Beauty, health and wellness, lifestyle, Sunday Confessions, That girl in the red coat

Sunday Confessions

 

Those of you familiar with my blog know all too well that I am a firm believer in being yourself, believing in yourself and when wanting something, to go for it. While sitting at my favorite window sipping my morning coffee and watching the birds frolicking on the lawn under the bird feeder I realized I had something to confess.

Last week I told you about the Joico Fall Trend Show that I was fortunate to attend. What I didn’t tell you about was the evening before. Around 8 p.m. the evening before the show I wasn’t sure if I was going to go. I was worried that it was a mistake to go, that I didn’t belong there. All the other shows and gala’s I have attended, not only was I a blogger with 35 professional hair care lines under her belt, I was a manager of a Salon/retail shop. Now that I am no longer in a Salon environment on a daily basis, I was worried I had no place at a Hair Show’s table. Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous and yes, I know I am always saying the opinions of others do not matter, and yes, I know it is best to listen to the whispers of hope and goodness rather than the shouts of dismay… sometimes, we all have our weak moments and the darkness starts to set in.

I woke up last Monday morning with a nervous belly ache. I hadn’t slept well, due to my nervousness and my snoring bed companion. As I made my coffee, I told myself, “you are going.”. I made myself post pictures and Instagram stories of my preparations for the show in an attempt to change my perspective and give myself that little push to go for it. I did my makeup, I did my hair, I put on my new boots I bought for this day …they are fabulous by the way, I said goodbye to my hubby and my girl as they told me I looked beautiful and that “you got this!”, I got in my car, put the destination in my GPS and I was off. When I arrived, it was raining and my umbrella busted the moment I opened it. Everything in me wanted to use this as an excuse that the universe was trying to tell me I wasn’t supposed to be there, instead I chose to think, “Sara, you need a new umbrella.”. I rushed in, trying to keep my ‘do in tact and found my way to the hall. As I walked past the banners and the stylists I heard my name. As others were scrounging for their tickets to get through the door all you heard down the hallway was “Sara! Your ticket is waiting for you inside, just go on in!”. Some heads turned with the look of “Who’s that?” as I walked by. Once I got in, within minutes I was greeted with hugs from former colleagues and stylists. I even ran into stylists that I had done private consultations at their Salons. Everyone asking how I had been, what I am up to and all happy to hear my news and happy to see me. Stylists complimenting my hair and asking what color I used and what products I suggest. I was able to meet the fabulous stylists and people that I follow on Instagram and who follow me. I heard “Yay! You’re here!” many times that day. It was a good day. One I am grateful for on so many levels.

The point to today’s confession? No matter how scared you are, how nervous you might be, you have to take chances. You have to get off your ass and make your life happen. I know all too well how easy it is to listen to the self doubt voices shouting and how hard it can be to hear the whispers of self confidence. If you quiet your mind for even a few seconds, they are there and you will hear them. All we can control in this life is ourselves and our minds. That is the reason for my posts and stories that morning, I was giving myself a positive visual, I was making my mind believe the good of my experience. I was “faking it ’til I make it” if you will. Here I was thinking I wouldn’t fit in, that I would look foolish or look like a loser for showing up and all the while, it was exactly where I was supposed to be and was welcomed with open arms.

Be gentle with yourselves Beauties, we are all doing the best we can with what we’ve got at the moment. We all feel scared. We all worry we won’t fit in. Take chances. Believe in yourself. A change may be just around the next corner. Grab hold of that door, take a deep breath, open it and walk through. No matter what happens, you will know you did it, that you tried and that is a thing of beauty.

Beauty, Hair Care, That girl in the red coat

Fall for Joico

On September 10th, yours truly had the pleasure of attending Joico Canada’s Fall Trend Show. As always, I was not disappointed. If you are not familiar with Joico, it is time to get on a first name basis with this brand. The brand, in my not so humble opinion is top notch. From their color line to their retail line to their education, Joico has all the bases covered.

