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£3.50 July/Aug 2017

The essential magazine for salon owners

BLONDE AMBITION Jack Howard’s inspired balayage


Stand out on an increasingly competitive high street


How to make money from children’s services


Self-employment: good or bad for salons?





P6 NEWS NHF member’s royal visit, plus new NHF absence guide P10 STREET SAVVY How to make your salon stand-out in an increasingly competitive high street environment P12 OPEN FOR BUSINESS What new salon owners believe has been the secret to their successful start-up P16 CHILD’S PLAY Making offering children’s services not just profitable, but fun P20 CONFIDENCE BOOST Ways to support young people suffering from hair loss P22 PARENT POWER A new government-backed tax-free childcare scheme could help salons hang on to valued team members


P24 A FAIR DAY’S WORK? Chair, room renting and mobile hairdressing remain popular within our industry, new NHF research has shown. But many owners still resent these self-employed business models deeply P30 BUSINESS CLASS There’s just one month to go to get your entry in for the NHF’s new National Business Awards P32 STAND UP AND BE COUNTED Have you got what it takes to be one of Britain’s Best? P33 PICTURE PERFECT Now’s the time to be pulling together your entry for this year’s Photographic Stylist of the Year competition P34 EXAM RESULTS If you’re taking on an apprentice this summer, here’s what you need to know about the new training set-up in England



P38 EVENTS Where and when this year’s events will be coming to your area


£3.50 July/Aug 2017

The essential magazine for salon owners

An image from “Natural Born Blondes”, the latest collection from Jack Howard at Paul Edmonds. This look, explains Jack, “showcases timeless, effortless and creative balayage. It was all about taking the hair from daytime to cocktail hour in that ‘London girl’ kind of way.”

NATURAL-BORN BLONDE Jack Howard’s inspired balayage


Stand out on an increasingly competitive high street


How to make money from (and not be driven mad by)


Chair renting t/c

CREDITS: Colour: Jack Howard at Paul Edmonds Styling: Paul Edmonds & Alfie O’Neil Photography: Jay Mawson Make-up: Yin Lee Stylist: Sabina Emmett





L E T T E R SALONFOCUS IS PUBLISHED BY: National Hairdressers’ Federation, One Abbey Court, Fraser Road, Priory Business Park, Bedford MK44 3WH t: +44 (0) 1234 831965 f: +44 (0) 1234 838875 e: w: PUBLISHER Hilary Hall e: EDITOR Nic Paton e: PR, EVENTS AND SOCIAL MEDIA Kelly Sylvester t. +44 (0) 1234 834384 e. ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER Andy Etherton T: + 44 (0) 1536 527297 e: ART DIRECTOR Adriano Cattini Matrix Print Consultants Ltd t: +44 (0) 1536 527297 e: 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. © 2016 The National Hairdressers’ Federation. Material for consideration in this section of the magazine should be submitted via email or digital file transfer 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 and stylist.

hether it’s chair or room renting or mobile styling or beauty therapy, selfemployment, it is very clear, works very well for very many people in our industry.


Even though it means giving up things like sick and holiday pay, paid parental leave and access to a pension, people like the flexibility of being self-employed; they like the opportunity it can offer to be your own boss without loads of extra hassle and red tape. But it is also clear there is a bit of a problem with self-employment, both in our industry and ABOUT AGNES more widely. Agnes Leonard is president of the NHF and a registered It’s why the government has been hairdresser. She has worked in investigating app-based businesses such the industry for 36 years and owns Croppers Hair Studio in as Uber and Deliveroo that blur the lines Dundee, a busy, family-run salon successfully adapting to the between someone being an “employee” and fast-changing retail environment being self-employed. – just, in fact, like many NHF members up and down the It’s also why, as our latest survey shows, country. so many business owners resent the fact that using self-employed workers can allow a rival (perfectly legally) to avoid having to charge VAT and duck all the usual legal and financial responsibilities that go with taking on employees. There aren’t easy answers. The government won’t want to deter people from being entrepreneurial and going self-employed. But, at the same time, the NHF is right – there needs to be a more level playing field, one which allows businesses that employ people (and, let’s not forget, often train up our industry’s future talent) to compete more fairly.


COMING UP IN SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER Celebrating the NHF’s 75 years – as we prepare for the new National Business Awards, how do members feel the industry has changed over the years? Why making the effort to get out of the salon and go to an NHF event this autumn could be a game-changer

Understanding what you can and cannot deduct from salaries when employees are on the National Minimum or National Living Wage

Do you have a salon story to tell? Would you like to be featured in salonfocus? Get in touch with the team, on 01234 834385, or send an email to

salonfocus | July/Aug 2017

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STAFF ABSENCE GUIDE he NHF has produced a guide to help business owners manage staff absence more effectively.


The NHF Guide to Absence Management sets out the procedures a business owner needs to follow when an employee is absent from work because of sickness, injury or for any other reason. This includes setting out how employees should go about calling in sick, the role of “self-certification” (or how long an employee can be off before they must have a note from their GP), when Statutory Sick Pay must be paid and for how long, and issues such as how to conduct return-to-work interviews. The guide also outlines what to do if an employee is absent from work without notification. It includes a model sickness self-certification form and a returnto-work discussion form as well as an employment attendance record form. COST OF DISRUPTION Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics have said the UK lost 137 million working days to sickness or injury last year, or the equivalent of 4.3 days per worker, the lowest recorded rate since it began keeping track in 1993. Minor illnesses (such as coughs and colds) remained the most common reason for sickness absence, followed by “musculoskeletal” problems (including back pain, neck and upper limb problems)

salonfocus | July/Aug 2017

and then stress and mental ill-health. Nevertheless, the cost of someone being off sick in terms of disruption, extra workload on colleagues, needing to find cover and paying sick pay can all be substantial, especially for smaller businesses. People working in hairdressing, beauty and barbering can be especially prone to musculoskeletal problems, because of twisting and bending over clients all day long and the intense use of wrists, arms and shoulders. Slips, trips and burns in a busy, often small, salon environment can also be a common risk. Skin complaints, especially contact dermatitis because of frequent exposure to water, are a further common problem within the industry and the fact staff, both in hair and beauty, will be dealing with products containing chemicals can be another health risk if not managed properly. The guide is available through nhf-guides/

FIND OUT MORE You can find out about the health and safety benefits of being an NHF member, including the NHF’s health and safety toolkit at

Non-surgical beauty procedures, such as fillers, Botox and chemical peels, are continuing to grow in popularity, research has suggested, even to the extent that cosmetic surgeons are now feeling the pinch. A study by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons in February reported that the number of cosmetic operations conducted in 2016 fell 40% to a near-decade low, from a record-breaking high in 2015. And now a follow-up study by exhibitions company CCR Expo has concluded that most medical practitioners (87%) believe this decline is down to people opting instead for non-surgical procedures. The survey of surgeons, doctors, nurses, dermatologists, dentists and practice managers concluded Botox remained the most popular non-surgical treatment for women, followed by dermal fillers, chemical peels and laser hair removal.


