July 2008

What Is Diversion?

By Bessie David

The diversion monster is lurking in your wallet, stealing your cash. Are you ready to kick him out of there?
The dictionary’s meaning of the word divert is “to alter the direction.” The direction of the professional beauty industry has definitely been altered by the act of diversion.

Diversion is the unscrupulous practice of selling a product in a different market than originally intended. For example, professional products being sold in grocery and drug stores is diversion.

In our industry, products and tools are manufactured for use by licensed professionals. These professionals in turn sell these same products and tools to their salon clients. The manufacturer, the distributor and the salon share the profit.

This trio of professionals has worked closely together over the last 40 years or so to make the beauty profession a multi-billion dollar industry. The power behind the growth for many of the hair products in our industry is the direct result of stylists behind the chair educating and selling these products to their clients.

When a product is diverted into the retail market, the retail industry is receiving the stylists’ share of the profits even though salons and stylists are the ones educating clients about these products.

Many of the major manufacturers are playing both sides of the fence. They spend less in advertising by using stylists to promote their products. Yet, they allow the diversion of their products to the retail market, grab the extra profits and cut the stylist out of their share.

Manufacturers of diverted products do have control over diversion. They have been very successful at convincing stylists and salons they are trying to stop diversion but it has grown tremendously over the years. Salons and stylists continuing to support the product lines that have merged into the retail industry through diversion are decreasing our power to stop diversion.

Salon FAD (Fight Against Diversion) is a non-profit organization formed by stylists who understand the financial and ethical destruction diversion has caused.

The purpose of the organization is to standardize the definition of professional products and professional salons and to regulate and monitor the distribution of these products. Organization members will have a voice in promoting or boycotting a product line. Hairstylists are banding together to fight diversion and take back the industry by supporting only non-diverted brands.

Bessie David and Dixie Pelfrey co-founded Salon FAD. For more information, visit www.salonfad.com.