March 2012

LeAnne Velona

Strictly for Students| by LeAnne Velona


Landscape of the Beauty Industry Is Changing: Are You Changing With It?

It is important for stylists to stay updated on industry trends and news because the landscape of our business is changing and we need to change along with it.

Having worked in the beauty business for almost 20 years, I have seen a lot of changes in the salon and spa industries over the years.

I have especially seen a lot of big changes in the salon and spa industries in the past few years, perhaps because of the downturn in the economy or the many advances made in our industry. To be a successful stylist, you need to embrace industry changes and figure out how and if these changes can help you advance your career. Just remember, change isn't necessarily a bad thing, it is just something different.

With this in mind, here are some of the biggest changes I have seen in the spa and salon industries in recent years and my take on how you can use these changes to your advantage:

What is in my Conditioner?

Clients are increasingly interested in how the beauty products they use impact the environment and their health.

You may have noticed more clients asking questions about ingredients, whether products are organic, and where products are manufactured. This is important information that you need to know as a stylist since your clients rely on you to be the beauty expert. I suggest researching all of the products you recommend to your clients.

This way, you can answer any questions that may come up. If you don't know the answer to a question take the time to do your research, and then follow-up with your client and answer their question. With all the attention surrounding ingredients in beauty treatments these days, it is part of your job to be knowledgeable about every beauty product or service you recommend to a client.

Social Media

To tweet or not to tweet. That is the question. My answer is you should definitely tweet!

Social media is a great, low-cost tool for students and stylists to connect with new and existing clients. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, I am sure you are well aware of the influence of social media tools like Facebook and Twitter have had on the beauty industry.

Social media is a great way to share photos, new promotions and deals to current and prospective clients and grow your business. If you are unfamiliar with social media, I suggest digging in and learning all about it so you can keep your competitive edge.

Just remember that social media should be fun and interesting and not just a bunch of advertisements about your services. Position yourself as an expert by sharing tips, photos, promotions and links to interesting articles. It is a great marketing tool for the beauty industry that every stylist should be familiar with.

Targeting the 99 Percent and the 1 Percent

Just like every other industry, salons and spas have felt the economic pressure in the past few years. Clients are increasingly looking for beauty deals, waiting longer between trims and treatments, and opting to handle treatments like manicures and hair colorings at home instead of visiting a salon or spa to cut down on costs.

While it is important to cater to this budget-conscious clientele, I think it is important to also remember that not all clients have been impacted by the economic downturn. There are still clients out there who are willing to purchase high-cost products and treatments.

Do yourself a favor and make sure that you offer treatments that are appealing to budget-conscious and also luxury consumers. Offering treatments at a variety of price points will help you stay profitable and keep all of your clients happy.

Let's Hear it for the Boys

The economic downturn has had an interesting effect on male clients. With the increasing competitiveness of the job market, men know they need every advantage to impress potential employers during interviews. This includes a stylish haircut and any other treatment that will help them look their best. Keep this in mind as you plan your menu of services and marketing plan.

These are just a few of the changes I have seen in the beauty industry in the past few years. The landscape is always changing and evolving, which can be both exciting and daunting for stylists.

My suggestion is to stay in tune with everything going on around you. Read industry trade magazines, network with other beauty professionals, and research the latest beauty trends that your clients care about it. Doing so will help you stay engaged in your profession, and hopefully help you become and stay a successful stylist for years to come.

LeAnne Velona, director of esthetics and massage therapy education for Marinello Schools of Beauty, has been a certified licensed esthetician for over 18 years and is also a licensed holistic health practitioner. Marinello Schools of Beauty offer cosmetology and esthetics programs at campuses in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. For more information, visit