Archive for the ‘Business Basics’ Category

The Top 10 Reasons Salons Fail

by CurlStylist on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine a good salon failing. After all, customers love coming in to get primped and permed - and as long as you have some great hairdressers and equally dedicated clients, what could go wrong?

The answer is: a lot can. Salons are no exception to the scary statistic we always hear about - that 50% of small businesses fail within their first five years of business.

So how can you stand above the rest? You’re probably doing a lot of things right. So let’s focus on what you might be doing wrong. Here are the top ten problems that bankrupt a salon.

  1. The Salon Offers Lackluster Customer Service

In this economy, personal grooming can feel more like an extravagance than a necessity. Often, patrons are hesitant to part with their hard-earned cash for “impractical” reasons. Therefore, it’s essential salons make customer service a top priority. Go the extra mile. Make sure your clients’ needs are met and then some! Make their visit to you about a lot more than simply getting their hair trimmed or eyebrows waxed - they need to come to you.

  1. You Skimp on the Details

Offer tea, coffee, or water and chocolate. Make sure the waiting area is comfortable and the environment is relaxed. Don’t deny your clients the little luxuries - this is where they come to be pampered. No one wants to spend fifty dollars on a hair cut if they have to sit in a hot room with old magazines and talk to rude receptionists. Ensure your waiting room is the kind of space you’d want to wait for an hour in - similarly, if you employ unpersonable staff, you might wind up with some pretty negative Yelp! reviews. Kick anyone who isn’t ready to be a team player to the curb!

  1. Your Business is Failing to Create a Strong Client Base

Call and ask for feedback about the service customers received. Offer referral incentives, open houses, and special deals for new and repeat customers! You’ll get more business and word-of-mouth buzz! This is hugely important for startup salons that are just starting to establish themselves. Pay attention to negative reviews online, customer complaints, and outright ask clients what you could be doing better.

  1. You Refuse to Adapt to New Salon Trends

A failure to adjust to the evolving landscape is a major cause of salon closings. In the past, the business model required salons hire permanent staff. Now, many establishments opt to rent out chairs to self-employed aestheticians and stylists.  This makes it easier to keep on top of whatever is en vogue while offering all of the typical, traditional services. Many clients come to you expecting to get some in-the-know advice - research, learn, and study your niche!

  1. You refuse to Diversify Services

While your dream may have been to open a salon that specilizes in high-end coloring, or a boutique that offers blow-outs and perms but little else, you may need to broaden your horizons a bit.  One-stop salons are incredibly high in demand - you save clients time, energy, and gas money by offering them anything they could possibly want under your roof. Many of your customers are working mothers, students, and professional multi-taskers. If you can provide them with a single place for quality cuts, facials, waxing, and manicures, you will become absolutely invaluable. Skin care is definitely having a moment in the salon industry, too, and your shop should rise to meet the growing need for licensed facialists.

  1. Your Ambience is Uninspired at Best

The atmosphere is as important as the service! People want to feel pampered and appreciated. Pay attention to key details like lighting, furniture, color, and design. You need to create a cohesive brand, even if that brand is “eclectic hole-in-the-wall stylist.” Everything you have should look clean, purposeful, and true to your aesthetic. You are an artist - create your studio!

  1. You Forget to Plan Ahead Financially

Are you in the business for its artistry? Fine. Just be sure you have a team in place that will help you handle the financial aspects. Part of being a business owner is knowing when to delegate. And those famous haircuts of yours are going to mean little to nothing if you run out of rent money.

  1. Your Location is Inconvenient for Customers

Are you in a metropolitan area but lack any access to parking structures? Are you too far away from the action to attract customers? It’s a cliche, but location matters! Look at how your salon fits into the general vibe of the scene and do some important analysis. Is it time for a move? Try to be honest and objective. If you absolutely can’t move at this time, try to think of things that would make it better - can you offer valet parking? Are there enough signs to ensure new clients can find your location in a packed mall?

  1. Your Business Hours Are Inconsistent or Inconvenient

Make sure you’re open when your clients have free time! Be diligent! Many salon-goers are mothers or working women who simply don’t have time in the most convenient hours of the day. Be willing to stay open if necessary. If you have a client with special needs, see if their stylist can set up a separate schedule to cater to them. People will remember that kind of generosity and customer service, and they definitely won’t be going anywhere else.

  1. You’re “Vibe” is Exclusive and Snobby

Make people feel great! Be friendly! New companies like Glossier and Nasty Gal are proving that being fun and inclusive is an awesome business strategy! Salons are meant to make everyone feel beautiful. Take part in that objective and make every man and woman coming through your door feel like they’re walking on sunshine.

Now, ready your blow dryers - and start proving that your salon is one of the best!

What do you love about your salon? What do you love about your talents? Showcase these things and believe in them wholeheartedly - your clientele will follow.

Would you implement these strategies? Tell us about your salon experiences! Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Consultations For First-time Curly Clients

by CurlStylist on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

First-time clients are like precious cargo and I handle their consultations with utmost care. It is critical with first-time clients to set aside enough time for a proper, in-depth consultation – I recommend between 15-30 minutes.  Do not short-change this! I truly believe, from all my years as a stylist and salon owner, that the most important part of a hair service is the consultation. During the consultation, especially with a first-time client, it is important to establish a clear understanding of what the client’s hair needs are, their likes, dislikes and what they hope to achieve.  This is also the time for you to showcase your professionalism, your artistry and begin to earn the client’s trust to ensure great results and hopefully build a long-lasting relationship.

First, begin with some basic questions. Always ask what they like most and what they like least about their hair. Find out what length, style, color, etc. they prefer and ultimately what they would like to achieve. Find out if the client wants a dramatic change or something subtle. Keep in mind, people describe things (especially color) in different ways and it is your job to ensure that their idea of “caramel” or “golden blonde” is the same as yours. I recommend being as specific as possible. Using portfolio photos of clients or referencing magazine pictures can be helpful.

