering with the rest of their scheduled appointments. This is one Salon problem that has the easiest of solutions. Call your client’s the night before their appointment to confirm the appointment. It really is that simple. The Dentist does it. The Doctor does it. You can do it too.

Think about it. It’s a win/win situation. You have helped your client remember his/her appointment and saved them the ever dreaded embarrassed phone call two days later, and you now know what your following day looks like and you can plan accordingly. I know you can’t control everyone and what they do, trust me, I know. Sure, there is the chance you call and confirm the appointment and the next day you have a no show. The upside to this is that now you know that this client is not reliable and next time they want to book with you, (if you choose to let them) you know not to schedule their appointment at a peak time.

On many occasions, be it at classes, hair shows or discussions with Stylists and Reps., I have heard the same phrases, over and over;

– “I don’t have time to call my clients”.

– “I’m too busy to call my clients”

– “I don’t want to bother my clients at home.”.

– “I hate those kind of calls, so I won’t do them.”.

Guess what? Since you didn’t confirm your appointments for this week, there is a good chance that you will have time to call your clients, because without proper confirmation, the chance of a no show increases. As Stylists, you know how much your time is worth, you charge for it everyday. If you are able to ask $150.00 for a cut and color without blinking, you are able to call your client to confirm their appointment. The client is worth it, and so are you. As for the “hate those calls” – you may not like them, but many people appreciate them. No woman alive wants to forget her root touch up appointment.

I have been in the Beauty Biz for many years. I know first hand how busy Salon’s and Stylist’s can be, some days there isn’t time for a sandwich, let alone a bathroom break. I also know that we do have down time, to place orders, to eat, to have that much needed bathroom break and to make a phone call or two. Honestly, if you have time to search new up do ideas on Pinterest, you have time to confirm an appointment or two. Being me, I made up a little list, for those of you who do not know where to begin;

– Make confirming appointments part of the receptionist’s job description.

– when you are re-booking your clients, let them know to expect a courtesy call, a reminder the day before their appointment. * think about it, our clients book 4 -6 weeks ahead. Life gets in the way and people tend to forget things. More often than not, your client will be grateful for your consideration.

– If your Salon doesn’t have a receptionist, have each stylist call their own clients at the end of the day. Make it part of the nightly routine – sweep floors, clean station, confirm tomorrow’s appointments. – it really is that easy.

– Sit down as  a team and decide upon a no show rule. Many Stylists and Salons now charge a fee for a no show. *IMPORTANT* – you can only charge a fee for a no show if you have a policy in place that you confirm all appointments. Lets be fair here.

A real plus of confirming your appointments…if your client has to cancel, now you can call the clients that need to come in earlier, or that are on a cancellation list and you have over 12 hours to do it, instead of 20 minutes. Confirming appointments takes 5 – 10 minutes and can save you hours of headache. Make the call.