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ÂŁ3.50 March/April 2017

The essential magazine for salon owners

DESERT STORM Taking inspiration from heat and arid landscapes 20

Showcase your excellence at the NHF’s Business Awards


The struggle to attract the next generation


Business rates going up? Use our new appeals service


salonfocus | March/April 2017










P6 NEWS Warnings over risks from cyber threats, and salons get the chance to switch water supplier P12 VIRTUAL VISION Using virtual reality technology could be a great way to showcase your salon P15 NO WORRIES How to say “no” and manage conflict more effectively P18 SOCIAL SECURITY Protect yourself from some of the most common online scams P20 STRETCH YOURSELF Why entering competitions matters, plus all you need to know about how to enter the NHF’s new Business Awards P22 TALENT SHOWS Members give their view on the struggle the industry faces when it comes to recruiting young apprentices P28 LOCATION, LOCATION… A nationwide “revaluation” means business rates will be increasing for some salons and barber shops. But members can get help through a new NHF appeals service


P32 HERE COMES THE GROOM Wedding services tend to focus on the bride and her family. But don’t forget to maximise the fast-growing male grooming market in time for the wedding season P35 BE READY FOR WAGE RISES Get your payroll into shape ahead of next month’s increases in the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage P36 HOLIDAY PLANS Three of your most common questions about employee holiday entitlement answered P38 EVENTS Where and when NHF events will be coming to your area

COVER IMAGE An image from “Desert Space”, the latest collection from Blue Tit London. The collection has been inspired by the apocalypse and “is representative of unbearable heat, arid landscapes and destruction – resulting in an earthy and otherworldly collection”



Credits: Hair: Blue Tit Creative Team Make-up: Nicky Tavilla Styling: Claudia Behnke Photography: Max Oppehiem

£3.50 March/April 2017

The essential magazine for salon owners

DESERT STORM Taking inspiration from heat and arid landscapes 20

Showcase your excellence at the NHF’s Business Awards


Business rates going up? Use our new appeals service


Your holiday entitlement questions answered






ur industry statistics earlier this year showed that more than 22,000 people started careers in hairdressing, barbering and beauty in 2014/15 (the most recent figures available) and that hairdressing was the 10th most popular choice of apprenticeship in England.


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: EVENTS AND SOCIAL MEDIA Victoria Priestley t: +44 (0) 1234 834386 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.

Clearly, hairdressing, barbering and beauty remain popular with young people. Yet, as we show in this edition, salons can still find it a real struggle to attract and recruit talented youngsters at 16. ABOUT AGNES Why is this? In part, it is because of the Agnes Leonard is president of the NHF and a registered way our education system works. Schools hairdresser. She has worked in nowadays put youngsters under greater the indus-try for 36 years and owns Croppers Hair Studio in pressure to stay on in education until they’re Dundee, a busy, family-run salon 18. Yet, after the age of 18 it can be much successfully adapting to the fast-changing retail environment harder to get a foot in the salon door because – just, in fact, like many NHF of the way the minimum wage works. members up and down the country. It is also partly because of parental attitudes, especially the assumption that an apprenticeship is somehow not as good or as worthwhile a career choice as going to college or sixth form. But it is also partly down to us, hair and beauty salons and barber shops. We need to play our part by working more closely with schools. We need to show schools and parents just how rewarding a career in our industry can be. And, it is clear, we need to be getting this message into schools much earlier, at ages 15 and 16, so we can make sure we are continuing to attract the best and brightest young talent.


COMING UP IN MAY/JUNE Internet security and Wi Fi – ways to keep your business safe in an increasingly connected world How to help when a team member is struggling to build their column

salonfocus | March/April 2017

What to look forward to at this year’s Britain’s Best

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


Employers - if you run a business with staff on different contracts, automatic enrolment might feel daunting. Find help and get to know your responsibilities in just five minutes by using our Duties Checker at

Don’t ignore the Workplace Pension. It’s the law.

March/April 2017 | salonfocus



CYBER RISKS WARNING quarter of small businesses (28%) admit they would be at risk of going bust if they suffered a cyber attack, such as a virus, malware or hacking.


Research from insurer RSA has concluded the average cost of a cyber attack can be between £65,000 to £115,000, yet most small businesses polled felt an unexpected £50,000 bill would tip them over the edge. Common attacks on small businesses include the use of “ransomware” by fraudsters to extort cash by blocking access to systems, and attacks where hackers gain access to sensitive customer or business details. The warning has come as the NHF has given its backing to a government campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of such

salonfocus | March/April 2017

cyber threats, and how small businesses can better protect themselves. The Home Office’s Cyber Aware campaign is designed to encourage the general public and businesses to follow a set of simple online rules. These include: ã Download software and app updates as soon as they appear. It may feel like a drag, but they’re vital security upgrades ã Use strong passwords. This means passwords that include random words, upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.

ã Always delete suspicious emails. Even ones from people or organisations you know that just do not seem “right”. ãU se anti-virus software. This also means on any linked devices, such as a tablet or smartphone. ãT rain your staff. Often it can be people who are the weak link when it comes to cyber security. So teach your team about what to look out for, but also best practice around passwords, security and taking company information off site (for example on a memory

stick that could get lost or infected on their home computer). ãT hink about the risks. Think about where your business might be vulnerable, and where your main risks might be. This can help you to plan to avoid them. The government is also advising salons to check out cyberessentials/ which sets out ways to reduce vulnerability to cyber attacks.

FIND OUT MORE Check out page 18 for more on common cyber scams and how to avoid them.



More than half of UK businesses do not survive more than five years, startling new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have suggested. The ONS found that just 41% of businesses that started in 2010 were still active in 2015, indicating that nearly six out of 10 (59%) had not survived for one reason or another. The figures highlight how tough the business market is at the moment, indicating how important it is as a hair, beauty or barbering business owner to have the business skills and knowledge needed to be successful. More positively, the ONS found that more businesses were launched in 2015 (383,000) than at any time since 2000. Unsurprisingly, London had the highest rate of business openings. Northern Ireland had the lowest. You can find out more about the NHF’s programme of business courses, training and workshops on page 38 and at


PREGNANCY PROTECTION The government has said it is considering giving new and expectant mothers extra protection to stop them being forced out of jobs by employers. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said in January that it intended to hold a consultation “in due course” on strengthening existing discrimination laws in this area. Currently, it is against the law to discriminate against a woman because she is pregnant or has recently given birth, with this protection starting from the point she becomes pregnant through to the end of her maternity leave. But a committee of MPs concluded last summer that, in fact, such discrimination was often commonplace.


Salons and barber shops are being reminded that the old paper £5 note is being withdrawn from circulation from 5 May. At this point the old notes will stop being legal tender and should not be accepted from clients as payment. The change should

PARKING ‘PROFIT’ The amount of money made by councils in England from parking charges and fines rose by more than £60m in the past year, according to latest research. The study by the

be explained to staff in case a client tries to pay with an old note. The Bank of England is advising that most banks, building societies and post offices will still accept and exchange old notes after this time or the Bank of England itself will be willing to exchange old notes in post or person. The paper note was replaced by a polymer version back in September. A new polymer £10

note is being issued this summer, to be followed by a polymer £20 note in 2020. On top of this, the Royal Mint has confirmed the new 12-sided £1 is being introduced into circulation from 27 March. This will, again, mean the old circular £1 coin will be withdrawn from circulation, something that is due to happen in the autumn.

