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Members’ survey reveals what makes salon owners tick NHF wins award for its welcome pack Education ‘expert group’ begins work Competition hotting up for Britain’s Best




Members’ survey needs to be the start of a much deeper dialogue aged between 40 and 60. But the fact eight per cent of the The first thing that should be emphasised membership is under 30, and a similarly small percentage about the NHF’s members’ survey is have been members for less than two years, does appear there is an awful lot the Federation is to indicate the Federation is not doing as well as it might in doing right. The size of the response, the reaching out to and attracting the next generation of upraw statistics and, equally tellingly, the and-coming salon owners and industry leaders. additional comments from members tell Then there is the issue of how the Federation is the same story: the NHF is an organisation engaging with members at a grassroots level. The survey salon owners care about and value deeply. found a genuine appetite among busy, time-pressed salon The Legal Lifeline, bespoke owners to do more for the Federation. The fact nearly contracts, employment law support, half – 40 per cent – said they would be happy to get more our campaigning and advocacy for the involved with working groups, put themselves forward as industry and (yes) SalonFocus are all a public “face” of the Federation or help rated highly to organise events, competitions and by members, which is great ‘Whether it’s networking workshops is hugely positive. So, why news. The passion for and isn’t this happening more? commitment to the Federation opportunities, being there to This groundswell of enthusiasm shown by someone like Sharon sort out urgent legal, contract or needs to be being tapped into, Chapman, winner of Salon employment problems, providing especially if the Federation wants to Owner of the Year in last year’s continue to punch above its weight Britain Best, as we highlight on support and guidance or simply attract, recruit and retain new page 16, is far from uncommon fighting the industry’s corner, NHF and members. The NHF needs to be looking among members. members have made it clear at better ways of involving, engaging The survey has also provided a hugely valuable the Federation provides genuine and bringing on salon owner members who want to make a contribution. snapshot of who the value for money’ This isn’t a new message by any Federation’s members are means. President Mark Coray has and where their priorities lie. spelled out just this sentiment in his last two conference The NHF, it shows, is populated by street-wise, highly speeches. Incoming president Paul Curry, as we highlight skilled and successful entrepreneurs who know their on page 31, will similarly be putting membership and industry inside and out and who have seen (and seen off ) member involvement centre stage when he makes his numerous up-and-down business cycles. Many, indeed, inaugural speech to conference next month. What this have not only maintained their businesses through the members’ survey has shown is just how vital achieving this past few difficult years but actually grown them. change needs to be for the future health and vibrancy of Moreover, the sheer amount of comment and the Federation. The survey needs to be just the start of a praise for the Federation from members has been truly much deeper dialogue with salon owners at all levels. heartening. Whether it’s networking opportunities, being Finally, congratulations to the team at NHF head there to sort out urgent legal, contract or employment office who put together and oversee the Federation’s problems, providing support and guidance to establish or membership pack, which won in the Trade Association sustain your salon or simply fighting the industry’s corner Forum’s Best Practice Awards in July (News, page five). within Europe, Westminster or elsewhere, NHF members As I know from when SalonFocus won in 2011, winning have made it clear the Federation provides genuine value such a prestigious prize is a real fillip and morale booster. for money. It may not be strictly true that you, as one More importantly, with membership issues so much to the respondent put it, “couldn’t run a successful salon without fore at the moment, it illustrates the value the membership being a member of the NHF”, but it does encapsulate what pack has as a first impression for salon owners joining the the NHF is all about! Federation, and how important it is to get it right. Yet, at the same time, there are findings that should give us all pause for thought. First, the age demographic of the Federation is a potential cause for concern. Clearly, you don’t get to be a successful salon owner overnight, so it is no surprise the vast majority of NHF members are



News 10 11 12 14

Members have their say, and award for NHF Education expert group meets for first time Who you are and what you want – our members’ survey analysed Salons told to prepare for pensions ‘revolution’ Chains call for freeze in business rates Hairdressers finally ‘app-reciating’ mobiles Call for waxing regulation


05 06 08-09


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06 11 14 30-31 32 33 34

Group of the NHF

Wavelength – Members’ survey needs to be the start of a much deeper dialogue HairClips – new CTPA guidance Movers and groovers – Yeovil College winners Beauty spots – tanning in decline? Federation Focus – former Regis exec to boost NHF membership Case confidential – a helpline call resolved Events – key dates for your diary (including Britain’s Best) @nhfederation – all the online gossip


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Sharon Chapman, 2012 salon owner of the year, on what makes a stand-out salon Be part of the experience – what last year’s winners and competitors thought


Basil Long is senior legal consultant at Croner, operator of the NHF’s Legal Lifeline




Heidi Morton is administration manager at Coversure Insurance Services, the NHF’s preferred

Eccentric Rebellion, the latest collection from the NHF’s Barbers’ Elite art team

