Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty


ask the EXPERTS

How should I talk to a client about their potentially embarrassing skin or scalp complaint?

Most important is to make sure that you don’t look visibly shocked or panicked – this will make clients feel self-conscious and may even prevent them from returning to the salon. Try and stay calm and maintain an unlappable composure. Be understanding and empathetic.

It is important to inform your clients if you do see a skin or scalp issue so that they can get help from their doctor promptly, but it must be done sensitively. Have the conversation in a private setting, as you don’t know how the client will react and they may not even be aware of the problem.

Keep it factual and state exactly what you see on their skin or scalp but don’t try to make a diagnosis. Although you may well be right, it’s best to advise them to see their doctor.

Examples of ways to open up the conversation include: “Are you aware that you have quite a bit of scaling and redness on your scalp? It looks really sore/uncomfortable. Have you had that looked at by your doctor?” or, “While I was massaging your hair I noticed you have lots of white structures attached to the strands. It could be dandruff or infections or infestations of the hair can look similar. It would be best to see your doctor and get it checked out”.

Reassure clients that you see these conditions regularly and that they can be easily treated, but suggest that they get the diagnosis conirmed by their doctor first, who can then start treatment accordingly.

Dr Sharon Wong is a GMC-registered consultant dermatologist based in London who regularly advises the media.


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I’ve heard a lot about plasma technology. How does it rejuvenate the skin?

Plasma is currently one of the most sought-after anti-ageing technologies because of how versatile it is. It is a non-laser treatment that uses a device to deliver energy in the form of plasma to lift and rejuvenate skin, improving facial lines, wrinkles and pigmentation associated with photoageing.

Plasma is an ionised gas composed of ions and electrons, which is created by the separation of electrons from the electron shell of gas atoms or molecule rupture. Devices like the Jett Plasma Pen create ionisation while the instrument is hovered just over (not touching) the skin, creating a reaction in the tissues.

The plasma energy low stimulates new collagen formation, improves sun damage, reduces wrinkles and smooths the skin’s surface. This treatment is particularly good when working with small areas of heavily lined skin such as the upper and lower eye and above the mouth. However, results do vary between devices depending on spot size and depth. These factors are of utmost importance for client safety during plasma treatments.

I would highly recommend doing thorough research into which device you should purchase, as some are medicalonly and there has recently been an inlux of cheap, unregulated products on the UK market.

Dr Vincent Wong is one of London’s leading aesthetics practitioners and the UK clinical trainer for the Jett Medical Plasma Pen.

How can I boost my fake tanning treatment revenue during the winter months?

Many therapists feel that discounting treatments can be a way of boosting revenue in the quieter months. However, I always advise other effective methods outside of price. For example, try creating a “winter glam” package offering tans alongside lash and nail treatments, perfect for festive partygoers.

You could also create a Thursday evening winter tanning package to encourage clients to come with friends on dark winter nights and enjoy a complimentary hot chocolate on arrival.

As well as packages, you can highlight tanning solutions most suitable for the time of year and promote these to clients. For example, our Tan in an Hour solution is perfect for those who need to glam up quickly before seasonal parties, while our Clear Tan solution is ideal for clients who want to snuggle up in their pajamas after tanning without the risk of product transfer.

Another idea is to create a winter loyalty scheme for November through to March. Clients could receive a complimentary product when they spend over a certain amount on tan treatment bookings.

Remember to keep your social media and communications regular and relevant, changing images to relect the season.

Laura Jones is senior product manager for Sienna X, overseeing the brand’s tanning ranges and working with professional accounts.


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I am considering retailing supplements in my salon as part of my anti-ageing offer. What are the beneits?

After being introduced to yet another collagen supplement at the Professional Beauty North show in October, I began considering the growing trend of thinking about food as building blocks for great skin.

The chances are your clients are already showing signs of ageing, maybe at an accelerated rate compared to their friends, and realise that there’s a limitation to what can be achieved with products. They might also be aware that their efforts are helping their face, neck and hands, but everything else is not as youthful looking.

Supplements should deinitely have shelf space in your salon or clinic, but unfortunately not all are created equal. You may have to investigate quite a bit before deciding which to invest in.

For me, the light at the end of the ageing tunnel relates to the trickling of breakthroughs in the science of longevity into the beauty world, and the idea of biohacking to get the best results with minimum effort. I retail Prolon, a fasting mimicking diet plan. Yes, clients will drop a dress size or two when on the plan, but the real beneit is its rejuvenation properties for the skin. The topic of intermittent fasting and ketogenic dieting is vast, and food choices and supplements are now becoming part of people’s beauty regimes, so it’s deinitely worth exploring if you want to up your approach to ageing.

Karen Shirlaw is director of Beautique Medispa, Dorking, winner of South East Boutique Salon of the Year at the Professional Beauty Regional Awards 2018.

How can I negate the impact of cortisol on the skin?

Cortisol is our body’s main stress hormone, our inbuilt alarm system. It helps regulate motivation and sleep but in excess is linked to stubborn fat, anxiety and sleeplessness.

We’ve long been aware that stress can have a negative physical impact on our bodies and now we’re more aware of the effect cortisol can have on our skin. This includes inlammation and dehydration, which leads to signs of premature ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles.

Symptoms can vary from one person to the next. If you think about how clients’ skin looks when they’re back from holiday, then – aside from a tan – it is often in its best shape due to vitamin D, sleeprelated regeneration, and an absence of everyday stress and excess cortisol.

The best way to help clients combat the negative effects of cortisol is via products with cortisolcalming and antifinlammatory properties. Marjoram leaf extract helps activate the skin’s ibroblasts, which work to calm cortisol, while wild indigo extract is an antistress active that helps to break down cortisol from external stressors. It also stimulates the natural release of betaendorphins, which are calming neuropeptides. Nextgeneration skincare products like QMS Medicosmetics EpiGen Daily Detox Serum and new EpiGen Overnight Sleeping Mask work on these principles.

Rowan Hall-Farrise is head facialist and educator at QMS Medicosmetics, the professional spa and salon skincare brand known for its collagen treatments.


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This article appears in the PB December 2018 Issue of Professional Beauty

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This article appears in the PB December 2018 Issue of Professional Beauty