FINEST DAY The NHF’s Wales Finest competition was a hit with members in May, with innovations such as instant judging and public votes proving popular. Shohreh Taherian, from Cardiff & Vale College (pictured), was crowned Wales Finest Ladies Champion, and Jordan Davies, of JD’s Barber Shop in Tredegar, was this year’s Men’s Champion. “It was an amazing day. The use of ‘secret’ instant judges – who could

HELPING HOMELESS WOMEN An NHF member has set up an organisation to help vulnerable and homeless women regain their confidence and self-esteem, and is urging other hair and beauty salons and barbershops to get involved. The H.A.I.R Foundation (thehairfoundation. org) has been set up by London hairdresser Martyn Maxey, who runs Martyn Maxey Hairdressing in Marylebone. It offers free hairdressing to homeless women via bi-monthly events at his salon, but Martyn has said he wants to build up a UK network of salons willing to volunteer with drop-in, day and care centres.

award five points – was a huge success; it really kept people on edge as to who the eventual winners were,” Welsh president Mark Coray told salonfocus afterwards. “The audience was great, there was lots of clapping and excitement, and I think everyone went away really happy.” Alongside the two overall winners, the event saw stylists competing in 11 other categories. “The feedback we had afterwards was superb – I had four people come up to me on the day to say how good it had been. One of our judges Gary Pearce (of Gary Pearce Hair in Huddersfield) said to me afterwards how the innovations had ‘injected excitement’, which was really pleasing,” Mark added. The full list of winners can be found at

PARKING WOES The number of drivers fined by private parking companies in the UK has risen by more than a quarter in the past year, according to a study by the motoring charity The RAC Foundation. Parking restrictions, fines and tickets can be real a headache for salons and barbershops, especially those located in city centres and especially if it means clients worry about being able to leave their car for long enough to book an appointment. According to The RAC Foundation, private parking

companies requested more than 4.7 million vehicle-keeper records from the DVLA in 2016-17, a rise of 28% from the previous year. The vast majority of these were likely to have been so they could issue fines to drivers of up to £100. The data suggested private parking providers were issuing a ticket every seven seconds on average.



p Princess Anne, The Princess Anne Princess Royal, visited with (from left) NHF member Charlie Joshua and Miller Hair Salon & Jason Miller at Charlie Miller Training Academy in Hair Salon Edinburgh in April, to & Training mark the salon’s 50th Academy year in business as well as its work supporting youngsters and teenagers suffering from cancer through the Teenage Cancer Trust’s Hair 4 U project. The princess met founders Charlie and Janet Miller and their sons Jason and Joshua, who are joint managing directors of the business. They were joined by director India Miller and her husband (and hair designer) Jason, as well as director Ian Blyth and other team members. Jason Miller said: “From origins that began in a hairdressing salon in a small housing estate in the Prestonfield area of Edinburgh, the business has come a long way and the visit by HRH The Princess Royal is a tremendous honour for our family, directors, managers and all members of Charlie Miller. “The most significant focus during the past 50 years has always been about answering the needs of every client with genuineness, empathy and warmth and to motivate and encourage staff to aspire to evolve with a caring and inspirational heart. We’ve enjoyed 50 years together and are looking forward to continuing this amazing journey,” he added.

July/Aug 2017 | salonfocus


SET TONGS WAGGING WITH YOUR NEW SALON SOFTWARE BE A CUT ABOVE THE REST AND MAKE YOUR BUSINESS STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD WITH SALON BY PREMIER SOFTWARE. esigned specifically to meet the continual demands of the hair and beauty industry, Salon by Premier Software (Salon) combines all the functionality you need to ensure your salon runs smoothly. It is your social media guru, marketing manager, personal assistant, receptionist, accountant and retail sales department all rolled into one.


Whichever features you require, Salon is the software you need. SOCIAL SHOUT OUT Has a little blue bird told you about Salon’s social media integration?

salonfocus | July/Aug 2017

A vital tool for building brand awareness and creating relationships with your clients, Salon lets you share your before and after pics, promotional material and news with clients through the most popular social media channels. MARKETING MANAGED Make more time for styling with Salon’s automated marketing function. Never missing a sales opportunity, it enables you to send reminders, offers and loyalty bonuses to your client’s mobile, tablet or PC in real time. SCHEDULED IN Say goodbye to gaps in your diary with Salon’s simple scheduling tool. Part of the new online suite, clients can book appointments 24/7 through your website or Facebook page. Alternatively, you can use it offline as a traditional appointment system. REWARDING LOYALTY Recognising your clients’ loyalty is key. By keeping track of a client’s spend, you can reward them with points to redeem against treatments, new products or both!

RETAIL REMINDER Never struggle for product suggestions again. Our intelligent software records treatment history and previously purchased items on the client card. These items are flagged up when billing, increasing upsell and profitability. Not in stock? Not a problem. Salon will remind you to give them a call when it’s back in. If you are looking to shave overheads while growing your business, Salon is the extra staff member you need. For more information or to book a free presentation: T: 01543 466 580 W: E:








Today is Receptionists Day! We wanted to say a huge thank you to our wonderful TVR front of house team. As well as recognise and appreciate all the things that they do for the salon, stylists and clients.

COLOUR FINALIST Well done to NHF member Hairlounge47, which successfully reached the backstage finals of the L’Oréal Colour Trophy Awards 2017 for the second year running. Although the salon, based in Kelvedon, Colchester, did not progress any further in the competition’s live final event in April, it was still an achievement even to reach the finals. Hairlounge47 manager Caroline Lane said this showed the team could “compete with the very best”.

We're sure you'll agree they do a great job! Let's all give them a cheer! #NRD17 National Hairdressers Federation

107 likes NHF @NHFederation


A big congratulations to Evie from @hayssalon on winning this years Step Up & Shine scholarship! @fellowshiphair #stepupandshine #winner pic.


The government has indicated new guidelines on workplace dress codes will be published over the summer. The announcement by the Equalities Office was made before the General Election, but is nevertheless expected to be carried through following a debate in Parliament in the spring over workplace dress, particularly whether employers should be able to force women to wear high heels as part of their role. While this in itself is unlikely to be relevant to salons, it is thought the guidelines may look more widely at issues such as the cost of purchasing uniforms or clothing for work and the roles and responsibilities of employers in terms of providing set workplace outfits.



NHF @NHFederation And a very “special” well done to NHF members Joy Mantle and Muriel Richardson, of Something Special in Penrhyn Bay, who have called it a day after running their salon since 1977.

NEW NHF BOARD MEMBERS The NHF has appointed three new members to its governing body, the NHF Board. They are Mandy Lodge-Stewart, of The Link Training Academy, from Yorkshire, and Adrian Ball, of Kara Hair & Beauty in


Gloucester, from the south west. Yvonne McConnell, owner of Phase 1 Hair, Nails and Beauty Lounge in Blackpool, has been appointed as honorary treasurer. They were installed at the NHF's annual general meeting in May.

JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION @nhfederation @NHFederation hairdressersfederation

July/Aug 2017 | salonfocus


Standing out on the high street


More barbershops and beauty salons opened for business last year than ever before, a survey has suggested. In fact, hair and beauty start-ups are now more popular than even tearooms, coffee shops and take-aways.


The industry snapshot by the retail body, the Local Data Company (LDC) has concluded that barbershops and beauty salons were the second and third most popular retail start-ups in 2016, after vaping shops in the top slot. Nail salons were seventh and hair and beauty salons also made it into the top 10, coming in at ninth place. Similarly, high street research from insurer Direct Line for Business has argued that the south east of England is now the UK’s “hair and beauty capital”. Nearly one in three hair, beauty and nail businesses operate in the south east of England, it calculated. HIGH STREET SURVIVAL Nevertheless, LDC has also warned that competition remains fierce, with more shops closing overall on UK high streets than opened last year, with 130 shops closing for every 125 that opened. This echoes research from the insurer RSA that has suggested more than half

salonfocus | July/Aug 2017

(55%) of all small businesses (not just hair, barbering or beauty) do not survive for longer than five years. And research by businesses for sale marketplace Bizdaq has identified a potentially worrying “spike” in the number of businesses that could sell up in the next five years, with uncertainty over Brexit one of the key factors. What this research all shows, as NHF chief executive Hilary Hall highlights, is just how competitive the marketplace continues to be for many salon and barbershop owners. “If salons and barbershops are to survive in such a tough marketplace, they will need to work harder than ever on their brand and client experience to differentiate their businesses from the many others out there,” she says. So, given this, but also given the popularity of hair and beauty as a business model, what do you need to be doing to stand out from the crowd on your high street? Here are five top tips.


