Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women

…my stylist said…

“My stylist said I should use a volumizer.”. “My stylist said that my hair needs a treatment.”. “My stylist said I am using the wrong hairspray.”. These are a sampling of the phrases I hear on a daily basis, more then once, from women and men who have just left their stylist’s chair and have come to see me at our Salon/shop for their hair products. Many times they look confused and more often than not, they look and feel insulted. They have just been told there is a problem with their hair, or the products they are using and were not given a solution. After discussing what it is that their stylist said and more importantly, after I ask them what they think and what they want, I hear an even more common question… “Why didn’t my stylist tell me that?”.

Over the years I have realized one constant in our industry, a key component to any Salon visit is being neglected. Retail. Retailing the products that we use to help achieve our client’s new found love of their hair. Products that we use to keep the vibrancy of their color and the integrity of their hair. Letting your client leave without the proper products and tools to keep the love affair with their hair alive is, well, mean. Yes, mean. Think about it. Your client leaves your chair feeling prettier or more handsome (cannot forget our gents). They have a spring in their step. They are walking with more confidence. They like their reflection. Then the next day, as they are standing in their bathroom trying to get their hair to look as good as the day before, their self confidence begins to fade and they begin to feel stupid. Not giving your clients the proper products, tools and instruction is literally pulling the rug from under them. No one likes to feel like the butt of a joke.

  • First and Foremost! ALWAYS ask what products your client is using at home.
  • when washing your clients hair and you realize that they need to use a clarifying shampoo, explain to them what a clarifying shampoo is and why it should be used.
  • bright and vibrant colors are huge right now. For your clients with multi tone brights, explain the importance of how to wash their hair, that each color should be washed separately for the first few washes so that the colors do not start to bleed together.
  • when discussing the need for a conditioning treatment, explain what that is. Many times the women I have spoken to thought that they were supposed to leave the treatment in, which in turn made their hair look and feel worse than when before using it.
  • explain to your client that a volumizing shampoo and conditioner are a good start but if they want height and volume throughout their hair, styling products must be used. *Trust me, I know of what I speak. Many women I speak to thought that they were doing something wrong because the shampoo wasn’t making their hair look like it did at the Salon.
  • if your client has poker straight hair, let then know that a shampoo for curly hair will not make their hair curly.
  • when using mousse, explain the importance of shaking the can and dispensing it upside down. *That Girl in the Red Coat tip – explain it’s like using a can of whipped cream – if not shaken and dispensed upside down, nothing happens but a great big mess.
  • explain the difference between the hold factors of the hairspray you are using. If your client doesn’t want to fuss with her hair throughout the day, that soft hold factor spray she picked up at the drugstore is probably the culprit of her bad hair days.
  • for your clients that use their flat iron on a daily basis, explain the importance of thermal protectant sprays. They should be used every time the flat iron is used. Every time.
  • if you see you client is dealing with dandruff, instead of just pointing it out, explain different ways they can apply shampoo to their scalp and offer them a Salon professional dandruff shampoo to use at home. *Most brands offer a dandruff/scalp shampoo, you just have to ask.
  • when it comes to waxes and pomades, find out if your client likes a matte finish or prefers a little shine, what kind of hold they prefer and explain the difference.
  • always show your client how to use the products. How to dispense them, how to apply them and how much to use.
  • show your client that every bottle has directions on how to use the product on the back of the bottle, in case they forget.

Ask  your client how they want their hair to look. Ask them if they like to blow dry their hair or not. Ask them if they use a flat iron or curling iron. Ask if they have a water softener. Ask them if there is anything about their hair they would like to change. Asking these questions opens all the doors to understanding your clients needs and wants and in turn, the doors to selling them what they need for their hair are opened too.

Retailing products, tools and giving instruction on how to use said products is a key component to any consultation/appointment. Plain and simple. Your clients are your advertising, they make or break your business and your reputation. If your client only likes themselves, their hair and you while they are sitting in your chair, pretty soon they will looking for another chair to fill.