RAC Foundation concluded local authorities made a profit of £756m from parking charges in 2015/16, a 9% increase on 2014/15, when councils made a surplus of £693m from their parking. Many salons and barber shops, especially those in city

centres or in locations where parking is hard to come by, complain that the rising cost of parking, as well as tough fines, penalties and enforcement, can all combine to put clients off visiting salons. The foundation described the figure as “eye-wateringly large”.

March/April 2017 | salonfocus





WATER CHANGE usinesses in England will from next month (April) be able to switch their water and sewerage supplier, much as you can already do with gas and electricity.


Up to now, businesses in England have been stuck with their local or regional supplier unless they are a very heavy user (up to five million litres a year). But from April a more competitive water “marketplace” means businesses will be able to shop around. The move will bring England into line with Scotland, where businesses have been able to choose their supplier since 2008. It is estimated some 30% of Scottish firms have switched, and half have managed to negotiate down their bills as a result. The situation will be slightly more complex in Wales, where for the time being it will still only be heavy users (50 million litres a year) who will be able to switch in this way. The Consumer Council for Water has more details on the changes at uk/business-customers/

salonfocus | March/April 2017

Formal notice is hereby given that the 75th Annual General Meeting of the members of the National Hairdressers’ Federation will be held at the Holiday Inn Regents Park, Carburton Street, London W1W 5EE on Sunday 21 May, 2017 commencing at 13.00 hours. It will be for the purpose of: receiving the minutes of the previous meeting; to consider the National Executive Council Report for 2016, Financial Report and Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 December, 2016; to appoint auditors; the installation of the national president and officers; and to consider any other business of a general character of which due notice has been given. If you have any items of business, please submit them to by no later than 5pm Tuesday 11 April 2017. H Hall, Secretary General National Hairdressers’ Federation One Abbey Court, Fraser Road, Priory Business Park Bedford, MK44 3WH

Members are required to present their membership card to gain entry. Please send any questions arising from the minutes of last year’s meeting or the accounts to at least one week in advance.









nhfederation Friday is your last chance to enter the Step Up & SHINE scholarship 2017. So get recording your one minute video and upload it to your Instagram account today with the #stepupandshine to be in with a chance of winning £2,500 on bespoke education package

The question of whether sitting a client in a backwash chair can put them at greater risk of suffering a stroke, was in the news in December. The Daily Mail newspaper profiled Dave Taylor (below), who suffered a stroke after visiting a Headmasters salon in Brighton. He took the salon to court, but an out-ofcourt settlement awarded him £90,000, the paper reported. The story is a warning to salons to be aware of the possible risks associated with backwash chairs. Last year, for example, a woman from California sued her salon after a similar incident. However, the charity the Stroke Association has said that, as far as it is concerned, the risk is “very small”. Doctors have also suggested that, while salons do need to remain vigilant, simply using a cushion can significantly lower the risk.



nhfederation Last night was our first Apprenticeship Evening Event held by NHF CEO Hilary Hall. For your chance to find out the big changes to Apprenticeships in England from May 2017 and ask any questions you have, book a place onto one of our next dates. Follow the link in our bio to book your place #NHF #apprenticeships #changes



nhfederation Members should have received their new membership sticker for their window. Are you displaying yours proudly? #NHF #member

Customer wins £90k from hair salon after shampoo and rinse gives him a stroke: Father-of-two suffers near-fatal blood clot when his head was bent backwards over the basin • Dave Tyler collapsed two days after visiting Headmasters in Brighton in 2011 • He was asked at the National Hospital for Neurology if he'd had


his hair cut • Experts believe that as the neck extends the artery can become


nhfederation Filming today with Spirit Hair Company #spirithairco

torn • The salon awarded him the five-figure sum before it reached the courts • He thinks there should be a choice of having your hair washed facing forward

See our advice on how to manage bad reviews, page 26

SILVER SERVICE Congratulations to NHF member Sands Hair in Cardiff, which has become what is believed to be the first salon in Wales to achieve a

prestigious Silver accreditation from the Investors in People organisation. Investors in People recognises best practice in

managing and leading teams and people, and has four levels of accreditation: accredited, silver, gold, and platinum.

It also estimates that fewer than 10% of organisations that achieve “accredited” status, go on to achieve the next level of silver.

JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION @nhfederation @NHFederation hairdressersfederation

March/April 2017 | salonfocus



ince Barber Connect started in 2013, the event has gone from strength to strength and is now the biggest barbering event in Europe. After starting off in St David’s Hotel in Cardiff, then moving to The Celtic Manor in Newport, this years bonanza will be held in The International Centre, Telford on June 11th & 12th. Not only does this make the show more central, it also

allows great accessibility with the venue being just a 40 minute drive from Birmingham Airport. This years event will be sponsored by some of the biggest names in the industry: Barber Blades, Wahl, Jack Dean & Clubman Pinaud. With free tickets this year, there’s really no excuse to not pop along! Some of the best barbers in the business will be in attendance, hosting free and educational seminars

across the three stages. The stages are brought to you by Wahl, Barber Blades and Modern Barber Live. The compere for The Modern Barber Live stage Alan Beak said “It’s a great honour to be asked to be so involved with Modern Barber Live at Barber Connect and I’m incredibly excited to be involved. There is going to be some amazing talent on stage over the two days so it’s going to be cool to see how

B A R B E R C ON N E C T. C O .U K

people work as a team and individually!” Alongside Alan Beak on The Modern Barber Live Stage we also have Toastie Styles who will be making her first appearance cutting hair live on stage! Scotsman Tommie McGuckin will also be there and hopes to bring a little bit of Scotland for all people to enjoy. Tariq Howes of Young Feds will be representing Wales, and his ability to cut

afro hair is second to none. Completing the line up for The Modern Barber Live Stage is Roger ÓG Mulholland from Northern Ireland and representing England is Andrea Lynne Raymond who is currently the Wahl Professional UK Barber Of The Year. These five barbers will come together to compete in The Regional Challenge. 5 barbers, 5 chairs, 5 regions, all on one stage. Appearing on The Wahl Stage will be Simon Shaw: one of the most innovative and exciting hairstylists within the industry. As the European Artistic Director of Wahl he’s very well known for pushing the boundaries of design and cutting hair. Alongside Simon will be Michael Damiano who was voted Barber Of The Year in

going around! You may also want to keep an eye out for launches on products that you’ve never seen before as in previous years there have been launches from Wahl which included the Cordless Super Taper, Cordless Magic Clip & 5 Star Legend Clipper. 2016 also saw Panasonic launch their clipper range as well as Clubman Pinaud being launched in the UK. 2016 was the year Barber Blades released their barber socks, which have gone down a storm within the barber community. This years Barber Connect sees the introduction of a street food zone which will host many food and drink vendors, all within The International Centre, Telford. If street food isn’t your thing, the surrounding area is awash with affordable restaurants and hotels respectively. Director of Barber Connect Matt Brice believes although the event is a success, there’s still room for improvement. ‘When we first started in 2013, we had just 15 exhibitors and 600 barbers attending. This year we’re hoping to see 5000 barbers and over 90 exhibitors at The International Centre, Telford. With free tickets and a more accessible location, we hope to take Barber Connect to the next level this year!’ If you’d like to be a part of a unique opportunity to share & showcase your work & knowledge or if you’d just like to discover some new products, then Barber Connect 2017 is for you! Go to www. to get your tickets.

