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End of the line for hairdressing Diploma Could salons hold key to reviving the high street? Cancer and hair loss – why salons are missing a trick Avon artistic team breaks new ground

MARCH/APRIL 2012 | £3.50


Salons should not be afraid of hair loss and cancer through cancer charities or independently. Moreover – and As editor, one of my simpler jobs is every couple of months here is the self-evident business benefit – being there for to pull together the contributions salons have sent in possibly long-standing and valued clients (or in the case for our “Movers and Groovers” section in news. It’s a case of Hair 4 U perhaps their children) at a vulnerable time in normally of sifting through a selection of appointments, their lives, being able to make a very positive difference, salon openings, awards and, most frequently, charity will pay significant dividends when they return to events. The number of fund-raisers that go on around the “normality”. There will in all likelihood be an even stronger country all year – and you can read this edition’s selection client bond and loyalty as a result, as well as the potential on page 11 – shows all too clearly that salon owners and to pick up new clients who have had a less than positive their staff are deeply committed to raising money for experience elsewhere. The “big C”, we all know, is scary. But, good causes, often cancer support. So it is something from a business perspective and in a climate when every of a surprise, to my mind at least, that when it comes to competitive and commercial advantage supporting clients suffering from hair loss can make a difference, it is something because of the effects of treatment for salons should definitely not be afraid of. cancer or conditions such as alopecia some “Being there for More widely, I believe this issue salons fall short. possibly longcomes back to hairdressers needing to As we report on page seven there does appear to be growing recognition standing and valued recognise much better the value of what it is they have to offer; their excellence, of the role salons, with clients at a vulnerable professionalism and innovation. Just their expert knowledge as president Mark Coray hit the mark of hair, their creativity time in their lives, in October by arguing the NHF needs and natural empathy to stop being the best kept secret in with people, can play being able to make hairdressing, so hairdressing needs in supporting people to stop being the best kept secret in a very positive with hair loss. Charitable business. Mary Portas, as we report on initiatives such as My difference, will pay pages eight and nine, in her review of New Hair and Hair 4 U high street recognised this (even do excellent work and significant dividends the if she couldn’t bring herself to say it are valuable, popular straight out), arguing that to survive on and expanding. The when they return to the high street shopkeepers will need to partnership between ‘normality’ ” develop, in effect, a hairdresser’s mindset Macmillan Cancer and outlook. Similarly, the government’s Support and Toni&Guy, new Get Mentoring initiative (News, as we highlight on page six) potentially offers salons an both page seven and pages 28 and open goal, either to access valuable 29, is extremely laudable, as well as business wisdom from mentors or, potentially significant in showing salons more pertinently, to become mentors what might be the possibilities here. For themselves; to teach, lead and show the wider business me, however, the issue is less about whether offering community new ways of thinking, operating and surviving. support, wig services and styling, hair loss treatments and Too grandiose a vision for “just” hairdressers? If the future systems, makes sense at a moral or societal level – as, yes, of our economy, and the future of our high streets, lies in evidently using a salon’s expertise in this way is a very, very worthwhile thing to be doing – and more the good sense it businesses learning how to delight customers and exceed expectations day in, day out, I don’t think so. also makes from a business perspective. Most of us, if we’re unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with cancer, will be treated through the NHS. NHS cancer care has improved markedly in recent years and more and more people are now living with rather than dying from cancer, which can only be welcomed. But when it comes to NHS hair and wig specialists the service offered is much more variable. So there is a clear gap here for salons to step in, whether in conjunction with the NHS,



Mark Ridout is a business valuation specialist and director of RA Valuation Services.

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Hairdressing Diploma bites the dust Spanish chains eyeing UK expansion Salons missing a trick over hair loss ‘No quick fixes’, salons tell Mary Portas Regis poised to roll out men’s-only format Put lease renewals on ‘to-do’ list, salons told Salons urged to encourage client ‘Loyalli’ What tribunal reforms may mean for salons



Social mediator – one salon’s Facebook ‘journey’ Save the best for last – your salon can fund your retirement Make safety more than skin deep – and prevent dermatitis Cutting cancer down to size – how salons can support hair loss Back to basics – plug into small electricals




24 25 26 28-29

17-20 12 03 07 11 16 21-22 32 33 34

True Blue – NHF Inspire’s Blue Rain collection Beauty spots – Jason Shankey new range Wavelength – Salons should not be afraid of hair loss and cancer HairClips – OBEs for Collinge and Miller Movers and Groovers – Kim Metcalf’s win Cutting Brief – your legal problems solved Federation Focus – Fusion of talent for Avon Column – Tayla Murdy’s competition whirl Events – key dates for your diary Backwash – registration debate’s awful puns


Tayla Murdy is a member of the NHF’s Team GB and works at The Venue salon in Ashington, Northumberland. She is a gold medal winner, European champion and has represented Britain at the World Hairdressing Championships.

Terry Steventon has run Bournemouth salon Rage since 2003 with wife and salon manager Vicki. The salon has been a regional finalist in the L’Oréal Colour Trophy three years in a row, has won the L’Oréal Men’s Image Award twice and in 2010 won the NHF’s Icon trophy.

Darren Stuart runs Tribeca salon in Sunderland and is a trustee of the charity My New Hair.

Front Cover Hair: NHF Inspire for Fudge Photography: John Rawson Clothes Styling: Jared Green Make-up: Chase Aston

PUBLISHER Eileen Lawson BSc FCIS FRSA e: EDITOR Nic Paton e: EDITORIAL CONSULTANT Andrew Don e: EVENTS Tina Beaumont t: 0845 345 6500 e:

Stephen Womack is personal finance correspondent for the Mail on Sunday newspaper and author of The Financial Mail Complete Guide to Planning Your Retirement.

Maeve O’Hara is a consultant for Sypol, provider of the NHF’s Salon Sorted online health and safety resource.

Graham Johnson is clinical lead, nursing, at Bupa Health and Wellbeing and an expert on dermatitis.

SALONFOCUS IS PUBLISHED BY: National Hairdressers’ Federation, One Abbey Court, Fraser Road, Priory Business Park, Bedford MK44 3WH t: 0845 345 6500 t: 01234 831965 f: 01234 838875 e: w:

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While every care is taken in compiling this issue of SalonFocus including manuscripts and photographs submitted, we accept no responsibility for any losses or damage, whatever the cause. All information and prices contained in advertisements are accepted by the publishers in good faith as being correct at the time of going to press. Neither the advertisers nor the publishers accept any responsibility for any variations affecting price variations or availability after the publication has gone to press. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the permission of the publisher, to whom application must first be made. The views expressed by contributors to SalonFocus are not necessarily those of the NHF, the publisher or its editor. © 2011 The National Hairdressers’ Federation. Material for consideration in this section of the magazine should be submitted on CDROM as high resolution jpeg or tiff files to The Editor, SalonFocus. Submissions should be made on the understanding that the National Hairdressers’ Federation has the right to use the material in any part of the magazine and any of its other publications, promotions or website, free from any copyright restrictions, or appearance fees other than the issue of artistic and photographic credits where applicable. Please include salon name, photographer & stylist.


Hairdressing Diploma bites the dust




The Diploma in Hairdressing and Beauty Studies (DHBS) that was unveiled to the hairdressing industry amid huge fanfare three years ago has reached the end of its life. Awarding bodies VTCT and AQA-City & Guilds are pulling the plug once the current cohort of students graduate. Alan Goldsbro, chief executive of Habia, the government-appointed standards setting body for the hair, beauty, nails and spa sectors, confirmed to SalonFocus: “With the withdrawal of both VTCT and AQA-City & Guilds it would appear to be the end of the full DHBS programme as we know it.” The move has come as, in an unconnected development, the government decided in January to downgrade the value of more than 3,100 “GCSE-equivalent” vocational qualifications offered in schools, including courses in hairdressing and “nail technology services”. This does not necessarily mean schools will no longer run such courses but does mean they will not count towards their league table position, so meaning there will be much less incentive to offer them. NHF president Mark Coray said downgrading such qualifications would not in itself be a disaster for salons, as many did not fully prepare young people for working on a salon floor anyway, as stylists these days need to have good basic literacy, numeracy, chemistry and biology, as well as cutting and styling skills. “The bigger issue is the lack of good quality, targeted careers’ advice for young people keen to come into our industry – advice on what qualifications they will need, what academic and behavioural skills are most valued by salon owners, how to go about gaining work experience and the value of options such as apprenticeships,” he said. “More often than not school-leavers end up drifting into hairdressing, sometimes because they have been ‘written off’ academically by

Exclusive By Andrew Don

their schools, and only discover almost by accident what a rewarding and creative career it is,” he added. The demise of the Diploma is a long way from its optimistic launch in 2009, when Habia had confidently predicted Diplomas would eventually attract more participants than National Vocational Qualifications (SalonFocus, May-June 2009). Even as recently as 2010, Habia had been insisting it retained “complete confidence” in the qualification. Among salon owners, the DHBS was unlikely to be missed, emphasised Federation education committee chairman John Armstrong. “It never really took off, unfortunately. The original concept was fine but then the academics got hold of it and it ended up as something not fit for purpose from an employer’s point of view,” he told SalonFocus. VTCT has said it will continue to offer Principal Learning in Hair and Beauty Studies as a stand-alone qualification after it ceases all new DHBS registrations from the end of December. AQA-City & Guilds, meanwhile, has decided not to take any new registrations or entries for Diploma or Principal Learning courses from September. Gill Morris, the former Habia “employers’ champion” who helped demystify what became an increasingly complicated qualification to SalonFocus readers, described the DHBS’ demise as “a phenomenal disappointment for me, all the awarding bodies, Habia and all those that did so much work on it”. In a separate development, Habia has said it intends to develop a new skills “academy” for the hair and beauty sector with the support of VTCT. The Habia Skills Academy will create a network of learning providers and training centres to increase the training offered in barbering, African-type hair, laser/IPL, hair extensions, scalp conditions and raising awareness of the early signs of skin cancer.