Finding out about the client’s lifestyle and the amount of time they spend on their hair daily is critical. You do not want a high maintenance style or hair color for someone who wants to spend 5 minutes on their hair or goes to the salon once a year. It will lead to frustration, disappointment and ultimately a lost client. With curly or wavy hair clients, it is essential to determine how they like to wear it. Do they embrace their natural curls? Do they like to occasionally straighten or smooth out their hair? Do they use hot tools at home? Is frizz a major issue? What products do they use regularly? The more you know, the better the end result will be.

Another important piece of information for me is understanding why the client left their former stylist and salon. That little tidbit can help you steer clear of certain things or help you take their service to a new level. Listening is key…they are entrusting you with their crowning glory after all!

So, for me the basic steps to a great consultation and fantastic outcome are

1. Ask lots of questions! Really get to know your curly client.

2. Listen, listen, listen.

3. Assess hair, facial structure, skin tone, texture, density, texture pattern and color.

4. Determine the client’s lifestyle, and what is realistic for them when it comes to maintaining their hair at home between visits.

5. Make professional recommendations based on what you find out from the above questions.

6. Have a clear vision and mutual agreement about desired end results.

7. Deliver beautiful hair!

I want to add that this length of consultation is important periodically with existing clients as well. Too often, I have seen very talented stylists getting in a rut with a client and defaulting to the same cut or hair color over and over again. It is our responsibility to keep on top of the latest trends and techniques and recommend seasonal changes. Even small, subtle ones will excite most clients! After all, your clients are the true reflection of your expertise and talent – make them shine and make them come back to you for more!

Cool Front

by Modern Salon on Monday, September 22nd, 2014

whitney-napyural85

They deliver video tutorials, testimonials, test curly products and report on trends. They’re curl authorities your curly clients look to for insight and ideas. Following and learning from some of their tactics could help in your quest to become the texture expert in your salon and market.

MOST OF US SPEND TOO MUCH time on the internet, whether it’s scrolling through Pinterest, sharing work on Instagram or keeping our followers up-to-date with our everyday life on Facebook. But for the top texture influencers on social media, spending time on the computer is more than a pastime; it’s a way of life. These curlistas started creating YouTube videos and blogs as hobbies but have spun them into successful careers. With a loyal following in the hundreds of thousands, beauty vloggers and bloggers are winning big on the web. Just look at the numbers: Beauty content on YouTube accounts for more than 700 million videos each month and continues to grow rapidly year after year, reports Pixability’s “Beauty on YouTube” study. As a result, bloggers and vloggers are changing how many clients discover, use and purchase beauty products. But why?

Texture! went straight to the source to get the answer. These are the social mavens you’re going to want to get to know: Nora of Shalimarcat; Francheska of Hey Fran Hey; Jenell Stewart of Kinky Curly Coily Me; and Alison of Modern Mrs. Huxtable. Here they share their thoughts on how the blogosphere is transforming the texture industry and the importance of authentic, personal connections on the web.

Why do viewers respond so positively to you?

Jenell Stewart, KinkyCurlyCoilyMe: It’s the phenomenon of, “This girl has hair just like me.” I was able to appeal to an audience of women with a kinkier texture and shorter hair. Additionally, I’m very down-to-earth. I created a platform based not on pretending to be an expert but on promoting my learning experience and explaining myself in a way that people could relate to. I wasn’t authoritative or pompous. I was just me.

One thing that keeps me successful is that I do everything because I’m passionate about it. I communicate with my audience. I call all of my fans my “loves,” and reply to them on social media. As challenging as that can be sometimes, I reply. I think people can really feel that connection with me, and I make myself available so I can meet the women who support me.

Alison, Modern Mrs. Huxtable: It probably sounds cliché, but I just try to genuinely be myself. I also view my subscribers as equally important in the YouTube process—this doesn’t mean that I am “number-crazy” about how many followers I have, but rather that I value my viewers’ comments and messages. I feel that the viewers are a part of every video I create—their input and feedback contribute to the creative process and finished product.

I believe my new purpose in life is to inspire and uplift. I want people to feel elevated, to feel motivated after they have spent time watching my videos. This is as simple as starting every video with a huge smile and warm greeting. People need messages of empowerment, happiness, hope, sunshine and love, so that is the energy that I strive to embody and put out into the universe.

Nora, Shalimarcat: I think it’s because I am an eclectic vlogger: I like to play with styles a lot! I am not a curly-hair-obsessed person, so I occasionally use heat or silicones, and I have nothing against coloring your curls. My motto is do what makes you happy!

Francheska, HeyFranHey: My readers know I’m not in this for any kind of financial gain or any personal fame. I think they understand that everything I put on YouTube is to solve a problem and be helpful. Word-of-mouth has been the most influential tool for me to become so big. I’ve actually never done a sponsored video. I think the key to the growth of my brand is in the integrity. I’m going on three years of being on this social media wave, and that’s been my biggest thing: to keep the integrity of it all.

How do you believe YouTube is changing the beauty industry and the texture community?

Alison: When I went natural in 2009 there were only a handful of brands that I could find in stores. Now, there are whole aisles dedicated to natural haircare. People don’t really understand how huge that is!

There are thousands more natural hair bloggers and vloggers. There are tons of natural hair companies sprouting up every day. Technology and social media are such a huge part of our generation, so it means a lot to see blogs and Instagram and YouTube accounts dedicated to studying, capturing and celebrating natural hair. Natural hair is not necessarily new, but I think the YouTube world allows people to identify and relate to vloggers in a way that makes natural hair seem fresh and trendy. It means a lot for girls to see people on the computer screen who look like them.