Beauty, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Women

Monday Motivator – Schwarzkopf BC Color Freeze CC Control Cream

It’s Monday. Again. The days are getting shorter, the wind is getting colder. Many people I run into are pretty glum. Well Beauties, for today, I can turn that frown upside down. I was given a FAB! product last week and as I received it I also heard my favorite phrase “Sara, give this a try and tell me what you think.”. Well, here’s what I thought…

 

For anyone who colors their hair, and loves their reds, purples and vibrant shades, meet your new bestie.

IMG_20151005_104717

Schwarzkopf BC Color Freeze CC Control Cream

First and foremost, the scent is heavenly. I found myself shaking my head like the girl in the “Gee, your hair smells terrific” commercial just so I could smell my hair. (for anyone over 40 – you get me.). This gem of a product is a weightless leave in cream that offers complete control with the added bonus of heat protection. BC Color Freeze CC Control Cream adds moisture while improving your hair’s elasticity and strength. Oh yes…and it offers 48 hours of frizz control – I knew that would grab your attention. For best results, apply evenly to damp/towel dried hair, apply desired styling products then style and blow dry as usual. Color Freeze CC Control Cream creates an even surface on your hair for an even distribution of your styling products – much like Schwarzkopf’s BC Moisture Kick Beauty Balm

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2015/06/22/monday-motivator-schwarzkopf-bc-moisture-kick-beauty-balm/

 

Schwarzkopf Bonacure has always offered a Color Care line. For all those who are die hard BC fans, no need to worry. The Beauties at Schwarzkopf wanted to create an even better product line to protect your investment in yourself and your hair color with their new pH Balancer Technlogy. Working with Lactic acid and Calcium Hydroxide, pH Balancer Technology tightens and stabilizes the hair’s matrix at it’s optimal pH of 4.5 = locks in color pigments for ultimate color perfection and anti -fade effect. Check out http://www.schwarzkopf-professional.ca for more tips and information.

The BC Color Freeze family of products also includes;

Color Freeze Sulfate free Shampoo – for long lasting color retention & vibrancy.

Color Freeze Rich Shampoo – for over processed tresses.

Color Freeze Silver Shampoo – for our blonde and silver Beauties

Color Freeze Conditioner – perfect for daily use.

Color Freeze Spray Conditioner – a leave in spray that helps with tangles and adds brilliant shine.

Color Freeze Treatment – a weekly conditioning treatment that provides in depth care that strengthens and smooth’s the hair’s surface.

Color Freeze Gloss Serum – revives dulling color, reduces frizz, helps to prevent breakage and adds instant shine. Can be used in damp hair or on dry hair.

Beauty, communication, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Tales of Truth – Part 10

Wow! Part 10. When I began my Tales of Truth series I thought I would run out of material. I thought I would write four, maybe five installments. I am beginning to have a sneaking suspicion that the public at large has heard of my Tales of Truth and are trying to see if I will write about them…at least, that is what I am hoping.

One evening, after my shift had ended, the phone rang and my ptg (part time girl) answered. She asked the customer to “please hold”, put the call on hold and turned to our owner/head stylist with a look of fear on her face. The call was about a brow wax, the customer on the phone wanted to book an appointment for her daughter, her daughter was a toddler. Yes, a toddler. – enough said.

Anyone who lives in North America know that this winter, Mother Nature has showed us what she is made of. We have been under the thumb of the Polar Vortex. Safe to say, we have had a lot of snow. I had a woman get mad at me about all the snow in the parking lot and couldn’t understand why I wasn’t doing anything about clearing it away. I let her know we had been shoveling a walk way to and from the door and clearing the sidewalk in front of the shop. She still had an issue with my lack of parking lot snow removal. FYI…our shop is in a strip mall that has over 250 parking spaces.

The phone rings and I answer with my standard greeting. “Are you open?” to which I answer “Yes, we are here until 6 p.m. today”. “Are you sure you are open?”. Again, I let the customer know we are open. “Okay, just checking. I will be in tomorrow”. – people, I shit you not. This actually happens.

From time to time, there are price increases on product. A fact that no one really enjoys. A customer came up to the counter and said “This used to cost $17.95. Now it is $19.95.”, to which I agreed “Yes, there has been a cost increase and a price increase on this product line.”. She scowled at me and said “I know! The price is higher!”, to which I answered “Yes it is higher. You are correct”. Then she looked at me and said “I know I’m right! I wanted to be sure you knew there was a price increase.”. ….sigh.

