Friday, 16 December 2011

Season greeting. Merry Christmas

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR

                            Happy Christmas   
                                               thank you

Economically a challenging year for many It's from times like this we can grow learn challenge our selves with creative thinking.

I would like to thank everyone who as read any topic's all those who have shared and contributed to either blogs or the groups  shared discussions net worked.

A very big thanks to all those committed professionals that i have met in the cyber world talked with exchanged views with you have helped me grow and learn.
You have encouraged and showed me that what i do is all worth while so many thanks. A special  thanks to Karen and David all members of salon groove and all those over 400 in our ever growing international Linked in professional hairdresser net working group. All at HABIA for you do a great job.
Finally all those who follow on twitter face book and that have connected via linked in the world gets smaller as we get bigger.

Lots to look forward to in the new year some new challenges a new source for topic's and sharing.


         Have very wonderful Christmas with family and friends be safe be back in the new year 2012.

          Happy Christmas
Look forward to sharing

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Economic challenges for the hair salon or OPPORTUNITY!

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR

Are these extra challenging time s for salon owners and stylist's? Is the manufacturing company the distributors making to much profit? Or have times changed and we as professionals need to face up to the challenges of our changing industry? Honestly look at and review the way we do business what we offer

I do think that manufacturers have a responsibility to the industry and for maintaining a professional image. But we also have to be aware that development of products promotion costs and they like us are 
in business to make money and turn a profit.

Think about the number of handlers all adding there bit on from manufacturer to end consumer.
We in the salon are not all saint's some times the mark up is 100%  on retail products we only pay sales commission of say 10% Hum! is that fair ? To  both stylist or consumer? Would it be better to mark up less turn over more?
Discounting retail products and indeed salon services does it work? Or does it just cheapen the   experience? I see so many salons offering cheap deals 30% first service or last minute walk in discounts why would you do this? There needs to be more consensus between salons rather than competing with 
each other on discounts.

Think about this shared recently by some one I greatly respect.

If all salons and staff offer great service and standard of work in essence is all the same quality then which one will a client go to if they are all the same?? What would you do? Remember all the same ! THE CHEAPEST OF COURSE.  why do this discount thing maintain standards and fee's.   

Let look at an example of mark up and handlers.

Think about that tube of hair colour pigment. Produced on Italy cost pennies, other ingredients pennies, putting into a tube pennies, packaging shipping tax so on. Manufacture mark up? Distributors mark up? Then we the salon get hold of it that 3oz tube of colour say for $10.00
Maybe if used mixed correctly 3 colour applications one tube at how much per colour say $40.00 = $120.00 My point is many salons are just as guilty not all.

This time of year there are many deals to be had with products gift packs ect. Do those deals get passed onto clients as a christmas thank you for your custom? 
From the time of manufacturer to getting to the salon at least 3 and maybe up to 5 different companies 
and distributors have handles said product and put their mark up on it! just sharing a thought.

Everything is relative hair products to some degree you get what you pay for to some it's packaging. It's image, smell, marketing.

The end consumer our clients also drive this some like to pay more than others some even buy because they like the bottles in the bathroom. 

It's a contentious subject with more than one way of looking at it. I do agree that the manufacturers double dip all the time. Marketing themselves as the cavaliers working with and for the professional.Yet flooding the market with cheap shampoo and indeed nasty over the counter hair colour.

But for years the hair industry has allowed the professional manufactures and indeed colour companies to set the rules. Celebrity endorsement certainly does not help this but it's the face of business it's the way thing work.We have to acknowledge this and change how we think what we do and how we offer our skill and service's.

These are hard economic times for everyone this is a global issues and not just in the hair industry.

However I also maintain that a culture of blame and pointing the finger  exists at the moment for it's far  easier to attribute blame than do some honest sole searching about. What we do and charge.

I still think clients can and do pay for exceptional service from knowledgeable skilled professional.What they will not do is settle for second rate service from unskilled professional 

We must have an eye on the  big picture that being bigger than a quick buck or up sale of any given  service.  Consultation, communication, informed skill.

A trip to a salon should be an experience worth talking about from start to finish. Many salons lose clients after the first visit why ! Because the client did not feel special and did not feel it was value for money! Now who can we or should we blame? I'm not every one every thing is totally wrong but we need all of us to take responsibility for our selves our actions be willing to make and accept change.  

As very wise industry professional and  speaker educator. Pointed something out in a webinar recently on this very subject. A very talented knowledgeable lady called Karen.
The boom years. Those crazy years of pre christmas salon madness are a distant memory a thing of the past. 
Those booked from October to Christmas doing colour. selling product making a great profit. I was part of that now era! It's past. wake up !
We have to work at our business cherish our clients their custom and the relationships we build with them. 
For some of us seasoned in this industry as am I maybe a great challenge. But you know we have to be prepared and able to change embrace change work and do things differently.