This year’s Fall Trend Show exposed us to new coloring techniques, updated cutting techniques and my all time favorite, a focus on increasing retail sales and client retention, all in a relaxed yet exciting manner. Joico Canada’s Senior Education Sales Advisor Megan Nevins, a stylist herself was able to convey the importance of social media presence while giving step by step instruction on how to best utilize social media in the Salon. A segment was focused on the importance of retail in the Salon, and Megan reiterated my philosophy that if you are a stylist, you are a salesperson.

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2014/05/20/if-you-are-a-stylist-you-are-a-sales-person/

Cutting techniques explained in layman’s terms as to not overwhelm new stylists. Color techniques shown, step by step, explaining how not to run into a problem and if a problem was to arise, how to correct it.

The platform artists April McDougald, Marc Galati and Chad Demchuk made the audience feel like we were having a one on one private lesson, they left us feeling like we could achieve all they had achieved and continue to achieve in their careers. Find them on Instagram to see their fabulous creations. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Marc Galati -@marcgalatihair

April McDougald – @heartsoulhair_aprilmcdougald

Chad Demchuk – @chaddofficial

…the end result = FAB! color and cuts.

For Salon Owners and stylists who are craving something new, Salon support via education and/or retail support, it’s time to fall for Joico.

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

Part of the package

As many of you now know, yours truly has spread her wings a little wider and has become an Independent Retail Consultant. Over the years in our beloved biz, I came to realize many Salons were missing out on the perks of retailing their products in their Salons. Not only does retail increase Salon revenue, it enhances your client’s experience and gives them the tools to have a good hair day everyday between their appointments. Retailing in the Salon helps your clients protect their investment, in themselves.

Over the years, and during some of my consultations, I have come across the same concern from every stylist I speak with. “I don’t want to seem pushy.”. With over 25 years of sales and customer service under my belt, let me tell you this…if you are coming from a place of honesty and integrity, you are not being pushy. If your client has just had her hair colored red and you tell her that you highly suggest a color shampoo and conditioner to purchase to use at home to protect her new loved color =not pushy. You are trying to keep her red as vibrant as it can be for as long as possible. Selling said client a clarifying shampoo that she does not need = pushy. A clarifying shampoo would ruin her red. Giving your clients the tools they need to protect their investment in themselves is all you are doing, plain and simple.

 

Another common question/statement is “I don’t see the value of it.”. I have one question in response to this one, would you skip adding developer to your color? Of course not, because without developer the color wouldn’t process properly and in turn, you would have an unhappy client sitting in your chair. The same goes for retailing product. Think about it. Your client is sitting in your chair touching their hair telling you “I love it!”. They leave your shop with a spring in their step, feeling as though they can take on the world. They wake the next day, begin to style their hair only to have it not work out or look as good as it did the day before, and begin to feel as though the world is caving in on them. They may not be in your chair, trust me, in this moment, you have an unhappy client. Everyone wants to have a good hair day, the ladies and the gents. Everyone. Selling your clients product to take home and taking a moment to teach them how to use them ensures your clients will not only be happy in your chair, they will be happy until they are back in your chair with their next appointment.

All Salons have packages, be it a wash, cut and style or cut included with each color service, we all have packages. So, why not add some retail to the package? You are using the products. Your clients smell the products. Your clients see the products on your station. Your clients asks “OOO! That smells great?! What is that?”. All the work has been done for you. All you have to do is answer their questions, have a conversation. That’s it. Plain and simple. In my experience, once the value of the product is explained, the cost is never an issue. The client wants that product. Take flat iron sprays – once I explain the value of a flat iron spray – it protects the hair from the contact heat of a flat iron, that it helps to protect the vibrancy of hair color and that it helps to combat frizz and fly aways, when they leave the Salon, they have a flat iron spray in their hand.

Retail is already part of the package. Your clients love their hair and want to continue the love affair. They need you to help them keep their relationship with their hair “all moonlight and roses”. Adding retail to the package will do just that.

 

 

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

Product 101 – Mousse hunting

As promised, my tales are aimed to educate and enlighten. Today’s tale is the first chapter in a new series, Product 101. Each chapter will focus on a specific product and it’s hold factor, shine factor and an explanation of how to use the product for the best styling results. Everyday I meet a customer, lady or gent, who tells me “There are so many products. I have a counter filled with products that didn’t work. How am I supposed to know what I need?”. It’s at this moment I tell them they have come to the right place…and now I am telling you the same thing.