A woman told me I had poor customer service skills and was too abrupt. LONG story short – Poor customer service skills = I wouldn’t tell her how to color her own hair. (she had 3 colors in her hair and had used box dye in the past year). Abrupt = I explained that no matter what salon she went to or what color line she used, in 2-4 weeks she would still have regrowth and that the gray roots would return.

We offer complimentary coffee at our Salon and it smells wonderful. We have been using flavored creamers lately that make the Salon smell heavenly. (…a perk to the new flavors – yours truly gets to taste test them). I was at the front desk updating our Facebook page when I hear the familiar chirp of the shop’s door. Before I can get out my “Good Morning!”, all I hear is “What is that smell? …cough. ..cough…It smells so good! Do you sell those candles?”. To which I smile, hold up my mug and let the customer know that it is the flavored creamer in my coffee that she smells. “No it isn’t! cough…sniff…cough..You must have a candle burning in here!”. I reassure her that it really is my coffee. “No way! I don’t believe it! Give me your cup and let me smell it!”….needless to say, I didn’t finish my coffee that day.

A woman came in looking for KMS Molding Paste. I let her know that the packaging had changed but the product was the same. “How do you know?” she asked. I let her know that the line had been revamped over a  year ago and that I had the spec. sheet from KMS California on what products were discontinued and what products had been replaced and what products stayed the same. She looked at me and said “Yes, but how do you really know?”     …see link below

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/09/28/the-replacements/

In Ontario, in February, we have a provincial holiday – Family Day. A holiday the provincial government created for a little break in the dull days of winter, and to offer an extra holiday in between New Years and Easter. Retailers and most businesses close for the day. I had posted a sign in our window letting our customers/clients know that we too would be closed for Family Day. A woman came in the shop and as she was paying for her products looked at me and said “Must be nice to make up something like “Family Day” just so you can close the store”. …thank goodness she wasn’t a mind reader.

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Today’s tale is short and sweet, like yours truly. After you read it, you will see why. Quite honestly, I find myself at a loss for words. I am all about new techniques and trends. Some are so cool I cannot wait to try them. Others, well, I will leave it for others to try and enlighten me afterwards. My aim is always to educate and enlighten so here goes.

So as I was surfing the web this morning I came across a new trend that has begun in England and is making it’s way across the pond. Downstairs Dye job. Yes, you read that right, Downstairs Dye job. (For more info. check out http://www.NYMAG.com  The Cut). It seems that women not only hate the pesky grays popping up on their heads, it is becoming an issue south of the border (and I don’t mean Mexico). I never realized this was an issue…gives “my roots are showing” a whole new meaning, and visual for that matter.

I know. Right now you have just crossed your legs and said “ouch” aloud. I know I did. The thought took  me back to the day I accidentally used Kleenex with menthol when the toilet paper roll was empty (kids). Let me tell ya…you NEVER forget that sensation. From the info. I have read, you can uncross your legs. It seems the bleach used is similar to the bleach used to lighten facial hair, and mixed with certain oils that don’t sting. Your southern belle can be dyed to match your northern ‘do. You can also choose a design for artistic flare; a heart, a star, an eagle, a beaver …couldn’t help myself.

So now not only can your shoes match your bag, the carpet upstairs can match or compliment your carpet downstairs. ….that’s all I got.

Gray coverage?

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

I’m gonna change your life

I am a huge fan of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in cars getting coffee. Google it then watch every episode. You will not regret it. Season two has begun and while watching the episode with Sarah Silverman, something she said has resonated in me and I gotta share it with you. “I’m going to change your life forever”. Something that is said to someone who just doesn’t realize how they look or sound. ( if you want to know more about who she was talking about it, you are going to have to watch the episode, don’t want to spoil it.)

Everyday I see or hear women hating their hair and they don’t realize that they can change that.  I also tend to see or hear the most idiotic or asinine behavior and/or comments and you know what? Most of these people don’t realize how they look or how they sound. I say most because unfortunately there are some shallow end of the gene pool swimmers out there that know exactly what they are saying and doing – but there is no changing them and that is a tale for another time.