DEVELOP AND ‘SELL’ AN ‘X FACTOR’ If you want your salon or barbershop business to stand out, you need to ask yourself what makes you different from your competitors? It should be something you do or have that nobody else does, something which adds value to your business. Spot aspects of your competition’s

Standing out on the high street

business that need improvement and focus on filling this gap yourself. Look also at growing trends and gaps in the market, analyse any products or services that you can add to your business that aren’t already out there.


CREATE AN ‘IDEAL’ CLIENT Target the right type of clients, not just the ones that pay you for a service. This is a client who is the perfect fit for your business because of your facilities, your location, your prices, the experience your business offers and your talents and strengths. Why? Because this will help your business grow; your ideal clients will make return visits while continuing to refer you to their friends and family.


RAISE YOUR PROFILE ON GOOGLE If you want to be the first website potential clients see when they’re searching on their phones for their next salon or barbershop, then you need to ensure it stays high on Google’s rankings. This won’t just happen. Your website needs to have a great design, content and SEO (search engine optimisation). Looking pretty alone won’t mean new clients can find you.


GROW YOUR SOCIAL FOLLOWING If you have social media profiles set up for your business, ensure you share useful, valuable content. Don’t just update your following about your business and offers, post content relating to the hair and beauty industry. Also find, follow, and build relationships with relevant influencers in your industry who have social media profiles to attract more fans and followers.


BUILD YOUR BRAND’S IMAGE Develop a distinctive visual brand that reflects your overall identity. For example, if your business is upbeat, your logo, website, packaging, signage, interior and marketing material should be similarly bright and engaging. If you don’t have the necessary skills, employ a designer to help you. Also, remember that everything your business does is linked to your brand in the eyes of your client. This includes the way your employees dress and behave in your business. ¢




Barbershops were the second most popular retail start-up in 2016, after vaping outlets. Beauty salons were third, nail bars seventh and hair and beauty salons ninth


Number of hair, beauty and nail businesses operating in the south east of England, making it the UK’s hair and beauty “capital”, compared with 11,000 in the next densest area, the north west


Number of UK shops that shut in 2016, compared with 45,986 that opened


Percentage of all small businesses (not just hair, barbering or beauty) that do not survive for longer than five years Bye!


Number of small business owners who say they plan to cease trading in the next five years, with a further 500,000 saying they intend to sell up Sources: LDC, Direct Line, RSA, Bizdaq

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Standing out on the high street


salonfocus | July/Aug 2017

Standing out on the high street

hether your dream is a standalone beauty business, or hair and beauty combined, opening a salon is one of the most popular forms of business start-up there is.


Yet, as the study by the Local Data Company on the previous pages has also shown, it’s an intensely tough retail world out there, especially for business owners trying to establish and make a name for themselves. Every new business, and every new business owner, is going to have different priorities when they’re starting out. The choices and decisions you make around location, services, equipment and staffing will depend very much on what sort of salon you want to open, the image you want to project and what your target client market is. But “been there, done that” advice is always helpful when you are feeling your way with a new venture. We spoke to two new, successful salon owners, one running purely a beauty salon and the other running a combined hair and beauty salon to find out what worked for them.


Charlotte Jarvis runs Forever Gorgeous in Milton Keynes with former school friend Laura Richardson, and started the business nearly three years ago. One of the most important things we learned is don’t undercut other salons just to get business. If anything, go in high on price. Be clear about what your treatment or brand is worth. If you need to get your name out there or advertise, then run some temporary promotions, as that will make you more affordable to start out with. But if you start out with permanently low prices you will only struggle in the long run and may end up simply having to increase your prices if you go in too cheaply at the beginning. That was something we suffered with at the start, so it is a lesson we have learned. Be prepared to have no social life for a few years! It takes about three years for your beauty business to kick off; you will probably be packing up at 8pm to go home to your dinner on the table – and


then the phone will go for a brow wax! The temptation then is to say no and lose that client. But I’d always ask if they are a new client and, if they are (as most regular clients would know our opening hours anyway), I would cancel whatever I was doing and offer them the treatment. That would normally mean they were so impressed that it would lead to a rebooking and plenty of recommendations – all of which helps to grow the business. BE PREPARED TO WORK HARD Be open to early starts and late finishes. When I first researched opening hours of beauty salons, on average I found most opened from 10am to 5pm. However, for us, 9am and 6pm are our busiest times. At 9am you get the mums coming straight from the school drop and from 5.30pm onwards you get everyone who finishes office hours. If you only open 10am to 5pm you risk completely losing all that busy trade! If you need to close early, make sure you stay open late at least one to two nights a week to cater for this market. Our late nights get booked up about two months in advance, so it is definitely worth doing.

Offer specialist treatments that people can’t do themselves. When you train for Level 2 beauty at college you learn the basics, which are waxing, manicure, pedicure, tinting and facials. This is all stuff people can buy in high street shops and can do themselves at home, and therefore won’t always be willing to pay to have done. However, if you offer specialist treatments that people can’t do, they will have to come in and pay to have this done. For example, spray tans, massages, lash extensions and so on. By offering those kind of extra branded treatments, you’re then offering a service that people have to pay for!

CHARLOTTE’S SALON WISH-LIST When you’re kitting out your new salon, you’re going to want it to look the part. But, at same time, you’ll be working to a tight budget. Charlotte Jarvis outlines what, when she launched, were her salon “must haves” and secondary “nice to haves”. MUST HAVES 1/ Reception desk. 2/ Beauty couch. 3/ Good décor. 4/ A private, enclosed room. If need be, a curtain can also do the job. 5/ A unit or chest of drawers or a beauty trolley.

NICE TO HAVES 1/ Spray tan machine. People generally take more care of their skin now, so are starting to “fake” it more and wear high SPF factor. But it is not essential to have. 2/ Advanced facial machines, for example offering microdermabrasion. A facial machine allows you to take skincare to a more advanced level and really help with your clients’ needs. But, if your budget is really tight, good products and a sponge can be effective, too.

3/ A sunbed. A sunbed can generate money for, essentially, doing nothing, and it can bring in useful income during the summer months. But, again, it’s probably not essential. You do have to make sure your clients tan responsibly. 4/ Retail products. Retail products are nice to offer and can generate a useful secondary income, not to mention help to educate your clients with their aftercare.

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Standing out on the high street


Bridget O’Keeffe is founder of Blush + Blow, a combined blow dry and beauty “bar” in Fulham, west London, launched in May last year.

We started with a team of six and now have 13 – so we are a fast-growing crazy “family”! Our treatments range from blow drys, manicures, pedicures and waxing through to children’s hair ups, braiding, massages and spray tans. For us, it’s been really important to make sure the two sides of the business are thoroughly integrated. For example, our loyalty programme works across both departments and our “blow dry and mani” (at the same time) is an integration that caters for busy women on the go! We are used to spraying clients with their curls pinned, so we have an entire procedure for crossing the hair and beauty treatments over. Legs are often waxed and toes painted while hair sets. A post-facial blow dry means you don’t have to go into the great outdoors with greasy hair – we totally understand what our clients want and need! DON’T CUT CORNERS Recognise the customer is always right. Always. No matter how wrong they are. Be genuine, too, while making sure your clients feel like royalty. Always go over and above. Nothing is ever too much effort and, if it is achievable, it should be done for them. No matter how much hard work a client is, never ever let them know just how hard they are! Unless, of course, they are flat-out rude, in which case they are not welcome. Never ever cut corners. Clients notice it being done and nothing screams ‘failing business’ like seeing a corner being cut.  Drama in the workplace is also a massive “no no” for me. Also, never drop your standards. Always make sure you are aware of what your competitors are up to. It’s important to not only keep up with them but to always be a few steps ahead of them. Always, always, always listen to what your clients think. After all, they are the ones who know exactly what you need to do in order to keep them happy. They are your most valuable consultants, and they are free! ¢

salonfocus | July/Aug 2017

p Blush + Blow is focused on loyalty and making sure services are integrated

Standing out on the high street



The NHF’s Start-up guide for hair salons, barbershops and beauty salons is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to think about, the steps you need to take and how to get your business off the ground. It also shows you how the NHF can help at every stage. Find it online at