Spanish chains

take a shine to UK

Two Spanish salon businesses are seriously eyeing up the UK as their next target for expansion. Marco Aldany, which has more than 400 hair and beauty salons in 11 countries, and No+Vello, an Intense Pulse Light hair removal specialist with more than 1,200 salons in 13 countries, including some in the UK already, have both confirmed to SalonFocus they have ambitions to make inroads into the £7.3bn British hair and beauty sector. Marco Aldany UK chief executive Joaquin Lopez-Chichieri and chief financial officer Borja Marquez Porral have hired property agent Capital Retail, which is now talking to five landlords in central London in a search for salons of up to 2,000sq ft. If successful, the move is expected to be a precursor to a wider expansion into other parts of the UK. Joaquin told SalonFocus he planned to open one salon a month for the next two years, ideally doubling to two a month by 2014 depending on the state of the economy. Major cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham would join London in 2013 as the company began to roll out a franchise model, he said. “The UK is a leading country in the hair and beauty sector. We believe our business model will be successful here and we see a very exciting opportunity to develop in the UK,” said Joaquin.

Marco Aldany operates a format whereby it charges regular customers less as a way to attract loyalty. “We love to reward those customers who are loyal to our brand. This way we also expect to shorten a bit those eight to ten weeks that the British take to come back to their salon,” Joaquin explained. No+Vello, meanwhile, is considering adapting its existing UK franchise model to extend into hairdressing, SalonFocus can reveal. The four-year-old group arrived in the UK in 2010 with an initial ambition to open nine sites. UK managing director Juan Cardenal told SalonFocus the company now expected to have established at least 200 sites in the UK by the end of this year and an ambitious 600 within five years. Crucially, Juan added that the franchise model had not included hairdressing up until now – but this was expected to change. “We see hairdressing working in the UK. We see that for sure in the UK,” he said. As well as simply adjusting the existing franchise model another option could be to bring “part of what we offer into existing hair salons”, added Juan. “These are options that would make sense to consider.” No+Vello has one company-owned salon in Soho in London and was expected to have opened a second in Tooting by this month, but the vast majority of its



expansion will be through franchises. Existing franchised sites include Clapham, Euston, Liverpool Street and Finchley Road in London, plus Aberdeen, Manchester and Oxford, and the company is looking at sites in Brighton and Portsmouth. The company’s growth targets may sound ambitious but its record in other countries do give them some degree of credibility. The chain opened nearly 200 sites in its first six months of operating in Spain and Brazil and has rapidly built up between 80 to 90 in Poland. Franchisees in the UK pay a oneoff fee of £33,000 plus a £330 monthly royalty cost and £200-a-month corporate advertising fee.

Government calls on salons

to become business mentors

Hairdressers are being encouraged to become business mentors and pass on their knowledge and expertise to others as part of a new government-backed initiative. The Get Mentoring programme is being run by the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI), the government’s sector skills body for enterprise. The idea is that SFEDI will recruit and train thousands of small, medium and micro business mentors, with individuals either attending workshops run by selected training providers or learning online for a total of seven hours. Once accredited, the mentors are listed on the website

PAGE 6 SALONFOCUS MARCH/APRIL 2012 as well as offered free membership of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship and must be willing to provide at least one hour’s free mentoring a month for two years, passing on advice to businesses on how to start, develop and grow. “Hairdressing salons are exactly the kind of business owners that we would like to see getting involved. We are also working to link with organisations to parachute trainers in,” SFEDI finance manager Sarah Trouten told SalonFocus. Full details about Get Mentoring can be found at:


Salons missing a trick


over hair loss and cancer

over-burden the hairdressers with requests. We Salon owners are missing out on a significant have had around 100 referrals within the last commercial opportunity by failing to position themselves as places where clients suffering from 12 months and this figure is ever increasing,” Teenage Cancer Research spokeswoman Sarah hair loss because of cancer or other conditions Henderson told SalonFocus. can come to for expert support and advice. Back in late 2009 the charity Macmillan By developing closer links with cancer Cancer Support agreed a partnership with charities, the NHS and hair loss product and Toni&Guy to train salon owners and staff in system providers, salons will not only be doing offering specialist haircare advice. “the right thing” for valued clients but, from It has now revealed that some 95 Toni&Guy a business perspective, potentially giving and essensuals salons have joined the Strength themselves an important competitive edge when it comes to retaining and attracting clients, in Style programme but the charity has said, for now, training this many salons is probably all it cancer charities and salon owners have said. can cope with. “I have never understood why a hairdresser Sally Hill, the charity’s partnership account who has a valuable client who then goes through manager, said: “In the future we may widen that scenario is not being catered for, whether it is providing a wig or helping them with alopecia,” our reach of helping people to cope with hair loss even further, but for the time being we said Darren Stuart, who runs Tribeca salon in are currently concentrating on working with Sunderland and is a trustee of the My New Hair Toni&Guy to train up as many of their salons as charity founded by celebrity hairdresser Trevor possible to offer expert hair care and advice to Sorbie. people affected by cancer.” My New Hair now has around 450 UK salons Jeremy Farber, owner of Head Start salon in within its network and, Darren revealed, is in Leeds, has been actively researching how to turn talks with L’Oréal to expand overseas through its one floor of his three-floor salon in a specialist L’Oréal International Hairdressing Academies. hair loss area. “L’Oréal has said it would like to take it “To me, there are a lot of clinics, clinical people worldwide and in October we agreed we would providing hair replacement systems and charging look to expand into five European countries thousands of pounds, but none of them have a during this year,” he told SalonFocus. creative, hairdressing background,” he said. “At the moment it is a question of pinning “I think there is a real untapped potential down the finance and some of the details, and here for salons. There is potentially a massive then we will need to identify hairdressers in each market for some professional branding with country who could become the figurehead and good products and training,” he added. set things up,” he added. Findlay Kelly-Jeans, owner of boutique salon The Teenage Cancer Trust, meanwhile, has Finn & Co in Northampton, opened a specialist begun rolling out its Hair 4 U initiative that is wig styling and support service in conjunction run with Edinburgh hairdresser Charlie Miller, with Northampton General now an OBE (see HairClips, Hospital in 2010 that, while well right), to fit and style real hair received, eventually ran into a wigs for cancer patients aged problem of a lack of referrals. between 13 and 24 years old. “I do think this is something The scheme has since where salons have a lot to offer. October been extended to 19 If salons have the space, the specialist teenage cancer NHS skills and the enthusiasm, why units in Glasgow, Newcastle, shouldn’t they be put to good Liverpool, The Wirral, use by the NHS? London, Manchester, Leeds, “There is a whole community Southampton and Cardiff. of people – salon owners and “There are now 21 salons their teams – who are hugely on board with us, each practised at things such as providing the wig fitting dressing wigs,” he said. service free of charge and Charlie is keen to make • Cutting cancer down to size, approaches to other salons MY NEW HAIR: EXPANDING pages 28-29 to ensure that we do not


Veteran hairdressers Peter Collinge and Charlie Miller were made OBEs in the 2012 New Year’s Honours announced in January. Peter, chairman of Andrew Collinge Hairdressing, has been in the industry since 1942 and Charlie launched his Edinburgh-based eponymous salon chain in 1965. Charlie described the award as “a beautiful happening in my life”, while Peter called it a “great honour”.


The government has announced there will be a special public holiday this year to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The normal late May public holiday has now been moved to Monday June 4, and an additional “Jubilee” holiday will be held on Tuesday June 5. It is being left up to local employers to decide on specific leave or payment arrangements.


An academic is carrying out research into how hairdressers can be encouraged to adopt more environmentally friendly practices. Dr Denise Baden of Southampton Management School is undertaking a 12-month project that includes running events for salons on energy- and environment-saving tips. Salons interested in taking part can email her at:


A magnetic board that salons can use to create and instantly update promotional messages has been launched by marketing design company Gillot Images. The “SmartDisplay” system is made of a blank magnetic board upon which salons can put personalised promotional messages.



‘No quick fixes to saving the high street’,

Credit: Komar /

salons tell Mary Portas


Salon owners have welcomed the publication of TV retail trouble-shooter Mary Portas’ review of the high street, but remain sceptical that the deep-seated problems facing many high streets will be easily overcome. The review by Mary, best known for her straight-talking series Mary Queen of Shops, was published in December, after the government back in June tasked her to look at solutions to “bring the bustle” back to our high streets (SalonFocus, JulyAugust, 2011). As SalonFocus went to press the government had yet formally to respond, and the extent to which ministers are willing to take her advice on board is likely to be a key factor in determining the scale of changes to emerge. The Portas Review outlined 28 recommendations, covering planning, traffic and parking, rents and rates, the rise of online competition, retail mix, the use of empty sites, out-of-town shopping centres and the role shopkeepers, landlords, councils and the public all have to play in the survival, and regeneration, of the high street. “I believe that our high streets can be lively, dynamic, exciting and social places that give a sense of belonging and trust to a community,” said Mary. “The problems facing our high streets are complicated and sometimes overwhelming but it’s also not impossible – and I believe we can turn things around,” she added. Salon owners approached by SalonFocus, however, were generally less HAMISH WILSON: TOO MUCH sure about her optimism. UNIFORMITY



“There are no easy answers. Every town centre will have different priorities. For me it is parking charges and pedestrianisation,” said Hamish Wilson, of Hamish Hairdressers in Hamilton. “If you stand at the top of the high street you just see ‘For Sale’ signs and it looks very, very untidy. There are also too many of the same sort of shop – too many charity shops and, yes, even too many hairdressers,” he added. Federation vice-president Paul Curry, owner of Salon 12 in Holgate, Yorkshire, agreed parking and the lure of out-of-town shopping centres were key issues that needed to be addressed. “Where I am people have to park and walk in so they just don’t bother and go to the out-of-town centres instead. “I’m personally not sure whether initiatives such as Town Teams [see opposite] will make much difference. A lot of small businesses either don’t have the time or feel in competition with other retail outlets anyway. How, too, will they be different to what our existing chambers of commerce are supposed to do? It is all right making recommendations; we can all do that. But will it change anything?” he added. Rates, rents and vacant properties all needed to be tackled, agreed Tracy Goldsworthy, administrative partner at Goldsworthy’s Hairdressing in Swindon. “We, for example, are down a back alley and yet pay the same as if we were on the high street. Similarly, there has been a big retail development near us that is almost completely empty,” she said. “If people are going to come to their high street it is because it is offering something special. People who don’t even live in Swindon come to us from miles away for the experience and the service,” she added.