“There is going to be some amazing talent on stage over the two days” both 2004 & 2005. Carl Blake has over 25 years in the industry and has since become an instrumental member of the Artistic Creative team for Wahl. Completing the line up on The Wahl Stage will be 5ive, whose cool and calm approach to barbering has made him one of the most sought after barbers in the country. With this much experience all on one stage, these seminars will not want to be missed! Barber Connect usually reveals a plethora of exclusive show discounts, where brands offer customers products at a discounted price for two days only. Who wants to miss out on exclusive deals from the best brands in the world? Rumour has it there may also be some free sweet treats in the form of chocolate

KEY FACTS Location: The International Centre, Telford

On site hotels or 2 minutes walk from event

Blades, Wahl, Jack Dean, Clubman Pinaud

June 11-12th

120+ plus exhibitors

7000 visitors expected

Free parking

Sponsored by Barber

Free entry

B A R B E R C ON N E C T. C O .U K


Salon technology


nce upon a time a salon built up its reputation almost solely by word of mouth. Then websites began to play their part. Then social media. And next? Well, it’s quite possible that virtual reality could be an important salon “shop window” of the future.


Gone are the days when new customers visited a salon or barber shop after being enticed in through marketing and social media. Virtual reality “tours” now enable prospective clients to experience everything a salon or barber shop business has to offer through the power of the new technology before they make their big decision. One salon that has done this is Bedford-based hair and beauty business Hayward Lane, as salon manager Emma Thompson explains. “A lot of people nowadays want to check things out online before deciding whether to come in person, and this is a great way to do it,” she says. “We have used virtual reality to put a tab on our website to let people essentially have a nose around the salon, to take a virtual tour. “We have had a lot of positive feedback about it and I do think it has led to new clients coming into the salon,

salonfocus | March/April 2017

although unless they specifically tell you that it is hard to know. But I do know the link has been shared around a lot. “It tells you so much more than just looking on a website. With our salon, for example, it can be deceptive, in that the hair salon is at the front, and that is all you’d see on the website. But with virtual reality, you can go down the corridor to see our beauty rooms too. “It was very simple to do. They went round for maybe an hour and just went through the salon. It is all very clever,” Emma adds.

MODEL A NEW LOOK Hayward Lane used a company called VIEW3D and adding something like this to your website need not be that expensive, explains joint director James Kendall. “It’s probably going to be around £200-250. You don’t need a virtual reality (VR) headset; it can be viewed on your website, social media or emailed to existing or prospective clients,” he points out. “And it doesn’t just have to be for salon tours. It could be good for, say, a

It tells you so much more than just looking on a website. With our salon, for example, it can be deceptive, in that the hair salon is at the front, and that is all you’d see on the website. But with virtual reality, you can go down the corridor to see our beauty rooms too.

Salon technology


IF NOTHING ELSE READ THIS ã  Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation that looks 3D, and which you can use to show off an environment

p The virtual tour (above and below) can help clients get a real feel for the salon.

ã  You can use special equipment, such as a helmet with a screen or gloves fitted with sensors, but you can also use it through a normal website or social media ã  Salons and barber shops can use the technology to make virtual “tours” for new and would-be clients. These can help to set themselves apart from rivals, or help to see how a redesign might work ã  Although the cost will vary, expect to pay just a few hundred pounds for putting a straightforward VR tour on your website

child who hated getting their hair cut. Using VR can help familiarise them with the barber or salon and get them used to the idea, but in a fun way. “We’re also working on tools to help with salon redesign, so enabling you to move things around and try out different looks, even different wall textures. “Most of all it is a way of helping you to differentiate yourself from the other salons around you; it is a way of showcasing what you do, especially to people who are perhaps new to or moving into your area. It is really just another way to advertise,” James adds.

FIND OUT MORE You can view Hayward Lane’s VR tour at:

March/April 2017 | salonfocus


Salonfocus Advertorial

DO YOU STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD? Have you ever asked why it’s hard to keep clients loyal and feel that you are only as good as your last cut or treatment? Have you ever really assessed what makes you different to your competitors? Is it price, location or convenience? These are all questions you ask yourself when a client cancels and does not re-book. It feels like a relationship has broken down, you ask the question ‘Is it you or is it me?’ ‘What can I do to get them to re-book?’ The answer is simpler than you think – personalisation. Do you really know your client, do you really know what makes them tick? In a world full of talented stylists and therapists, you need to know your clients inside out and you need a software system that can manage the workload and let you get on with what you do best – running your business. Premier Salon has been designed to give your business the edge. Loyal

salonfocus | March/April 2017

clients are vital to your success, so keeping your brand front of mind is essential. By keeping track of client visits, spend and recommendations you can tailor promotional offers which really flick their switch through Premier Salon’s automated marketing function. Targeted and innovative communications will help clients return time after time. Premier Salon goes beyond sending a SMS appointment reminder, it can help get under your clients skin. Utilising data from your client records, it collates information on services, discounts they have used, retail spend and visit frequency. This information can then be used to determine what marketing campaign you need to run and when. Once you have determined that the promotion is affordable, just select the relevant client data and off you go. You can run promotions weekly, monthly or by specific date.

KEEP YOUR SALON VISIBLE WITH PREMIER SALON’S TOP FIVE TIPS: 1) Ensure your client data is up-to-date 2) Visualise your brand – do you stand out from the crowd? If not, maybe it’s time to invest in a re-brand 3) Communicate with frequency. Keep your brand front of mind. 4) Are you on the right channel? How do clients want to receive information – text, email or post? 5) Be unforgettable. Tailor your offers to suit your client. If they prefer retail offers, or last minute discount deals then make sure they top your list. Visibility leads to profitability. Ensure you have the right tools for the job and stand out from the crowd with Premier Salon. W: http://www. premiersalon/ T: 01543 466580 E:

Running your business




airdressing, barbering and beauty are “people” businesses. It’s about delighting your clients, giving them an experience that will make them want to come back time and again.


Hair and beauty is also a “people” industry in another way. Whatever your salon’s “wow” factor in terms of look or services or location, what will make or break it is the people you employ – their skill, professionalism, friendliness and charm. At the same time, salons and barber shops can be intense, high pressure places to work in, as well as sometimes physically cramped. It’s perhaps not surprising, therefore, that even in the best run salons you’ll get conflict. Whether it’s having to pull up an employee about their performance, team members just not getting on or a fullblown slam-the-door-on-the-way-out meltdown, part and parcel of your job as a salon owner is managing, sorting and resolving conflict.

CONFLICT WORKSHOPS To help you, the NHF is running a series of workshops this year, which are being delivered by the Conflict Training Company, which (as its name suggests) specialises in giving managers and staff the skills and confidence to manage “difficult” situations, conversations and conflict. One of the first lessons when it comes to managing conflict is learning how to say “no” in a way that will not inflame the situation. We all want to be thought of as nice people. Saying “no” can feel uncomfortable, especially if it means the other person is going to get upset. But it is something you have to learn to do as a business owner. Here are the Conflict Training Company’s five top tips on how to say “no” without making things worse. 1) Don’t make it personal. Even if you’re speaking to one person, try not to make it personal. For example, if you’re turning down a short-notice request for a holiday, make it clear this isn’t about you just being “the boss” or trying to upset their plans (even if that’s the result). It’s the same rule – and would be the same answer – for everyone. For example: “I wish I could do that for you; however, as a general rule, we can’t do it that way.”

March/April 2017 | salonfocus


Running your business

2) Acknowledge their disappointment. Make it clear you understand this isn’t the answer they want to hear. This won’t change the message but it can help to reduce its negative impact. For example: “I appreciate it may be a disappointment for you, but…” 3) Say “thank you”… first. It’s all about softening the blow. So try to start out with something positive. Of course, you have to judge how far to take this. If you tell them they’re the best therapist you’ve ever employed, only then to say “no we can’t keep you on, I’m afraid”, they’re likely just to be confused and even more upset.