Everyday, I mean it, everyday, I meet a woman who believes she is destined for flat lifeless cuts and styles because she has fine hair. I am told that her hair is “too fine” and that all products “weigh it down” or “make it greasy” or “the volume never lasts”. It’s usually at this moment they say “You are so lucky to have thick hair that holds your style.”. When I inform them that I have baby fine hair, just lots of it, they always say “NO WAY!”. Yes way. When they ask what I use, for some reason when I mention I begin with mousse, most women interrupt me, telling me that mousses don’t work because of the reasons mentioned above. It’s usually at this moment I ask them “when you bake a cake, if you miss one ingredient, what happens to that cake?”. They all have the same answer – the cake won’t turn out. Same goes for your hair and styling your hair.

I am a firm  believer in giving your hair style a good base and I prefer to use mousse for it gives all over hold and fullness. I have used mousse when I had a pixie cut, a perm and with my current style. There are many mousses to choose from and I know it can be overwhelming. Mousses are created for all hair types, colored, permed, thick or fine. Some offer humidity resistance, some offer shine, some help with static. There are three things to know about mousse;

1 – there are mousses that offer volume with a soft to medium hold

2 – there are mousses that offer volume with a firm hold.

3 – mousse should be applied to damp/towel dried hair

That’s really about it. It comes down to the hold factor you are looking for, price point and scent. Being me I have compiled a little list for you of some of the mousses I have used personally and are favorites of my customers and the clientele of our Salon;

20150428_123218-1

These gems will create volume with a soft to medium hold factor.

Nioxin Bodifying Foam – A lightweight mousse with a medium hold factor created to give your hair a thicker, fuller look and feel. Good for all hair types.

Moroccanoil Volumizing Mousse – A medium hold mousse that creates a fuller look. Created for fine to medium hair types. I found that it gave my hair fullness, but not as much volume (height) as I like.

KMS ADD VOLUME Styling Foam – A medium hold mousse that has a medium shine factor. Formulated for fine hair – a nice mousse for all hair types.

Paul Mitchell Extra Body Sculpting Foam – A long lasting, flexible hold factor that offers brilliant shine. A lovely mousse if you have curly hair – don’t let the “extra volume” scare you off. Many of my girls with curls like the shine and the soft control this mousse offers. Good for all hair types.

Matrix Biolage Whipped Volume – A medium hold mousse that delivers natural shine and softness. Can be used on all hair types.

 

20150428_122946-1

If you desire a firm hold and mega volume and control, the following gems are right up your alley! *if your hair feels sticky – you have used too much. I recommend dispensing an amount of mousse that resembles an egg, emulsify the mousse in your hands (rub hands together), then distribute it evenly throughout your hair and blow dry.

ISO Daily Foam – Offers a firm hold, weightless volume and control . This mousse is a great tool for setting and sculpting styles from roller sets to faux hawks.

Joico JoiWhip – An alcohol free formula that offers a strong hold factor with long lasting volume and body. A lovely mousse for curly hair. *gotta admit – my favorite. I have tried all mousses and for 25 years, I always go back to Joico.

Goldwell Top Whip – An ultra strong hold factor that delivers long lasting volume with an extra boost of heat and color protection.

RUSK Mousse – A little can that offers BIG volume and maximum hold. Great for all hair types.

Schwarzkopf OSIS Grip – An extreme hold mousse that offers a lasting hold, natural shine and an anti-static effect. It also helps prevent heat damage. A great mousse for shorter styles that desire hold without the fuss.

Sebastian Mousse Forte – A strong hold factor that offers volume and heat protection. This mousse is great for defining waves and curls and offers all day frizz control.

To recap – there are mousses that offer volume with a soft to medium hold – perfect for a more soft, natural look, feel and hold. There are mousses that offer volume with a firm hold – perfect for the more demanding sculpted and textured styles, or for those who want all day volume and hold that we don’t have to check on throughout the day. …or if you are like yours truly, forever in love with big hair, everything eighties and vertically challenged…wait for it…there you go.