A woman came into the shop to thank me for introducing her to Joico Kpak Revitaluxe. Her hair had never felt so great. We started a little chat about hair and our past hair woes and then she told me how she didn’t like the cut she had gotten the past three times with her stylist. I asked her if she let the stylist know, because if you don’t tell the stylist you don’t like your cut, you are going to keep getting the same cut, because she thinks you like it. “Oh, I can’t do that. It would be rude and maybe she would get offended.”. – I hear this phrase at least 10 times a week. Ladies and gents, once and for all, if you don’t like your hair style or the outcome of your hair color – tell your stylist, in a polite manner. Don’t go and throw the flat iron and a temper tantrum shrieking “I can never go out in public again!” – behave yourself and be a grown up and let them know you aren’t happy with the service and see if there is anything that can be done. Back to the tale at hand. I asked my customer “If you order a steak well done and it is rare – would you eat it and say nothing, or would you ask for it to be done the way you ordered it?”. To which she answered “I would ask for it to be done the way I ordered it”. This is when it happened. I looked her straight in the eye, smiled and said, “I am about to change your life. From now on if you are not happy with your cut, tell your stylist. It isn’t fair to her because she thinks you are happy when you are not. It isn’t fair to you because every time you look in the mirror you are unhappy. This is a win win for you – either she will listen to you and you will get the cut you want, or she won’t listen and you will know it is time to find a new stylist.”. It was quiet for a moment, I was hoping I had not overstepped my bounds (I kinda do that sometimes). She looked at me, blinked and said “You are right. I never thought of it like that before.” I gave her our Salon price list and let her know that she is more than welcome to make an appointment for a complimentary consultation. We ended up talking for over 20 minutes, about our hair and about our lives. As she left she winked at me and thanked me “for changing her life”. We both laughed and I could hear her laughter as she walked out the door.

As I sat down to finish my paperwork I found myself smiling and saying quietly to myself “Thank you Sarah Silverman for changing my life”.

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, writing

No, it won’t run itself

You hear the chatter, you hear the laughter, you hear the hum of the blow dryer, you smell the aroma of fresh coffee brewing mixed with the scent of hairspray, you are at the Salon. The place where we come to renew ourselves, treat ourselves to some “me time”, to share our woes and our celebrations. Yes, the Salon is a wonderful place to be. Not only can it change a person’s hairstyle or color, it can change their perspective, even change their life.        It is a great business to be a part of. Yes, a business – from time to time, something that Salon managers/owners forget.

I deal with over ten reps. from different distributor’s and each time I see them we always end up having the same conversation…Salon manager/owners;

1)  not ordering retail product.

2) no rhyme or reason to staff attire/behaviour.

3) not having their orders prepared.

Always to be followed up with the same complaints from the Salon manager/owner’s – business is slow, they have “no idea” about how to make their staff behave, and have no idea what they need for the Salon.

Ladies and gents, I know beauty is fun and exciting and you always dreamed of owning a Salon and changing people’s lives. Guess what? It is also a business and it takes work, and effort, and time, and attention. When taken care of and done properly, it can  be awesome and not even feel like work. When not taken care of and everything put on the back burner, it’s gonna feel like you are on the chain gang. If your Salon is struggling and your staff isn’t performing up to par, as a Salon manager/owner, well, it’s your fault. Yeah, I said it. I am a manager of a Salon/shop and when something isn’t going right, I look at what I am doing first. (…not my favorite thing to do, admit a wrong…but this is what I signed up for). I lead by example,I am fair, but firm. I do not ask anything of my staff I would not do myself, from sweeping the floor to washing a baseboard = fair. If you show up late for a shift, you are getting a verbal warning = firm. Hey – as managers/owners this is what we signed up for. As managers/owners, we cannot be the “friend”. Yes, we can be friendly, yes a friendship may bloom after years of working together, but at the end of the day, we are the manager/owner, not the friend. If  you want to be the “friend”, you may want to rethink your position.