This industry is for many still very rewarding and lots of very successful stylist and owners still make a very good living from it.
 To all I say this .Negativity is very destructive and it's alive and well and at work in the world today.Don't become part of that world and culture
Challenge your self and your staff listen to your clients ask them what they want to see !! embrace the challenges and work to make the changes take control of your business and your life.

Work with you staff to offer the very best of service make it personal to each and every client, deliver an experience that they will talk about with others! 

I hear so many businesses complaining about lack of new business or walk in clients.they get opportunity for exposure through things like Groupon then complain they made no money form it!
Groupon gives you a platform for exposure of your business how make the most of the new influx of clients is up to you the salon and staff.
Case point
I think that the concept of Groupon is a good way of attracting new clients.Recently my daughter purchased a facial at a local spa where she lives through a groupon offer.It's quite an exclusive looking  place so she had alway been put off but the thought of high price's.
She was pleasantly surprised when she went the service was out standing she thought that the prices were fair and reflected the standard of service the experience. She has not only been back a few times for other services she has recommended  to a number of her friends who have all loved it  .My point being one coupon netted maybe 6 or7 or seven potential good long term new client's who also have connections.
It's the coupon's that will get the clients through the door the question is are you doing enough to keep them coming back for more? Most salon's experience is that over 25% of first time new clients to the salon do not return. That is a huge amount of lost business what are they doing wrong? What are we doing wrong?  

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The up/do. Creative, stylish ,elegant, fun.

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR

The up/do creative fun and can be a challenge for many. My hope over the next couple of days is to share with you one look start to finish. Then post a few different looks.
The key to getting the look you want is. Three fold firstly consultation with your client.What type of look she is hoping for what is the event ?What is she wearing? Secondly confidence in your ability to deliver said or requested look. Lastly. Vision and technical ability to create something that will not only look good but will last the evening what ever might transpire!!  

Just like all other services we offer. We have to work with order and structure. creating shape and final look is still about structure and foundation building and creating a look that will last look elegant and stylish.
Length of hair type of hair should not be an issue if you know what your doing and work with confidence this comes with practice .
As I post shots of this models hair going up you will see even though it's really long it's quite easy to manipulate. Being good at back combing really helps and working neatly be organised.

The look we are creating will be very polished and elegant with height at the crown to achieve this i have started with a high partial pong tail and pulled it through a doughnut to give me a solid base and extra height on the crown. Before starting to wrap the hair around the base i back comb it to give volume smoothing it out with a Mason pearson brush.

With so much hair to work with leaving the brush in the fringe area keep it out of the clients face and will create extra bend or wave for me down the road. When working with such long hair work with it don't fight it.It tells you were it wants to lie just go with it work with it. play with it to see what looks best

 This shot show's how the shape is coming together the height is forming on the crown we are in control of each section as we place it. It's starting to be fun!

Here we are the look is staring to come together we have now incorporated the sides  in the look it shows of both the highlights and movement of the look we have set out to create. We still have some work to do on the crown area and some long hair still to hide and work with.

Almost done now as your can see all that long hair has been used to create a pleated look giving the look lots of dimension and texture .showing off the multi tonal colours. this type of up do will stay up all day and night!

One strand left to play with. We have also added a little with a little blue hair extension just for a little variety.

The last step is to work to put the finishing touches to the look lose any unwanted stray hair's make sure it tight feels safe and that the client feels confident with the look and how it feels. Does it feel safe and secure and is it comfortable ! Yes no pins sticking in her head!

 Final look soft elegant  and yet think very sophisticated.  total time to do this about 45mins start to finish
not pre curling not hot rollers just blow dried the day before. Back combing and hair spray

I hope that it will encourage you  as a stylist to have some fun and enjoy putting hair up.I hope it helps show you a method and encourages you to play. As a client if you looking for idea's work with your stylist. Take in pictures of looks like like but be prepared to listen to advise.On how it might look and if your hair is suitable. will it stand the test of time !!! more looks tomorrow

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Encouragement for trainee hairdressers

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR

I decided today to share some views posted by other fellow professionals on our industry and what they would share with any one who is thinking about or training to be a stylist.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the positive energy commitment and passion of these comment. I hope they will inspire others to share and those coming into the industry to embrace it.
For it's an adventure a journey with challenges and choices but one well worth taking.

Here is the Question:

Question: If you had an opportunity to talk with young training stylists what would you share

with them about our industry and profession. What advise would you give?