 

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

Product placement

Every day I meet a woman who hates her hair. Everyday. The feel of it, the look of it, the texture of it, the length of it, you name it, there is something about their hair they just do not like. The commonality all these women have – they loved their hair when they were in their stylist’s chair. As every woman knows and few will admit – when you are having a good hair day, you love  your reflection and you feel like anything is possible. These women loved their hair the rest of the day. They received compliments in the express check out at the grocery store and from the clerk at the drive thru window. They received compliments from their loved ones at the dinner table and couldn’t help but to try to catch their reflection where ever possible. They woke up the next day, excited to do their hair and take on the day…and that is when it all fell apart. The compliments from the previous day became a distant memory and their belief that anything was possible all but vanished because after 30 minutes, they couldn’t style their new ‘do and they began to feel like a failure, they began to feel stupid that they couldn’t even accomplish the most simple of tasks, like styling their hair. All because they never received a proper product consultation from their stylist. That’s right, I said it. As a stylist, when you teach your client about what products to use and how to use them, 90% of your clients will be able to achieve the same style at home and will continue to have the same confidence in themselves that they had in your chair.

Everyday, and I mean everyday, you will find me teaching a woman how to use the product she already has. As you know, I manage a retail shop/Salon. I carry over 25 professional hair care lines and I love to sell. That being said, when a customer, lady or gent, comes into the shop with a concern over their hair, I always ask what they are using and how they are using it. Many times they are using the proper product, just using too much or too little of it. Sometimes the product they are using is not the proper product for the style they are trying to achieve. When I explain this to them, the first thing they always say is “why didn’t my stylist tell me?” – a question I often ask myself.

For all the stylists, Salon managers and Salon owners, our beloved industry is based on service, customer and client service. Educating our customers and clientele about their hair – not only cutting, coloring and styling. A key component to the consultation is being overlooked, the product and styling consultation and the retail sale. For those familiar with my Salon tales, you know I am a firm believer that retailing in the Salon is a must. It adds to the Salon revenue, it adds to the credibility of your stylists and it helps your clientele keep the look, feel and style of their hair after they leave the Salon. When they love their hair, they love you. When they hate their hair, well…you may be off their Christmas card list.

I have heard from many stylists that they don’t have time to retail products. I am here to tell you that you do. You have your client in your chair for a minimum of 45 minutes. You are chatting with them the whole time they are in your chair. You are reaching in front of them or around them for the products you are using in their hair. Many times they actually say “Wow! That smells great! What is that?” – if that isn’t an introduction to sell them the product they need for their new style, I don’t know what is. If you can talk about the Real Housewives and their escapades, you can take a moment to chat about their hair and how to take care of it. Being me, here is a little list to follow;

– while their color is processing, explain to them why using your Salon professional shampoo and conditioner are vital to keeping their color vibrant and their hair manageable.

– when your client is going for a fun and funky look with vibrant colors like red or blue, explain the importance of using the proper products to keep the colors vibrant for as long as possible. Explain to them how to wash their hair so the colors will not bleed together.

– while you flat iron their hair, use a flat iron spray and explain that it helps to protect their hair from the contact heat of the flat iron. Explain why you are using it and how much use.

– when curling your client’s hair, explain to them the difference between your Salon professional curling iron and the curling iron’s you can find at the department stores. Let your client know that the heat and quality of your Salon professional curling iron is the reason why their curl lasts.

– explain what the product is that you are using and how to use it. For example, if you are using a root boost, explain to your client it is to be applied at the root on damp hair before you blow dry.

– be sure to let your clients know that all your products are unisex – that anyone, man, woman or child can use them. I have met many men who loved a certain product but thought they couldn’t use it because their wife used it, and vice versa.

– when applying a conditioning treatment, explain the importance of it and the importance of using one at home on a weekly basis – especially for your high lift blondes.

– for your girls with curls – explain how they can embrace their curls with the proper products – that humidity resistant products will combat their frizz, there are gels and creams for curl definition and retention. That there are lines out there specifically designed for curly hair.

Take the time that you already have to educate your clients about their hair, plain and simple.