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE When you choose Salonsure you get excellent Salon Insurance, but did you know that Coversure also offers a wide range of other insurance policies? For example: • Personal accident • Home, motor and travel • RAC breakdown cover

0800 223 0315

July/Aug 2017 | salonfocus


Offering children’s services


Offering children’s services


Cardiff salon Goji Hair offers children’s hairdressing on Sundays, through its ‘Goji Junior’ brand. Vicky Griffin is managing director of Goji Hair

We opened two years ago and are an organic salon, predominantly catering for women. Business is going really well; in fact we’re due to be moving into new, larger premises this month. The idea for Goji Junior – which caters for children aged 0-16 years – came about because we wanted to be able to offer services for the whole family. Mums and dads can bring their kids in, so it is about the whole family. The reason we do it on Sundays is that we just felt this was the best time. People are not rushing around, either after school or doing their Saturday chores.

first haircut. Otherwise, it’s just the normal salon. As the children get older they will transition into the normal salon space, so it makes sense for them to get used to it. It is appointment only, which is important. It means you’re not going to sitting around waiting for, say, an hour and grinding your teeth as your kid gets bored. I can think of very few occasions where we’ve had a child who has had a meltdown. It is a very nice, calming atmosphere and the fact the stylist is very confident with children really helps. Making sure you have a stylist who has the right temperament is important. You do need to have someone who enjoys it, who actively


enjoys working with children although, beyond that, I wouldn’t say there are any specific skills they need beyond what you’d normally expect. It has been very much a case of building it up slowly by word of mouth rather than heavily advertising it. I can understand why many salons don’t encourage the children’s sector, as the cuts take as long as an adult’s (or longer!) and you can’t charge as much. We’ve overcome this by offering mainly dry cuts which are much quicker, and charging accordingly. The fact that it’s separate to the main salon means it is simply extra revenue anyway. Overall, it’s a great addition to the business.

HOW GOJI JUNIOR’S PRICING WORKS DRY CUTS Fringe trim only:           Cut for ages 0-3:             Cut for ages 4-10:           Cut for ages 11-16:         Re-style for ages 4-16: *including baby’s first haircut certificate

£6.95 £11.95* £13.95 £14.95 £19.95

WET CUTS Wash, cut and blow dry for ages 6-16 Wash, cut and re-style for ages 6-10 Wash, cut and re-style for ages 11-16

£19.95 £27.95 £29.95

Siblings get a 10% discount. An extra £5 is charged if hair curling is required with the blow dry.

We’ve hired a specialist stylist, partly so it didn’t exhaust the regular stylists, most of whom were already very busy with their adult clients. She is very experienced with children, having previously run a children’s salon elsewhere. It also means it can be a dedicated session for the kids. If the kids are relaxed and happy, the parents are relaxed and happy. There’s no special kit, apart from booster chairs and the children can use an iPad, which has games and programs on it, if they want. We also offer special certificates as a memento of a child’s

July/Aug 2017 | salonfocus


Offering children’s services

DAVID’S TOP TIPS If you’re thinking of expanding into children’s services, it is vital you explain to parents what to expect and get them to prepare their child for the experience. Here is what David advises.


Shortcuts children’s-only salon caters to children aged from six months to early teens. It has salons in Milton Keynes and Northampton as well as concessions within Mothercare in Leeds, Bristol, Romford and within soft play centre Under 1 Roof in Woolwich, London. David O’Neal is owner of ShortCuts

The first question when I initially looked into opening a specialist children’s hair salon was, ‘is there any money in it’? You have to recognise that, with children’s services, you can’t charge over the moon; you have to be realistic. Having said that, as well as the afterschool or weekend market, there are thousands and thousands of pre-school age children that need haircuts, and thousands of children who don’t go to school – often because they are homeschooled – who need their hair cut and can come in during the daytime. We’re now a very successful business. The biggest problem we find, nine times out of ten, is not the kid but the parent. A child is a child, they’ll either cry or not cry or love it or not love it. But it is how the parent behaves and

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acts that often makes the difference – if they’re anxious or nervous, the children will often pick up on that. Some parents appear to be ten times more scared than the child. It can be about managing expectations. We can’t promise to work miracles but we do guarantee that their child will have their hair cut. The worst thing is for a parent to have to walk out, feeling embarrassed, because their child has refused to have their hair cut. So we do it, no matter what. It is important to have staff who understand children and are going to just go with it; who are able to put children at their ease and who are not fazed by tears or tantrums. At first some stylists can find it a bit overwhelming, some have admitted afterwards they didn’t realise how hard it could be. Younger children often enjoy sitting in our novelty car salon chairs, for older children they have the choice to either play on a PlayStation or watch a DVD while having their hair done. The “first haircut” packages includes the haircut, a keepsake lock of hair and certificate. We also offer a “pamper time” beauty package, including a mini manicure, pedicure, hair sparkles, glitter tattoos and hair curling or straightening. ¢ HOW THE NHF CAN HELP Did you know you can offer “first haircut” certificates through the NHF? They are available through the online NHF shop, at

Don’t worry. If you worry, they worry. If you sound like you’re expecting your child to dislike the experience, they will pick up on your anxiety. Build on the excitement around the haircut instead of getting anxious. Talk it up. Talk about the haircut beforehand in simple terms, about what’s going to happen and get them excited about it. Play hairdressing at home so they know what to expect at the salon. Make sure they understand that getting their haircut does not hurt in any way. Be excited and encouraging.   Be prepared (1). Let the salon know in advance about any previous experiences your child has had to help us find the best approach from the beginning. Try and do this discreetly, as the last thing you want them to do is relate past bad experiences with your visit.   Be prepared (2). If you think your child will need time to relax, feel free to arrive a little earlier, but remember they can get bored easily. Feel free to come in just to look round to familiarise them with the environment a few days prior to your appointment.   Be prepared (3). We provide cutting capes to avoid hair getting on skin, but we would never make a child wear one if they don’t want to. In this instance, we would advise bringing an extra top to get those itchy hairs away from their skin.


I N T E R N AT I O N A L A C A D E M Y Louise Bannigan is the founder of Brand Epibrow and is a game changer in the industry. Having worked with some of the most elite brands in the beauty industry, Louise has over 20yrs industry experience. Louise noticed a huge gap in the market and has launched this niche hair programme and is very excited to be offering these training courses and services for clinics, barbers and hairdressers. Epibrow International Academy recognises that hair plays a critical role in establishing hope and self image and have created a personalised hair recovery program (Scalopology) for men and women battling various forms of alopecia and chemotherapy induced hair loss. An important aspect of successfully treating Alopecia is addressing the underlying factor to blame.