4) Know what you’re talking about. Being able to pull up facts, reasons and evidence for your answer will help avoid having to resort to the more confrontational “because I’m right” or “because I’m telling you”. To re-use our holiday request example, being able to quote or show the salon’s holiday request policy, for example. 5) Be confident and composed. Be firm but polite, no matter how many times you have to say no or explain why. Don’t get frustrated or angry if they keep challenging you back. Be calm, keep it professional, but don’t backtrack and be very clear: no means no.

FIND OUT MORE The NHF’s “Managing difficult people” events are being held on 15 May in London, 05 June in Norwich, and 02 October in Cardiff. Go to for more information.


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Technology and security


salonfocus | March/April 2017

Technology and security


FIVE SCAMS TO WATCH OUT FOR These are the top five online scams to be aware of, according to Global Payments.

wo thirds of small businesses say they have been victims of online crime, losing on average £3,000 each. Don’t be one of them. Follow these tips from Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime.






Keep your details secret. Never give out personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials. Be suspicious of emails. Recognise many frauds start with a “phishing” email that will try to get you to click on a link over give over your bank details. Delete it! Do not trust such emails, even if they look genuine. If in doubt, especially if it’s from your bank, call up to check. Banks should never send you an email asking you to click on a link or provide your bank details.


Shred unwanted bills or receipts. Destroy (ideally shred) any receipts that have your card details on as well as any post with your name and address on. This is to prevent your identity being “cloned”.

Be suspicious of deals or offers you weren’t expecting. Be extremely wary of post, phone calls or emails offering you business deals out of the blue. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be aware of fraud recovery fraud. If you’ve been a victim of fraud, be aware of “fraud recovery fraud”. This is when fraudsters pretend to be a lawyer or a law enforcement officer and offer to help you recover money you’ve already lost.


Get advice. Action Fraud (0300 123 2040) has specialist fraud advisers. You can also report a fraud through its website


Use virus protection. Make sure your computer has upto-date anti-virus software and a firewall installed. Set your browser to its highest level of security notification and monitoring.

5 6

Email phishing. One of the most common scams reported over Christmas was a fake email that looked like it had come from Amazon. Fake shipping notices are another common scam. Product giveaways. Watch out here especially for anything that asks you to submit a load of details (especially financial details) to allow you to enter a “prize”. Downloads. Unless you’re absolutely sure about it, don’t open or download an attachment. Bogus ads. This is a growing problem, with Action Fraud highlighting that social media ads were a popular target for fraudsters over Christmas. So, be very wary about clicking on ads when on social media. False e-commerce sites. Watch out for dodgy domain names (especially ones that are close to the site you’re meaning to go to but not quite the same). Social media pages (again) and even online shopping sites can sometimes be faked or hijacked. So, double-check before you click.


Verify card transactions. Sign up to “Verified by Visa” or “MasterCard Secure Code” whenever purchasing online. Don’t ignore suspicious transactions. If you receive bills, invoices or receipts for things you haven’t bought, take action. Your identity may have been stolen.


Check your credit record. Get a copy of your credit file and check it for entries you don’t recognise.


Three out of four over-45s with internet access have been targeted by email scams


Percentage of these who say they have fallen victim to an online scam


Percentage of small businesses that say they have been victims of online crime in the past two years


Average loss suffered by small businesses that were victims of online or cyber fraud

Sources: Aviva, Federation of Small Businesses

March/April 2017 | salonfocus


The NHF Business Awards


ll salon owners recognise that growing your hair or beauty business means constantly improving your service, innovating, and striving for the highest levels of skill and professionalism.


Part of this is about being totally focused on the excellence of the day-to-day salon experience. But part of it is also about stretching yourself, about learning new things, building your team and recognition. A great way to do this is through entering, taking part in and (hopefully) winning competitions. Here’s why I think entering awards can be an important part in helping your (and any) business grow and improve.


TEAM MOTIVATION Awards recognise the hard work and achievements of all your employees. Just taking part (let alone wining) can boost team morale and improve motivation. I found my team became more focused on what was great about our company; there was a clear sense of pride in being part of it. Entering and taking part in a competition can

salonfocus | March/April 2017

winning salon is a sign of quality, and will emphasise to prospective clients that this is a business they can trust for their hair and beauty needs.

4 be a great team bonding experience as well as, on the award night itself, a chance to have a great night out!


UNDERSTANDING YOUR BUSINESS Especially if you’re entering a business award, just filling in the application will often force you to step back and think about what’s good (or not) about your business. It can really open your eyes to what you have achieved and what you need to work on. In fact, I found the process of putting

together an awards entry was often as beneficial as the final result, and a valuable tool to develop and grow the business.


ATTRACTING AND RETAINING CLIENTS Winning a business (or other) award, even being nominated or shortlisted, can show you’re on the right track as a salon. It is, in effect, an independent thumbs-up of what your business is about and what you’re doing. An award-

IF NOTHING ELSE READ THIS ã  Competitions and awards can boost team morale ã  They can help you see more clearly what’s good (and bad) about your business ã  They can be great PR, and help to keep and attract new clients and new talent

RECRUITING NEW TALENT Winning awards, especially business awards, can show not only that you are the best in your field, but that your salon or barber shop is a great place to work. This will, naturally, help you to attract and keep the talent you need. Our staff retention was always strong; people like to feel they are part of the best.


PR AND PUBLICITY It is important to shout out about competitions you enter. Make sure you maximise your PR exposure and update all your marketing materials with the award logo. This should include business cards, website and pricelists; even include the award logo on your company email. It’s fantastic to be recognised, so it’s important to make sure people know and understand what your business has achieved. Penny Etheridge is managing director of Radiant Hair Consulting, which is sponsoring the NHF Business Awards Best New Business category.

The NHF Business Awards




Visit for details on how to enter and to download the entry form.

THERE’S A SPECIAL “MYSTERY” TWIST. A unique element of the NHF Business Awards is that entrants to most categories will receive a “mystery shopping” visit as part of the judging process. Finalists will be given a free copy of their report to see their business in a whole new light.

YOU’VE GOT UNTIL JULY TO ENTER. The deadline for entries is 5pm Friday 28 July. Finalists will be announced on 4 September, and published in salonfocus.

THE WINNERS WILL BE CELEBRATED IN NOVEMBER. The awards dinner is being held on Sunday 19 November 2017 at the VOX Conference Centre, part of the ResortWorld complex at the NEC, Birmingham.

THERE ARE NINE CATEGORIES. The categories are:

ã  Best independent hair or beauty salon, sponsored by Takara Belmont ã  Best independent barber shop or male grooming business, sponsored by UNITE ã  Best group of businesses, sponsored by Coversure ã  Best new business, sponsored by Radiant Hair Consultancy ã Best client experience, sponsored by MINDBODY ã  Best community support, in support of The Hairdressers’ Charity ã Best apprentice, sponsored by VTCT ã Best front of house, sponsored by Global Payments ã  Best environmentally-friendly business, sponsored by Ellis Whittam

IT WILL BE A WHOLE DAY OF CELEBRATIONS. As well as the winners of the NHF Business Awards, there will be a series of events and workshops to celebrate the NHF’s 75th anniversary. The winners of the Photographic Stylist of the Year competition will be announced, and the winners of Britain’s Best will be revealed as the competition progresses. Full details about this year’s Britain’s Best will be in the next edition of salonfocus.

FIND OUT MORE. Go to to find out full details.

