Wednesday, 29 February 2012

what is. The right choice of colour line for your salon?

Back2myroots: A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR
Choosing: The right colour line for your Salon: How  would you go about it?
What is the right product for you? How do you get all the answer to make an informed choice or decision! With so many products on the market so many manufacturers how on earth do you decide what company what product to chose? This is a big decision and a huge out lay for any salon so you have to get it right.
Do you make a list? If so where do you start?
* Cost.
*Education support and training.
*Ammonia free.
*Herbal or organic.
*Staff interest or approval.
*best deal at the time.
All quite valid points and all have merit to some degree. With so many manufactures all trying for the same market as wholesale or as distributor the profit and returns are very good. The goal of any distributor is to get the colour line they represent in to your salon. Most distributors will carry more than one colour line. They work every closely with the manufactures that they represent. Many work on the premiss that if they can get their colour line into your salon then the wet line and retail sales should follow. Incentives are offered such as free or reduced price back bar or display stands.maybe even some stylist products. all sounds really good. If you have never negotiated these point now you can!
Back to the question: How do you chose?
The above list may help make your own. I do think that the staff have to be onboard with this and commit to any truing that may be required. Do not go for a new colour line without any training. Poor results will follow. Collaboration between management and staff is essential.
I would suggest have a few companies put on demonstration nights to test the product and ask any valid question.Do distributors and manufactures do this yes they do they have trained educators to do this and work with the distributor. If they don't then they are not worth bothering with! If you already use a colour line but are looking to change this is usually because the staff are having issues with the product. Or a brand new product has come onto the market and it's the next got to have thing! New is good but sometimes new comes with teething issues so sit back and wait awhile!
Fact: When staff want change due to product issues 9 times out of 10 it's not the product! True it's so easy to blame a tube of colour when things go wrong normally one of the following.
* Poor deposit.
* Fading.
* Reds that don't hold.
*N series that cannot control warmth.
* Lack of general warmth control.
*Poor quality high lift shades. [normally relating when trying to go from level 6 to 10!] Da!!!  not possible asking to lift to many levels not enough pigment control!
* Not enough choice of shades.
* Want Ammonia free.
Most sales rep's are trained to ask questions prior to starting to sell you a new colour line. They know how to draw the weaknesses of the colour line you use out. All colour line shave their strengths and their weaknesses. But if you and your staff are educated properly and use the  product correctly these issues can be dealt with. All of the list above have nothing to do with the product! Do you know what it's to do with? Poor consultation.Poor assessment. Bad formulation. In other word the stylist or technician. Laziness. Poor training. or just good old not caring.
Dose quality play a part? Yes supported  by re search and investment.
Of course it does. Do you get what you pay for! for the most part yes. Do they differ that much. Yes they do. Another list!
*Cream colour or oil based.
* Direct dye or none direct. partially or fully developed colour molecules.
* Organic or herbal. or other. Big issue this come shown to some technical understanding on chemistry.
*Ammonia Free. If yes then what drives the colour?  need to know.
* Full range Permanent semi demi.options to colour balance.
* Is the N series calibrated to deal with warmth exposed at any given level?
Once you have researched and got your list of questions together now you can invite the different company representatives  to come in do a demonstration and answer your questions. I do not promote individual colour lines or products If someone were to offer me a job as an educator then i might. Do i have favourites yes1 Would I share this with you if asked Yes! But only in one on one e-mail as response to a question.
The quality of products changes constantly new ones come and go. A few of the manufactures are committed to our industry and to supporting stylist and education for some it's just business in the salon or over the counter. My advise would be research look for the ones offering the best support education and training. If you do this you don;t have to change colour lines for any of the reason's above.Why because your using the best an dour staff have the very best training and support.
One last thing: 
Some colour lines may seem cheap larger tubes mixing ratios are very important is it mix 1 part colour to 1 1/2 developer or 2 parts colour 1 part developer  and the more pigment needed for a formulation normally indicates poorer quality of pigment in the tube. Salon waste is also very expensive measure colour weigh it keep good records eye balling it is wasteful and un professional.
Mike B2MR

Monday, 20 February 2012

The Hair salon the experience Business:

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR
What is the hair salon or Spa? What business are we in? What is it we are selling or producing? Yes it's. Hair cutting or colouring or a variety of the many services we offer as a salon or spa. Consider this we are really selling or providing an experience.Oh and we are the product that makes this happen.
Lets take a look at this together:
We are in the business of pamperingDo you think your client comes to you wanting expecting the same as last time! NO! They trust you. They come to you because they like you. How easy it is to forget that we have the power the skill the knowledge to make them feel special look's so easy to get complacent.
Where does this all stem from the Consultation. Our time to review past styles and looks and suggest the new! The upgrade! That shared suggestion of a new colour a new look. It shows you care ! It's not selling. It advising it's what you me we are paid for 'expertise'.
This process of taking the time to talk and assess with your client should happen every time they come for an appointment. Not only with new clients and then on odd times there after. We are constantly looking for and indeed advertise for new clients: Did you know that on average over 50% of new clients to a salon never return for a second visit! Maybe just maybe we need to look at this! Maybe we need to do something differently or make some changes.
For change to happen:
How do we make change happen, what do we need? Firstly we need to know that if nothing changes if we keep doing the same old thing we get the same old results! Change is scary change is challenging! How about change is exciting. No one likes change it takes us out side our comfort zone. However scary it is such a positive move to make to reassess goals and vision to take control. To honestly look at what you can do differently where those weaknesses might be.
Have a goal as a salon to keep as many new clients as possible  look at what you do what you offer and how you perform. The service.That consultation. The salon and indeed staff image the atmosphere. The right team with the same vision on the right tracks!
An example of change.
Last week i gave my wife a new cut and colour. I gave her a lesson in styling the new look. I gave her  a brush. Today she was doing her hair ad i suggested that for the new look to work she had to make  a change! If she intended on styling her hair the way it was before then it would not look any different. For change to happen she had to change the way she was styling her hair! She laughed and agreed but it's not easy she said! True but nothing is unless you practice you get out what you put in! I re did her hair for her and suggested she practice doing things differently! Thus making change happen. Lesson change is not easy!
Asking for help. Doing research.
It takes a bigger person to ask for help than to just muddle along. Expecting different results without making any change. Admitting to ones self that change is needed and that it might well take some time commitment and work. But know this every thing is possible. With time patients and willingness for change to happen.
The key's:
Creative thinking:
Innovative thinking:
Collaboration with staff and or team mates:
Commitment to the process:
Some useful tools and assistance links:
Below a great read to get you and your team ting about your salon vision and goals!
For support mentoring a challenge to you and your business Away forward check out all the online group resourses this great program has to offer.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Thoughts on haircutting the process

Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR regular postings of fresh new topic's
Following in the steps of our make over article some food for thought
A place to share thoughts: review hair colour, products and techniques.
I'm often asked how many different hair cuts are there ? My first thought was thousands but then if one really thinks about it well it's quite an interesting thought process.
We need to think this through a little!
Long.             Anything past shoulder blades
Medium.        Shoulder blades up to nape or chin length
Short.            Anything above this.
Remember this is my thought process into the question asked not a definitive way of assessing or going about cutting or assessment of length or look, just sharing thoughts views on the process! My thought went to layers why layers. well at the end of the day if not all one length then layers to some degree or another make form the shape. It could be argued that layers are required for a perfect on length look for that wonderful swing and movement!
We must not forget techniques, slide cutting, castle thinning shear, razor Cutting, and the many other tools we have at out disposal but these are techniques if you like artistic license, freestyle cutting.The basic's don't change the length and degree of layering.Shape form, weight distribution. This sounds to simplistic all hair cuts are length and shape created by degree's of layering. Simple it's not because with this description we have to consider the real part creative talent, skill training. Any hair cut however basic or however complicated is a mixture and blend of above techniques.
What is a hair cut:
A hair cut is weight distribution it is having understanding of when cutting hair off where it will fall and lie how it will contribute to the final shape. It is being able to see and imagine shape. Someone once said a great hairdresser should see a shape in 3D know how it will look, I think this a perfect analogy.
A great hair cut is a blend of the degree of laying but having a full understanding of weight distribution and a vision to see shape.
The key is that consultation. On length and shape but also first and foremost to understand that if you put a weight line in with your fist cut it will dictate the whole cut it can make the difference between good bad average or just not good.
What ever we are doing creating has to start with a foundation. If you do this a weight line can be moved as a shape forms if you commit to it off the bat by dictating from the crown you have know room for change maybe that odd growth pattern double crown all things that can cause issue!
It can also be said that one length really is only when cut to 1/8th of an inch all over and left to grow but this would only be true as it grows out if you turned the person up side down. but then we are back into weight distribution why because you cannot cut a straight line on a curved surface and given the shape of the head we have thousands of curves and angles to play with hence understanding weight distribution.
I think that angles on the head could be by think about a fan placing on the crown open it up  many angles now place on crown different direction again many angles how to they the work together? These two shots above and below highlight perfectly bad hair i really don't know whats worse 1/ That maybe the lady likes this look? Or 2/ slightly worse that she paid for it and a professional thought this acceptable. It's really bad
As an exercise try this:
Stand behind your client take a section across the crown about 3inches wide comb it straight up now look below your fingers at the section the distance from the crown to your fingers is less in the middle than the distance on the out side of section, why because of the curve of the scalp so it follows that it will be be straight when it falls. Now take that same section and lean it to the left as you do this the hair from the right and into  middle of the section will fall away carry on with the hair traveling to the left of the section the further you go the more will fall away. This is weight distribution!
The hair cut is a hair creation. A style. A look. A fashion setting trend. A statement of individuality. If all of these are the case. Why as stylist do we in so many cases stick in so many cases to cutting the same look on everyone? Without any thought to some very basic points or stick to the safe options on the styles we can create. Will is suite this Client? Do they have the right hair type and features? Can they carry it off?
An example of a make over: Razor cut:
As stylists we owe it to both ourselves and our customers Clients to advise in an honest way on what might work be suitable look good, If we don't do this are we really doing our job to it's fullest are we being real professional are we being honest?
             ready for a make over the next day she gave birth!
I ask these questions of my self constantly do you? We live in a society that for the most part is very accepting and tolerant of most things, People come in all shapes sizes have different needs desires aspirations all good but we as hair stylist have to take a lead and advise honestly what looks good what will not work.
When thinking about shape texture a look should we not consider the type of hair fine, thick, curly, growth patters at the nape of the neck to the hair line will that fringe {Bang }work for this client and her life style? If i cut this harsh blunt line at the nape will the hair lie the way i want it to? or will it always look lop sided? will that fringe work can i over layer ? yes you can should i add texture? questions to ask your self!
Should i cut a harsh line maybe it should be softer! Why do you see so many men with lop sided cuts? Answer no account was taken for the way the hair grows! just because you combed it flat against his neck cut a perfect strait line does not mean it will lie this way!
At this juncture you may be laughing or thinking this is not me maybe not if so great you are one of the few. I think the fault with these issues lies in training or lack their of! to little time spent on the basic points key to understanding how to build and create a great cut!
                            well quite the change
Shape  for Example:
when will we stop re vamping the Bob with the chewed up wings the spaniel look! every look has it day but this one is done and oh so dusted, half the women wearing it should not be! In some cases the lines created are just wrong a heavy women with a thick set does not need a strong blunt line emphasising no neck round shoulders. Think about this really fine hair textured within an inch of its life for that shattered edgy look around the chin will it does it work?
The same can be said for cutting this shape into wavy curly hair the line will not hold in the nape area and the length left again around the chin line will curl up looking like to Brillo pads, yes it looks great when she leaves the salon you have hot ironed it with an inch of it's life, guess what it's raining it's Grey it's damp what it's going to look like?
We need to consider these things as professional is a bad look a good representation of out skill and ability will it get us recommendation will it get us client retention? It's all about honest it's all about that consultation it's all about your standard your skill your passion your ability.
                   Razor cut side view lots of movement and texture
My question is. Can you be honest does any of this apply to you? We are none of us perfect but we have to question our choices. We have to raise the bar we have to have skill, passion and a real desire to make a difference! DO YOU!
These shots are of a young mum to be. She was heavily pregnant hated how she looked and felt. She came into the salon I was working at her words were. I have been to three salons today I want all my hair off  a total change. No one will do it they look at me like a crazy pregnant women.  I smiled said i will. she said really. As you can see the rest is history! next day she gave birth . She called me three days later to thank me.
To share, to seek new knowledge, skills and techniques to share experience is to grow!
Mike B2MR
I would love feed back on this through this blog article or my web site:

Double Your Salon Sales

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The dynamic's of the hair salon. The hair business.