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Epibrow International are the exclusive UK partners to National Hair Loss. Established in the United

States, National Hair Loss offers non-surgical laser therapy through medical grade laser caps. These devices are clinically proven to stop Androgenetic Alopecia in males and females. Before, a topical or shampoo was the best option to slow growth; Now, National Hair Loss offers a treatment programme that has a 98% success rate at stopping hair loss. If you would like to get trained as a hair loss consultant then this is the ideal online training course for you. Once trained you will have an increased customer base, be able to offer Alopecia & Hair Loss clients specialised advice and become part of our referral programme. Contact us today for further info / 0333 370 3215


Offering children’s services: children’s hair loss

p Frankie, a hair donor through the Little Princess Trust

CONFIDENCE BOOST SALONS AND BARBERSHOPS CAN PLAY THEIR PART IN SUPPORTING YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM HAIR LOSS, AS WELL AS BEING THERE FOR PARENTS. ack in 2013, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London launched what was believed to be the UK’s first dedicated NHS hair loss clinic for children.


salonfocus | July/Aug 2017

At the time, the doctors running the clinic said they expected to see around 70 children and young people each year. The clinic helps them with a range of hair loss-related conditions, including alopecia areata, hair-pulling habits, thyroid disorders, hair loss caused by vitamin deficiencies, and hair loss from chemotherapy. Yet, when you look at some of the statistics around children’s hair loss, it is clear a service like this can only scratch

the surface when it comes to supporting children, and their parents, who are coping with hair loss. After all, it is estimated as many as 1,800 children are diagnosed with cancer alone each year in the UK, before we even get to the impact of disorders such as alopecia areata and others. No one, of course, would expect salons and barbershops to provide specialist health support for young people in these circumstances. But, as hair professionals,

Offering children’s services: children’s hair loss

there is still much the industry can do to support children and young people who are coping with hair loss. SUPPORT WITH WIGS For example, one way salons can help is through supporting The Little Princess Trust, a charity that supplies real hair wigs free of charge to children who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment and other illnesses. There are, of course, other charities in this field, such as Hair 4 U through the Teenage Cancer Trust. The Little Princess Trust was launched in 2006 in memory of five-year-old Hannah Tarplee, the daughter of cofounder Wendy Tarplee-Morris. Since then, it has given away more than 5,000 free wigs. Each wig costs the charity around £500. But as well as purchased wigs, the charity also supplies wigs made from donated hair, which is one way salons can really help. The charity argues it can accept a minimum hair donation of 7” or 17cm. However, there is a particular need currently for hair for longer wigs, or

more than 12” or 30cm. Any hair donated that meets requirements is sent to China to be made into wigs. The wigs are then supplied to hairdressers – another way salons can get involved – and then tailored to the needs of each individual child. “Hair loss can have a huge emotional impact on a child or young person of any age,” says Wendy. “It is a very visual sign and constant reminder that they are unwell and can make them feel very isolated. Having a good quality, real hair wig has been crucial for some older children being willing to go through with their treatment,” she adds. ¢


p Amaliah, a wig recipient.

FIND OUT MORE For more information about The Little Princess Trust go to You can find out more about the Hair 4 U project at the Teenage Cancer Trust at



No Need to patch test every time you colour, Salonsure covers members when using the National Hairdressers’ Federation’s colour record cards.

0800 223 0315


Parental leave and childcare


arlier this year, the NHF calculated that more than half of people working in hair and beauty are young (aged 16 to 34), and that women aged 25-34 make up the largest single grouping within this.


Given that these age ranges are also precisely the time when many of us (men and women) begin to think about settling down and starting a family, it is perhaps unsurprising that one of the constant challenges faced by many salon owners is that of losing valued employees to raising children. Juggling kids and work is rarely easy, but the NHF has welcomed the launch of a new tax-free childcare scheme introduced by the government in April. The scheme, it is hoped, could help more hairdressers, barbers and beauty

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therapists with children under the age of 12 to come back to work after starting a family. So, how does it work, and what do salon owners need to know? WHAT IS IT? The new scheme was formally launched at the end of April and will, by the end of this year, be available to any parent with a child aged under 12 (or 17 if the child has disabilities). However, currently it is in the process of being gradually rolled out and so, initially, is only available to parents of children aged under four (on 31 August) and those aged under 17 if disabled. But, to recap, the scheme is expected to be fully up and running by the end of this year. WHO IS ELIGIBLE? To qualify to take advantage of the scheme, both parents have to be

in work (or returning to work) and earning at least £120 a week. It will also be available to people who are selfemployed. HOW DOES IT WORK? Parents register to open an online account, through the government’s website To qualify they must be paying for childcare with a registered childcare provider (in other words not just an informal arrangement with, say, grandparents). The parent then simply pays for the childcare by depositing or withdrawing money from this account. The main benefit is that the government will then top up this money with a further 20%. In other words, for every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2. Because most people pay tax at 20%, this in effect means the childcare is

Parental leave and childcare




tax free. You can receive up to £2,000 per child through this scheme, rising to £4,000 per child if the child has disabilities. WHERE CAN MY EMPLOYEES FIND OUT MORE? This latest scheme is part of a wider package of childcare support offered by the government, all of which can be found through the government’s website. For example, parents in England on certain benefits (including tax credits) and earning less than £16,190 a year are eligible for 15 hours of free childcare a week for under-2s. All parents of 3-4-year-olds are also eligible for the same, rising to 30 hours a week for anyone earning at least £120 a week (or the equivalent of around 16 hours a week at the National Minimum or National Living Wage).

There are similar schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which can be found through their respective devolved government websites. It is also worth reminding employees who are parents that, if they are entitled to Working Tax Credit, they may also be able to claim back up to 70% of their childcare costs, depending on their income. Again, the uk website has more details on this. ¢

nother scheme put in place by the government to try and make it easier for parents (often mothers) to return to or stay in work after having a child is shared parental leave. As the name suggests, shared parental leave allows parents to take parental leave in blocks rather than having to be off work for one single long period. For example, a mother might choose to end her maternity leave (and maternity pay) and return to work after 12 weeks, leaving a further 40 weeks available to be shared between the parents, 27 of which would be eligible to be paid via Statutory Shared Parental Pay. There are some rules on eligibility. One parent must have been employed continuously by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date (or, if the child has been adopted, by the match date). He or she will then need to stay with that employer during the period of shared parental leave. During the 66 weeks before the week of the baby’s due date (or match date), the other parent must have been working for at least 26 weeks (although these don’t necessarily need to be in a row) and have earned at least £390 in total during 13 of the 66 weeks. Finally, remember that maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave pay went up in April and the weekly rate is now £140.98.

FIND OUT MORE More information on shared maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave and pay can be found on the site. Much of this information is also included within the NHF’s new staff contracts and handbooks, which can be found in the NHF shop at

July/Aug 2017 | salonfocus


Chair and room renting and self-employment


Chair and room renting and self-employment



s self-employment a good thing, something that encourages enterprise and gives workers greater freedom? Or is it the thin edge of the employment wedge, an excuse for business owners to gain an unfair competitive advantage by exploiting self-employed workers and dodging their tax and employment responsibilities? This, in a nutshell, is at the heart of the debate over the so-called “gig� economy, a debate that has led to a string of high-profile court cases involving the working practices of companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and Pimlico Plumbers. It is also a debate the government has been investigating through its Review of Modern Working Practices being led by former Labour strategist Matthew Taylor. And it is an important question for hairdressing, barbering and beauty. This is because self-employment, whether by that we mean self-employed chair or room renters who work from salons and barbershops or mobile stylists and beauty therapists who travel to clients directly, has been an established method of working within the industry for many years. Research by the NHF in 2016, for example, concluded that 48% of people working in hairdressing and barbering are now self-employed, and 57% of those working in beauty. But is self-employment a good or bad thing for the industry?

FLEXIBILITY AND FREEDOM To find out, the NHF carried out a survey in April of more than 500 hair and beauty professionals, a mix of business owners, self-employed hairdressers, barbers and beauty therapists, including those working in salons or barbershops and mobile workers, and both NHF members and non-NHF members. The results were included within evidence submitted by the NHF to the Taylor Review. The main findings are outlined over the next four pages.

July/Aug 2017 | salonfocus


Chair and room renting and self-employment


In short, however, the survey concluded that “having full control over their business” was the most important reason salon owners decide to directly employ staff rather than go down the self-employment route. On the other hand, the main reason for employers to prefer to use selfemployed people was the savings that can be made on things like holiday pay, maternity/paternity leave and pensions. When it came to workers themselves, many self-employed respondents said they preferred working this way because of the freedom and flexibility it gave. In fact, the vast majority of selfemployed respondents (69%) said they were “absolutely fine with being selfemployed, it works well for me”. Nevertheless, concerns included not getting paid sick leave (31%) and not having access to a pension scheme (24%). A significant minority (15%), and especially those working within salons or barbershops, complained they felt they were “treated like an employee but with none of the benefits”. This finding is important because it is one of the key areas the Taylor Review is investigating, and may as a result come under the spotlight to be tightened up.