Francheska: In reality, we are the people who are closest to the consumers. We have an emotional thread with the clients. We aren’t celebrities or actors who are completely detached from reality. We go to

meet-and-greets and connect with our subscribers. We email with them and respond back and forth on Twitter. We have relationships with our viewers, and we’re all on the same playing field.

How are beauty brands embracing the beauty explosion in shaping the blogosphere?

Francheska: They’re definitely responding. Many of the trends in hair are based on what’s popular on YouTube. Now every brand has a natural hair category. They’re paying attention and seeing our influence and rebuilding their brands based on what’s working for us.

Remember when models got mad at celebrities for taking over the cover of magazines and ad campaigns? I almost feel like YouTubers are going to be the new celebrities and start pushing out traditional celebrities.

Jenell: Beauty brands are realizing that women with multi-ethnic hair are paying attention to ingredients and what products promise and deliver. Consumers take very seriously what a product label says, and if the product’s performance doesn’t match that, then we are vocal. We’ve made our mark by saying we want products that are more moisturizing and conditioning. So you are seeing an influx of co-washes and moisturizing conditioners in the category.

Alison: I think beauty brands know there is now a greater level of power and exposure in the hands of vloggers when it comes to product reviews. A good review plug from a popular YouTuber can mean a huge boom

in business, while poor reviews can stifle business or prevent people from trying a product.

Viewers can also start to change the level of trust or credibility that they give a vlogger based on the vlogger’s decision to be sponsored or partner with a beauty brand. There are a lot of politics and layers that go into the relationship between blogging and beauty brands.

How are YouTubers helping to bridge the gap between beauty brands and clients?

Jenell: By watching a YouTube video, you see the step-by-steps and experience live. On my YouTube channel, I have so many videos showing me applying the product from start to finish. Consumers get to see what it looks like, get to hear what it smells like and learn how it works. So even if content is branded, bloggers and vloggers can still offer that same value to a video. Vloggers offer incredible opportunities for companies. It’s phenomenal how many people they will be able to reach and grasp by the engagement vloggers offer in their videos. To the watchers and readers, if the vlogger is genuine and authentic all the time, then there’s definitely a way for the person to do branded content and make it work. There’s also a way to do branded content without talking up something that you don’t really believe in.

Alison: YouTube vloggers bring a more personal and relatable angle to products than national marketing campaigns do. Consumers feel

like they are getting advice from a friend or coworker—someone they trust and know—and that type of positive coverage is huge for a beauty brand. It is also really amazing to see YouTube vloggers branch out and become entrepreneurs making their own products—essentially the client becoming the beauty brand. It creates a connection or closeness to the brand when it is a YouTuber the consumer has been watching and supporting for years.

What does the future look like for you and your brand?

Alison: I hope I can continue to grow my fan base and reach more people globally. I would love to have more meet-and-greets in the states as well as overseas. YouTube is a great platform to reach people outside of your immediate geographic location.

I hope that I can continue to build an entrepreneurial base for myself built on my YouTube success. Most importantly I hope that young women and men leave my channel feeling inspired and motivated. If each video I post leaves a viewer with a pocketful of hope, then I have fulfilled my purpose.

Nora: YouTube is becoming more and more important, so I hope to keep my viewers interested in what I do and in what I have to say.

Francheska: I’m such a little hippie. I’m very in the moment. For me, it’s all about the momentum. I try not to limit myself by saying what I’m going to do in the next five years. I don’t know; I could be doing things that I never would have imagined. I never really thought I’d be on YouTube. That was never in my plans, and it turned out. I’m just riding the wave. Every opportunity that comes and feels good, that’s where I’ll be.

Jenell: I’m growing my website. I’m looking to do more speaking engagements and talk with women about healthy hair growth, natural hair and wellness. I look forward to those opportunities.

  1. Engage Your Audience: Audience engagement is like superior customer service. A successful blogger knows the importance of connecting with followers and always letting them know when they’re appreciated. Although time consuming, replying to emails, comments and messages is essential to building a relationship with your clients, and encourages them to turn to you for texture advice and product recommendations.

  2. Solve Problems: Clients want content that delivers a benefit like how to use a product, demonstrates how to create a celebrity-inspired look, or executes a new industry trend. You don’t need a professional studio to deliver powerful imagery and share valuable information. You can create and post your own professional beauty advice without worrying about professional lighting! Make it personal and be sure to always mention your salon name, location and how to book a texture consultation.

  3. Stay Relevant: It’s important that you not only produce tips and how-tos to share on your or your salon’s social media outlets or during a consultation, but that you stay relevant to your followers by providing current information. They’ll look to you as being “in the know” and will think of you for special occasion styles, visit your site or pages for what’s trending, and listen when you recommend a new style, an updated finish and product recommendations to help them get the look.

  4. Collaborate: Collaborating with popular YouTube personalities, celebrities and brands is a way to instantly introduce yourself to an entirely new network of people. Simply commenting and introducing yourself and your salon-based solutions is a great way to start. Maintaining an authentic voice is crucial and will allow you to increase your own following organically. Keep the emphasis on what you know and experience as a salon professional. Share more about the techniques you use, less about specific brand preferences. Promote yourself as an authority.

  5. Promote Yourself: As you increase your texture expertise, be sure you are telling the world about it! If you decide to post YouTube videos or texture tips on a blog, use other forms of social media to get your content out there. Share teasers of your latest YouTube video on Instagram or a sneak peak of a new texture product on Facebook. Even sharing your favorite tips from other texture sources can help position you as a resource for your clients. Just remember to add your professional voice to explain why you are sharing it, and to include a call to action to come for an appointment, consultation, or personal product demo and recommendation.

INFLUENCERS

Francheska - HEYFRANHEY heyfranhey.com

Francheska of HeyFranHey started her Tumblr after being diagnosed with a health condition. It was her journey to become a healthier person inside and out that propelled her to speak about beauty from a holistic approach. After healing her body through nutrition, fitness and natural/organic products, she wanted to share her knowledge with those willing to listen.

