February 2011

Lisa Kind - Editor

The Mane Objective | by Marco Pelusi


Courageous Creative Coloring

We are all tired of hearing about it, and we are tired of living with it. Yet, it is a reality all hairdressers must continue to face head on.

Our road to economic recovery is still quite shaky and uncertain as we kick off the new year.

The good news is that we can get creative in order to continue to prosper. Not only can you be creative with your artistry, it is definitely time to become creative and courageous with your business skills set, if you have not already.

The trend for haircolor business has been for clients to stretch out their visits as much as possible, and I am certain you have noticed this. The good news here is that, at the very least, they are continuing to support your business.

Of course, the bad news is that the stream of income trails off gradually. The action step for us is to fill in those gaps with new clients, or more importantly, to entice our existing client base to come back more often and to spend more money.

One courageous option is to get creative with the types of haircolor services you offer. Do not hold back. I hope that you are skilled at foiling. If not, get into a color class as soon as possible this year.

So much money can be made with a set of foils, and it doesn't even have to be a full set of foils. Offer clients a "casting;" in other words, just a few highlights. It is a great way to get clients into color and to maintain highlighted clients when they are not doing well financially. These highlights can simply be six to eight foils placed through the part, or fringe, or temple areas.

Estimate how many foils you would normally execute within a full head or partial head of highlights, and divide into it to come up with the cost of your casting service. Then, spread the word everywhere that you are now offering this service. Depending on which market your salon is in, or your own individual client base, you can name this service whatever you like. You could announce it as a huge money saver. Perhaps you could promote it more artistically, as a new service that would be next to impossible to replicate anywhere else.

Find what works best for you. The goal behind this service is to push clients back into your chair, even when they feel they cannot afford you, and to push clients already in your chair to spend a little more money. It is important to stay in touch with all of your clients throughout the year, even if they do not visit you frequently. Offering a new service like a casting coloring service can give you that perfect excuse to reach out to your client base.

Another amazing service opportunity is the wonderful world of demi-permanent hair coloring. In today's economy, we need to imaginatively offer color services that will last a while. We must invent color services that allow clients to feel as if they have experienced some freedom, as far as when they return to see you; in other words, low committal, or non-committal color services.

Demi color has always been a perfect fit for clients who do not wish to commit to haircolor. As you probably know, demi lives in-between permanent and semi-permanent. It was created to last approximately six to eight weeks, while gradually fading on-tone.

Male color clients are a prime candidate for this service. Most men do not wish for anyone to know they color their hair. Women who do not wish to commit to color services will enjoy demi color as well. Virtually anyone who is concerned about cost will wholeheartedly go for demi color. This service is the sleeping giant that we need to wake up during this rocky economic time. In addition, it affords you some inspired creativity behind the chair as well. If you have never used demi color, ask your local sales rep for samples and take a class.

The moral of this story is for you to be creative and strategize which color services it might be best for you to market, based on your clients' new tailored spending habits. Take a good, hard look at your book; every day. I challenge you to be courageous and offer each client who sits in your chair a haircolor service of some kind. At the very least, begin a conversation about haircolor in general. Engage in a dialogue with each client about his or her color. Let them know what is available. Perhaps you can interest them in a casting color, or a demi color, or both.

Let clients know you care deeply about fulfilling their hair needs to the utmost extent, without sabotaging their wallets. In a way, you are almost doing then a disservice by not speaking up. Do not give them a reason to seek out someone else. If the color solution does not come from you, another hairdresser will surely suggest it. It might as well be you.

Marco Pelusi is globally recognized as a haircolor trainer and platform artist. Marco Pelusi Hair Studio, Inc. was named Best Hair Color in Los Angeles 2009 by KTTV Fox11’s “myfoxla Hot List” competition. Pelusi created the Marco Collagen Color Guard HairCare System, the collagen system developed for color and chemically treated hair. For more information, visit www.marcopelusi.com.



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