The main reason for respondents to be self-employed: 35% To be independent 34% To be flexible to fit around other commitments 20% Could earn more than if an employee 6% Couldn’t find employment in a salon/barbershop 5% As a step towards running my own salon/barbershop in the future

THE ONE THING THAT CONCERNED RESPONDENTS MOST ABOUT BEING SELF-EMPLOYED WAS: 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% I don't get paid sick leave

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Not having a steady income

I don't get paid holidays

I worry about how I'll find enough work / clients

THE MAIN REASONS WHY BUSINESS OWNERS USED SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS IN THEIR SALON/BARBERSHOP 30% It’s cheaper, with savings on holiday pay, maternity/paternity leave, pensions etc 30% There’s too much red tape for small businesses taking on employees 30% I couldn’t find enough suitable employees 10% It’s cheaper for customers, as they don’t have to charge VAT on prices

FEELING DISADVANTAGED Salon and barbershop owners who preferred to use employees complained strongly that they felt disadvantaged by the spread of self-employment. The key reasons were summed up by one salon owner who said that, “employing staff makes it harder for us to operate and offer competitive pricing, as wages, taxes, pensions and holidays have to be taken into account.” NHF chief executive Hilary Hall said: “Self-employment is a well-established model within the hairdressing, barbering and beauty industry and, done properly, it can work well for everyone involved. “We want to see greater protection for the self-employed against a few unscrupulous business owners who use self-employment simply to reduce business costs, while treating their workers as employees but without any of the rights and benefits of being an employee.”

I don'thave a pension scheme



Training Salons with employees invest in staff training, but felt the lure of self-employment meant they did not necessarily get to see the return on their investment, either for themselves or for the future of the industry as a whole.


Tax disadvantages VAT was the main issue, in that a self-employed person working in a salon, from a tax perspective, is a single “entity” and therefore unlikely to exceed the VAT threshold.


Cost of employment There was a clear sense that employers felt resentful that by “doing the right thing” and providing employment for their staff, they were at a major competitive disadvantage compared to those salons using self-employed.


Cash-in-hand economy Although the evidence here was purely anecdotal, many respondents argued that some self-employed chair and room renters took cashin-hand payments that were not declared for tax purposes and, in turn, helped to fuel the so-called “black” economy.

Chair and room renting and self-employment


WHAT THE NHF IS CALLING FOR REDUCE INCENTIVES THAT ENCOURAGE ‘BOGUS’ SELFEMPLOYMENT The financial incentives which encourage business owners down the bogus selfemployment route need to be reduced, to make it a less attractive option. This will mean there will be less temptation for unscrupulous employers to effectively “impose” self-employment on their workers purely as a means of reducing cost or administrative hassle.

REQUIREMENT FOR A LEGAL CONTRACT AND CODE OF PRACTICE On the other hand, we believe there is a place for self-employment where it is a genuine and positive choice. We want to see a requirement for there to be a legal contract between business owner and the self-employed worker that clearly sets out rights and expectations on both parties, ideally supported by a government-backed Code of Practice.

VAT REDUCED FOR ALL We believe it is no longer appropriate to have a uniform rate of VAT and a single threshold. Unlike capital-intensive businesses which can claim VAT back on the purchases they make, for businesses which are labour-intensive (such as hairdressing, barbering and beauty) by far the biggest cost is wages. A significant reduction in the VAT threshold to a level which could be a reasonable salary (for example £40,000) would discourage the “cash-in-hand economy” and go some way to level the playing field between those businesses who have self-employed workers within them compared to those with employees. We want to see the VAT rate reduced from its current level of 20% to 10%, with similar reductions to the flat rate VAT scheme, at least for labour-intensive industries. The NHF has previously carried out research which shows that if this policy were to be adopted, the impact would be fiscally neutral.

July/Aug 2017 | salonfocus


Chair and room renting and self-employment

WHAT SALONS OWNERS SAID PRO-CHAIR RENTING They (two lady stylists) are selfemployed; they are both loyal to me and their clients. I have no worries about random sick days etc – we don’t work, we don’t get paid, it’s as simple as that – when time off is needed for holiday or other reason we fit clients in around that and support each other as much as we can. They also think more and manage themselves because they are their own business working in mine

ANTI-CHAIR RENTING I have a real sense of pride in the business I have built up over the past 12 years, and proud of the number of young people that I have managed to put through the [Scottish] Modern Apprenticeship programme; they are the future of our industry and I’ve always been passionate about giving opportunities to our young people. The chair renting salons generally don’t train anyone, as they are only concerned about themselves… they generally provide no opportunities for the training of the next generation of stylists, they pay no VAT! In a labour-intensive industry this just isn’t fair. We feel very aggrieved that we have to add 20% VAT to the price of our hairdressing services, whereas self-employed do not. We resent the fact that we spend years training apprentices and then they leave to work self-employed and do not contribute VAT. We see this as being very unfair to us and our clients. They then do not put in any effort to train the next generation of hairdressers thereafter. My husband and I have worked in our salon for 45 years and have trained many hairdressers in that time.


Some people want to run their own business without the headache of leases, business rates etc. It allows me to grow my business for my employed staff, as rental income from chair renters allows me to fund my developing employed stylists I give people the choice and they mainly want to run their own business in my premises. Some are incapable of running a salon and don’t want the administrative burden, but are able to run their business from my premises and are happy to do so. Some have been doing so happily for 12 years

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Prompted by a string of high-profile cases involving companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and Pimlico Plumbers, the government earlier this year commissioned a Review of Modern Working Practices to investigate how self-employment works. The review, led by former Labour strategist Matthew Taylor, was particularly looking at the “gig” economy, where freelance workers connect with clients via an app and are paid per job or “gig”. It is looking at whether these business models are fair and, in turn, whether the law needs to be changed as a result. The review was due to be published in June, after salonfocus went to press.

The Versatility of


NHF competitions: the NHF Business Awards


he countdown is well and truly on for the new NHF Business Awards – you have until just the end of this month to get in your entries.


The NHF Business Awards will take place on Sunday 19 November and have been launched as a way to mark the NHF’s 75th anniversary this year. But the deadline for getting in your entries is coming up fast – 5pm on Friday 28 July. So, don’t delay! The awards are designed to showcase

salonfocus | July/Aug 2017 salonfocus | July/Aug 2017

and celebrate the very best salons and salon teams around the country, both NHF member and non-member. But, you know, it’s not going to be all work, work, work. The awards are also an opportunity to give your team a massive “thank you” by making use of all the extensive facilities available at the VOX Conference Centre, which is part of the Resorts World complex at the NEC in Birmingham. The awards themselves will start with a champagne reception, followed by the presentation of the winners as well as the winners of the NHF Photographic

Stylist of the Year competition (see overleaf for more details) and then a glittering dinner. BARS, RESTAURANTS AND A CASINO But the Resorts World complex itself has a lot to offer, both on the day itself and if you want to make a weekend of it. There are 50 outlet stores and 18 stylish bars and restaurants, as well as an 11-screen cinema and a casino. There is an array of restaurants to choose from, including the Vox Centre’s five-star dining. There is a Santai Spa and,

NHF competitions: the NHF Business Awards


ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT ARE THE NHF BUSINESS AWARDS? The new NHF Business Awards have been launched as part of the Federation’s 75th anniversary celebrations, and are designed to showcase and celebrate outstanding hair and beauty businesses. WHO CAN ENTER? Any hair or beauty business. You don’t have to be an NHF member. WHAT CATEGORIES ARE THERE? There are nine categories: ã Best independent hair or beauty salon ã Best independent barbershop or male grooming business ã Best business group (for any chain of four or more salons) ã Best new business ã Best client experience ã Best community support ã Best apprentice ã Best front of house ã Best environmentally-friendly business HOW DO I ENTER? Go to for details on how to enter and to download an entry form. WHAT WILL HAPPEN THEN? As part of the judging process, finalists in most categories will receive a “mystery shopping” visit. Finalists will be given a free copy of their report to see their business in a whole new light.