Here is some of the advise 

Education , don't be afraid to ask questions. Work together with other stylists to share knowledge within the salons 

you work in. Go the extra mile to let your customers know how much you care about them and appreciate their business. Don't be afraid to give your time for free to create business. When I moved to Vancouver and was just starting out , I gave haircuts to strangers for 5 dollars, just got them in the door. I also put up a poster and the Nursing college to offer discounts to the students. It is better to be working for free than not at all because you are building experience and repeat business that will take care of your future.

Take your ego out of the profession, it never does anyone any good. My parents were both hairstylists and excellent at what they did. My father always told me to shy away from the Posers, and the Primadonas. I think that was good advice.
Don't be afraid to ask questions of your clients. The more you get to know them the better you can understand how they like to look. A really good question on first meeting is, Do you like to make a quiet entrance in a room full of people or do you like to stand out right away?
Most importantly , if you don't like what you do , it will be very difficult to do well at it. Hairdressing is something you have to love!!


I would tell them  ENJOY THE RIDE!!! It is a big, Fun, exciting, challenging career, filled with endless

opportunities for personal and professional growth!

More !!!
That it's not for everyone....If you have the talent, don't give it up because there is no other job out there remotely close to this industry. Stay on top of Education! there is always fresh new people coming into the industry to keep up with :) be dependable, listen well and never be afraid to ask questions. If you put your ALL into your work and keep patience and persistence, it will pay off in the long run. Never sell yourself short, there is too much opportunity out there :))!!

last one!

I would say dont be afraid to make mistakes - make as many as possible while your are training , Ask ,ask and ask again all the dumb question you think you have and watch -shadow a senior- question why on everything . Put yourself out there confidence comes from doing and dont beat yourself up too much, enjoy and have fun with it .

I would like to thank the members for these comments and for sharing them i hope they inspire others! 
My hope is that trainee stylists and any one think about hairdressing as a profession  and career choice will get inspiration from these comments

Monday, 31 October 2011

Hairdressing Standards In the salon outside the salon

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR

                                                              Some thoughts on Standards

Hairdressing standards are they so different. Whether you are in the salon or out side the salon. The standards we live bye, what is acceptable to us is a very personal thing and yet these standards have a knock on effect both in your hair career and life in general.

Are these standards that are taught to us? If so is some one else responsible 'CAN WE LAY BLAME' some where else. ! No.
Yes whilst we are training standards of qualification are set and level's have to be reached. A certified level of achievement reached be it from a College. Academy. Apprenticeship.  Having attained the certification this recognised standard then what?  Do you sit back thinking thats' it i'm qualified or do you carry on training and learning .Thus raising your standard. Or over time do you lapse into taking short cuts, not staying current and so lowering or allowing your standards to drop?

This scenario can happen so easily as you allow your standards to drop so it will reflect in the work you produce. This will lead to loss of client's, this will lead to resentment at work, Loss of earnings so loss of self esteem. You may then start to not take care of your appearance start coming into work late. Resenting those around who have 'Higher Standards'. This can happen so easily. Avery dangerous road to go down and not  a journey i would recommend.

We are all responsible for. Who we are. What we do. The standards that are acceptable to us the choices we make. The consequences we then have to live with. We cannot blame other's for poor choices made
nor can we let or allow negativity to take over this can be so disruptive that and unhealthy' Ego'. or self will run riot!

       Be it the work we produce the way we act and project ourselves aim high to be the best you can!

The same chain of events can happen in the salon if the owner or manager is not fully focused and leading by example.
I say leading and not managing a wise friend quoted'A manager has staff, a leader has followers' [thanks Karen] . 
To lead by example is to show the way for other like minded team members to follow. This way you grow together you set and raise the standard together thus supporting each other moving forward in a direction together. Allowing standards to drop getting complacent in the salon, not having education up dates and training for 'ALL'  staying current keeping up appearances.  Not maintaining a professional team can lead to staff team member dissatisfaction and so business disruption or breakdown.
The key here comes back to Image. Communication.Vision. Goals and yes Standards.

We have so many tools to help and assist us now from the ground up mentor's tutors at college. In the work place the doors of communication should always be open and swing both ways.
Then we have professional help. This we can seek out on line so easily discussion groups. Industry support groups such as HABIA here in the Uk. If in college you head of dept. It's ok for any of us to ask for help and advise.

Professionals willing to share there experience and knowledge committed to raising yes Industry standards.
In Australia if your reading this contact Karen at
In the United states Kathy.                         
HABIA uk                                                 
Here in the Uk Mike.                                 