In addition to making her posts relatable and easy to incorporate in everyday life, Francheska attributes her success to speaking from an honest place and solving a problem. Her advice for people interested in YouTubing is to find out what’s missing in the marketplace and determining: how you can contribute to that open space.

Jenell Stewart - KINKYCURLYCOILYME kinkycurlycoilyme.com

After a big chopping in March 2010, Jenell Stewart of KinkyCurlyCoilyMe decided to embrace her natural hair. With no friends or family members who were natural, Stewart found joy in blogging about her journey and created KinkyCurlyCoilyMe as a way to track her progress and share it with others.

The actual name of the website is a derivative of the textures that appear in her own hair. Within the first two years of blogging, Jenell transitioned her blog into a natural haircare site for women in need of hair education and support. Stewart has been featured in Essence and on BlackEnterprise.com, VibeVixen.com, SoloDovePR, CurvyMagazine.com, Essence.com, BlackHairMedia.com, RollingOut.com, JuicyMagOnline.com, NewsDay.com, Examiner.com, TribeCalledCurl.com and CurlyNikki.com. Stewart has also contributed to NaturallyCurly.com.

Whitney - NAPTURAL85.com youtube.com/user/naptural85

Whitney, known as Naptural85 on YouTube, is a graphic designer, vlogger and blogger. Whitney started her YouTube channel in August 2009 with an upload of her “Natural Hair Journey”—her transition from relaxed to natural hair—which was intended to thank the YouTubers who’d given her the inspiration to go natural. But people told her that they were inspired by her story and encouraged her to upload more. The rest is history! Five years later, Whitney is still sharing her journey and has expanded her channel with daily vlogging videos that chronicle her life as a wife and new mom.

Alison - MODERN MRS. HUXTABLE modernmrshuxtable.com

In 2013, Alison got her start on YouTube with her channel Modern Mrs. Huxtable, aimed at advocating for positive female role models as well as educating women on the secrets to healthy, long hair. She is dedicated to sharing her results with others and using her background as a university instructor to inform and educate other women on how to reach their personal hair goals. Alison spearheads an initiative to share female empowerment messages and encourage positive, well-rounded depictions of women like that of the iconic Clair Huxtable from The Cosby Show. Alison focuses on uplifting women in areas such as self-esteem development, finding purpose and creating sound value systems.

Gina - HAIRSPIRATION (UK) hairspiration.blogspot.com

Gina of Hairspiration has been blogging since 2008. She blogs about natural hair, beauty and lifestyle. She is an advocate of green brands and small business and is currently in the process of “cleaning up” her makeup bag. Gina has been featured on numerous websites, including Essence.com, Ebony.com, Fashion Bomb Daily, Style Pantry, BGLH and Ebony Glam, as well as in Pride, Marie Claire, Grazia, Jones and Blackhair. Based in the UK, Gina has a background in fine arts and has spent the past nine years working at Aveda and other high-end hair salons, where she has gained useful knowledge in hair care, beauty and trends. By day, Gina is currently working as a freelance PR consultant and sometimes columnist.

Sarah - WATERLILY716 youtube.com/user/waterlily716

Sarah started her channel to provide education about curly hair basics and to help others learn how to care for and love their natural curls. A-soon-to-be teacher and self-proclaimed hair junkie, Sarah realized several years ago that there weren’t a lot of girls with her looser-curl hair type making videos or sharing advice. From that concept, her channel evolved into what it is today.

Jessica Lewis - MAHOGANYCURLS mahoganycurlsofficial.com

Jessica started vlogging on YouTube in March 2009, sharing her natural hair journey with women around the world in hopes of inspiring them to love and embrace their hair. Jessica has been featured on LA Talk Live radio, CurlyNikki.com, NaturallyCurly.com and many other social media platforms and is currently a natural hair blogger for Essence.com. Over the years, Jessica has drawn the attention of many women worldwide.

Shanti and Antoinette - AROUND THE WAY CURLS aroundthewaycurls.com

Shanti and Atoinette are the best-friend duo behind Around the Way Curls. The two created a community for women to connect, encourage and inspire one another. Around the Way Curls is an online publication that infuses pop culture and issues of women’s interest with an emphasis on the beauty, originality and spirit of naturally kinky, curly hair. With hair as the catalyst, Shanti and Antoinette work to redefine beauty and to recondition women not only to embrace their natural state of being but to value their individual uniqueness and overall worth.

Nora - SHALIMARCAT youtube.com/user/shalimarcat

A medical student and model with a passion for beauty, fitness and health, Nora of Shalimarcat made the decision to embrace her natural texture six years ago after two years of relaxing, blow drying and straightening. Nora was inspired to create her first video when she entered a giveaway on Naptural85’s channel, at the time her favorite YouTuber. Filming was so much fun that she thought, why not create her own channel for wavy hair? At the time, the majority of the channels were geared toward women with tighter texture patterns.

HOW QUINOA CAN STOP YOUR HAIR COLOR FROM FADING

by CurlStylist on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Like a chef, chemist Emily Reed from John Paul Mitchell Systems is always experimenting with new ingredients that can help solve a problem. She’s always looking for new ways to create concoctions that can bring something new and different to the haircare market.

“Nobody needs another shampoo just for the sake of having another shampoo,” says Kristin Firrell, vice president of product development for John Paul Mitchell Systems.

Paul Mitchell wanted to create a product that would help prevent the fading that comes from frequent shampooing, heat styling and the sun. So Reed said she was very intrigued in April when she started hearing a lot of buzz about quinoa, especially its potential benefits for colored hair. They had looked at a variety of different ingredients, but quinoa stood out. She got a sample within a week and began testing it. She was very excited about what she discovered.