March/April 2017 | salonfocus


Finding the right staff


APPRENTICESHIPS MAY BE CHANGING, BUT HAIR AND BEAUTY SALONS AND BARBER SHOPS FACE AN ALMIGHTY STRUGGLE WHEN IT COMES TO RECRUITING YOUNG PEOPLE. THINGS HAVE TO CHANGE, THEY TELL SALONFOCUS. his year’s National Apprenticeship Week is just around the corner. It will run from 6-10 March, and salons can expect to see lots of news, alerts and local events taking place that promote the benefits of apprenticeships.


If only the rest of the year was like that. This year is going to see lots of changes to apprenticeships – the launch of new “trailblazer” apprenticeships designed to leave trainees more salon ready; new ways of funding apprenticeships; and (although it’s not going to affect small salons) the launch

salonfocus | March/April 2017

of a new apprenticeship “levy”. But one thing that hasn’t changed – yet – is the almighty struggle many hair and beauty salons and barber shops face when it comes to finding, recruiting and training up young people. There’s three key problems, salons say: ã  Schools or parents putting pupils off going for an apprenticeship at age 16 ã  Salons then being unable to employ older apprentices because it’s just too expensive (and, if anything, the new reforms may make this worse) ã  Too many colleges churning out “qualified” students who are anything but Salonfocus spoke to members to find out more.

Finding the right staff

“PUPILS NEED TO KNOW THAT DOING AN APPRENTICESHIP CAN BE JUST AS GOOD AS GOING ON TO COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY” Kevin Huggins, Fusion Hair and Beauty Consultants, Great Yarmouth At school options’ evenings you get a 14-year-old coming up and saying ‘I want to be a hairdresser’. So you talk them through it – how they’ll do a two-year apprenticeship, after which they’ll perhaps get an NVQ Level 2, then qualify and go on to a salon floor; how it’ll then be an eight-hour day five days a week. Then they carry on round the room and speak to someone from a college. They’ll tell them they’ll do a two-year course, from 9am to 3.30pm, with 14 weeks’ holiday and their parents will still be able to claim child benefit. Of course, at the end they will have a qualification but won’t be salon floorqualified. But you can see why it seems more attractive. And the problem is they’ll come out from the college, aged 18/19, but not fully qualified. As a salon we’ll then have to pay them the full minimum wage, even though they won’t be able to do the job properly and we’ll have to retrain them. This is something salons just can’t afford to do and, therefore, college students are in effect unemployable as far as a salon goes. I would like to see much stronger

relationships between schools and businesses – pupils need to know that doing an apprenticeship can be just as good as going on to college or university. Schools also need to give more priority to work experience to let kids find out about work and what it is they want to do; they need more hands-on practical experience. If you get to 19 it becomes almost impossible to become a hairdresser because you can only do one year on the apprentice minimum wage. Even the latest standards require more than one year, again this makes over-19s unemployable.



in the local paper. They then spend half a day in a salon to see how they get on. We do not approach schools as the above gives us better quality candidates who tend to be more passionate about hairdressing. School introductions tend to be (though not always) more a case of the student not knowing what they want to do, so let’s try hairdressing! The bigger issue is colleges persuading students to sign on with them full time rather than on to a fulltime apprenticeship within a salon, but without a prospect of a job to walk into. From my local college, the numbers attending the hairdressing course are six to eight times greater than the actual jobs available.

Neil Prigent, JAS Hair Salon Group, Salisbury We used to have six apprentices at any one time but due to minimum wage increases this has been reduced to four. I don’t disagree with the principle of increasing the wage, but there is a business impact financially. We run a two- to three-hour evening workshop once a year in April to invite potential apprentices to join us, advertised via Facebook mainly and PR

March/April 2017 | salonfocus


Finding the right staff

“WE’RE NOW TALKING ABOUT DEVELOPING A PARENT ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY” Nicola Steinbach, Terence Paul and Flanagans Training Academy, Stockport I think the new trailblazer standards are really positive; they mirror the higher quality standards we’re looking to achieve. But they will create challenges, not least in the administration. We’ve also been having conversations with salons who want to put people on to the progression (post-18) qualification, and they are saying ‘so I’m going to have to pay £900 now?’. So, I think the standards will potentially be good in terms of bringing young people into the industry, but that progression point is going to be really challenging. Too many schools do not actively promote apprenticeships. We find it is important to get into the schools much earlier, perhaps Year 9 or 10. By Year 11 young people have made their options and their parents have probably had an important say in that, and will often try to steer them down the academic route. By Year 11 it is almost too late to get them. Our industry often gets a bad rep: low earning, low prospects, low academic. So we go in and try to celebrate apprenticeships – the skills, opportunities, careers, potential for

salonfocus | March/April 2017

earnings. We also have apprentice ‘ambassadors’ on our teams that we use. We’re now talking about developing a parent engagement strategy. Sometimes kids come to us and say ‘I wanted to be a hairdresser but my mum and dad said no, so I stayed on to go to sixth form’. But by then it is too late.”

“SCHOOLS NEED TO OPEN THEIR DOORS TO ENCOURAGE COMPANIES TO COME IN. ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES EMAILED 30 SCHOOLS IN AND AROUND MANCHESTER, AND NOT ONE CAME BACK” Cathy Weston, national director for apprenticeships, Toni&Guy Recruiting from schools is a major problem. The message we get from some apprentices is they feel they have stay on at school or college in order to get a job, or be in full-time education, so they just stay. We had one person who even said they had been offered an iPad if they stayed on. I think schools need to open their doors to encourage companies to come in. One of my colleagues emailed 30 schools in and around Manchester, and not one came back to her. They want to keep hold of their pupils, of course, but they do need to be more open about alternative career options. Parents are an issue too. It is about challenging parents because they too often think an apprenticeship is nothing compared to a degree.

“I HAD ONE YOUNG LADY WHO LASTED TWO HOURS BECAUSE I WOULD NOT LET HER USE HER PHONE” Yvonne McConnell, Phaze 1 Hair, Nails & Beauty Lounge in Blackpool Over the last two years we have struggled to recruit apprentices. It has been very difficult, even though we are right next door to two high schools. We have had notices in the window and have been in touch with the schools, but to no avail. The ones that do come are often not motivated or don’t come prepared. They don’t have CVs, they’re not well presented, they can’t string a sentence together. I had one young lady who lasted two hours because I would not let her sit and use her phone. It is very, very frustrating One of my main shocks is colleges, where you get students coming off fulltime courses and so they, technically, have a qualification. You say ‘we’ve got an opening for a trainee beauty therapist or hair stylist’, and we could take them on and enhance their skills, but we cannot get them to come. They’ll say, despite having a qualification, they’re ‘not confident enough’ to work in a salon, or if they work it’ll affect their benefits or their parents’ benefits. And then, when you do take somebody on, you essentially have to retrain them because they only have very, very basic skills. They do not have salon-standard skills. So, I really hope the new standards do make a difference; they’ve got to really.

Finding the right staff

“A LOT OF SCHOOLS JUST PAY LIPSERVICE TO CAREERS ADVICE” Lesley McCormack, managing director, Michaeljohn Training School, Manchester We’ve been delivering City & Guilds qualifications for 34 years and have been an active member on the trailblazer assessment group. In fact, we piloted end-point assessment, and really feel this will provide an opportunity for learners to showcase their skills much more effectively. I very much hope the new standards do change things for the better because, when it comes to things like calibre, mental toughness, parental support, we’ve seen a massive, massive,

noticeable decline year-on-year, and it is becoming worse and worse. Take literacy levels. For entry to our Level 2, 56% of our programme required support with maths and English, or both. That has become a major barrier. We welcome young people from all walks of life and all backgrounds. But they spend 11 years in education – the whole attitude to teaching maths and English needs to be revolutionised. We do it here with our apprentices – I had one young person with me last week who turned round and said, ‘I’ve learned more maths in one day here than I did at school in the last 11 years’. Maths and English need to be more naturally occurring during all lessons. Children also need to taught entrepreneurial skills earlier on and given more careers advice. At the


moment, a lot of schools just pay lipservice to careers advice. The whole ethos is ‘get them into sixth form’. There is also an over-reliance on parents as the main source of information for young people. For mum and dad, the perception of apprenticeships as a training alternative is practically non-existent. When you go to a school event nowadays, they’ll just give you a static stand rather than let you have a space where you could do demonstrations to show the children what it’s really like. Often we get people coming to us saying they did not even know they had a careers officer at school; that they just spoke to friends or saw our website or were told about us by another salon owner.