You see so many ways for us all to raise standards both for ourselves and those around us. We all without exception need to be honest with our selves about our standards of what is acceptable to us both in the work lace an din our lives for the two are so connected.
Mike B2MR

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Home use. Hair straightening Kits

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR

We just about finish posting warnings and exhausted the discussion on some of the professional keratin based hair relaxing products and how important it is to research that they are safe. formaldehyde free.
We have had ammonia free foaming hair colour. We have had  ammonia free all natural heathy hair colour for home use and application now we have.

I see this advertised
Charles Worthington Salon at Home Straight and Smooth hair straightening kit for non coloured hair.
Charles Worthington Straight & Smooth hair straightening kit, get the ultra-glamorous results of a professional salon straightening treatment from the comfort of your home.

Above is the add  So i thought lets read the instructions lets see what's in this product. below is what i could find

Get gorgeously straight, smooth and more manageable hair with natural bounce for up to 40 days from Charles Worthington Salon at Home Straight and; Smooth hair straightening kit. Completely safe and easy to apply in just 25 minutes, this patent-pending breakthrough treatment uses Cystamine, a gentle and effective straightening active that re-programmes your hair memory and tames frizz. It’s 100% free from formaldehyde and ammonia. Get the ultra-glamorous results of a professional salon straightening treatment, all from the comfort of your home.
The experts at Charles Worthington have developed Straight & Smooth to help keep your hair straighter for longer. Working closely in collaboration with world-renowned hair expert, Professor Wortmann at Manchester University, the product has been over two years in production to ensure the best results for your hair.
This breakthrough straightening treatment uses cystamine, a gentle and effective straightening active. Cystamine works by re-programming your hair memory so your hair will stay straighter and not want to frizz, even in humid conditions. Our patent - pending technology is blended with proteins and argan oil to leave your hair looking smoother and healthier for longer.
Straight & Smooth is 100% ammonia and formaldehyde free meaning the product is safe to use and gentle on your hair.
85% of women who trialled Charles Worthington Salon at Home, Straight & Smooth agreed it effectively straightened their hair for up to 6 weeks.

As you can read from the above although it eludes to no Ammonia no formaldehyde it does not tell us what's in it. How it opens the cuticle how it relaxes the hair my guess either Grain alcohol derived Alkaline mixed as  a cream to weigh the hair down keeping it straight in the 20 minute process time it does require neutralising [just like a perm] it's really a acid perm in reverse not rollers!
I read some reviews not that good sounds rather smelly!
Cystine is what we have in our hair to create curl. We relax the cystine one of the hairs 19 amino acids to make it straight!!! 
It might last 6 to 8 weeks that does not mean re do every 6 to 8 weeks !!!!! 
It sadden's me when well respected professional celebrity stylist have to endorse theses none professional products.So much for years in the industry and being a professional. It's all about the ££££ or $$$$$.

To carry out this procedure one has to put the hair into an alkaline state open the cuticle. We do that with various strengths of Ammonia or with MEA or an alkaline derived from grain fermentation this allows it to be called natural!
Be aware that issues can arise if doing a process like this possible breakage do not do it on pre coloured or bleached hair  any doubts seek professional advise. 

I really have the greatest respect for so many of our celebrity stylist they mentor so many. They are looked up to by young aspiring stylists who look to them as professionals these sort of products cheapen that image. Always research any product read reviews before applying it to your hair!
Mike B2MR    

Friday, 21 October 2011

Make over colour correction

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR

                            What is the hardest challenge in a hair colour make cut make over?
Firstly and foremost it has to be a situation with really challenging colour correction.
This leads nicely on to the hardest form of colour correction. What might that be? Over processed Mud coloured hair.
This situation is normally created when hair has been over coloured then in an attempt to fix it goes wrong.It is cause when all the shades neutralise each other out creating a muddy dull life less colour and really poor condition. This type of situation happens a great deal and can be very challenging to correct

Below we have a model with one such issue. She was blonde home coloured kit,Went to salon for help to take it back to a solid more natural colour with a view to getting it back in to condition and then over time have it looked after professionally.
Result the Salon took on the job they had no idea how to rebuild a pigment base in the hair  the result speaks for it self. Frankly when I saw this I was appalled that a salon could do this and charge for it. Not to mention let the client leave in such a nasty state.

The Fix:
After much consultation honest discussion it was agreed that a great deal of the really damaged hair had to come off.The model agreed that any colour that would look healthy and work with her skin tone and eye colour would work  as a starting point to hair recovery.
My challenge was what colour could i get this too!!!
Firstly I had to remove the muddy shade without over processing the hair more. A bleach cocktail worked into the hair a mixture of.