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

It’s probably not the weather

Over the past few months, I feel as though I have been having the same conversation with different reps, Salon owners that I chat with from time to time and Stylists. Everyone says that business is slow. They all seem to be having the same problem and they all seem to have the same reasons for it. “It’s probably the weather.”. “The economy is slow.”. “It’s peak vacation season, so people are away.”. “We charge $90.00 for a color. Our clients don’t want to spend more for product.”. “My client bookings are down. I guess my clients are really busy.”. I have news for you, and you aren’t going to like it. The above excuses – yeah, I said it, excuses for the lack of business at your Salon comes down to you, your staff, your customer service, your policies and your lack of retail. Plain and simple. I say excuses because sitting around complaining about business being slow and doing nothing about it is an excuse and is lazy. *To be clear – I agree that the weather can affect sales – Mother Nature is not always our friend up here in the Great White North – a blizzard or a good ‘ol Polar Vortex will keep people at home. As for the others, well, there is always something that can be done.

I have been in the retail/customer service game for over 25 years and in our beloved industry for over 12 of those years. I know too well the struggles we can face, from product cost increases, rent increases, wage increases and competition from other Salons that offer the same services. Here’s the deal. When your Salon has procedures in place, when your staff is educated on your products and your stylists re-book and follow up with their clients and your retail shelves are stocked, your business will sustain itself, and grow. It will. *The key – you have to work at it, everyday. You have to believe in yourself and your business and what you are trying to accomplish. Being me, I have compiled a little list for you.

– Policies. I cannot stress this enough. Dress codes need to be in effect and followed. Personal calls are not for the Salon floor or the store front. Take it to the lunch room. I understand emergencies arise and a call from the school must be taken on the Salon floor. Booking your next oil change…not so much. *Remember – all your client in your chair is doing is listening and watching everything going on in the Salon…and good news travels fast….bad news travels faster.

– Make it your Salon policy to re-book every client at the end of their service. Now, I know this will not happen 100% of the time, it can happen 85% of the time – I know this because that is what our average is in our Salon. Once you explain to your client that you cannot guarantee that you won’t be booked solid 6 weeks from now, they will re-book. Let your client know they are more than welcome to cancel or reschedule if need be. In my experience, once they realize they are not indebted to that exact date, they re-book, and show up to their appointment.

– Be sure to offer a consultation to every client, new or existing. Take a minute to ask them how they are, what plans they have, if any special events are coming up. Ask them if they were thinking of changing it up or did they like their last color and style.  Asking these questions makes your client feel important and that they matter. It also gives you a chance to find out what is happening in their lives – for instance, if they have a gala coming up, trying a pixie cut for the first time may not be the best idea. During a consultation you may find out about a health scare, a new medication or a new product they have been using that could affect their color service that day. Asking them “same as last time” doesn’t cut it. It doesn’t.

– Make sure your Salon is stocked with water, tea and coffee. Having a choice of milk, cream or flavored creamer, sweetener or sugar goes a long way. At our Salon, we have clients that as we are taking their coat are asking if we still have that “yummy creamer”.

– Get on Social Media. Facebook is checked before email. I update our Facebook page at least 4 times a day. It takes all of 2 minutes each time. We have gained customers and clients from our updates. I have gained new customers that drive from other cities because of the specials and the new arrival of products I have posted.

– Your Salon must retail product. It must. Before you get all “that’s a huge investment!”, calm down. I am not saying you have to have every brand and every product. You should have the products you are using in your Salon for sale to your clients. Keep 2 – 3 bottles of each product you use on your shelves, at all times. You can’t sell what you don’t have. *Think of it like this – as a stylist, would you go without having bleach at your color mixing station because “No one will probably want it”? No, you wouldn’t. The same rings true with retailing the hairspray you use at your station. Thinking for your clients instead of thinking about them is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Retailing products works. I know. I do it everyday. Once your client/customer realizes that their hair can have the same look and hold at home that they get from you, they will buy the product.

– Provide good customer service. Talk to your clients and customers. Educate them on their hair and their products. Offer free consultations, from an up-do to how to use their flat iron. I personally have helped our customers learn how to use their new flat iron or curling iron. I have been known to flip my head upside down and from side to side and mess up my own ‘do just to show them how to do their own hair, and correct a mishap with a flat iron. If your client is not happy with the product they bought, ask them to bring it in, ask them to show you how they use it, then show them how you use it. In my experience, the product is the right product, the application needed improvement.