The Portas Review – key themes A lack of cohesion and direction in our high streets The problem: High streets are a “melting pot of landlords, occupiers, councils and others all with their own interests”. There is a lack of cohesion and direction that, in turn, feeds into vacancy rates and low footfall.

centres at a massive competitive disadvantage. “In many town centres I have visited for this review parking has been run-down, in an inconvenient place and, most significantly, really expensive,” Mary argued.

Mary’s solutions: More local areas should implement free, controlled parking Mary’s solutions: High REVIEW: schemes and a new parking streets could benefit 28 RECOMMENDATIONS “league table” should be from “Town Teams” made introduced that ranked car up of landlords, small parks by how much they shopkeepers, council charge. Mary cited initiatives such as in representatives, town mayors, MPs, service Chester where there is a “free after three” providers and residents with a remit to scheme offering free parking after 3pm make high streets safer, more pleasant at three car parks. In Swindon, too, the places to shop and socialise. council has reduced short-stay charges in three of its multi-storey car parks plus all Spiralling rents, rates and a lack of the car parks in the old town. landlord accountability The problem: As Mary put it: “Quite frankly, Empty units the costs of trading in many areas far The problem: Our high streets are owned outweigh the benefits of being in town. by a very diverse set of landlords, many As I have been researching this report, the financial burden imposed by business rates absent or with little or no interest in local needs, and who “would rather leave a unit has come up time and time again.” empty for years than consider discounting its rent”, pointed out Mary. “This has led Mary’s solutions: Local authorities should be given new, discretionary powers to offer to the high vacancy rates we see today, but also the dog-eared and down-at-heel business rate concessions to new local buildings that blight the character of our businesses. The use of the Retail Prices Index in uprating rents should be reviewed high streets,” she added. with a view to changing to the Consumer Mary’s solutions: Alongside her Prices Index, which would help to bring rates more into line with other direct taxes. recommendations around landlords (see above), Mary argued “further disincentives” There should be a new “contract of should be explored to prevent landlords care” between landlords and commercial from leaving units vacant. Banks with empty tenants. A little-known “best practice” properties should either “administer these code developed in 2007 could be better assets well or be required to sell them”. promoted and disseminated. There could, Local authorities, too, should be too, be more promotion of alternatives empowered to step in when landlords to upward-only rent reviews, such as are negligent with new “Empty Shop turnover-based reviews. Management Orders”. These would There could be more use made of allow councils to enter and upgrade monthly rather than quarterly in-advance properties when landlords were negligent, payment terms. Town Teams should be much as they can already take over the empowered to intervene to support management of long-term privatelylandlords and shopkeepers to come to owned empty homes. amicable solutions in cases of dispute. Finally, there should be a community There should also be a public register of high street landlords to encourage more “Right to Try”, to encourage community use of vacant sites. landlord engagement. High street parking The problem: The rise of free, convenient out-of-town parking has put shopping

The full text of The Portas Review can be found at:

Could hairdressers hold the key? Following on from her recommendations, Mary Portas outlined “A few words of advice to Britain’s shopkeepers”, advice that, arguably, speaks volumes for hairdressing, and the future of hairdressing, on UK high streets. Businesses that wanted to survive in “today’s value-minded, aggressively-discounted, convenience-focused market” needed to reappraise how they competed to focus on three core areas: experience, service and specialism. Though not stated outright, what Mary then went on to recommend was a trading mindset that in virtually every aspect echoed the passion and approach already second nature to most good hairdressers. Experience, she suggested, was about touching people “on a deeper, human level”, providing retail theatre that was “surprising, challenging, uplifting, energising even mesmerising”. “Too many retailers start with the product and build outwards. Too few start with the customer experience and design the product to fit into it,” she continued. When it came to service, good service was “our basic right”, she said. “It’s amazing how the smallest service gestures really make a difference: from connecting with and really knowing and caring for your customers, to having an in-depth knowledge that guides and advises them; serving is quite simply the new selling,” she contended. “Shopkeepers of Britain, whilst many of you are living through some of the most shockingly tough trading periods in recent history, I believe if you put the customer first, compete on a higher playing field and bring something genuinely different to our high streets, then the customer will come and find you,” Mary concluded.



Regis poised to roll out

men’s-only format

Regis International is working on plans to roll out its men’s-only Barber’s format in the UK three years after opening the first and, as yet, only branch in London’s West End. Jackie Lang, Regis UK managing director, told SalonFocus that, although the company was still “tweaking” its branch on Duke Street, a decision had now been taken in principle to roll it out nationally over the next five years. “There’s an opportunity for a men’s concept and we are working it up now,” she said. The 850sq ft Duke Street Barber’s was opened in the autumn of 2008, and at the time the ambition was to build up a 50-strong chain, assuming the brand proved popular with the public, (SalonFocus, September-October 2008). Any roll-out of Barber’s would be a potentially significant addition to Regis’ stable of UK brands, which, alongside its eponymous Regis brand, include Supercuts, Hair Express, Trade Secret, HCUK, Mastercuts, Sassoon Salon and, most recently, the Tesco-based Beauty by Regis. The company has also spent £350,000 opening a 4,500sq ft day spa in department store chain House of Fraser’s flagship Jenners outlet in Edinburgh. However, Regis’ presence in House of Fraser has gradually been declining, and now stands at nine outlets, compared with around 30 two decades ago. The company has, for example, been also recently been replaced in House of Fraser’s Birmingham city centre store by franchise salon chain Francesco Group. This, Jackie emphasised, was not evidence of any change in the



relationship between House of Fraser and Regis, but simply because of an overlap with a nearby site. “It is part of our strategy: where we want to stay in a department store, we stay in a department store. Where we have another salon on a high street or a mall locally, it is part of our strategy not to have both,” she told SalonFocus. Regis was now looking at opening another day spa in Wolverhampton, where the group would probably in turn close its high street location because the stronger of the two businesses was in the department store, she added. Nevertheless, Francesco Group managing director Ben Dellicompagni has been bullish about his ambitions with House of Fraser. The Birmingham site, which opened in February, was part of an “ongoing rollout” of salons with the department store chain, he contended. Ben told SalonFocus he envisaged expanding to 13 salons within House of Fraser in the next five years, in large part because both companies had shared values and client demographics.


A spokeswoman for House of Fraser said: “As part of our strategy, House of Fraser is constantly reviewing its concession brands to ensure we cater for our customers’ needs. With this in mind, we do not have a preferred partner of choice in our salon businesses as we look at each store on a location by location basis. We can confirm that Francesco Group has a presence in our stores and we continue to work closely with Regis which currently trades in nine House of Fraser stores.”

Francesco in House of Fraser Francesco Group’s new House of Fraser department store salon in Birmingham is a departure for a group that comprises 32 Francesco’s and nine Scissors Hair Design branches. Its first House of Fraser salon in Telford, Shropshire, offers cut and colour and permanent blow-dry and a range of specialist treatments. The Birmingham salon will for the first time offer a blowdry bar, aimed at city centre workers, where they can have BEN DELLICOMPAGNI: their hair shampooed and blow-dried ready for meetings. AMBITIONS Francesco’s long-standing expansion strategy has been to open two salons a year, though it would not be averse to stepping this up to four a year once the economy improves, managing director Ben Dellicompagni has argued. He told SalonFocus his ambition is to develop “a brand that is clearly recognisable in the UK, that stays true to its brand values”. Yet he nevertheless does not see Francesco’s developing the sort of high-street presence of franchised brands such as Toni&Guy. “If we achieve that [brand ambition] with 60 salons then the company will have achieved its goals. I don’t think we need 200 salons to do that,” he said. The company is also committed to expanding its training provision for 14-19 year-olds in work-based learning and education, and to this end operates three training academies in Stafford.