If making up a cocktail to lift old shades out try.
*1/2 oz Clarifying shampoo.
*1oz      Water.
*1oz       20 vol peroxide {or cream developer}
*1 oz      powder bleach.
Apply to clean towel dried hair, work through on area needing lift for 5 to 10 mins. watching all the time wash out rinse thoroughly.
Once this has been done and desired level of lift has been achieved we now have a canvas to work on and from.
It was decided that allowing for some fading and possible future change in direction of colour. That a warm or red tone would be a great way forward. Warmer tones will always give you a better base than cool or ash tones they will also allow you more flexibility to change and switch direction.  
It is also my feeling that when re building a pigment base on does not have to nor should use permanent colour formulation [why put more peroxide on over processed hair?] Demi formulation are all you need along with some patients as you build up the required pigment mantle.
 It amy seem like it is a slow process but applying different layers of colour over each other in the long term will give you much better colour retention.
Above is the result we managed to achieve and the look was created using a razor to give a soft shattered bob with lots movement and texture.
The result healthy looking hair a happy client who over the following months grew her hair out to being long and blonde with highlights and low lights. It took time and patients communication consultation .That is what we do in our profession service skill honesty always be professional.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Hair Make over. Cut colour

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR

Whist on the topic of make overs thought maybe we should look at a Cut and colour . A case of some one needing wanting asking to help.
Correction to some degree and a new look taking onto account condition colour wanted and long term goal all of this was established in the consultation prior to the chemical service.

This above model as you can see has very over processed all one colour hair. In-fact i would describe this as really no colour Just lots of damaging lift exposing any pigment left in the hair.
 But so damaged that it cannot hold any pigment when you try and deposit it .The hair looks metallic and has a shine about that say's damaged over processed very porous.

The clients wish to have better condition hair and a better colour. Long term would like to grow it But fully understands that it is beyond saving the length at this point in time!

Very realistic view and a good place to start from .Over time working together we can get this long healthy and a colour that you like for now we have to work on condition and getting some tone back into the hair. Creating a new shape and look will get rid of a great deal of the over damaged hair and will make you look and feel better.

Above same day same head:
Working using the over lifted Blonde and using deposit only formulation those being Demi no lift required . Low lighting section and panels  of shades back in to the hair to create depth and tone thus giving us dimension . Allowing it to look healthy with shine.
As you can see shape wise quite a lot of length was removed  but we still retained a soft line and the shape has lots of movement and texture to it.
Cut with razor so no blunt or harsh lines overall a greta effect and puts us well on the road to working together for a longer blonder look over time but with a more natural tones.

The Make over. they challenge us to be creative and yet fix the broken, repair the damaged, make happy the unhappy.  Make the bad look good. put right the wrong restore balance .
We are all perfectly skilled to do all these things with and for our clients.

one more make over tomorrow then we move on Mike B2MR

Saturday, 15 October 2011

A hair make over.

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR

A make over can make such a difference to a client.
It can change how they look and feel about them selves It can change how they act and relate to others.

Our role as a stylist is to offer sound advise offer solutions be creative. But we must always consider what we have to work with and on. 
Remember it's scissors or a razor it's not a wand! consider the clients features hair type life style.
Its called the consultation. It's when we communicate  we listen we use our professional skills.Our time to shine. 

This model young women came into the salon she was very heavily pregnant and stressed. She asked could would any one cut her hair off . Well i stood back and watched as things played out in the salon.
As follows:
The receptionist was concerned that the women was asking for a hair cut on impulse being so pregnant.
She asked members of staff who were free if they would like to cut this ladies hair both looked her up and down and said No saying she should not be doing this she cannot have thought it through.
Well think I make over time seeing this woman who said she had tried 3 other salons and been turned away .A challenge I would be happy to work with you on a new look.When is your baby due it's late she says I'm having it tomorrow!!! Ok then lets sit you down and have a chat!!
During the consultation it was agreed  that half measures was not going to work.She had long hair but leaving it long enough to tie back would just create more work and be boring. She agreed to trust me.I explained that i don't use scissors only a razor and off we went.

Now remember 39 weeks pregnant  oh and this shot taken with an old polaroid camera that i still keep handy .So lots of hair and a fringe or as bangs to work around. let the make over begin!!

                     Same day same model same clothes! just a touch of lip stick and a new look !! what do you think?

I was very happy with the look! New Mum to be cried she was so happy. Other clients in the salon Gob smacked at the change!! Easy to manage dry with her fingers .She had the baby the next day a little girl.
She called me some weeks later to thank me again for the change and the look. What we do is just so worth while we can change lives.We can make a difference. One client at a time.
Mike B2MR