Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty


Ask the experts

business tips

What are the best ways to PR my salon?

Whether you’re a new business or have been trading for years, when it comes to PR the rules are same. You have to become part of your local community and engage with them.

As a salon owner, you’re in a unique position in as much as the internet cannot provide what you do – human contact and interaction. A website is unable to give a treatment and build a personal relationship with your clients. What it can do, however, is drive customers to your door and help you communicate with them to cement those relationships.

Ensure your salon’s website is up to date with news, events and information on the latest products as it is effectively your shop window to the wider world. Highlight any offers and feature topical products or services. For example, if you offer an oxygen facial and an A-list celebrity has been talking about her love of that treatment, make sure it is on the homepage of your site.

Don’t underestimate the power of social media. Follow your clients on Twitter and Instagram, promote offers on your own pages and repost items from the product houses you use. Join local Facebook groups and ensure your business is mentioned when someone posts asking for a good place to go for a facial or massage.

Answer quickly and knowledgeably if someone posts asking for help with a particular skin condition that you can treat, but remember to name your salon and state that you’re a local business when responding to these posts. You should also encourage your regular clients to post reviews.

Don’t ignore local newspapers and magazines either. Invite a journalist from each publication to come and experience a treatment in your salon, be generous with samples and always follow up with them after the treatment.

If you already advertise with the local newspaper, try to time it so that any editorial review of your business is run in an issue you’re not advertising in, or at least on another page, as this way you’ll maximise your coverage. It’s also worthwhile taking part in local events such as fundraisers, jubilees and parades to extend your reach in the community further.

Abigail Segall is director of Freedom PR, which represents brands in the health, beauty, fashion and lifestyle sectors. The company was established in 2001 and has represented clients including Dermalogica and Ugg.


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Natural make-up is making a comeback. How do I create the look on clients?

In recent years, the trend for make-up application has been influenced by celebrities such as the Kardashians, who embrace a heavyhanded approach, with trends such as contouring and strobing taking centre stage.

However, the tide is turning and we’re seeing the return of the natural look, with women wanting to make the most of their natural beauty – truly embracing the skin they’re in. It was a key look on many of the SS17 catwalks, with models sporting fresh, dewy complexions, and the look is really easy to create.

It’s about making the most of your client’s natural features and achieving a healthy complexion – flushed cheeks and a natural-looking glow, and there are a few key products you need to achieve the look. Mineral make-up will provide a soft-focus coverage, creating a flawless and durable finish without masking the skin.

A BB or CC cream combined with a cream blusher will achieve that sought-after dewy coverage, instead of using a heavy liquid foundation and powder blusher, and are better for the skin during the warmer summer months.

If your client really wants to stick with foundation then use it sparingly, only on areas where a bit more coverage is needed, so you can allow the client’s natural skin, including any freckles, to show through. Setting sprays are also handy as they provide an extra boost of hydration while diffusing make-up into the skin, resulting in a fresh-faced look.

Anushka Patel is a makeup artist and brand manager for professional mineral makeup range Jane Iredale, which is distributed by the International Institute of AntiAgeing (iiaa). She has more than 10 years’ experience in the industry.

I’ve heard a lot about nail powder dip systems. How do they work?

The dip system is the latest craze to hit the nail industry and is set to be a popular new medium to add to your treatment menu. Powder dip systems are perfect for techs who want to offer the durability of acrylic with the highshine finish of gel polish, all with no UV or LED curing required.

Most systems use a medical-grade resin that you paint onto the nail, used in conjunction with micro-fine coloured acrylic-based powders that you simply dip the finger into. You then build up two coats of colour, before adding a clear coat and sealing with a top coat.

These dipping systems are proving popular for a number of reasons: they’re quick to apply, durable and easy to remove – simply soak and wrap the nail in acetone. When it comes to looking at which clients to market to, these systems have been especially designed with the natural nail in mind, so it’s good for those with weak or damaged nails.

A common fear for techs is crosscontamination and infection control. However, if hands and nails are thoroughly cleansed then the risk of contamination is very low. Yet, for absolute security, look for individual dipping trays that you can decant the powder in to. As with any new system, I recommend training up on the product fully so you’re completely confident using it.

Lisa Dunlop is head of education at Cuccio Europe, responsible for developing the brand’s education programme in the UK. She has worked for the company for six years.

Waxing is a physically demanding treatment. How can I make sure my therapists don’t overdo it?

With the correct training and standards you can prevent your therapists from injuring themselves through waxing. There are a few key things you can do to make sure staff practise safe waxing and don’t physically exhaust themselves.

A height-adjustable bed is ideal for therapists to ensure comfort when performing a treatment, avoiding back strain, while securing wax pot cables to the floor will prevent potential trip hazards. Long hair should be tied back securely to avoid getting caught in the wax as well as impairing vision, while flat shoes should be worn to help with therapists’ posture.