Put lease renewals on

‘to-do’ list,


salons are told

Salons are being warned that forgetting to renew their model NHF leasing agreements could mean them running the risk of chair renters and other contractors inadvertently acquiring “security of tenure” and so becoming much harder to replace or move on. Back in early 2010 the Federation, in conjunction LEASES: DON’T BE CAUGHT OUT with Woodfines’ Solicitors, produced a suite of model agreements to cover a range of chair renting arrangements, both for freehold and leasehold salon owners. Members who purchased either the “Designated Room” or “Designated Area” lease agreements at this time are now being reminded these leases only cover a term of two years and so may well need to be renewed imminently. A key element of the lease agreement was that it excluded the tenant from acquiring security of tenure, meaning the salon owner would be able to recover the room or area at the end of the term of the agreement if they so wished to do. “The danger is that if a salon owner allows a tenant to continue in occupation without renewing the lease of the area or the room in question then they run the risk of the tenant paying rent without any of the existing lease terms being in place,” explained Valerie Findlay, senior associate at Woodfines. “This then means the lease also stops being excluded from security of tenure and, therefore, the tenant by default can acquire security of tenure which, in turn, could make it very difficult for the salon owner to get rid of them, except in very fixed circumstances,” she added. Members are being reminded too that independent contractors who signed the silver and gold coloured licence agreements are not entitled to exclusive occupation of the chair space. Therefore the salon owner should consider changing their allocated chair from time to time to ensure they remain within the terms of the agreement. It is also vital that, where circumstances diverge from the assumptions set out in the model agreements, members seek professional legal advice. The full suite of NHF contracts is available to view or purchase online on the Federation’s “e-shop”, which can be found at Contracts can be purchased for £60 including VAT per set of two. A SalonPlus brochure is being enclosed within this issue of SalonFocus that can also be used to order contracts or any other members-only stationery.

Congratulations to Kim Metcalf of Indalo Hair in Richmond, Surrey, who was the winner of a bottle of champagne just for responding to an email survey after last year’s Federation annual conference. Kim was picked out in a prize draw in November by NHF vice-president Paul Curry. The survey was carried out to gauge how members might like to see conference evolving or changing. Kim told SalonFocus: “I am surprised and absolutely delighted, and will enjoy drinking it with the team at the salon!”

A hairdressing trainer is urging salon owners in Wales to lobby the Welsh Government to bring in mandatory registration for qualified hairdressers. Shirley Davis-Fox, managing director of Bridgendbased ISA Training and a newly elected member of the Hairdessing Council, is visiting salons across the country to promote her message. A bill on this issue by hairdresserturned-MP David Morris was narrowly defeated in the House of Commons in November.



Bonce salons in Walsall and Wednesbury raised £800-worth of donated food items for Salvation Army hostels in the run-up to Christmas. The tins, jars and other produce were donated by clients at salons from October onwards. In a separate initiative Bonce has teamed up with dieting group Weight Watchers to launch a “Bonce Biggest Loser” competition offering weight-watch winners a free makeover and fitness prize.

The Clipso salon group has announced its artistic team for 2012. The team will represent its London and Hertfordshire salons at industry shows, photographic shoots, seminars and industry events as well as at London Fashion Week. The 10-strong team will be led by creative director Darren Fowler and comprises: Jack Lawrence, Freya Haines, Loretta Karam-Whalley, Andria Kaishais, Carly Quist, Harriette Calvert, Emilie Pearson-Brown, Kim Rance and Serafina Woodward.



Salon owners visiting next month’s Professional Hairdresser Live exhibition are being offered the chance to win computer equipment worth more than £5,000. A draw will be held by salon management firm SalonGenius of all salons that register their details with it during the show, which runs from April 1-2 in Manchester.

Craig Chapman Hair Design in Launceston, Cornwall, recently pledged £3,000 sponsorship to enable two local business owners, Sarah Goodwin and Liz West, to undertake the charitable adventure of a lifetime. The two drove a “Hindustan Ambassador” car 2,000km from Goa to Kerala to raise money for charities The Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and Adventure Ashram.



Salons urged to encourage client ‘Loyalli’ Salons have begun to embrace an innovative “virtual” loyalty scheme that its developer believes could consign similar plastic and paper-based schemes to the scrapheap. Some six weeks since its launch, 18 salons had already signed up to a scheme called Loyalli, which uses smart phones to promote loyalty-based discounts and promotions. The scheme works through clients downloading a Loyalli App on to their phone, which registered salons can then “stamp” with a special barcode reader every time the client visits the salon. Another innovation is that participating businesses can tailor rewards being offered to suit their operation. For example, one salon that has joined up, James Whittaker Hair, in Enfield, north London, is offering Loyalli users 50 per cent off every seventh cut and blow-dry. By comparison, another salon, Stamp, in Shoreditch, east London, has decided to offer customers a free haircut every eighth visit. Businesses can log on to a “dashboard” on Loyalli’s website to monitor trends and check where, how and when customers are using the system. Clients visiting a new area can also use their phones to tell them what outlets are participating in the scheme, and so may have promotions to offer. The scheme is the brainchild of App developer Sebastian Borggrewe, who originally launched the App on Apple’s iPhone but was confident of having extended it to Android and Blackberry devices by the time SalonFocus went to press. “People want to know where around them rewards loyal customers. We are trying to harness the power of the closeness of the independent retail community,” he told SalonFocus. The scheme is targeting coffee shops, restaurants, spas and personal trainers as well as hairdressers, who Sebastian felt were



Belfast hairdresser and men’s grooming specialist Jason Shankey has launched a limited edition Perfect Shave range comprising a shaving cream, skin soothing balm and exfoliating scrub. At the same time he has opened a fourth salon in the city, in House of Fraser in Victoria Square.



potentially the best “fit” for the App. “We spent time around Birmingham and big cities testing it and it was the hairdressers who said ‘fantastic, because the other week I tried Groupon and got hundreds of new customers but those people only come in once’. This application gets people to come back. Hairdressers as a community get that,” he said. James Whittaker, owner of James Whittaker Hair, said one of the advantages for him was that it did not rely on a physical loyalty card, stamps or other conventional format that clients could then easily mislay. “Once people know about this it will be huge,” he said. Vincenzo Barona, owner of Stamp, said: “It’s a brilliant idea. I have 150 customers who have downloaded the App.” Other salons participating so far include outlets in Leeds, Bristol, Manchester, Sutton Coldfield, Chelmsford and Birmingham. Loyalli may be one of the latest, but it by no means the only such virtual loyalty scheme emerging on to the market. Another example is Paperless Receipts, a company backed by former Tesco chief executive Lord MacLaurin, which sends digital receipts to a client’s web account, on to which can be added promotional vouchers, said technical director Shishir Bankapur.

Training provider Trichocare Education has announced plans to visit every major hairdressing college during 2012 to run a seminar entitled “When hairdressing meets biology” looking at some of the science behind both hairdressing and beauty. The move follows a successful pilot run at South Devon College in November.

SALLY BARBERSHOP Specialist hair and beauty retailer Sally Salon Services has launched a dedicated “Barbershop” area in selected stores, focusing in particular on American Crew grooming products.


The largest beauty spa in Wales, The Vale Resort, near Cardiff, has completed at £250,000 refurbishment, including the introduction of “chill-out”, water and sleep relaxation zones. The spa has also recently achieved a “five bubble” rating in the Good Spa Guide.


Salon tanning range Su-do Professional has launched a retail range to complement its existing salon products. The range will only be available to accredited Su-do Professional salons and includes a face and body scrub, triple action moisturiser, cream tan, gel tan and a gradual tan.


What tribunal reforms may mean for salons Proposed unfair dismissal reforms leave many questions unanswered, write Amy Paxton and Paul Clarke. It is clear this coalition government is committed to the principles of cutting red tape and reducing regulatory burdens on small businesses. In the past few months we have seen a flurry of pronouncements, some of which, particularly when it comes to dismissals procedures, could prove beneficial to salon owners. Key announcements have included: • An independent “root and branch” review of existing rules of procedure governing employment tribunals, due to report during this year. • A pledge to consider how, and whether, to develop a “rapid resolution” scheme for disputes that could be a quicker and cheaper alternative to employment tribunals. • A call for evidence (which may be extended into a full consultation) on the idea of allowing employers with fewer than 10 employees to be able to pay poorly performing staff to leave, or “compensated no-fault dismissal”. • A consultation on allowing “protected conversations” where employers and employees can discuss issues in an open manner, without it being used in any subsequent tribunal claims. • A consultation on the introduction of fees for anyone wishing to take a claim to an employment tribunal. This could lead to a system similar to county courts where there is a “lodging fee” for lodging a claim (potentially around £150 to £250 depending on the nature of the case) and then other fees become payable as a case advances. Another option is a one-off higher lodging fee (probably between £200 and £600) unless the value of the case exceeds £30,000, when a higher fee would be payable. • A commitment to introduce rules so that, from April, the qualification period for unfair dismissal will rise from one year’s service to two. The difficulty for salon owners is that, while a lot of these proposals look great on paper, as yet we don’t know their full detail. In many cases, questions


arise when you dig down or, it is clear, loopholes are likely to remain. What, for example, does the government really mean by protected conversations? It’s common knowledge these sorts of conversations go on informally anyway – they are often called “coffee machine chats” – and may take place ahead of two sides coming up with a compromise agreement. If the government is wanting people to be able to have a more frank and open discussion about issues of concern without fear of a tribunal, that may well be positive. But, as ever, it will depend very much on the detail. The government’s plan to extend from one year to two the requisite service an employee must have had before they can bring a tribunal also looks to be a great idea, at face value.