Following policies and procedures, re-booking and following up with clients, taking the time for proper consultations, utilizing Social Media, educating your clients and your customers and retailing products and keeping the shelves stocked, your Salon will thrive. It will.

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right” – Henry Ford

ThatGirlx3

 

 

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

Mint flavoured shoes

At our shop, we retail over 25 professional hair care lines, so it is no surprise to me when I have a client or customer tell me they have never heard of the particular product I am telling them about. What does surprise me is when I introduce a product or product line to a client and they respond with “They still make that? I used to love using it but…that’s an old product line, isn’t it? My stylist said it’s old and no good.”. A phrase I hear often, and quiet frankly, a phrase that baffles me. Stylists – here’s a little tip for you – if your client loves a product – NEVER tell them it’s old and no good. First of all – it’s not professional. Second, you have just insulted your client. Yes, insulted them. You have just made them feel old and stupid for using a product that they love. I am telling you this because your clients will not, they do not want to offend you or hurt your feelings. They may however, book their next appointment elsewhere.

For those familiar with my Salon Tales, you know that I take the business of beauty and customer service seriously. I believe that customer service is the cornerstone of our industry. Yeah…I said it. When proper and professional customer service is not being provided, it does not matter that you are an expert colorist and cutting expert or how many products you retail at your Salon – if your client’s opinions are being neglected or pushed aside, the only person filling your chair will be you, wondering where your clients have gone.

Everyday I have customers or clients from the Salon purchasing products. Many of the products they purchase, they purchase because they love them. They like the hold, or the shine, or sometimes they love the smell of the product. I may not think the product is the best selection for their hair care needs, but they like it. They are able to achieve the look they want at home and like the way their hair looks and feels, so I keep my mouth shut. When I am asked if there is another product I would suggest, then I offer my opinion on another product. I never, I mean never, down play their beloved product. Being me, I have compiled a little list, a “how to suggest another product without putting your foot in your mouth” list,  if you will. (fitting title for today’s tale…don’t you think?…wait for it…there you go).

– when a client is looking for a new hairspray, first things first. Ask them what it is about their current hairspray they aren’t happy with. Ask them what hold factor they are looking for, if they want a little shine or frizz control. Telling them “it’s about time you changed hairspray!” – not a good idea

– when a client comes in asking for a product from a line that you deem “dated”, do not judge. It may be an old line to you, your client may have just learned about it, so it is new to her.

– when a client comes in looking for the latest and greatest product, before you sell it to them, be sure it is meant for their hair type. Selling a woman the newest curl defining cream  when her hair is poker straight is unprofessional, plain and simple.  Think about it, she will get home with dreams of curls just to end up locked in her bathroom with a matted mess. Trust me, I am all for making the sale – when it is done the correct way.

– if your client is misinformed about a product, take a minute to explain the proper use of the product, educate them. Flip the bottle over and show them the product description, and the directions on how to use the product, and how much to use. Take an extra minute to explain what the icons mean… the little open jar = shelf life, the bunny = cruelty free, the arrows in a circle = the packaging is recyclable. Again, telling them “you don’t know what you are doing, do you?” – not your best option.

– when a client comes in looking for a product you do not sell, DO NOT say “Oh, we don’t carry that, heard it’s crap.”. Yes, ladies and gents, many of my customers had been told that exact thing, at the Salon they used to shop at. Find out what product they are looking for, ask them what they liked about it. You would be surprised how many times a product you have on your shelves will fit the bill. …I do it everyday.

At the Salon, we help men and women look and feel better. We give them a fresh look or help them find themselves once more. We help to prepare them for their life events – graduations, weddings, births and sadly, deaths. Yes, we are in the Beauty Industry. Yes, we work in Salons. Yes, we are in the service industry, and yes, we are in the customer service industry – something we must all remember. Our customers and clients may forget the color line we use or the hairspray we suggest. They will always remember how they were treated, how they were spoken to and listened to, and how they felt. You may be an expert colorist, you may offer the greatest cut and style in town – no one will remember that if your manners and demeanor do not match your talent. Be kind. Be courteous. Our clients and customers have given us their time, the least we can do is give them and extra minute or two.