SCHOOLS ‘MUST DO BETTER’ It’s not just salons who think

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inspector Ofsted thinks so too.

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inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw.

March/April 2017 | salonfocus


Finding the right staff

‘TRAILBLAZER’ REFORMS NEW APPRENTICESHIPS A STEP CLOSER The government in December formally approved the industry’s plans for assessing hairdressing and barbering apprentices through new employer-developed “trailblazer” apprenticeships. The Department for Education gave its backing to plans that were drawn up and submitted by a cross-industry group of employers, supported by the NHF and sector skills body Habia. The first new apprenticeships are being launched from May, and the NHF is running events around the country to explain to salons how they will work. One key change will be a new compulsory “end-point” assessment carried out by an independent examiner. This will be a test to check the apprentice has the right skills to survive and thrive on a salon floor.

apprentice aged 16-18 will not have to contribute anything – training will be 100% subsidised. This will be the case, too, when taking on an older apprentice, aged 19-24, who has been in care or who has a healthcare plan. There will also be a £1,000 grant available as an incentive to take on both these types of apprentice. For all other apprentices (in other words most apprentices aged 19 or above), all salons, whatever their size, will be expected to make a financial contribution. Hairdressers and barbers are being located in what is called “Funding Band 9”. This means the government will contribute a maximum of £9,000 per apprentice. This will, in turn, mean employers will be expected to contribute one tenth of this cost, or £900. 

CHANGES TO FUNDING It has also now been confirmed how much small salons (with fewer than 50 employees) will be expected to pay towards the cost of training an apprentice under this new scheme. Small salons taking on an

Go to to find out more. The NHF’s guide for employers to changes to apprenticeships in England from May 2017 is freely available for download. Training providers can pass it to nonmembers by using apprenticeship-guide/


EVENTS IN YOUR AREA Watch out for two upcoming events on apprenticeships, “An evening with the NHF” 27 March – Birmingham // 03 April – Bristol// For more details go to

salonfocus | March/April 2017

Finding the right staff



May £1,000 Expected start date for new “trailblazer” apprenticeships


What small salons (fewer than 50 employees) will pay for taking on a younger (age 16-18) apprentice or an older apprentice who has been in care or has a healthcare plan

Grant that will also be available for taking on a younger apprentice or one who has been in care or has a healthcare plan


What salons will be expected to contribute when taking on an older (post-19) apprentice


FIND OUT MORE You can find out more about National Apprenticeship Week from 6-10 March at and then search for “National Apprenticeship Week”. You can also download an online form that will give you access to an online map of events happening in your area and how you can get involved.


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 March/April 2017 | salonfocus


Business rates


ith prices and inflation rising and minimum and living wage rates going up from next month, hair and beauty salons and barber shops already have a lot of new costs to be dealing with.


But from April many salons around the country will find themselves also paying higher business rates, as the result of a nationwide “revaluation” of the tax on business properties. In fact, despite the government arguing that most businesses will see no change or bills falling, an NHF poll of members has found that four out of 10 (42%) are expecting to be hit by a higher bill from April. Nearly 14% say they expect their rates bills to stay the same. Fewer than a tenth (7%) say they will pay less as a result of the change. So, what’s happening? Business rates are a tax based on the “rateable” value of your premises. Because property prices rise and fall, they’re normally reviewed every five years. However, because successive governments kept putting it off, the current revaluation is the first review in seven years. PROPERTY PRICES During this time, of course, property prices have risen sharply in many parts of the country, especially London and the south east. Salons in these areas, and anywhere else where property values

have risen, may well see their bills going up as a result. Salons anywhere in the UK can find an estimate of what their new bill will be by going online to the web address revaluation The NHF’s survey, however, found a significant minority (37%) of members still did not know what their new bill would be from April, meaning they could be in for a nasty surprise. SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF It is worth emphasising not all salons will see their bills go up. Small Business Rate Relief is also changing from April, which could mean more salons either having a chunk knocked off their bill or having to pay no rates at all. The NHF is launching a new service to help members who feel their bill is wrong or too high. Working with specialist rating surveyor Mark Radford, the NHF will be offering a “no savings, no fees” appeals service for NHF members. The NHF also intends to continue its campaign to get business rates scrapped in their current form. Rates are based on the value of bricks and mortar premises and, as such, disadvantage businesses which, like hair and beauty, have no option but to have a physical building compared with, say, online firms. The tax also disadvantages businesses that have to be on a high street to attract passing trade, where property prices will normally be higher, against those located in out-of-town shopping centres.

Have you contacted the Valuation Office Agency (or Scottish Assessors Association) or your local council to challenge your new business rates? ANSWER CHOICES






No, but I am considering contacting them

27.50% 100












0% Yes

salonfocus | March/April 2017


No, But...

Business rates


OCATION… They will go up

They will stay the same

What will happen to your new business rates from April 2017? ANSWER CHOICES

They will go down


They will go up


They will stay the same


They will go down Don’t Know Total


Don’t know

37.04% 100












BUSINESS RATES EXPLAINED WHAT ARE BUSINESS RATES? Business rates are a tax on all commercial properties. So, if your business operates out of a physical building, or even shares part of a building, you could be liable to pay them. The way bills are calculated is complex. But it is a percentage of what is deemed to be the “rateable value” of that property. This will normally be different to the property’s resale value. There are different systems in place for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Rates are collected by your local council, which will

normally send you a bill in February or March. If you think your bill is wrong, you can argue your case, and see the final point on appeals for more on this. WHAT IS SMALL BUSINESS RATE RELIEF? This is a tax break for small businesses so they pay less, or even no, business rates. It should be automatically applied to your business rates bill, so do check. HOW IS IT CHANGING? Currently (as of March), under Small Business Rate Relief, a business can get 100% relief – or in other words, not have to pay anything at all – if it only uses one property, and that property’s rateable

value is less than £6,000. A business with a rateable value of up to £12,000 gets a chunk of its bill knocked off, on a sliding scale. However, from next month (April), this will all change to, in fact, become more generous. The 100% threshold will rise to £12,000. In other words, if your business is given a rateable value of up to £12,000 you won’t have to pay anything. The sliding scale under which you can get at least some reduction has also been extended, to between £12,001 and £15,000. Above £15,000, however, your luck is out and you will need to pay full business rates.

THE NHF APPEALS SERVICE If you think your bill or the calculation of your rateable value is wrong, you can appeal. In England and Wales, you do this through the Valuation Assessment Office, in Scotland through the Scottish Assessors Association, and in Northern Ireland through the executive’s Land & Property Services department. Because this can be complex and timeconsuming, the NHF has launched an appeals service for members through specialist rating surveyor Mark Radford. It is being offered on the basis of “no savings, no fees”. Members can find out more about it by calling the NHF on 01234 831965.

