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Getting some Structure

At least once a day I have a customer/client looking for a product that is either paraben free, vegan, sulfate free, cruelty free, or all of the above. If you are looking for all of the above, let me introduce you to a new line brought to you by the Beauties at Joico. Joico Structure. A beautiful line that is not only sulfate free, paraben free, cruelty free and vegan, it is also free of any silicones, animal derived ingredients, artificial colors and dyes and is Gluten free.

The Cleanse (shampoo), the Condition (conditioner) and the Renovate (conditioning treatment) are created for all hair types. This trio strengthens the hair which in turn makes it more resistant to breakage, repairs existing damage, can protect the hair color vibrancy by 85% and leave the hair soft and shiny.

Structure offers an array of styling products for all hair types and demands, from smoothing to volume to frizz control. The following products are products that have been and are being used by yours truly.

Structure Beach Texture Spray

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This little beauty smells wonderful and adds great texture to your hair. It offers a medium hold, a light matte finish (no shine), can be used on damp or dry hair and you can use it with your dryer or air dry if you prefer. A great styling product if you are trying to achieve a loose wavy, just left the beach look. I have used it as a root lift when I wanted just a little volume.

Structure Define Lightweight Shine Wax

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For anyone who loved Joico Brilliantine or Senscience Pliable Shine – you are going to LOVE this. Define offers a light, flexible hold with tons of shine – without weighing down your hair. Great for separation and texture. Offers great control for dry, frizzy, unruly or coarse hair yet light enough for fine hair….and it smells divine! Can be used on damp or dry hair. I found the best result came while being used on dry hair.

Structure Animate Bodifying Styling Creme

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This styling creme adds moisture and shine and strengthens the hair. It offers a soft hold factor that is great for all hair types and all hair lengths. *Excellent for fine hair. An awesome product for creating an array of styles, from smooth styles to volume. Animate can help reduce frizz on curls without weighing down the hair. It offers thermal protection while blow drying, and offers humidity resistance all the while leaving no residue or flakes on the hair. To be used on towel dried hair before blow drying. *This product smells good enough to eat…but don’t eat it…save it for your hair.

For more info. on these and all the Structure products, take a peek at their website http://www.structurehair.co.uk

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It’s easier than you may think

It’s January. For the most part January is known as a slow period for Salons…picture a ghost town with a tumble weed tumbling down the middle of a dusty road. Today’s tale is for all the Beauties of the Salon industry, from the apprentices to the Salon owners. I am here to tell you that January, well, every month for that matter can be highly profitable from retail sales to waiting lists to get into the chair. How do I know? Well, I book appointments for our stylists and personally add names to our “call if there is a cancellation” list, and I see the rewards of retail, from profit for the Salon to smiling faces from our clients who now have the proper products and tools to achieve their new ‘do in between each pre-booked appointment.

A successful Salon is easier than you think. It really is. *To be clear – just because I said it was easy doesn’t mean that some consistent effort isn’t required. The most important aspect to a successful Salon as I see it begins with management. As Salon owners and managers we must be consistent with every aspect of our position, be it dress code, scheduling, payroll, inventory, employee relations, even how we answer the phone. We, as managers and owners need to set the pace, we need to set the example to adhere to. If we are not following dress code, how can we expect our staff to? If we wander in 20 minutes after the Salon opens with no call or reason why, how can we write up our staff for being late?

On any given day at our Salon, you will find me taking inventory, placing orders, talking to the reps and selling products to our clients and our customers. You may also find me looking up a product on the internet for a customer to either find her something I sell that is comparable, or to find a local Salon that sells that product so I can help her find it. You will also find me washing the floors, or dusting the retail products on our shelves, or taking out the garbage, or sweeping the floors or folding the towels. Hence why at our Salon we work as a team, because I do not ask one thing of my staff that I would not do myself.

Being me, I have compiled a little list for you. Seriously, it’s easier than you think.

– Pre-booking appointments is a must. Many stylists are shy about asking to pre-book. They don’t know how to bring it up. Next time your client is paying for their service, try this “Our total today is $100.00. Would you like to make your next appointment for 5 or 6 weeks from now?” – it’s a question that yes or no will not suffice as an answer, it gives you and your client a chance to have a conversation about their next appointment.

– Pre-booking shows your clients that your time and their time is valuable. It shows your clients that you want to be sure the love affair with their hair continues. It lets them know that you do not want to have to turn them away because you are booked.

– Make retail a part of your service. Think about it. While you are drying your client’s hair I am sure you have heard “That smells so good!” about the product you have used in their hair. A perfect time to tell your client the name of the product and to tell her you can have it put up at the front counter for her and she can purchase it as she pays for her service.

– For Salon owners hesitant to invest in retail – talk to your reps. Many times they can offer a small intro. package with a 30 days to pay policy. Many distributor’s offer a consignment program.