Protected rights

But the reality is it may not make that much difference because of what are called protected or automatic dismissal rights. These are rights where there is automatically an assumption of unfair dismissal – for example if you are dismissed because you are pregnant. In these cases, requisite service will not come into play – so it will not matter how short a time someone has been employed – and there are quite a wide range of these protections. If an employee is able to assert a protected right then they do not need to have a minimum qualifying service to bring a claim. So the message for salon owners is not to assume just because someone has been employed by you for fewer than two years that it will consequently be easier to dismiss them. The proposed introduction of fees for taking cases to tribunal could have a significant impact. At the moment, of course, an employee can bring a tribunal claim with no cost consequences. A fees system could well curb spurious or malicious cases but one loophole is the fees will not apply to people who are

unable to pay them – such as those on income support benefits or Jobseeker’s Allowance. So what we might feasibly see is people who have been dismissed simply holding off from looking for work until after a claim is lodged. Finally, the government’s idea of “compensated no-fault dismissals” definitely requires more detail. Will there be a risk that they will simply encourage poor performers to behave so badly they get dismissed in the hope of gaining a pay-out from their employer? At the moment it is just not clear. Ultimately, therefore, the message for salons is that, while there are some interesting and potentially beneficial ideas currently circulating within government, if you are intending to dismiss someone do still do so with extreme care and, ideally, with the backing of professional advice. Amy Paxton is senior employment consultant and Paul Clarke is a business writer at Croner, operator of the NHF’s Legal Lifeline

If you read nothing else read this… • Government employment tribunal reforms may be beneficial, but detail is lacking • Beware of loopholes that could be exploited by employees • Get professional advice if you are planning to dismiss staff


Your legal problems


We have always had an internal policy not to release employees’ home addresses to other employees within the salon. This has been criticised by some. What is the legal position and what happens in practice? Under data protection rules, you should not give out employees’ personal details to others without their consent. Practically, you might consider putting in place a policy to deal with such requests. You could get all of your employees to consent to releasing the information now, so that if in the future you get a request it can be authorised without chasing the individual employee for consent. Best practice would be to clarify who may make a request under the policy. It might be expected that a line manager or senior manager would need an address for business purposes, and so they would expect to fall within those who can ask for the information. However, a colleague making a request, or a request made for non-business purposes, would be inappropriate and in such cases you would need direct permission from the employee for their consent. Is it still possible to recover training costs from a stylist if they choose to leave the business shortly after their training is completed? I assume that you are referring to a training agreement with an employee. Normally under such agreements, an employer agrees to pay training fees and course fees for the employee. In return, the employee agrees to remain in employment following the training period for a certain amount of time. The agreement typically includes a clause that states if the employee leaves following the training, the fees will be recouped on a sliding scale basis, in other words if they leave immediately following the end of the training they have to repay the full amount, if they leave after six months they have to repay 75 per cent (for example) and so on. The only restriction in respect of these agreements is the repayment conditions must be clear from the outset of the agreement, and both parties have signed their agreement prior to the training commencing to be bound. The repayment clause itself must also be reasonable. We have a receptionist who has been battling long-term depression and consequently has had a lot of time off work. As a company, we have tried to support them with time off for counselling and psychiatrist visits; as well as help within the working environment. This receptionist has since resigned stating: “I apologise for any inconvenience caused but feel unable to perform my duties until such time therapy and circumstances out of work are satisfied.” Are we able to accept this, or does the “unable to perform my duties” place us in a vulnerable position regarding any future claim?


Gillian Dowling from Croner, operator of the NHF’s Legal Lifeline, answers your questions There would not be an issue with accepting this employee’s resignation, as long as it genuinely was their own decision and not influenced by anything said or done by the company. In order to maximise your protection, before accepting the resignation in writing you could have a meeting with this receptionist to ensure there is nothing else you could do to support them at work or assist them in “performing their duties”, or encourage them to remain in employment. If they still wish to resign, you should accept this in writing, detailing the meetings you have had with them and adjustments implemented offering further support. We have a qualified stylist who will be going on statutory paternity leave for the full two-week period following the birth of his child. He has asked if he can come in to work during these two weeks to train some new hires. Is this permitted? During a period of statutory (or ordinary) paternity leave your employee will forfeit his right to continue with his leave if he performs any work. This means if he undertakes any work for you during this period, he would not be entitled to have any further ordinary paternity leave (or receive paternity pay for days worked) and ought to return to work after any period of work. In making his request, your employee may believe he is entitled to “keeping-in-touch” days. However, these can only be used if the employee undertakes a period of additional paternity leave beyond the statutory period, which does not appear to be the case here.

What the Legal Lifeline offers you: • •

24/7 employment-related queries Advice on commercial matters, 9am-5pm Monday to Friday Access to the Legal Lifeline is available by calling 01234 834389. Alternatively NHF members can log on to www.nhf. info. A full summary of cover can be found on the reverse of your legal card carrier or by logging onto to membershipbenefits/legalsupport. The NHF operates a “fair use policy” for the lifeline. Members exceeding 50 calls within a 12-month period may be charged £20 plus VAT per call. All calls to the Legal Lifeline are recorded and monitored by Croner. If your chosen membership category does not include employer support service or your membership is unpaid at the time of any call a charge of £20 plus VAT will apply for all such calls made.


TRUE BLUE NHF Inspire’s latest collection, Blue Rain Hair: NHF Inspire for Fudge Photography: John Rawson Clothes Styling: Jared Green Make-up: Chase Aston







Fusion of new talent for Avon

Credit: Kirk Woodward Photography

NHF Avon has launched its own artistic team, and is urging other regions to follow suit as part of the Federation’s wider strategy of bringing in new blood and reaching out to young stylists. The team, called Fusion, is being mentored by Richard Hiller, managing director of Stages Hair Design in Bristol and did its first public demonstration at City of Bristol College in February. It will also be putting on a show for NHF Cheltenham later this month. “We auditioned a large number of young stylists and students during October and November and have ended up with five brilliant kids, who are all Level 3,” said Richard. “The intention is for them to go around schools and colleges within the region showing off their skills and simply inspiring young people about what hairdressers can do,” he added. The team members are Skye Roberts and Bryony Cataldo, both students at City of Bristol College, Carl Bembridge from Cohesion salon, Ellie Clutterbuck from Style Collection and Kristie Couzens from JJ’s salon, all in Bristol. “We’d very much like to get some star hairdressers to become involved and pass on their experience and inspiration. We’ve also had a lot of interest from other NHF branches about what we’re doing. “If every region had its own team just like this I think it would be amazing. These, after all, are the salon owners of the future,” Richard said. Members interested in finding out more about Fusion can contact Richard by email at

Extras added to


Six months on from its launch, the NHF’s members-only online accounting and book-keeping package, >Onlinebooks, has been given a new look and additional range of features. Kingston Smith, the accountancy firm operating the service, has been gathering feedback and insight from users since the system went “live” in October and has as a result expanded the templates offered as well as put in place a more flexible pricing model. A “chair rental-only” template has been developed and the design and functionality of other templates tweaked to make them even more intuitive. For members who already have arrangements in place with financial advisers that they do not want to disrupt, a new “starter level” package has been developed, at a price of £10 a month plus VAT, that allows users to tidy up and focus their book-keeping before passing it on to their existing adviser. Finally, a “try before you buy” trial period has been introduced whereby members can test the system for free to see if they like it between now and the end of May. Full details about the changes and >Onlinebooks generally can be found online at:


April photographic deadline Members are being reminded that April 30 is the last day for entries to this year’s Photographic Stylist of the Year competition. Competitors may be individuals or teams of two or more and should create a fashion look suitable for a front cover of a fashion magazine for ladies or men’s hair. An entry form is being enclosed with this issue of SalonFocus or further copies can be downloaded from the NHF’s website



Trevor Sorbie to be next Inspire mentor


Celebrity hairdresser Trevor Sorbie’s artistic team will be this year’s mentors for the Federation’s Inspire artistic team. The Trevor Sorbie Artistic Team is expected to take over from current mentors RUSH later this month. The team, which has won the British Hairdressing Artistic Team of the Year three times, British Hairdressing Business Awards and the L’Oréal Colour Trophy Men’s Image, will work closely with Inspire over the coming 12 months, passing on their knowledge and creative excellence to help the team through this year’s photo shoots, demonstrations and educational seminars. In a separate development the Inspire team was named winner of Your Hair magazine’s Image of the Year competition, for an image originally first published in SalonFocus (Inspired, January/February, 2011). The winning image was from the team’s 2010 Sport Chic collection sponsored by Fudge under last year’s mentor Sassoon and was presented to the team at Salon International. Creative direction for the image came from Bruce Masefield, Sassoon UK creative director, while photography was by David Oldham, clothes styling by Tabitha Owen and make-up WINN ER: IMAG E OF THE by Andrew Gallimore. YEAR


Regional round-up Central England region is inviting nominations for entries for its second Hairdresser of the Year Awards. The awards, which like the inaugural event last year will be presented by celebrity hairdresser Lee Stafford, will take place on May 14 in the Holte Suite at Villa Park in Birmingham. The event was a huge success BRIDAL WINNER: POLLY -ANNA in 2011 and organisers are hoping CURTIS ENTRY to build on its popularity this time around. Nominations can be made via the Central England Region website in the following categories: junior of the year, salon of the year, college of the year, lecturer of the year, student of the year and wholesaler of the year. Region secretary Colin Gardner told SalonFocus: “There is so much local talent around in the Central England Region that we wanted to show everyone just what is out there and this is where we need you all to start nominating. Nominations can be made by anyone, so get your fingers working and also encourage your clients to nominate too.” Solent Networking Group held its annual South of England Championships at the Novotel hotel in Southampton in November. The event was focused on more junior categories than in previous years and attracted some 80 competitors and an audience of around 150. Among the winners were City of Bristol College, Leanne Pink from Restyle Hair & Beauty, Bursledon and Polly-Anna Curtis from Hair 11, Fordingbridge, who won in the bridal category. The jurors were John Jenkins, Caroline Gerrard and Berenice Sweet-Blackmore. The Cheshire Championships were held in November and were another great success, with switching the day from a Sunday to a Monday boosting the number of competitors. Ladies champion was Chris Godfrey from Look Hair & Beauty Academy, Sutton in Ashfield. Gent’s champion was Samuel Habte of South Manchester and trainee gents champion was Mandy Davies of the Avanti Hair Team, St Helens. This year’s competition will be held on Monday November 12. The Yorkshire Hairdressing Championships took place at the recently refurbished Chicago’s Night Club in November. The competitions covered various hairdressing competitions for ladies and gents in both the senior and junior categories, with the popular event attracting 40 competitors and more than 150 spectators. Jurors were, for the gents, Lawrence Bell, Leanne Willis and Lloyd Griffiths and, for the ladies, NHF president Mark Coray, Julio Garcia and Ian Black. Winners included Sarah Uppal of The Coachouse in Wolverhampton, Tamara Cole from Cutting Corner in Halifax, Lisa Chambers, from The Studio in Keyingham, Clair McHale of Broken Butterfly in Wolverhampton, Steve Quinn from Casablanca Barbers Shop, Dewsbury, Tom Parr of Taylor’s & Co, Brighouse, Chris Godfrey of The Look Hair & Beauty Academy, Sutton-In-Ashfield and Becki Blacker, of Calderdale College, Halifax. The full list of winners from all the events listed in the Regional Roundup is available on the NHF’s website,


Social mediator When a fire devastated thriving Bournemouth salon Rage, owners Terry and Vicki Steventon turned to Facebook to keep clients informed and engaged.