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR
Owning a salon. 
Running a successful business has many challenges yet equally can be so rewarding. You get out what you put in. As a salon owner you have to wear so many hats. Think about all the jobs you do out side of hands on hair. How do you ever find time to service your clients. Like so many salon owners is it a juggling act. Do you wish you had another pair of hands or could delegate more? Are you a leader able to delegate or are you one who keeps a tight hand on the reins? If so could this tight rein be holding you back?
Why do I raise such questions?
The dynamic's of a hair salon are quite complex for many reason's it can run either like a well oiled machine or it can stumble along never really functioning to it's full potential.Why is this? What turns function into dysfunction? When or how does it happen?
Vision goals communication:
As a salon owner or indeed as a stylist. When you started in the profession you must of had a vision of what you expected it to be like.
A vision for your salon your business that perfect salon. As a stylist maybe it was the path you had plotted for your career, your success. Take a moment are you still realising that vision or have you compromised got slightly derailed? Don't be discourage it happens without even noticing! Why? Because we are to busy being busy.We lose focus we forget the plot.
Dysfunction creeps in due to. Loss of vision. Lack of strong leadership. Communication breaks down. Collaboration between team members breaks down. Negative competition creeps in. This leads to break down in morale and so effects the working environment and atmosphere. Client can and do pick up on this! This can be cause loss of client retention and so decline in business.
What is required is positive interaction and communication! as above maybe not!
Can this be avoided?
Yes of course it can. I'm not suggesting that this is the case in every salon.What i am suggesting is it can so easily happen.To avoid this sometime professional help is required an outside opinion on how things are looking and running. This takes courage. This takes a honest look in that mirror ask your self the questions. Is my vision a reality? It's hard to be honest with yourself!!
Are you as the owner leader manager communicating with your team? Do you have the right team. Are they on board with your vision? Have you ever shared that vision with them? As a staff team member are you getting the support you would like? Is your vision of being a stylist on track? Are you a team player?
 Do you have? Regular meeting. Do you openly discuss CHANGE and IMPROVEMENT! Are you honest with each other.
Sit together have an open face to face discussion:
What is required for change:
What is required for change to happen. Honest constructive Dialogue. Collaboration. Want for change. Vision supported with Innovative thinking. Willingness to work together through the challenges to make change happen. 'COMMITMENT'.
Working in a salon being a part of a team.
Maybe your renting a chair in a salon have your own business? The above still applies,Not all competition is healthy it can become negative and destructive for all parties! We have responsibility to. Our selves. Our work mates. Very importantly our clients. To have a full understanding of the salon our workplace our shared vision our goals .To help each other reach these goals.TEAM WORK!

Then there is finding time to reflect on.
The direction you and your business are going in. The service you offer the standard of work being done. What ever your business model. How often do you take the time to reflect on any of these topic's in an honest reflective manner? We have to find time take the time to explore avenues to offer help advise guidance.Training up grades staying current with all aspects of our career and business. Seeking out and getting help and advise when required.
On top of all this. New products. New techniques. The challenges of running owning managing a business are is huge. Not to mention the managing of people staff issues it's so much to deal with. How do you? Help is at hand. All you have to do is seek it out be ready and open for change! The challenges it can bring!
Help can be found in many forms, to help and guide you on a journey to reach your true business potential.It is a partnership in as much as you still have to work face challenges make some decisions. You are guided mentored and encouraged supported all the way. Online support both audio and visual downloadable material.weekly updates and check in. Such a worth while programme that will inspire you and your team onto bigger and better. How do i know I did it!
 Below are some useful links:
Three very use books and tools all designed to inspire and challenge you to great things.
The First Piece of the Jigsaw eBook
Get Off the Sales Roller-coaster eBook
Double Your Salon Sales - or else
Link to the salon success club all the support you need to make change happen!
Any questions please feel free to email me or post a question i will respond. Are you ready for. A new look at what you do, how and why. Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone? are you ready for a challenge?
Mike B2MR

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Salon Retail products and sales.

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea's. B2MR
How do you as a salon owner decide what products to carry: What will you staff embrace believe in enough to use and sell?
*Is it the Brand?
*Is it the packaging?
*Is it smell?
*Is it cost?
As a retail product when marked up will it be profitability? Is it an all natural earth and environment saving product? How do you decide. Do you trust the sales Rep?
This is big business: you have to get it right on so many levels!
*How much can you mark it up?
*Will it sell? Does it have appeal?
*Do the staff like and support this product?
*Is the support education good?
How much stock do you have to carry? It's so easy to get sucked in remember many product lines change packaging to re invent it and increase future sales. If you carry to much stock you may get left with old product! Carry only enough stock for a month at a time.Try to pay on 30 days and this way your don't have money sitting on the shelf. Get staff involved, pay fair commission or incentive. Don't mark up so much that it cannot sell. Stay on top of stock at all times do not let your friendly sales rep do the ordering for you!!!
Do you need some help with this issues or other matters relating to your business and how to make it a bigger success. Check out the links below for some really useful tools designed to help you get your business growing. OnLine support structured to work with you and support you as you work though the challenges of running and growing your business. Are you ready for a challenge? In order to be able to share these links with you for the past Month i have taken the challenge and worked through the material provided by salon success both audio and PDF books downloads.
It does take allocating some time. it's not a quick fix Magic pill that does all the work for you. It encourages you. To look at what your doing, why and how, It discuses how to change things look at things and issues in a positive light. Very easy to follow and listen to highly recommended . If it was not would it be here? if you require more info drop me a note or leave me a question.
Mike B2MR