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.), pronounced KEEN-WAH, which has gained popularity as a tasty super-food, has been found to have benefits for haircare. It offers a unique combination of molecular weight amino acids offering enhanced penetration for along with creating a protective barrier for greater repair, hydration, and shine.

Quinoa protein is characterized as being more like an animal protein, than a vegetable protein, due to its amino acid profile. Considered to be a complete protein, it contains all 8 of the essential amino acids with the highest level of protein among grains. High levels of Cysteine, Cystine, Lysine, Methionine, Tryptophane and Tyrosine greatly enhance its ability to assist in the repair, protection, and conditioning of both hair and skin.

Unlike the rest of the proteins that will each offer protection, repair, or moisturization, quinoa protein will offer all of these attributes through enhanced hair penetration and substantivity for increased damage repair and cuticle protection. For those reasons, Reed said quinoa was the perfect ingredient for Ultimate Color Repair from Paul Mitchell: a three-part, sulfate-free system that locks in hair color and reverses the signs of damage. In addition to quinoa, the product also containshea butter, jojoba and soybean oil. They combine to keep color protect color up to nine weeks while protecting from thermal damage.

How Toxic is Your Hair Salon? 3 Scary Salon Waste Facts

by CurlStylist on Thursday, May 29th, 2014

toxic salon
Alarmingly, the majority of salon waste such as hair color and foils, ends up down the drain and into our water supply or in the trash and headed to a landfill. George the salon Chicago is combating the toxic effects of beauty services by starting a new program that recycles & reuses 95% of their total waste. Please see more information on this below along with 3 scary salon waste facts.

George the salon Chicago Now Recycling 95% of Salon Waste with New Program

Once considered garbage, leftover hair, foils, color tubes, paper, plastics, and liquid chemicals will now be recycled and reused at this Chicago salon

While some industries have access to paid recycling for paper and plastic, the bulk of salon waste – hair, metals, excess chemicals, and much more – has always been destined for the trash bin and sink.

In an effort to change this alarming fact and significantly reduce their environmental impact, George the salon Chicago is proud to begin a new comprehensive recycling / reuse program, ensuring 95% of their waste is reprocessed. This program founded by Green Circle Salons will redirect daily waste like hair, foils, color tubes, paper, plastics, and liquid chemicals out of our water streams and landfills, creating environmental accountability in the beauty industry. Now with each salon visit, clients of George the salon will contribute to local and international community development, as well as environmental research and innovation for a healthier planet.

Did you know hair when placed in garbage bags will mummify, continue to fill our landfill, and give off methane gas?

George the salon will now be diverting all hair out of landfills and into other more sustainable projects. Green Circle Salons, in connection with various partners, is looking at ways that hair can play an important role in a number of commercial applications. It’s exciting to know that hair can be used on our oceans to help in oil spill cleanup and recovery projects.

Did you know that currently all aluminum foils and color tubes are not being recycled and are sent to landfill?

Recycling aluminum uses roughly 5% of the energy required to create virgin aluminum from bauxite. 95% of all aluminum can be recycled over and over again, including the foils and color tubes that are used in salons across North America. Now properly recycled, this will help to reduce the need for more landfill space, reduce our dependence on non-renewable resources, and decrease the amount of toxins going into our landfill sites.

Did you know that all excess chemicals including color, perm solutions and ammonia get rinsed down the sink into our water stream?

This is the ugly truth of the industry. Our solution will be to send all excess color waste to a hazardous waste facility where they will be incinerated to produce clean energy!


This was written for George the Salon in Chicago, IL.

Huge Swing to Salons Booking Online

by CurlStylist on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

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US consumers are increasingly turning to mobile phones to browse and book beauty appointments online, with one in four appointments booked online using a mobile device in the past 12 months, according to the latest statistics by Shortcuts Software. To help salons cash in on this trend Shortcuts has released responsive online booking technology.

Shortcuts CEO Paul Tate said the new feature would transform salon online booking pages to suit the device on which they were viewed - tablet, smartphone or PC, providing a seamless experience to customers.
‘These days we’re seeing up to 25% of all online appointments being made on a mobile device, so it’s important for salons to make it just as easy to book on a cell phone or tablet as on a computer,’ said Paul.
‘The Shortcuts online booking service now automatically recognizes what sort of device is being used and alters the site to suit. Larger buttons, reformatted screens and faster loading times translate to a better experience and, ultimately, more bookings.’

Shortcuts has been leading the industry in mobile-friendly technologies for some time, offering salons responsive email marketing and other services that are readable on whatever format the client, or the salon, uses.
‘Our S.M.A.R.T. online marketing suite is helping our salons take advantage of the swing towards mobility, allowing salons, stylists and their clients to do business wherever they are, using their preferred device,’ added Paul.
Data released by Shortcuts earlier this year revealed a huge swing to salons booking online. Between December 2012 and December 2013, the number of clients booking appointments online rose by 46 per cent, from 110,710 to 161,944. The value of bookings to the salons was even higher – up from just over $5 million to $7.8 million, a rise of 55 per cent.

For more information on Shortcuts, please visit www.shortcuts.net

Curly Hair Artistry

by CurlStylist on Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Since founding NaturallyCurly 15 years ago, I’ve noticed some unique things about the curl market.

  1. It was largely ignored until recently, despite a world where more than 60 percent of the population has curls, coils and waves.

  2. It exists primarily because of the grass-roots efforts of a small but  growing number of passionate entrepreneurs who have worked to fill the voids they see.

The latest example of this ingenuity is Curly Hair Artistry, a 1-year-old group of curl experts who have banded together to provide education and support to other stylists who have made waves, curls and coils their niche.