It was hard to see it at the time, but in retrospect the fire we suffered in 2009 had a silver lining, in that it was the catalyst for us using social media to reach out to clients, something that has become increasingly important for the salon as time has gone on. I wouldn’t say we’re specifically a young person’s salon but our largest market is definitely at the younger end of the age spectrum, between16 to 35. We market ourselves as a high fashion, trendy salon, but also as somewhere friendly rather than intimidating. The fire was electrical and started in a fridge in the staff room. It was what is called a “smoulder fire” in that most of the damage was done from smoke rather than actual flames, but the whole salon was gutted. Terry Steventon has been a hairdresser for more than 30 years, including several years teaching at Bournemouth Hairdressing Academy. He opened Rage in 2003, which he runs with wife and salon manager Vicki. The salon has been a regional finalist in the L’Oréal Colour Trophy three years in a row, has won the L’Oréal Men’s Image Award twice, been a semi-finalist in the American Crew Face Off competition for men’s hairdressing and in 2010 won the NHF’s Icon trophy.


At the time it was devastating. It was the beginning of December so we had all been geared up for our busiest time and, instead, suddenly had to relocate to a friend’s tiny barber’s shop. The main premises stayed shut for six months, primarily because the insurance company dragged its feet and, despite our best efforts, we could only service half our clientele because of being in a smaller premises, so it was a really challenging time When we reopened in June 2010 the question then was how to reach people, and


using social media to help was very much a deliberate decision. Vicki already had a personal Facebook site so we started to use that more for the business, running competitions and prizes, putting up images and, in effect, using it as a blog to let people know what was going on, in particular our competition successes. From there it’s extended into a proper Rage Facebook page as well as, more recently, a Twitter feed. The emphasis was, and is, very much about keeping things upbeat, being fun and conversational rather than “corporate”. To me your website is your shop window online, where you “sell” the business, and so social media has to be different; it’s the place where you go to talk to and engage with clients. It’s almost like they’ve come into the salon for a conversation; think of it as an interactive extension to your website, so have a link from one to the other. One very important element has been connecting it to the physical side of the business. We have stickers on the windows and mirrors saying “follow us on Facebook and Twitter”. Most of our clients now have smart phones so when they are, say, having their colour done they can go on to the site and see what’s going on. We offer free “Wi-Fi” to clients to make this really easy.

may not be as much point, though, having said that, many older people are now active online. It is important to have a strategy, to decide what you want to use social media for, what you are going to put up there and who is going to manage it on a dayto-day basis. We encourage team members to post on the site, which both raises their profile and gives the site extra credibility. For us, the benefits have been immense. It helped us get back on to our feet, it has created a “buzz” and been important in raising our profile; it has helped us to re-establish and grow the relationships we have with our clients. We regularly get clients posting how much they love their colour or cut, which is just fantastic and means our clients are really engaged and, in effect, doing our advertising for us in a very powerful way.

Make time

It does take a time commitment. Vicki and I both post things regularly, often in the evenings. We’ve also given our senior stylist, Nat, the job of keeping the site busy and updated. As I’m 52 and Vicki’s 47 we reckon Nat has a much better idea of the sort of things young people want to read about! Hairdressing, like fashion, is a fastmoving industry and you’ve got to move with it; you’ve got to embrace these things as they come along and not be afraid of them. Of course, if your salon’s clientele are mostly aged 60-plus there

If you read nothing else read this… • Social media can be powerful but keep it fun and conversational • Have a strategy and decide in advance how you intend to use it • Recognise it will take a time commitment to ensure it is regularly updated • Promote it within the salon, get clients and the team engaged


Save the best for last Many salon owners assume their business will fund their retirement, but without careful planning and forethought you could end up disappointed, warns Mark Ridout. When it comes to hanging up the scissors, many salon owners, perhaps even most, assume they will be able to “cash in” all the hard graft they have put into building up their business, using the lump sum from its sale to realise those dreams of a villa in sunnier climes or just being able to relax without having to worry about where every last penny is coming from. But how realistic is this, especially in the current climate of a “buyer’s market”? How can you ensure you get the best return, the best value, for your salon when the time does come to sell up? The first thing to say is, yes, it is possible to turn a salon business into a viable retirement fund, especially if you have more than one site to sell.

Be realistic


owner, you need to be able to show there is a proper succession in place and the business will be sustainable beyond your departure. Even if you are selling on to one of your managers or stylists you need to ensure the business is sold for a fair and achievable market value. We, for example, offer a valuation service perfectly suited for internal transactions to ensure both sides achieve a fair price.

However, it is also true many small business owners do tend to over-estimate the worth of their business, and so can risk ending up disappointed. A common pitfall is to assume that, Plan ahead just because the business is providing you Finally, you do need to think ahead. We with a good income, it is equally going to advise a minimum of five years from be a cash cow for any prospective buyer. thinking about selling to carrying it What a purchaser – whether an external through – so recognise you’ll need to buyer or someone you are wishing to sell be working until 2017 at the business on to – will be least! For the first two years looking for is a sustainable, you should be ensuring profitable enterprise. Any the business is in tip-top bank or financial intermediary condition and then for backing a buyer will also want the final three working to to be sure they will get back keep costs down, increase what they have invested and sales and just making it as there is long term potential. attractive and saleable as So, ensure overheads possible. are trimmed as much as is This may sound a long realistically possible and Mark Ridout is a wait but, after all, it is about all cash coming into the business valuation making the rest of your life business is visible on paper. specialist and as financially comfortable as Particularly with a business director of RA possible, and what could be where its identity is very Valuation Services more important than that? much wrapped up in its

How to maximise your retirement income A pension is a natural starting point for anyone looking for income in retirement, but there are other options, writes Stephen Womack. A maximum of £50,000 per tax year can be paid into a pension – providing you have the earnings to do so. It is also possible to roll over unused allowances from three previous years, giving a potential maximum of £200,000. What this does mean, however, is that if you want to use the proceeds of a business sale to top-up your pension the deal may have to be structured carefully. Speak to your accountant about this well in advance. Be aware, too, pensions are not the only game in town, particularly if you are looking to “take” an income from a lump sum sale of a business. One option is to invest in a series of Isas. These allow you to save (as of April 2012) up to £11,280 per tax year. Up to half of this can be saved into a cash account. Or the money can go into funds, such as unit trusts or shares, investing in stock markets across the world, as well as in bonds, property and commodities. While there is no up-front tax break, income from Isa investments is free from further tax. And, unlike a pension, the entire value of an Isa is accessible so if you need to get at the cash you can. In practice, most savers use a combination of pensions, Isas, building society accounts and other investments to build up a viable retirement income. For a big decision such as this, it is to wise take independent financial advice, and be prepared to pay a fee for quality help. You can find advisers through websites such as unbiased. and Stephen Womack is personal finance correspondent for the Mail on Sunday newspaper and author of The Financial Mail Complete Guide to Planning Your Retirement.



Make safety more than skin deep

Wet work and exposure to chemicals can play havoc with the hands of your salon staff. But there is a lot you can do to prevent the onset of dermatitis, advises Graham Johnson.

As many as seven out of 10 hairdressers will suffer from work-related skin damage at some point in their career. As a salon owner, the main thing to remember is there is a lot you can do to manage the risks associated with skin complaints; you definitely do not have to “live with it”.

Risk factors

Hairdressing, by its nature, involves a lot of wet work. If you or members of your team are in contact with water for long periods in a day, by which is meant normally two hours or more, then you are likely to be at heightened risk. Similarly, if your hands get wet several times a day, perhaps when shampooing clients, you may again be at greater risk. The other main cause of dermatitis is coming into contact with chemicals in hairdressing products, so when shampooing, colouring or bleaching, or in the products you use for cleaning up. There are two types of “contact” dermatitis: irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis will generally occur when the skin flares up following a few contacts with a strong chemical such as bleach. It tends to develop gradually through frequent wet working or working with milder chemicals like shampoo. Allergic contact dermatitis, by contrast, can develop quickly after only a few contacts with a substance such as shampoos or colours. However it is also possible for it to develop Graham Johnson is over a long period clinical lead, nursing, of time, after at Bupa Health and months or even Wellbeing and an expert years of contact. on dermatitis and the use The problem of latex gloves. is once you are



allergic, you are allergic for life and this can happen at any time, even if you have had no problems previously in your career. The main symptoms of dermatitis are: dryness, redness, itching, flaking or scaling, cracking and blistering. While it can be painful it must be stressed it is not “catching”. On the other hand, this can make it harder to manage – it can develop at any time or not at all in the same environment. The Health and Safety Executive recommends five key steps: • Wear disposable non-latex gloves when rinsing, shampooing, colouring or bleaching. • Dry your hands thoroughly with a soft cotton or paper towel. • Moisturise, not forgetting fingertips, finger webs and wrists. • Change gloves between clients • Check skin regularly for dermatitis.