to stay in, the four-star Genting Hotel. NHF president Agnes Leonard says: “The NHF Business Awards bring together two things that go to the heart of what makes the NHF ‘family’ so powerful: our commitment to promoting and celebrating business and industry excellence and our long history as the biggest salon trade association within our industry. “I am hugely excited about the launch of these awards and I am looking forward to a truly inspiring night. If you feel your salon business has what it takes, don’t delay in getting in your entry. And I look forward to celebrating with you all in Birmingham on Sunday 19 November.” Ticket prices for the awards evening are £95 for members and £150 for nonmembers. ¢

WHAT DATES DO I NEED TO KEEP IN MIND? 5pm Friday 28 July – deadline for entries Monday 4 September – finalists will be announced Sunday 19 November – the big day, the winners will be announced WHERE WILL IT ALL HAPPEN? The awards dinner is being held on Sunday 19 November 2017 at the VOX Conference Centre, part of the Resorts World complex at the NEC, Birmingham.

July/Aug 2017 | salonfocus July/Aug 2017 | salonfocus


NHF competitions: Britain’s Best and the NHF Photographic Stylist of the Year




BRITAIN’S BEST WILL ONCE AGAIN BE SHOWCASING THE VERY BEST OF BRITISH HAIR AND BEAUTY TALENT. THINK YOU’VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES? NOW’S YOUR CHANCE TO FIND OUT. e’re off! It’s official – Britain’s Best is now open for your business; the business of celebrating you, your talent and your salon.


Entries have opened from this month (July) and so now’s the time to get thinking about your entry, which category is going to show off your potential to the full, planning and practising. Britain’s Best is this year going to be held on the same day – Sunday 19 November – as the new NHF Business Awards, also at the VOX Conference Centre at the NEC in Birmingham. The winner of Photographic Stylist of the Year competition will also be announced on the same day.

There will be nine categories: ã Hair Up (students and trainees) ã Hair Up (open to all) ã Female Fashion (students and trainees) ã Female Fashion (open to all) ã Male Fashion (students and trainees) ã Male Fashion (open to all) ã Male Grooming (students and trainees) ã Male Grooming (open to all) ã Forties to Noughties (male and female – open to all)

Although I had entered competitions before, Britain’s Best was the first time one where I had ever won the top prize. Winning Britain’s Best gave me a huge confidence boost; it has definitely helped me in my career and in terms of building up my column. I now regularly enter competitions. It also created a real buzz in the salon and among the team. In the spring, for example, we entered the NHF’s Blackpool Red Rose competition as a salon team – so six or seven of us travelled to Blackpool and had a great time. Entering a competition like Britain’s Best is so worth doing. But if you want to stand out, do put the training in; don’t go into it light-heartedly.

It costs £15 to enter for students and trainees categories and £20 for the open for all categories. NHF president Agnes Leonard says: “Britain’s Best is now firmly established as a highlight of the hairdressing calendar. The fact this year’s awards will be combined with our new Business Awards and the Photographic Stylist of the Year means the NHF will be celebrating individual talent, business skill and visual creativity all in one. It’s not to be missed.”

FIND OUT MORE Go to for full terms and conditions and details of how to enter

NHF competitions: Britain’s Best and the NHF Photographic Stylist of the Year

PICTURE PERFECT THE DEADLINE IS LOOMING TO GET YOUR ENTRY IN FOR THIS YEAR’S PHOTOGRAPHIC STYLIST OF THE YEAR. ou now have just two months to get your entries in for this year’s NHF Photographic Stylist of the Year competition.


The deadline for entries is Friday 8 September. That may still sound some way off but, with the traditional summer holiday season just around the corner, it’s likely to come up fast.

This year there are six categories: ã Male Fashion Look (students & trainees) ã Male Fashion Look (open to all) ã Male Fashion Collection (open to all) ã Female Fashion Look (students & trainees) ã Female Fashion Look (open to all) ã Female Fashion Collection (open to all) So now is the time to be collating details of your entry.


DON’T FORGET THESE TOP TIPS: Think sharp, crisp and focused images. Remember, this is a hair and photographic competition. However great the styling and look, if your shots are poorly lit or blurry, sorry, you won’t get far. Read the rules. This should be obvious but know, and stick to the rules of, the category you are entering. For example, Fashion Look categories require one image, but Collection categories require four. Don’t forget, too, to pay the correct fee (between £10 to £30 depending on the category). Stick to your budget. The costs of a photoshoot can quickly mount up, what with the cost of models, kit, travel and food for your team. So keep a close eye on money, know what you have to spend, and don’t be afraid to ask if people will help out for free. Plan, plan, plan. Did we say you only have two months? The more advance planning and research you can do, the more likely you are to be able to connect everything together – the style, the look, and the image. Shout out. Get out on social media and tell people what you’re doing. This is both potentially in terms of finding photographers, models, make-up artists and clothes stylists who might be able to help you, but also just to raise your profile and be a winner, whoever actually wins. Take loads of pictures. It’s simple really: the more pictures you have, the more likely you are within them to have that perfect image.

FIND OUT MORE Visit then go to “events” followed by “competitions” and follow the link. Don’t forget, the deadline for entries is Friday 8 September

July/Aug 2017 | salonfocus


Apprenticeships and training



ny hair or beauty salon or barbershop owner in England thinking of taking on an apprentice this summer – well done, you’re investing in and committing to the future of the industry.


But also, be aware, apprenticeships in England have now changed, both in terms of how apprentices will be trained and assessed during their two years, but also in terms of how this training is funded. There may also, for the first time, be a cost to you as the employer. So, before you take the plunge, here’s a reminder of what’s changed. And, to emphasise, this is just applicable to employers in England. WHAT IS A “TRAILBLAZER” APPRENTICESHIP? Under the “trailblazer” process, the government asked groups of employers in a range of industries (of which hair

salonfocus | July/Aug 2017

and beauty was one) to develop new standards for apprenticeship training and assessments. The idea is, eventually, that apprentices will follow one of two training pathways: “hair professional” or “beauty professional”. The beauty professional pathway is still going through the process of gaining sign-off from the government. But the hair professional standard has been approved, and came into effect from May. It means that, for any salon looking to hire a hairdressing apprentice from the end of the school year (June or July) onwards, things will have changed. The hair professional pathway is split into hairdressing and barbering and is based at Level 2. Once it is agreed, the beauty professional pathway will cover beauty and make-up consultancy, beauty therapy, and nail services. Beauty and make-up consultancy will be an entirely new standard, covering those who work within beauty retail settings.

WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT THESE NEW STANDARDS? There are a number of key changes. To achieve a hair professional apprenticeship, for example, a learner must successfully: ã Complete an end-point assessment (a bit like an old trade test) carried out by an independent apprenticeship examiner at the end of the apprenticeship. ã Achieve a new qualification, a Diploma for Hair Professionals (Hairdressing/Barbering). ã Pass functional skills at Level 1 in Maths and English, but also take the Level 2 functional skills tests, even if they don’t pass. It’s worth being aware that apprentices who already have a GCSE grade A*-C in Maths or English will not have to do this. ã Achieve a “pass” or “distinction” grade, depending on their result and performance. ã Have their learning assessed throughout

Apprenticeships and training


towards the cost of the apprenticeship training and assessment. All employers taking on these sorts of apprentices will receive £1,000 to cover any additional training costs, with the training provider also receiving £1,000. The money is paid in two instalments, £500 after three months and the balance at 12 months. However, if the apprentice is aged over 18 and has not, as above, been in care, even small employers will be expected to contribute 10% of the cost of the apprenticeship training and assessment. Employers with more than 50 employees will be expected to contribute this 10% cost irrespective of the age of the apprentice. What does this 10% mean in real terms? The government has created 15 different funding “bands” which different industries fall into. Hairdressing and barbering are located in Band 9, which means the government will contribute a maximum of £9,000 towards the cost of each apprentice. Therefore, the employer contribution is 10% of this, or £900 per apprentice. However, as an employer you are at liberty to try to negotiate a lower training and assessment price from your training provider. If you are successful, your contribution will be 10% of this lower figure. the training programme, although the end-point assessment will be the key test. All end-point assessments will now be carried out by an independent apprenticeship examiner, not the training provider or salon. WHAT IS IT ALL GOING TO COST? This has been one of the most controversial elements of the whole reform process. Under the new system there are two main changes. First, an apprenticeship “levy” that is paid by bigger employers. Second, even small salons will be expected to make a financial contribution to the cost of training some (although not all) apprentices. The apprenticeship levy. The main point to make is this does not apply to the vast majority of hair and beauty salons and barbershops. Only employers with a pay bill of more than £3m will be required to pay, and then just 0.5% (or a minimum of £15,000).

The rest. For those employers not paying the levy, whether and what you pay will depend on two factors: the size of your business and the age of your apprentice. Small employers (in other words those employing fewer than 50 people) who take on an apprentice aged 16-18-yearsold, or one aged 19-24 who has been in care or has a local authority care plan, will not be expected to pay anything

WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE? The NHF’s Apprenticeships: Guide to changes in England from May 2017 explains all these changes in more detail and is available through the website, New NHF apprenticeship agreement documents are also available to members through the online shop ¢

IF NOTHING ELSE READ THIS ã New apprenticeship standards mean trainees will follow one of two training pathways: “hair professional” or “beauty professional” ã There will be a formal “end-point assessment”, a bit like a trade test ã Small employers will not pay to train 16-18-years-old, or those aged 19-24 who have been in care. But for all other apprentices, the cost will be 10%, or £900 per apprentice

July/Aug 2017 | salonfocus



We’ve been computerised for 20 years, so we were a pioneer of doing that. But the computers were not linked together. What that meant in practice was spending a lot of time going around extracting information from each salon and then putting it altogether on a spreadsheet. It was very time-consuming. It also meant you’d get scenarios where a regular client would, for a change, book with one of the other salons but they wouldn’t be able to share her information. So, they’d be saying something like, “we don’t have your phone number” and she’d be saying, “but I gave it to the girl in the other salon?”, none of which looks professional.



e have six salons spread across north Essex, covering Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Halstead, Maldon and Witham, plus a training academy. We’ve been trading 28 years and are a very successful business. But, with this

salonfocus | July/Aug 2017

many salons, it’s always been difficult to update information and know precisely what’s going on as, clearly, you can’t physically be in more than one place. For me, monitoring the numbers is one of the most important parts of my role. If you understand the numbers, they can tell you how a salon or individual is doing – you can celebrate what is going right and work to correct what is going wrong.

ACCESS FROM ANY DEVICE I had already identified the benefit of Cloud-based system; the fact it gives you a single log-in and you can access data from anywhere on any device. So, the Salon-iQ salon software system seemed a really good fit. I can monitor every salon and, in fact, every stylist. I can get reports, either on an individual salon or all the salons together, which saves time and effort rather than having to do it manually. I can, literally, see what’s happening when front of house are checking a client in and out and from the appointment book I can see what’s happening in the salon. You can manage things like stock replacement and retail sales; anything that has a barcode gets scanned and fed into the system data. There is a “dashboard” – a bit like a car dashboard – that shows you the key indicators you want to follow. STAR RATING All our team have key performance indicators they are expected to hit each day, and I can use the star rating function to monitor how they’re doing. Each day they get sent a text saying things like “well done, you had a six-star day today” or three-star or four-star, or whatever it is. This is a great way of sharing responsibility and helping people to be accountable for their performance. It also means that, if there is a performance issue, you can pick it up really quickly. The stylists love the new system. Most are commission-based so, of course, they want to know how they’re doing and where and how they can improve because, unlike in most salaried jobs, that’s the way they’re going to make more money.

CYBER SECURITY Security, obviously, is an issue, especially with all the recent headlines we’ve seen around cyber attacks and hacking. I do, to an extent, rely on Salon-iQ to keep everything secure externally and internally there are different levels of accessibility depending on the user. So, you can decide the level of security a team member has, from universal access – which only a few of us have – through to restricted access, where you can only see salon information and, say, a client’s name but not their details. Another advantage with it being on the Cloud is that, if you want to upgrade your hardware you can do it from a PC, laptop, Mac or anything that can access the web. Finally, if you want, you can do everything off your smartphone. Or you can do it from home on your tablet. Without a doubt, it’s improved our profitability and efficiency as a business, particularly the star system.

Debbie Digby is owner of Essex salon chain Feathers Salon Group

IF NOTHING ELSE READ THIS ã Salons can use Cloud-based technology to link multiple salons from a single laptop, tablet or even smartphone ã You can manage performance and productivity, improve the client experience and profitability ã It can also be be useful for stock replenishment and monitoring retail sales

DON’T FORGET TO SHOP AROUND While Debbie Digby’s experience with her provider has been positive, it always makes sense to shop around. There are many different salon software providers out there, so speak to them – and your existing provider – about the best options for you. Look, too, in our online ‘Trade Members’ Directory’ for providers. The NHF’s Salon Software Guide is also full of useful tips and advice, and is available to download at





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A STYLIST FROM HULL HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED AS THE WINNER OF THIS YEAR’S STEP UP & SHINE SCHOLARSHIP. Congratulations to Hull stylist Evie Scrowston (above), who is this year’s lucky winner of the Step Up & Shine scholarship. Evie, who is aged 18 and works at Hays Salon in Hull, and was crowned winner of 2017’s Step Up & Shine at the Fellowship for British Hairdressing’s President’s Night in May. Step Up & Shine was created in the memory of industry legend and mentor Christofer Mann, and offers one up-and-coming stylist the chance to win a year-long educational and mentoring programme worth £2,500, working alongside renowned hairdressing education Debbie G. The programme is now in its fourth successful year, and Evie and the other entrants had to submit a 60-second video to Instagram and explain why they were the perfect candidate to win the scholarship. Upon hearing that she had won, Evie said: “Hearing my name being called was incredible. It’s such an honour to be a part of this year’s Step Up & Shine, so I couldn’t be more excited to embark on this year-long journey and to the career prospects it will bring.” Go to to find out more about the Step Up & Shine scholarship and to follow Evie’s progress.

salonfocus | July/Aug 2017

BOOKINGS Anyone interested in attending events should contact the NHF team on 01234 831965 or events@nhf. info. Bookings can be made online at


HAIR LOSS SOLUTIONS – IN SALON 17 July – York 02 October – Leicester EVENING CREATIVE EVENTS BARBERING WORKSHOP 02 October – Exeter 02 October – Nottingham CLIPPER AND BEARD CONFIDENCE 10 July – Manchester 13 November – Gateshead


Awards, the Angel Hotel, Cardiff


06 November – Pride of



MASSAGE TECHNIQUES 18 September – Milton Keynes 17 October – Leeds INSIGHT INTO AFRO 17 September – Nottingham COLOUR – BALAYAGE/OMBRE FUSION 18 September – Bournemouth 18 September – Edinburgh 02 October – Durham

Scotland, Glynhill Hotel, Glasgow

Business Awards (incorporating Photographic Stylist of the Year and Britain’s Best), the VOX at Resorts World, NEC, Birmingham




salonfocus July/August 2017  

Salonfocus is the NHF’s award winning magazine. Created for salon owners, the pages are full of business news, industry hot topics and tips...

salonfocus July/August 2017  

Salonfocus is the NHF’s award winning magazine. Created for salon owners, the pages are full of business news, industry hot topics and tips...