22 24

Sharon Chapman is owner of Chapmans Hair in Stowmarket, Suffolk and won Salon Owner of the Year in last year’s Britain’s Best competition. She has more than 40 years’ experience in the hairdressing industry and has been chair of the West Suffolk Networking

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

Front cover Hair: NHF Barbers’ Elite Art Team Photography: Perou Clothes styling: Tawfiq Khoury Make-up: Rosie McGinn

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


NHF salons in robust health, but want to be more involved Most NHF salons appear to be successfully riding out the economic storm, although sustaining profits continues to be the biggest headache for owners in the intensely challenging retail climate. The landmark poll carried out in June and July has painted a picture of a membership at the top of its game professionally, but one whose potential is perhaps not being tapped fully, despite many grassroots’ salon owners being only too willing to do more to help the Federation raise its public profile. The survey was filled in by nearly 700 members, a very high response rate for this sort of activity. It showed the Federation largely comprises micro and independent salon owners, most of whom run successful, well-established salons. The survey also illustrated the continued robustness of the hairdressing industry, despite the tough economic HILARY HALL: FANTASTIC climate. RESPONSE For a third of salons turnover had actually gone up last year and for more than 40 per cent it had stayed broadly the same. However a quarter conceded they were struggling with declining turnover. How to maximise and increase profits remained the single most pressing business headache, with more than three quarters of owners rating it as one of their three top concerns. Other core challenges included staff management and employment law, customer service and client experience. Given the experience and length of service of many members, preparing their salon business for sale and successfully making the transition into retirement was

another key focus. A surprisingly high proportion (54 per cent) also admitted they did not use a computerised salon management system. Member after member praised the value of the Legal Lifeline, the NHF’s bespoke contracts, its phone support, SalonFocus and simply the comfort of knowing they have a hairdressing organisation of the size and clout of the Federation behind them. As one respondent summed it up: “I like the legal helpline and the reassurance that there is someone on the other end of the phone, and the information is just for hairdressers.” Another added: “I couldn’t run a successful salon without being a member of the NHF.” One of the more intriguing findings was that there appears to be a clear appetite among members to get out there, promote and celebrate the value of the Federation to a wider audience. Asked how they would be interested in supporting the NHF, nearly 40 per cent said they would be happy to commit time and expertise to working groups, particularly in areas such as improving education and training. A similar percentage said they would be happy to comment on issues that could affect their businesses. Others expressed interest in helping to organise events or competitions, run workshops, write blogs and product reviews. Equally positively, the vast majority of respondents said they would be “very likely” to recommend NHF membership to a fellow salon member. NHF chief executive/secretary general Hilary Hall said: “The survey had a fantastic response, and I thank all members who took the time and trouble to fill it in and return it. “I feel the results are generally very positive, and show the intense affection, commitment and dedication many members feel towards their Federation. But it’s also highlighted the need to be engaging younger salon owners and

encouraging people to get more involved with the NHF. “Equally importantly, the survey has given a much clearer idea about what additional business support we could be providing to members, and I will be looking at these areas carefully when planning next year’s activities,” she added. • Turn to pages eight and nine for an analysis of the survey findings

Membership pack is a winner The NHF has once again won a top industry award for trade federations and associations. The Federation’s membership pack won “Membership Pack of the Year” at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards in July. The awards celebrate the work of trade associations up and down the country, and the plaudit adds to the “best magazine” award SalonFocus won back in 2011. The NHF beat off entries from much bigger trade associations, including the National Farmers’ Union, the British Property Federation and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. The judges liked the pack’s focus on showing new members the genuine breadth of value of NHF services, praising its quality, clarity and variety. NHF president Mark Coray said: “It is a real accolade the Trade Association Forum has recognised the benefit we offer to our industry. “Our membership pack shows salon owners very clearly how, both as individuals and as business owners, they can gain from joining the NHF ‘family’.”



NHF expert group meets to pioneer training reform The Federation’s ground-breaking “expert reference group” on apprenticeships and training met for the first time in July. The group (see panel) comprises grassroots NHF salon owners and barbers, education committee members and representatives from across the hairdressing industry. The establishment of the group was a key “next step” as outlined in the NHF’s apprenticeships “manifesto” agreed in March. The first meeting was “very positive”, said education committee chairman John Armstrong. “There was a wide spectrum of opinion present, including salon owners, colleges, training providers and awarding bodies. Everyone made a significant contribution and I am very optimistic. Everyone realised that things need to change,” he told SalonFocus. The first meeting drew up an outline framework of the sort of Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications that will be needed to produce a suitably skilled hairdresser or barber, and further meetings will now work to refine this, added John. “There will be at least three more meetings between now and the end of the year. JOHN ARMSTRONG: OPTIMISTIC But members will also be working on this between meetings,” he said. The aim is to carry out an in-depth review of the current “fitness-for-purpose” of existing apprenticeship frameworks, reporting with conclusions by December. The reference group will also feed in an NHF response to the consultation launched in June by sector-skills body Habia on its own review of standards for hairdressing and barbering, which