One helpful preventative measure is to have in place a system of health surveillance. This can be as simple as a questionnaire covering whether a staff member has ever experienced asthma or been pre-disposed in the past. It also makes sense to be carrying out regular risk assessments of the salon floor. What is normally required here is a risk assessment under the COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations, in particular examining actual and potential exposure. Regular skin inspections should be

encouraged; I would suggest every three months. You should also make it clear staff should not be afraid to speak out. When it comes to skin creams these should be paraffin-based or aqueous moisturising creams. Each staff member should have their own supply. People worry about gloves – and there have been well-documented allergy issues associated with long-term use of powdered latex gloves. The most practical thing is to go for single-use, all-round smooth, powderfree, non-latex gloves, ideally around 300mm in length. The Hair and Beauty Suppliers Association and the British Safety Industry Federation can help. For most small businesses if a problem develops it is going to be a case of referring the staff member to their GP, which is fine, but you should write explaining what substances they may have been exposed to. Finally, remember, lots of wellmeaning procedures on paper will mean nothing – and cut no ice with an employment tribunal – unless they are backed by effective good practice.

How Salon Sorted could help The NHF’s Salon Sorted health and safety tool can help, says Maeve O’Hara, of provider Sypol. Salon Sorted focuses on the every-day tasks carried out in salons. As such, it can offer task risk and COSHHassessments written by expert consultants specifically for salons. It also has a bespoke dermatitis “procedure” within the “documents” section of the tool that includes detailed guidance for salons. Salon Sorted is available for an annual price of £20 plus VAT. For more details go to SalonSorted or contact NHF head office on 0845 345 6500.

Forward Features May/June 2012 • Bridal long hair/ extensions • Insurance: are you adequately insured? • Back to basics: backwash chairs • Get the most from school proms

If you are interested in advertising opportunities please contact Tricia McDougall on 01536 747333 or email:


Cutting cancer

down to size

For many people diagnosed with cancer the hair loss that can come with its treatment is almost as terrifying as the disease itself. Salons therefore have a real opportunity to make a difference, and may even discover tangible business benefits, says Darren Stuart. I first became involved with My New Hair five years ago after a close friend of mine was diagnosed with, and later died of, leukaemia. The NHS, rightly, is going to be focused on providing the very best medical treatment it can for you when you have cancer. Yet, for a doctor, the fact you’re going to lose your hair is just a side-effect of the treatment. That, for me, is where salons can help. Talking about cancer to people you know can be hard enough, so it is very understandable that, for some people, they hear the word “cancer” and shrink back. But, as hairdressers, part of our job is to talk to people, pamper them, make them feel a bit special – and of course hair is also what we know about best. In my salon it’s very straightforward. We’re Darren Stuart runs just a day-to-day salon Tribeca salon in but people are referred Sunderland and to us from our local is a trustee of the hospital. In the NHS charity My New what happens is you are Hair. given a voucher with which to buy a wig, the value of which varies according to where you are in the country; it can be a bit of a postcode lottery. So a client comes to us with their voucher and we source a wig direct, at cost, from the wholesaler and then style, cut and fit it for free; the client does not pay a thing. We use TrendCo Hair Supplies but there are many listed on the website of the Hair and Beauty Suppliers Association That’s just the way we feel


comfortable doing it but, clearly, from a business perspective you could develop this into a revenue stream just by itself, with perhaps a single session equating to the cost of a cut and blow-dry. For me, however, the longer-term client relationship and reputational benefits are perhaps the bigger potential gain.

Relationship bond

You may, of course, never see that client again. But you may also have done something special for them at a difficult time in their lives and either, if they are an existing client, developed an even stronger relationship as a result or, if a new client, forged a bond that may keep them coming back or encourage them to recommend you to others. Moreover, a salon’s expertise and training can be invaluable when the client does finally, hopefully, take their wig off. Often after chemotherapy your hair will have deteriorated and so it may take quite a lot of work to bring its quality back. It may be a question, too, of developing or working up new styles and cuts that work with a new, shorter “look”. There may be important health and safety issues to be addressed and talked through, especially around patch testing and skin or scalp sensitivity if the client wants quickly to return to colouring. We are a L’Oréal and Schwarzkopf salon and so we have worked closely with them on what products can and cannot be used by clients in this context. When it comes to training and staffing, the extent to which individual staff members want to be involved is very much down to them. Often we do find staff more than happy to help with washing or blowdrying wigs; and they see me doing this all the time so it is not unusual for them. But it is left up to the individual.

Set limits

Finally, a word of caution. As a salon owner, yes, this is something you will probably do because you’ve got an emotional engagement and link to it. But you’ve also got to think: “how is it going to fit within my business?”. For us it is now routine, just another service we offer. But I am also aware, if we allowed it, we could be inundated to the extent that it became detrimental to the rest of the business. So you have got to think how much time you can realistically allow the salon to spend on it. It’s the same question if you decide to expand into hair loss more generically, so perhaps extending into treatments for alopecia or offering hair systems and so on. It could become a viable, important new revenue stream, but it could also become a distraction from the day-to-day business of running a successful hairdressing salon, from being a “hairdresser”. So these are all things you need to think through very carefully.



How Macmillan link is breaking new ground Macmillan Cancer Support’s Strength in Style partnership has since 2009 put 95 Toni&Guy and essensuals salons through a training programme on how to support clients suffering from cancer-associated hair loss. One of its beauties is it takes hair loss out of the clinical environment, explains the charity’s Aimee Aldersley. Often it just does not occur to people who have been diagnosed with cancer that there is, potentially, all this expertise and knowledge about hair loss and what is going to happen to their hair right on their doorstep. The sort of feedback we get all the time is, “if only I’d known my stylist round the corner knew all this information”. Another real advantage is that it will be in a “normal” environment rather than a hospital, which can help to combat the fear factor. It can be really valuable to speak to someone you perhaps already know well, and knows you, who will understand about things like the loss of confidence that can accompany feeling as if your hair is looking rubbish or once you have lost your hair completely. It can be quite daunting sometimes for a stylist to talk to someone who is being affected by cancer, so proper training is important. Through Strength in Style we’re training salons in much more than wig cutting and fitting – that’s one thing that sets this apart. Our training covers haircare advice and support but also tips and strategies for dealing with the emotional and practical issues surrounding hair loss and hair thinning because of cancer treatment and the effects chemotherapy will have on hair.

Styling and dressing a wig The charity My New Hair ( was founded by celebrity hairdresser Trevor Sorbie and is working to develop a network of salons around the country offering wig styling services to people with, or recovering from, cancer. It runs a training seminar programme covering issues such as wig cutting and styling, maintaining wigs and the different types of wig you might come across, communication and counselling people with cancer and aftercare issues post-chemotherapy. When it comes to cutting and styling wigs – which will normally be made from either synthetic or human hair – this is something many stylists can find intimidating at first. “It’s a bit like cutting a hedge or creating a sculpture. It’s really important that you don’t try to cut a wig like a normal head of hair, as it’s not!” argues Trevor. “I nearly always use a razor because I feel that sculpting a shape and reducing bulk is much easier using this tool. Also, you get a more natural look with a razor as the edges of the hair are not as blunt as when cut with scissors. “In my experience, most wigs have about 40 per cent too much hair in them and I normally concentrate on first removing the bulk and then customising the shape to suit the face. I do also use my scissors and thinning scissors – it’s a combination of the tools you feel most comfortable with. “The single most important thing about making a wig look real is to ensure that the wig is customised to suit your face shape,” he explains. My New Hair is running Level 1, Advanced Skills and Aftercare seminars throughout 2012. For details contact L’Oréal Academy London on 020 8762 4380 or email Max Oliva at



Plug into electricals

In the second of our series going “back to basics” for salon staff, SalonFocus looks at what stylists need to need to know about the small electrical appliances they will be using.

On any busy salon floor on any given day your small electricals – hairdryers, tongs, straighteners and so on – are going to take a real hammering. So, as celebrity hairdresser Errol Douglas emphasises, the key when buying, replacing or just choosing such items is to think reliability and robustness as well as, of course, performance. “Hairdryers, tongs, irons, straighteners and wands are there for two reasons: to make all of our lives easier and to make hair look great,” Errol explains. “Always check the cord length to make sure it is long enough to enable the hairdresser to work freely, and choose straightforward designs to keep things looking smart and classic. “You don’t want the branding of the hairdryer to overshadow the branding of your salon,” he also cautions. “Stick to good-quality manufacturers who will support you, both in maintaining your equipment and holding evenings that will help train your staff and promote your brand,” Errol adds. Kala Laing, creative director at SDL Hair in Dumfries, recommends that, for dryers, as well as a long cable, it is important to look for lightness, quietness, speed of drying, choice of heat and speed settings, an easy clean filter and the option of a warranty, with ideally 12 months as a minimum. By comparison, when it comes to styling and straightening irons, a stable temperature control “is a must”. Beyond this, comfort and versatility will be key considerations, but also look for things such as a swivel cord, semifloating plates as well as tourmaline- and ceramic-infused plates, she advises.