“We as hairstylists have come to realize that curly hair should not be treated the way we are taught in cosmetology schools across the globe,” said Scott Musgrave, a curl specialist in Cary, N.C. with 3b ringlets himself. “A simple fact emerges – wavy, curly and multi-textural hair is not treated with respect for what I is but is treated as something to fix.”

Musgrave said he was working on some unique business models with his  own  and started receiving questions from other stylists about how he was doing what he was doing.  He began working with a small group of stylists, and decided to pull together a group of the best curl stylists in the industry – a group that could help each other in this specialized niche.

Curly Hair Artistry was born. The original 20 has grown to more than 85, hailing from all over the globe. Their gathering place is their own gathering place.

“We at Curly Hair Artistry make the art, methods, techniques and the business of working with curly hair a priority,” Musgrave says. “We can influence not only the artists working with curly hair, but more importantly the more than 65 percent of the population who has some form of wave, curl or multi-textural hair who sits in our chairs every day.”

“It’s a natural draw – a passion that creates connections. You see, we are a rare breed and require certain attributes that need nurturing and vision to draw out and improve.”

Dianne Nola of Nola Studio in San Francisco is an enthusiastic member of Curly Hair Artistry, and traveled to the first training symposium in October in Atlanta, where 30 stylists gathered to train with Lorraine Massey, one of the founders of Devacurl.

The members provide each other with the unvarnished truth. Common topics include new product discoveries, the most effective cocktails and the nuances of cutting and coloring curls. They have discussed the cheapest place to buy microfiber towels as well as the most comfortable shoes to wear when you’re doing a 2-hour curly dry cut. They often share stories about difficult clients and business challenges. Stylists post before and after photos, showcasing styles they’re especially proud of.

She said it’s a very supportive community, where the goal is to help each other grow their businesses. They often refer clients to each other.

“It’s completely empowering,” Nola says. “My eyes just keep opening.”

The sky’s the limit for Curly Hair Artistry. Training sessions are coming up in Washington D.C. in May as well as Los Angeles in October. There’s even the possibility of creating a Curl Academy one day where stylists from around the globe could come to learn about latest cutting and coloring techniques for curls, coils and waves.

For me personally, it’s shocking that in 2014 beauty schools don’t address texture in their curriculum, and this isn’t likely to change dramatically in the near future. Most discussions about texture focus on how to chemically straighten it.

I was thrilled to hear about Curly Hair Artistry, which is filling a void.

“Beauty schools may teach about it, but antiquated requirements make it difficult to take the necessary time to really understand all the different curl types, porority, chimstry and what makes curly hair do what it does,” he ssays. “I believe it should be pursued after school, because you can’t make someone like working with something they don’t care about. Not every stylist cares about wavy, curly and multi-textural hair.”

Musgrave’s own obsession began with the corkscrews on his own head, and his frustration with an industry that “mistreats and misinforms those with curly hair.”

While working as a stylist, he read “Curly Girl: The Handbook” by Lorraine Massey.

“Ever since then, I started tweaking my cuts, doing things differently than other stylists,” he said. “It was working. I developed a service experience that changed the way a client is treated and gave them the best information to help them embrace their hair even more.”

For more posts like this, check out Michelle Breyer’s personal blog, The Curly Connection

Consumer Trends to Grow Your Salon

by CurlStylist on Friday, June 21st, 2013

In this excerpt from The A-List Salon: Insider Secrets of How Profitable Salons Wow Their Clients Every Day, author Veronica Woods discusses how A-List salons plan for longer term growth by watching the trends in the industry.

The savvy A-List salon owner stays ahead of the trends and exploits opportunities for future revenue streams (with a new offering or even a new business). And she makes changes before troubling trends jeopardize current sales. Emerging fashion trends, new health care knowledge, lifestyle changes and the economy can change how consumers spend money on beauty.

Here are a few ways to spot key consumer trends:

1) Observe trends in your own shop. For example, note whether more clients ask questions about a particular health concern, want advice about an at-home beauty challenge or notice a celebrity hairstyle. Your sales reports also reveal new permanent shifts in the demand for your services.

2) Discover new trends beyond your salon. Watch what services are popular in salons outside of your city, as a client or as a part of an educational seminar. What is hot in one city today can be the rage in another a year later. Also, keep up with online beauty discussions, reflecting new concerns and needs of salon consumers across the country.

3) Pay attention to global beauty industry statistics. This includes sales volume and revenue for skin, hair, and cosmetics products and services. Although the beauty sector has been fairly consistent through economic booms and busts, you can learn from monitoring new product launches. A boom within a specific demographic group or a shift in category (i.e. color, relaxers, etc.) sales can speak volumes.

Here are a few salon trends that should be on your radar:

Trend #1: More DIY clients

“Back in the ’50s, women would come in every week for a roller set,” said Chelle Morrison of Urban Betty Salon (Austin, Texas). Today with access to instructional videos on YouTube, hair care technology advances, and the pinch of harder economic times, clients do more on their own. And with better products available at drugstores, consumers have more options to do so.

A-List Salon Opportunity:

Offer how-to classes to clients. Urban Betty offers a blowout class for clients who want to improve their at-home maintenance techniques. In this paid seminar, a stylist leads a small group of clients in a 90- minute session on techniques such as how to properly use a round brush.

Trend #2: Busier Schedules

Worn out from juggling family and work commitments, women more often view long full service hair salon appointments as time drains. At the same time, some women (non-DIYers) still prefer the “salon polished look” but in a shorter time.

A-List Salon Opportunities:

Launch of blowout only (no cuts or color) salons. Word of mouth buzz of this trend spread through beauty bloggers as well as coverage in USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Shelley O’Neal, owner of The Hair Bar (Southlake and Dallas, Texas) visited a blowout salon in another city and saw dollar signs.

Trend #3: Clients want to embrace natural textures

For African-American and other curly-haired clients, relaxing and straightening treatments have been a staple for decades. Recently, this trend has dramatically declined right before stylists eyes. Today, the natural hair revolution has hit the mainstream with an explosion of new products from major manufacturers and relaxer sales continuing to drop.