Salons, as all businesses, need structure, process, leadership. Your staff needs to know the ground rules, where the line in the sand is drawn,so that they aren’t always wondering what is going to happen next. They need to know that their manager/owner is taking care of the orders so they know if there will be enough color for their clients this weekend. When a Salon has structure it will blossom, because your staff only has one thing to think of, their client in their chair and the customer walking through the door.

– Staff meetings are a must, for salons with two or ten stylists. A meeting people – not a gossip fest about the newest juiciest news about your last client or a whine fest about someone not washing the towels enough.

– A staff manual is always an awesome idea. Oh calm down…It doesn’t have to be a novel. A few pages outlining the salon’s procedures for client care, the cash register, reception, pre-booking, retail sales & commissions, opening/closing procedures and dress code. Make two copies, one for the employee and one for their file. Have the employee sign both copies, for two reasons;

1) an understanding of what is expected of them and of the Salon

2) by chance, for example, the dress code is not being followed, you can show them that you know they know what is expected of the dress code…since they read and signed it. (if it happens again, now you know you have a problem). * As the manager/owner – we MUST follow dress code, at all times. Lead by example.

As managers/owners, we MUST know our inventory. We need to know how much stock we need, from color to gloves to coffee for the clients to disinfectant for the tools. There are many awesome Salon management programs out there. At our shop we use SAM by Milano and it is awesome, especially for retail. All you need is your clients name and number ( and you already have that) and this gem tracks all their purchases. An AWESOME tool for retail – in case of package changes or you can’t remember the last hairspray they bought, it’s there in their file.

You have to do the work. You need to be present and professional. A Salon will not run itself but with the right procedures in place, respect for your staff and clientele, it will begin to feel like it.

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Go ahead…pull the other one

We’ve all seen the commercials. We’ve all seen the ads. We’ve all gone out and bought it and hid it in a brown paper bag. We’ve all done it. I’m speaking of box color from the drugstore…what did you think I was talking about?

Here’s the deal. Box color happens. You know. I know it. You want to do your own color because it makes you feel like you have become kindred spirits with the Hollywood spokesperson by using that product, power to you. That being said – when you decide to have your hair colored with professional Salon color – don’t deny that you used the box color. Here are the reasons why;

– more often than not, a stylist can spot  a bottle job at 100 paces.

– don’t even get me started about arguing that the box said “professional quality”. If there wasn’t a Salon within two feet of you and a stylist was mixing the color – it ain’t professional.

– lying about using box color makes you sound like, well, a thirteen year old girl who is afraid of her mommy.

– no one is born with natural white blonde and orange streaks.

– Box color and Salon color don’t always mix. It is possible for a chemical reaction to take place and your hair can start to resemble Carrot Top or Kermit the Frog.

– in some cases, the hair can begin to break off. Yes, I said break off. I have seen it. It wasn’t pretty.

– last but not least, how could you do that to your kindred spirit? What kind of friend are you?

Why people choose to lie about using box color is beyond me and I don’t know why they try to lie to me about it. I had Mrs. Spencer, my grade two teacher believing we had two foster babies at our house and I was too busy helping my mother to be able to finish my spelling homework. I had that gig going for 3 weeks until the day my mother brought my spelling book to school because I forgot it at home. Long story short..the jig was up, the room spun a little and I had extra spelling homework for weeks. The point of sharing that tale…(pardon my french), you can’t bullshit a bullshitter. I know you used box color. You know you used box color. Admit it. Own it. Move on.

To be honest, it isn’t so much the color of your hair that gives away the fact you used box color, it is the look on your face when asked the question. The look in question is a mixture of a deer caught in the headlights mixed with a child being caught with their hand in the cookie jar. No matter the age or gender – the same look crosses the face of the person who is asked “Have you used box color on your hair?”. Jesus…it’s not like you were asked if you shoot heroine or if you knew all along where Bin Laden was. We just need to know what is on your hair so we can be sure you leave with the color you want. It’s really not that big of a deal. No judgement…well, not at my Salon.

* IMPORTANT TIP* if your stylist does not ask you if your color is professional Salon color or box color – get up and leave. Run! Think about it…a true professional and someone who takes pride in their work wants to be sure you receive the best color and service. You are their best advertising.