“Generally, there are three key trends in how electricals have evolved and improved in recent years – certainly at ghd,” says Jo Robertson, UK education manager for ghd. “Firstly, they’ve become even lighter, ensuring less daily strain for stylists. Secondly, they now offer increased reliability (we’ve done a huge


Mig article ht this within be useful y Pass it our salon? share round and it with stylists your !

cable to ensure long life; and even an ionic generator that cuts drying times and leaves the hair feeling soft and more manageable,” she says.



amount of work to ensure this and in recent years have moved to our own manufacturer, exclusive to ghd, so that we can maintain maximum consistency). Finally, the design – not only do our appliances look sleeker and more stylish, but they’re easier to handle and control,” she points out. With straighteners and tongs, the rule of thumb – as with so much in life – is you get what you pay for, recommends Karen Green, electricals buyer at Sally Salon Services. “A lower-priced product is likely to take much longer to heat up than a higher priced product. This is important as heat-up speed is directly linked to product performance,” she explains. “We are increasingly seeing other innovations such as digital settings for use with all hair types and sophisticated plate technologies. A very popular recent innovation is ceramic plates infused with argan oil that glide smoothly through the hair. Another plate technology that is smooth and very hardwearing is titanium,” she adds. With dryers, conversely, you may not necessarily have to go to the very top end of the market to find the best-performers, Karen suggests. A £30-£35 dryer can often do you just as well as something more expensive, though obviously it will depend on exactly what you are looking for. “For this price point you can get a dryer with 2000W; multiple heat and speed settings; a fast cold shot button; very powerful motor for fast, strong airflow; robust nylon housing and

When it comes to maintenance, it is imperative all staff get into the habit of ensuring clippers are cleaned and lubricated, straighteners and tongs have their barrels cleaned and dryers their filters cleaned, all ideally weekly. “Cables should always be wrapped around your hand, not the product, before storing. Wrapping around the product stresses the copper wiring and shortens the product life,” says Karen. It goes without saying – or should but is always worth reiterating – that electricals should be kept away from water at all times. Another important health and safety point not to overlook is trailing cables on the salon floor. “Always keep stylers within a heat resistant bag for additional protection when not in use and place them on a heat resistant roll mat when in use to avoid burning carpets, furniture etc. An automatic switch-off facility is a must,” recommends Jo Robertson. “Finally, remember to get all appliances portable appliance tested (PAT), which is not expensive to do. This is a legal requirement for any business, but it can also unearth any older products that might be close to the end of its lifespan,” adds Karen Green.

If you read nothing else read this… • A cheaper dryer can still be a good investment, but this may be less the case for straighteners and tongs • As well as performance look for robustness, reliability and length of warranty • Ensure maintenance training is ongoing, as well as health and safety awareness

Not invested in the NHF’s model chair renting agreements? Now is the time to do so. Already got them? Do you need to renew them? If you’ve had lease agreements for two years you should be looking to renew them now. Call the NHF Head Office if you are unsure or refer to article on page 11.

Contracts are available to members from Head Office or order online from the Federation’s “e-shop” at


Rising to the challenge of

competition hairdressing At the age of just 16, Tayla Murdy has the world of competition hairdressing at her feet. But getting to the top takes serious dedication and commitment, she says. From the age of 11 I used to go along to competitions with my mum and watch the girls compete. Even then I knew it was something I wanted to do, I just found it really exciting. I was 12 when I entered my first competition, the British Open Hairdressing Championships, which were being held that year in Coventry. I was really nervous but it was brilliant and astonishingly I won! It was, of course, in a junior competition but to take a gold medal at that age, when you’re up against 18 and 19 year-olds, felt like a real achievement. I couldn’t have done it – and couldn’t have achieved what I have – without the help and support of my mum and Team GB. I joined the team when I was 14 and it was through them that I started going to international competitions.


We are competitive, because we have to compete against each other to qualify to get to competitions, especially to get to the world championships, but it is also a really close-knit team. It has to be because we see so much of each other. We train together and help each other out. Once a month we’ll travel down to Birmingham to have a training squad session, which normally lasts about six hours. And then I’ll tend to do the same amount of time in the salon most Sundays, so it is hard work and you do have to be really dedicated to it. When you’re in a competition, inevitably, it is quite stressful. You’re up against the clock and you have to be completely focused on what you’re doing because you just get one shot at it. But for me it just all seems to click into place when I’m up there on the stage.


You’ll be judged on a range of things: colour, how clean the cut is, the shape and


so on. It’s very intense – one minute you’re out on the floor representing your country, then you’re done; you’ve done your job and you leave and they judge you… and you just have to wait to get the result! This year it’s going to be busy, as ever. There will be the Irish Hairdressing Championships, the World Hairdressing Championships again and lots of regional competitions to go to. My ambition is simply to keep working at the highest level I can achieve and just to keep on doing what I do. If you’re serious about being in competitions you have to be prepared to put everything into it. Certainly most of my spare time goes into it. When the salon shuts is when I start my training – and I probably train three or four times a week. So you need to be sure it is something you definitely, definitely want to do. But it also gives you a real buzz.

Tayla Murdy is a member of the NHF’s Team GB and works with mum Leanne Willis, who is also a member of the squad, at The Venue salon in Ashington, Northumberland. She is a gold medal winner, European champion and has represented Great Britain at the World Hairdressing Championships.

EVENTS NHF EVENTS OTHERS Please send your events to the NHF at enquiries@nhf. info by March 5 for May/ June, May 2 for July/August and July 2 for September/ October. Updated events listed on


MAR Blackpool International Hairdressing Championships, Wintergardens, Blackpool Contact Cheryl Swarbrick on 01253 343723 or (evening) ) Eileen Clough on 01253 406834


MAR Devon and Cornwall Championships, Redcliffe Hotel, Paignton Contact Pat or Doug Cording on 01386 561704


MAR Sassoon Creative Team “Look and Learn” Seminar Derby College, Pride Park, Derby Contact Ivan Blount on 01773 745580


APR North West Region and Networking Group AGM Holiday Inn, Lancaster Contact Ken or June on 01253 895711


APR Pro Hair Live, Manchester Central Contact


APR Bournemouth & Reading Competitions, Carrington House Hotel Bournemouth Contact Lee Elliot on 02380 227578


MAY Central England Region and Networking Group Hairdresser of the Year Awards, Holte Suite, Aston Villa, Birmingham Contact Colin Gardner on 0121 378 0900


MAY Welsh Open Championships Cardiff Bay Coal Exchange, Cardiff Contact Carl Hinder on 07931518642 or james@



OCT Annual General Meeting and Conference Hilton Cardiff, Kingsway Contact NHF head office on 0845 345 6500


NOV Cheshire Championships Romiley Forum Theatre, Stockport Contact Michael Burgum on 0161 220 7375

JUNE South West Area Championships, Winter Gardens, Weston Super Mare Contact Pat or Doug Cording on 01386 561704



One of the arguments of hairdresserturned-MP David Morris’ abortive attempt in Parliament in November to introduce a system of mandatory registration for hairdressers (SalonFocus News, January-February 2012) was that hairdressing is now an increasingly professional and complex business that deserves to be taken seriously. So it was, Backwash feels, something of a disappointment that the 23-minute debate was as notable for its quips about the industry, not least by David himself, as it was for its serious content. David started well enough, arguing forcefully that his proposal had crossindustry support and “in the media we have seen some quips, from certain members in here, and I would try and make this an apolitical issue”. But then, perhaps aware his bill was, unusually, going to be opposed and likely to go to a division, or vote, he jested, to groans from around the Chamber: “Let me be clear, Mr Deputy Speaker, if there is a division today, it

Credit: BBC News

A parting of views?


would not be more of a division than a parting,” before adding slightly selfconsciously, “we had to get that one in before anyone else did”. If that wasn’t bad enough, when David Nuttall, Conservative MP for Bury North, got to his feet to oppose the bill, he could not resist suggesting, to widespread laughter, that “no doubt this

Gone for a Burton

Manly Mitch Backwash certainly has to admire Paul Mitchell’s chutzpah. After all, his new seven-strong men’s grooming range not only is called Mitch but even outlines who “Mitch” is: “Mitch is the guy everyone wants to be and every woman wants to be with. He’s the urban gentleman, the athlete, the rock star, the guy next door who wants to get his groom on and go.” If that wasn’t enough, the “modern manpower” range almost seems to ooze testosterone, with names such as Hardwired, Steady Grip, Double Hitter and, er, Construction Paste, a name that, if nothing else, makes you ponder what its consistency might be like. Backwash is sure it’ll be popular but wonders whether there might be a market for perhaps a “next-generation” Mitch too? You know, how about a “Sensitive Mitch”, “Sharing Mitch”, even maybe “Reading-with-the-kids Mitch”, that sort of thing? Just asking…


Office for Hairdressing Regulation will soon be known as Offcut”. It may all have been light-hearted, but how many other vitally important £5bn high-street industries employing, as David Morris also made clear, an average 2,500 people (and therefore potential voters) per constituency would be treated so flippantly, Backwash wonders?

Backwash was impressed at the news in December that Elizabeth Taylor’s iconic wig for her role in the 1963 Hollywood blockbuster Cleopatra sold at auction for $16,000 (£10,000), handsomely exceeding the $11,000 it had been expected to make. The wig was made from real dark brown human hair and featured gold coils, beads and braids and, in fact, was one of three created for the actress, who died this month a year ago, meaning that someone, somewhere, is potentially still sitting on a genuine (well, genuine in Hollywood terms) Egyptian gold-mine. And at that price you have to hope it’s not been bought by a fancy dress enthusiast.


If you have stories for Backwash, send them to the editor at head office or e-mail to sfeditor@ putting Editor Backwash in the subject line.

SalonFocus March-April 2012  

SalonFocus is the NHF’s award winning cutting-edge magazine keeping members abreast of employment law and other legislation, health and saf...

SalonFocus March-April 2012  

SalonFocus is the NHF’s award winning cutting-edge magazine keeping members abreast of employment law and other legislation, health and saf...