It may also be worthwhile to invest in a manoeuvrable trolley. It will allow the therapist to move the product to the area in which they are working, preventing spillage and promoting comfort while performing the treatment. However, if you do get a trolley, it is extremely important to ensure wires are covered to minimise trip hazards.

Ensuring the safety of both clients and staff is imperative with any beauty treatment, which is why training with a reputable brand is so important. All waxing courses include a section on health and safety to prepare therapists for performing treatments in a safe salon environment, playing a crucial part in providing a professional service.

Hygiene is also essential, from ensuring you have a sanitised work station and using hygienic pre- and post-wax products, to wearing a new pair of nitrile or vinyl gloves for each client.

Angie Sanderson is lead educator for pro waxing brand Waxperts and education ambassador for nail brand CND, both of which are distributed by Sweet Squared. She also owns Angelic Beauty in Glasgow.

What techniques are best to use when tantouring a client?

Using tanning products to sculpt and define the face and body, known as “tantouring”, is very much in vogue right now, resulting in increasing demand to offer this advanced technique in salon.

Imagine being able to market an instantly enhanced cleavage, slimmer legs, face shading and even a six-pack to your customers? Tantouring can take your spray-tan business to the next level, helping you stand out from the competition and increase client loyalty.

The technique is simple to do and the application process becomes easier with practice. After conducting a full-body spray-tan, take the time to assess the areas the client wants you to add definition to.

For example, if they want slimmer and longer looking legs then aim to lengthen them using a darker DHA shade at the outer and top of the inner thighs, avoiding over-applying the product, before creating a lighter panel down the front of the legs, giving a leaner, more toned appearance.

If the client wants their cleavage enhanced then apply two dark half-moons to give depth, creating a deeper and fuller bust line. When it comes to defining the face, shade the areas naturally indented, including under the cheekbone and the outer brow.

To achieve this look, you also need to ensure your spray tanning equipment is in excellent working order and suitable for the task, so make sure to do regular maintenance checks.

Lisa Barnett is a tanning expert for Norvell, which provides professional tanning products to salon and mobile therapists, as well as training in spray tan techniques and business building.

How do I work out holiday entitlement for part-time and casual staff?

Working out holiday entitlement for a full-time employee is easy enough, but what about if they’re part time or a casual worker? Our team receives so many calls from salon owners regarding holiday allowances for part-time staff during the lead up to summer.

The vast majority of employees are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday a year – known as statutory annual leave entitlement. A part-time member of staff is also entitled to this but, because the hours worked are part time, the actual number of days they can take off is different.

You can work it out as follows. A full-time member of staff working a five-day week must receive 28 days’ annual leave per year (five days multiplied by 5.6). A part-time member of staff working three days a week will be entitled to 16.8 days of annual paid leave (three days multiplied by 5.6). In practical terms, this means rounding up the number of days to 17.

One common area of confusion is whether bank holidays should be included as part of the 28 days. The answer is that it’s most common for employers to include bank holidays as part of their calculations so that they do not inadvertently give the entitlement of 28 days in addition to the eight bank holidays (nine in Scotland).

Either way, it’s at the employer’s discretion. But, however you decide to stand on bank holidays and annual leave entitlement, it will need to be clearly outlined within a contract of employment so that the employee is fully aware.

Hilary Hall is chief executive of trade association the National Hairdressers’ Federation (NHF), which provides members with free access to business advice and employment law.

I’m looking to invest in a new machine. How do I pick the right one for my salon?

The most common mistake salon owners make when investing in a new machine is not doing their research, and in my experience cost isn’t necessarily an indicator of quality. However, a newly purchased machine should be backed up with great aftersales care and training.

So, you need to check your aftercare package. Ask how quickly the supplier will fix the machine if it breaks down and whether they will supply a loan machine. A broken machine means loss of revenue and disappointed clients, which ideally you want to avoid. It’s also worth checking if you can trial the machine for two months before purchase, especially if you’re not familiar with the manufacturer.

I’m always looking for the latest technology; so, whichever machine you’re looking in to, make sure to research how advanced it is. Also, find out if the manufacturer can upgrade your existing machine as technology develops and improves – for example, with a computer chip or the latest hand piece – so you don’t have to keep replacing it.

You also need to build lasting relationships with the sales reps, and when buying or leasing multi-level platform machines, really think about how they will be used in your business. If you’re looking at a machine that carries out two different treatments and your salon is really busy with both, then that one machine is not a practical investment. In that case, you would be better off with two standalone machines.

Esther Fieldgrass is founder of UK clinic mini-chain EF Medispa, which offers advanced complementary, aesthetic and surgical treatments.

This article appears in the Professional Beauty May 2017 Issue of Professional Beauty

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This article appears in the Professional Beauty May 2017 Issue of Professional Beauty