A-List Opportunities:

Hire staff that can handle curly hair clients. Dickey of Hair Rules Salon has been a leader in this arena, helping to redefine women, by hair texture instead of ethnicity. He hires stylists capable of handling a wide range of curl patterns.

Trend #4: Men want upscale personal grooming, too.

Men are one of the fastest growing segments in beauty today. Global sales of male beauty products will grow from $19.7 billion in 2009 to $28 billion by 2014, according to Mindbranch research. Researchers explain this increase by the changing attitudes among men about grooming and a labor shift toward more white collar jobs.

A-List Salon Opportunity:

Create an upscale barbershop to cater to men. Chris Hurn and his partners saw these growth statistics and wanted to offer men an alternative to an estrogen-dominated environment. He built the Kennedy’s All American Barber Club franchise to capitalize on the demand of upwardly mobile men for fine a haircut and shave.


About the Author:

Veronica Woods, MBA, provides consulting, coaching and training services that enable beauty businesses to attract and retain more happy clients— and earn greater profits. To learn more about The A-List Salon book, go to www.alistsalonbook.com.

Making the Texture Switch

by CurlStylist on Friday, March 8th, 2013

The client comes in expecting a blowout. That’s what she’s always had, so that’s what she expects. But, deep down, that’s not always what she wants. What the client wants is to feel beautiful.And for curly clients, the road to feeling beautiful has, well, twists. Sometimes it’s a blowout or straightening service, while other times natural alternatives can give curlies a fresh look for a day or an entire season. Driven by celebrity and fashion trends, stylists across the country are taking curly clients by the hand and guiding them down the winding path that leads straight to the heart of who they are. The “true texture” benefits are obvious to the client—but also powerful and profitable for the salon and stylist, given the range of new curl-enhancing products and service opportunities that the professional beauty industry has created to help clients celebrate texture as well as tame it. “In the consultation, I ask about the client’s goals and get her hair history,” says Tracy Aaron, a stylist at 7 Salon in Bellevue, Washington. Many times, she finds that women want to embrace their curl but have not been taught any styling strategies except how to dry their hair straight. “Consultation is a huge part of the service even with clients you’ve had for a long time,” agrees Jessica McConnell, assistant manager at Frontenac Salon and Spa in St. Louis, Missouri. “Clients leave you because they can’t get something new. They may want something fresh or fun just for that day, so we help people discover their curls.” Some days, the weather impacts which style will fare best. In the Northwest, where it rains a lot, Aaron says a smooth, straight look can lose its “wow” factor when the client walks out into the drizzle. Mindi Umbrell, a stylist at Akada Salon in Columbus, Ohio, is an advocate for working with someone’s natural texture to “mix it up” and offer options. “If someone is flatironing or blowing it out every single day, I teach her how to wear her hair in a natural way instead of fighting it,” she explains. “But if I have a client who absolutely hates her curl and isn’t going to change, then I will teach her how to keep her hair healthy.” When you assume every curly client wants a straight look, you forfeit the opportunity to educate her about her options, adds Aaron. “I lose the chance to watch that client leave the salon with a big smile, thanking me for opening up her world to something she already had but didn’t know how to bring out,” she says. Thinking along the same lines is Wafaya Abdallah, owner of Oasis Salon in Rockville, Maryland. “We call it ‘setting them free,’” says Abdallah. “because they’re embracing who they are. When women see how beautiful their curly hair looks with no frizz and without taking off too much length, I’ve had women cry in my chair.” In Houston, independent stylist Geri Curtis says that women are so accustomed to straightening their hair that they can’t believe the curly look she fashions for them is their hair. “I’ve had clients tell me that I’ve changed their life—that it’s a miracle,” says Curtis, who plans an April opening for her new salon, aptly called Planet Curls. “And male clients come in with big frizz! I teach them how to manage it, and they go from being hippies to these dudes with beautiful curls!”