March/April 2017 | salonfocus


Business rates

What is your current business rateable value? ANSWER CHOICES

Less than £6,000


Less than £6,000


Between £6,000 and £12,000


Between £12,000 and £15,000


Between £6,000

More than £15,000


and £12,000

Don’t know

11.25% 100


Between £12,000 and £15,000

More than £15,000

Don’t know

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%



Angela Everett runs Trevor Mitchell in Southampton. Her rateable value is going up by more than £1,700, and she will be paying more than £8,000 a year. The salon will be just outside the Small Business Rate Relief threshold.

Richard Stone runs Studio One in Godalming, Surrey. The rateable value of his salon is going up by more than £2,000. Although he will still get some Small Business Rate Relief, he now expects to be paying more than £6,000 a year in business rates.

We have 22 hairdressers on our road alone; we’re all competing for the same clients. Already there are three empty shops around me. We cannot put our prices up endlessly because it is so competitive. With the minimum wage going up, and very high parking charges around here, we’re just surviving as it is; we do not make any profit. I’ve had this salon for 30 years, and I’ve never found it so hard as it is now. I think it should be a tax based on turnover. When I look down our street and see, for example, the letting agency opposite me, its turnover is going to be completely different to mine, but the property is very similar.

salonfocus | March/April 2017

Business-wise we’ve been ticking over. We are a high class salon; we’re not on the high street but are still in a good location. I would like some clear guidance on how it is calculated. For example, we have an air conditioning unit which we use as a heater in the winter and to cool the air in the summer. That’s included in our rateable value. Why? I don’t mind paying a fair amount, but at the moment I just feel we’re being ripped off. Our staff already all work really hard, and you can only try to improve. But it is going to be a massive increase.


Shaun Marshall runs Snippers Artistic Hairdressing in North Walsham, Norfolk. According to the VOA, the rateable value of his salon will be unchanged, at £4,400, meaning he will continue to pay no business rates at all. Nevertheless, he remains concerned because he has received a notification warning him his rates will be going up. We are 18 miles from Norwich, so we are in no position to keep jacking up our prices. It is very difficult; there is nothing you can do about it. If our rates do go up, the only option will be to cut back, and that means there is no way to grow your business. There are 18 hairdressers and three barbers here, and we are swamped with beauty salons, and we are the only one that is VAT registered. So, we are already at a disadvantage; we do not have anywhere to turn.


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March/April 2017 | salonfocus


Wedding hair: the groom


or both brides and grooms, we offer a thorough hair consultation. No client (whether about to be married or not) should be put straight into a salon or barber chair after just a fiveminute chat.


salonfocus | March/April 2017

We often find neither the bride nor the groom will know quite what style they want for their big day. That is absolutely fine; as professionals our job is very much to advise and make recommendations. When considering a style for the wedding day, grooms should consider their hair like they do their outfit – a one-off. Practicality can almost be thrown out of the window; grooms do not want to look like how they do on a day-to-day basis and the consultation should be shaped around this.

It’s also important really to get to know them. An informal chat over a coffee or cocktail/beer helps us to put them at ease, earns their trust and shows we aren’t just after their business. We genuinely want to help them find a style that will work wonders. It’s also important to get a feel for their wedding day and their expectations – what type of event it is, how formal, dress code, what each is wearing or planning to wear. Couples often spend a lot of time ensuring the wedding day has a theme and works well together – yet their hair may not be top of the list when it comes to this coordination. For example, a vintage style up-do for a lady will not match a choppy textured, undone style on a male. SKINCARE AND FACIALS Especially for the groom, he may not know the intricate details of the wedding. But just the knowledge of whether it is a beach or castle wedding will mean we might recommend a looser, textured look or, for the latter, a high shine-finished look (such as a pompadour or side-part). Grooms are an important market

Wedding hair: the groom

for us. With the emergence of high definition cameras and guests posting instantaneously to social media, grooming in-prep for the wedding day has never been more important. And this really has to start in-advance of the wedding week! For grooms, we recommend a skincare regime that usually involves a series of prescribed facials to help balance the skin, especially for oily/acne-prone skin, redness or dry/tired skin – which doesn’t fare too well with the camera. Professional removal of facial hair is another key service to getting that magazine-quality finish. So, for that dreaded close-up we offer gents eyebrow shaping, face, nose and ear hair removal as well as luxury hot towel shaves and exfoliation. We are noticing grooms are talking about and getting involved in their weddings a lot more nowadays and, as such, will often come in prior to their wedding to devise a hair plan. Gone are the days where a groom would come to his barber the day before or morning of the wedding and just get his “regular trim”. For grooms with short hair, who would like to grow it out in


Raps Gill (right) with partner Harper: grooms are an important, and growing, market.

Gone are the days where a groom would come to his barber the day before or morning of the wedding and just get his ‘regular trim’ time for the wedding, we recommend starting this process at least 25 weeks in advance. It will take several cuts to begin to shape the hair in what you would like it to be – so starting early is a must! This is especially important if this is a new client, as the barber will need an adequate amount of time to essentially create a “blank canvas” to work from again. SPECIAL DAY Grooms want to feel just as special as a bride on the day, and so we offer a personal call-out service which allows for that one-on-one time with the barber in order to achieve a high-quality blow dry and salon finish. Gifts are another area you can look at.

A nice touch we’re finding is that more and more grooms are booking in their groomsmen for various services, such as a blow dry and style or luxury hot towel shaves. So, how do you make these services work financially? Here’s my top tips: 1) Be generous with your time. This is a special moment. For the groom, it’s an opportunity to spend some time with his groomsmen before the big day begins. If the service is being delivered in our hair shop, we usually like to block out the diary so the wedding party has exclusive access to the bar and control over the music play list. That way the mood is set and it really does feel like a gift experience. Don’t forget, if you’re

March/April 2017 | salonfocus


Wedding hair: the groom

serving alcohol, you will need to have the relevant licences from your local council. 2) Never market according to price or discounts. It should be the reliability, quality and consistency of your service that determines how much a groom will be willing to spend. 3) Focus on the value. Having a hair and make-up artist for brides is usually a given; there will be an assumption the extra cost of doing this will be well worth it. It shouldn’t be any different for the groom. Be confident and make the case to the groom that booking a professional is worthwhile. 4) Be there for them. Just like the bride, the groom is probably going to be nervous. Make it your job to be there for him, to offer reassurance and support. Know his groomsmen, know his favourite tipple, give the salon or barber shop space a welcoming “buzz” during the getting-ready period. 5) Explain that, yes, he’s absolutely worth it. Couples spend hundreds on

their outfits, thousands on venue hire and catering; they will be putting themselves under the spotlight in front of their nearest and dearest. So why wouldn’t you spend that little bit more than usual on your hair? As I often say to clients, an average outfit can look great with well-done hair; but even the most expensive outfit can look average with bad hair. 6) See the value in the cut yourself. This is not a regular service for you. This one style will be on show to potentially hundreds of people in one day – it is essentially a walking advert! And what with the power of social media and picture-sharing, it’s crucial to create a look that the couple are keen to share (and to be shared), as there is nothing more powerful in our industry than a) visual inspiration and b) a word-of-mouth recommendation. Raps Gill is creative director and co-owner (with partner Harper) of Vaal & Vaal in Wolverhampton

IF NOTHING ELSE READ THIS ã  Barbering and grooming services for

grooms are a growing market ã G rooms, and their groomsmen, want to

feel as special as the bridal party ã  Focus on facial services and skincare, as

well as hair ã C onsider offering a personal call-out

service 01462 832898

ã  Make the salon or barber shop “their”

space, with the right buzz and ambience

National Living and National Minimum Wage rates



ext month is the start of a new financial year and, once again, the National Living Wage and the various different rates for the National Minimum Wage will be going up.