– Still hesitant to invest in retail? Remember your points programs! Many companies such as Joico, Matrix and Goldwell offer a points reward system and the great thing about that is you can redeem your points for retail product that you can in turn sell, either for full retail or a discounted price for your clients and customers.

– Keep your Salon clean. Keep your shelves tidy and dusted – no one wants to buy a product that has dust on it.

– Adhere to a dress code. Keep it professional. It is much easier to be taken seriously as a professional when you look like one. …I know your fuzzy boots are comfy-leave ’em at home. Ripped jeans are for the Bon Jovi concert, not the Salon.

– All staff and stylists must have their hair done. Come on people, you work in a Salon and their are brushes and flat irons at every turn. How do you expect to have a client trust you with their cut when your hair is a mess?

Being consistent in every aspect of your business will in turn make it successful. It will. I have the proof. I am the proof, as is our Salon/Retail team. Our head stylist books 2 months out. Our other stylists book 2-3 weeks out. My one stylist is returning from a maternity leave in 6 weeks and is already pre-booking appointments. Our retail revenue is very good. Awesome actually – as I am not the owner, it is not my place to tell you the exact dollar amount…but it is at least 70% higher than the industry average.

If you have a passion for hair and a drive for your business, keeping a plan in action and staying consistent with that plan, you will have a successful Salon every month. It’s easier than you may think.

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Picasso and the Art of the Consultation

Over the past weeks, many women have come into the shop in despair. Sure some of them were fretting over getting the exact shade of red polish that would go perfectly with their holiday attire. The women I am speaking of were the women that had hair styles they couldn’t style on their own or a new cut they couldn’t manage. When I asked them why they chose the style/cut, they all had the same answer, “the stylist told me it would be what was best for me.”. …alright now stylists, before you get all worked up, I know, trust me, that people can tend to over exaggerate  and that wires can be crossed during a conversation. This being said, when a proper consultation has been given, your client will walk out with an agreed upon style/cut and should have the tools and products with them as they leave the Salon, so that they can achieve the same look in between salon visits. Unfortunately, from the looks on the faces of the women I spoke to and by their hair resembling a Picasso, a proper consultation had not happened and the maintenance of their new look had not been explained.

This is a point I cannot stress enough to all educator’s, stylists, Salon managers and Salon owners – the client consultation is a VITAL part of the appointment/Salon visit. I have seen and heard the stylist’s at our Salon spend up to 30 minutes discussing their client’s hair and the look they are hoping to achieve. It’s amazing what you can find out with a simple consultation.

– you may find out that your client is taking medication, which can affect the outcome of the color process.

– you may find out that your client hates how dry her hair is because of all the perms she has had because someone told her that was the only way to get volume at the roots. While offering to add a conditioning treatment to her service this would be a great time to introduce her to a root lift like Big Sexy Root Pump Plus

-you may find out that your client has arthritis, so maybe that straight edge bob that requires a flat iron  everyday may not be the best cut for her.

– you may find out that your client is in the midst of a chemo regime and her hair is more fragile, so maybe a perm isn’t the best option, today.

– you may find out that your client is the caregiver to a loved one who is ill, so she doesn’t have much time to fuss with her hair. Introduce her to a Dry Shampoo, like Quantum’s Refresher Spray. A powder free spray that makes the hair look freshly washed for those days that become too much.

– you may find out that your client has skin sensitivities or allergies, which in turn can help you make sure to use a gentler shampoo and a styling product that has less fragrance. * A great option is KMS Head Remedy Sensitive Shampoo.

– you may find out that your client is recently separated and unsure of herself and her looks, so maybe chopping off her shoulder length hair into a pixie cut may not be her best option, today.

– you may find out that your client has a severe gluten sensitivity, so you need to be careful which products you use. *Alterna Bamboo is a gluten free line

– you may find out that your client’s kids have just gotten over a lice outbreak, a perfect time to teach her about preventive measures, for herself and the kids. * Tea Tree is a natural lice repellent – Paul Mitchell has a lovely Tea Tree line including styling products.

– you may find out that your client has been losing her hair because of illness or stress, and feels that cutting it off is her only option. What a great opportunity to educate her on hair loss and to give her hope and a style that makes her feels beautiful. * NIOXIN – a great product line to stop hair loss in it’s tracks – in my opinion, a must have product for any Salon

A consultation is a great way to find out what styling tools your client already owns, what products they currently use, if your client is capable of achieving the same look at home and the consultation is a great way to add retail to the service. With a proper consultation, you know what your client wants, your client will know what they are getting and how much effort or how little effort will need to be applied to their new style, and you, the stylist, get to feel like Picasso…you have just made someone’s world a little more beautiful.