The salon visit is an awakening, agrees Marie Sansom of Curly Cutz by Marie at New Images Salon in Georgetown, Texas. When you give clients the tools and the knowledge that they need for their hair type, you help them like their hair. “They see that they can achieve an even curl,” Sansom says. “By the time we’re finished, they’re amazed—and I’m amazed, too! It’s exciting to see how each head of hair will turn out!” Like Aaron, Sansom looks at every curly encounter as an opportunity to educate. Booking each new client into a two-hour slot, Sansom tells these clients, “I’m going to break down what you think you know about your hair, and then I’m going to build up new knowledge.” How They Started “Although cosmetology school did not teach us effective curly-hair techniques in school, I thought I knew about curly hair because I had curly hair,” says Sansom. “But I didn’t know anything; I had always straightened my hair.” Beginning in 2007, Sansom took three years off to stay at home with her children and spent that time researching the art and science of curly hair and experimenting on her own hair. For Aaron, who does not have curly hair, the curly cue clicked when 13 years ago a regular client told her, “I really like you. You’re a great person. But I hate the way you do my hair.” She wanted to wear her hair curly, not blown out, so Aaron made a deal: she’d do the client’s cuts for free if she could practice her skills on her. “It took some trial and error,” Aaron continues. “I asked the advice of other stylists, and I went online to learn about porosity, texture and curl patterns. But mostly I listened to my clients, learning what had and hadn’t worked for them. Even though I had a strong background in cutting, I’d approached cutting from a perspective of precision, so I had to readjust my thinking.” It took Aaron three years to develop the expertise, and by then she had so many curly clients that she could specialize. Now when clients ask for a blowout or flatironing, she refers them to other stylists in the salon. Umbrell has enjoyed exploring natural textures of all kinds ever since training in the Vidal Sassoon method. “I found that I agreed with the Sassoon philosophy of working with what the client naturally has,” Umbrell says. “It’s rare that you see Sassoon instructors pull out any kind of iron; they don’t even use round brushes. They’re all about giving someone an awesome cut for her natural texture.” Through advocating this approach and wearing her own curl in a natural style, Umbrell found herself attracting a large curly clientele and now thinks of herself as a curl expert while still enjoying all types of hair. “I’m an artist and love the diversity,” says Umbrell. A’Kiyia Kelly also entered the specialty through a preference for natural texture. “There was no dramatic turning point,” says Kelly, who’s been doing hair for 20 years and now has A’Kiyia’s Natural Twist & Hair Braiding in Kennesaw, Georgia. “I got tired of experiencing breakage from too many perms, too much heat. I educated myself about braiding and other natural styles, improving my skills by practicing on myself and my mom, talking to other stylists and watching styling videos.” Abdallah didn’t find the curly-hair specialty as much as the specialty found her—through retail. She’d been doing hair for 20 years when a salesperson wanted her to try a line of products targeted to curlies. “We put them on the shelf,” she recalls, “and all of a sudden clients started asking whether we were now doing naturally curly hair!” The timing was right. She and her stylists invested in training, and now the majority of the salon’s clients ask for a natural texture look. McConnell was drawn to curly hair because she and the salon’s owner both wanted to embrace her own texture. Eight years ago they took a class and, with their sharpened skills, their curly clients started looking better and that attracted more curly clients. “When we took that first class, we had no idea the impact it would have on our business,” McConnell says. “We weren’t trying to start a revolution. But within about a year we realized the effect we were having, so we sought out more education.” To promote their new expertise, the salon’s website is CallingAllCurls.com. The Money Follows Naming your salon or website something specific to curly hair is one way to market your expertise, confirms Michelle Breyer, president of Texture Media Inc. and co-founder of consumer web site NaturallyCurly.com. If you prefer not to make that much of a commitment, you can still develop natural texture business by presenting all the alternatives to every curly client. “Blowing out the client’s curls has become a revenue source that stylists and salons are used to,” Breyer says. “But a growing number of women want to know all their options with curly hair. By providing them with options, you will expand your market, not shrink it.” Curtis’ experience bears this out. “Now I have a wait list, which I never had,” she says. McConnell adds, “We think of ourselves as a family salon, so we do have straight-haired clients, but today about 70 percent are curly. It’s a niche market; if you spend the time to learn about curly hair, it will help your business. It’s kept us busy at a time when other salons weren’t.” Abdallah made the switch to primarily natural looks at what might have seemed the worst possible time—in 2008, just as the economy was sinking— and yet her salon thrived. “That first year the salon grew 20 percent,” she reports. “We’ve grown every year since, and we don’t advertise at all.” As Abdallah discovered, word-ofmouth tends to drive the natural texture business. At her salon with only five stylists, Abdallah counts 50 to 70 new referrals a month, increasing in summertime to 100 or even more. Every six to eight months, she’s had to add another stylist. Professionally crafted braids and twists are client magnets. “People with those looks attract attention,” says Kelly. “Women are always asking my clients for the name of the stylist who did their hair. I also get a lot of clients through YouTube; I demonstrate braiding on videos, and I have a lot of subscribers.” Agrees Breyer, “People walk up to curlies on the street if they like their look. Curly clients also are very loyal and will travel hours for the right stylist.” Curlies tend to be enthusiastic and are willing to write reviews for stylists who solve their hair issues, plus the specialty can earn attention from the press. “My initial curly client wrote the first review of me on NaturallyCurly.com,” says Aaron, “and then a local magazine wrote an article about me. That’s when my business really took off.” Some stylists charge a premium for the more complicated texture hair cut, and up-servicing can become a further revenue source. Umbrell builds her curly clients’ tickets with glossing to bring out the shine. “Glosses give the client versatility,” she says. “On curly hair, which is more porous, the glosses fade really nicely.” An increasingly popular way to generate curly business is to hold “curly night out” educational parties. It’s a great way to sell retail, which in itself boosts the curly ticket. As Curtis observes: “Curly girls buy a million products.” Read the digital version of Texture!

The Name Game, Texturrific Salon Names

by CurlStylist on Monday, March 4th, 2013


Salon owners have always used wordplay to find cute names for their businesses. Some salons that focus on curl are spinning that tradition, while others are proclaiming their specialty more directly. Check out these texturiffic names spotted on salon signage around North America.

Amazing Kinkz Natural Hair Studio, Detroit MI

Cally’s Curls & Co., Chicago, IL

Curl Lounge, Raleigh, NC

Curl Ambassadors, Toronto, ON

Curl Bar Beauty Salon, Toronto, ON

Curl Jam, Bethesda, MD

Twist, Philadelphia, PA

Curl Revolution, Frisco, TX

Curl Up & Dye, Carrboro, NC

Curlie Girlz Rock, Smyrna, GA

Curls & Co., Chicago, IL

Curls Gone Wild, Gilbert, AZ

Curls On Top, Laguna Beach, CA

Curltopia, Smyrna, GA

Curly Hair Institute, Toronto, ON

So Curly So Kinky So Straight, South Euclid, OH

Kinky Rootz, Nashville, TN

Coils, Curls and Waves, Freehold, NJ

Joyfully Curly, Charlotte, NC

The Kindred Locs Studio, Oxon Hill, MD

Fabulocs, Capitol Heights, MD

Knatty Headz, Houston, TX

Curly Hair Vancouver, Vancouver, BC

Salon Spirals, Tucson, AZ

Spiral Evolution, Colorado Springs, CO

Ringlets, Oakland, CA

Does your salon have a curl-crazy name? Let us know! Post it on MODERN SALON’s Facebook page, and you might find it in a future issue update!

Read the digital version of Texture!

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