At the same time, the government is putting more money into catching businesses that are failing to pay employees their correct minimum pay, whether deliberately or not. So, if you haven’t done so already, now’s your last chance to make sure your pay and payroll systems are ready for the change. If you have a payroll provider that sorts out your staff pay for you, make sure they’ve adjusted their systems and are ready, too. If they get it wrong, it’ll still be your responsibility.




National Living Wage (+ 25s)



Age 21-24



Age 18-20



Age 16-17






*The apprentice rate applies to those aged 16-18 training on an apprenticeship and to those aged 19 or over who are in the first year of an apprenticeship, after which they revert to their appropriate age-related rate.

March/April 2017 | salonfocus


Working out holidays


salonfocus | March/April 2017

Working out holidays



Shami is manager of a franchised hair salon in London. She “tops up” her employed staff by using regular casual workers, mostly on busy Saturdays but also on Thursday evenings when the salon stays open late. She wants to work out what, if any, paid holiday they are entitled to. THE ANSWER First off, it depends on the employment status of the casual worker. If they’re selfemployed, Shami won’t need to pay them benefits such as holiday or sick pay. But she will have to be careful about how, and how regularly, she uses them so she doesn’t get caught out by HM Revenue & Customs turning round and deciding they should be classed as “employed”. For stylists who Shami is employing on a casual or irregular basis, the principle when it comes to calculating their holiday entitlement is much the same as it is for Tania: their holiday entitlement will be a percentage of the number of hours they work. How you work this out is as follows. There are 52 weeks in a year. Fiftytwo weeks minus the legal minimum holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks leaves us with 46.4 weeks. However, an employee only builds up holiday entitlement during the time they are actually at work, in other words during the 46.4 weeks. So, you’ll now need to divide the 5.6 minimum entitlement figure by 46.4. This will give you a figure of 12.07%, which is the

employee’s hourly holiday entitlement. Essentially, for every hour the employee works, 12.07% of it will go into their holiday “pot”. Now Shami has this figure she can work out the amount of holiday each casual worker is entitled to. Let’s assume they work ten hours a week. Calculating 12.07% of ten hours comes out at 1.21 hours or, to be precise, 72.63 minutes. In other words, they will be building up a bit over an hour and ten minutes of holiday for every ten hours they work. Therefore, assuming they regularly work these ten hours a week, it will take them about six weeks to build up one day’s holiday. THE QUESTION

Tania runs a small hair and beauty salon in Northampton. She added beauty services a couple of years ago, which have proved extremely popular. She now feels confident enough to hire Shelley, a new part-time therapist, working three days a week. Tania has put her on the same terms and conditions as her two full-time employees. But she’s unsure how to work out how much holiday Shelley will be able to take as a result. THE ANSWER This, in fact, is quite straightforward. The key is that Shelley is on the same terms and conditions as the

other team members. The vast majority of workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ of paid holiday a year, or what is known as statutory leave entitlement. Shelley is also entitled to this minimum but, because she only works part-time, the actual number of days she will be able to take off will be different. To show how this works, someone working a five-day week must receive 28 days’ paid annual leave per year (in other words five days multiplied by 5.6). For Shelley, therefore, because she is working three days a week, she will be entitled to 16.8 days of annual paid leave (or three multiplied by 5.6). So, in practical terms, this is probably going to mean rounding it up to 17 days. One common area of confusion is whether you should include bank holidays as part of this total. The government’s position on this is clear: it’s up to you. Bank holidays do not have to be given as paid leave. So you can choose whether to include them as part of your employees’ statutory annual leave. You can, of course, choose to be generous and give them these public holidays as extra paid time off. THE QUESTION

Tony runs a busy barber shop in Truro. He gives his three

barbers the basic statutory holiday allowance of 5.6 weeks a year, which comes out as 20 days off work plus eight public holidays (Christmas, Easter, and bank holidays). However, the business closes on a Monday and, of course, bank holidays tend to fall on a Monday too. Tony is unsure what this then means in terms of holiday entitlement. THE ANSWER This, again, is relatively straightforward. You wouldn’t expect employees to take any of the other Mondays when the business is shut as holiday – they can’t work those days, whether they want to or not. This means whether the Monday is also a bank or public holiday is irrelevant; in this case Tony can’t take it off their holiday entitlement because the business would have been closed anyway. It is the same if an employee books a week’s holiday that includes a Monday (or any other day) when the business is shut. That day should not be counted as part of their holiday allocation.

FIND OUT MORE If you’re unsure about holiday entitlement questions, or any employment or legal questions, do take professional advice. Ring the NHF support team on 01234 831965.

March/April 2017 | salonfocus





NHF BUSINESS “SURGERIES” 06 March – Cardiff 15 May – Southampton MANAGING DIFFICULT PEOPLE 15 May – London 05 June – Norwich LET YOUR RECEPTION TEAM BOOST YOUR BUSINESS! 15 May – Glasgow 12 June – Sheffield


Entries are now open for this year’s NHF Photographic Stylist of the Year competition. The prestigious competition, now in its 13th year and this year being sponsored by UNITE, gives stylists of all levels and experience the chance to showcase both their hair and their photographic skills. The aim is to submit images worthy of a collection or magazine front cover photoshoot. Indeed, the winners will be featured in salonfocus – one of them on the cover. This year’s competition has six categories: ã ã ã ã ã ã

Male Fashion Look (students and trainees) Male Fashion Look (open to all) Male Fashion Collection (open to all) Female Fashion Look (students and trainees) Female Fashion Look (open to all) Female Fashion Collection (open to all)

To enter, go to the NHF website,, and click on the tab “Events” and then “Competitions”. The deadline for entries is 8 September. Depending on the category you are entering, you will be required either to submit one innovative image or a collection of images. The finalists will be chosen by an expert panel and the winners will be announced at the NHF’s new 75th Anniversary Business Awards, which are being held on Sunday 19 November.

salonfocus | March/April 2017

MAKE-UP – BRIDAL 20 March – Manchester 27 March – Glasgow 03 April – Coventry 03 April – Southampton 08 May – Huddersfield 15 May – Bristol MAKE-UP – CONTOURING AND STROBING 20 March – Bedford MAKE-UP – “RED CARPET” LOOK 27 March – Glasgow 03 April – Coventry 15 May – Bristol COLOUR – BALAYAGE/ OMBRE FUSION 08 May – Liverpool 12 June – Kidderminster HAIR LOSS SOLUTIONS – IN SALON 10 April – Chester 08 May – Bath 19 June – Edinburgh

EVENING BUSINESS EVENTS ARE YOU PREPARED FOR PENSIONS AUTOENROLMENT? 13 March – Bristol 20 March – Lincoln 27 March – Durham 03 April – Stockport 24 April – Leeds

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


EVENING CREATIVE EVENTS CREATIVE EVENING WORKSHOP 06 March – Cardiff 15 May – Southampton BARBERING WORKSHOP 13 March – Bangor, Northern Ireland 26 June – London BRIDAL/HAIR UP 24 April – Bristol 15 May – Newcastle 15 May – Manchester

REGIONAL COMPETITIONS 12-13 March – Blackpool 14 May – Welsh Competition, Cardiff 23 October – Pride of Scotland 05 November – Wales Awards, the Angel Hotel, Cardiff AWARDS 19 November – NHF Business Awards (incorporating Photographic Stylist of the Year and Britain’s Best), the VOX at Resort World, NEC, Birmingham NHF AGM 21 May – London


March/April 2017 | salonfocus



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salonfocus March/April 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 March/April 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...