is running until this month. The aim of that review is to streamline, integrate and simplify the National Occupational Standards for hairdressing, barbering and African-type hairdressing and barbering. The consultation closes on September 13 and the outline NHF response and proposed revisions can be found at www. Members who feel anything should be added are urged to get in touch with Hilary Hall at head office on 01234 831965 or before the September 13 cut-off. Expert reference group members: Hilary Hall, NHF chief executive John Armstrong, chair education committee Education committee: Mark Coray Paul Curry Avril Walker Ann Goddard-Wilson Julie Wells John Duncan Irene Duncan Doreen Dietz Eileen Clough Elke Hayden James Beattie Wendy Cummins NHF salon owners: Aileen Glachan Kevin Huggins Tanya Huggins Yvonne McConnell Franco Lombardi Robert Rix Gary Machin Other representatives: Diane Mitchell, City & Guilds Edward Hemmings, Alan d Education and Fellowship of Hairdressers Lynda Whitehorn, VTCT Lynne Gallacher, Darlington College Shirley Fox-Davis, ISA Training Anne Oakes, Pearson UK


The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) has published a factsheet for salons explaining the new EU Cosmetics Regulation, which came into force in July. Cosmetics Regulation No. 1223/2009 replaces the European Cosmetics Directive and will apply to any salon that has its own range of cosmetic products. However, the CTPA has stressed the main change for salons will be the need to report any “serious undesirable effects” attributable to a product. The guidance can be found at www.


The British Association of Dermatologists has warned of a “contact allergy epidemic” caused by the presence of the two chemicals, methylisothiazolinone (MI) and methylchloroisothiazolinone/ methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI), in products such as moist tissue wipes, cleansers, shower gels, deodorants and shaving foam. Teams from the Leeds Centre for Dermatology and St Thomas’ Hospital in London had both reported sharp rises in contact allergy causes relating to the chemicals, it said.


A new fee regime for bringing cases to employment tribunals was due to come into force at the end of July, as SalonFocus went to press. From July 29 all new employment claims will require a fee to be paid by the claimant, ranging from £390 to £1,200 for individuals, depending on the complexity, and split between “issue” and “hearing” fees. The aim of the change is to reduce “frivolous” claims, though critics have argued it could deter employees on low wages from bringing a claim.


The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) has updated its consumer website to include more information on the dangers of “black henna” temporary tattoos, particularly the danger that they may contain the chemical paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which can cause an allergic reaction. Such tattoos can be popular at fairs, music festivals and resorts, and so salons are being urged to watch out for clients who may have had them over the holiday season.

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News: members’ survey

Who you are, what you want, where your priorities lie With more than 700 responses, the NHF’s members’ survey is one of the most authoritative snapshots ever taken of the hairdressing industry, the challenges salon owners face, their business priorities and what they like about being part of the NHF.

Who is the typical salon owner? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the vast majority (95 per cent) of NHF members are salon owners, with the remainder split between chair renters and salon managers. Most again (98 per cent) are independent salon owners rather than part of a national chain or franchise. Nearly half – 42 per cent – run small or micro salons, with two to five people working in the business and a third have up to 10 people. In terms of size, a third reported a turnover of between £50,000 and £100,000, while a quarter turned over up to £250,000. Most (79 per cent) own a single salon, with only eight per cent owning two. Given this, it stands to reason that, again, the vast majority (83 per cent) are active on the salon floor and working with clients. Nearly 40 per cent of the members polled have been running their salons for more than 20 years – clear evidence of the authority and credibility of the Federation’s membership within the industry. The next biggest category (a fifth) is those who have between six to 10 years ownership under their belts. A third of members are aged between 41 to 50, with a quarter between 51 and 60. Two thirds are female and more than half are qualified to NVQ Level 3, again evidence of the high skill levels within the Federation. Members also had a wide variety of other qualifications, including apprenticeships, older City & Guilds hairdressing qualifications, assessor or internal verifier units, teaching qualifications through to master craftsman status, maths degrees and business qualifications.

support available, access to specialist contracts and information, the ability of the Federation to lobby and represent the industry and the news and advice members get through SalonFocus all also received high praise. As one respondent put it: “NHF membership is the best value for money you could have for the support and information available to members.” Another area addressed by the survey was the value members attached to the NHF’s regional network, its commitment to running national hairdressing or barbering competitions and its investment in artistic teams such as NHF Inspire and Barbers’ Elite. Members were asked to rate various activities on a scale of one (no importance) to 10 (extremely important). For all three there was a wide range of responses, with strong views expressed across the scale. Nevertheless, the largest category of respondents sat firmly on the fence, rating regions, art teams and competitions alike as neither important nor unimportant to them. Using a similar measure, members were asked to rate how likely they would be to recommend the NHF to another salon owner. While the average score was eight out of 10, a significant number gave scores of nine or even 10, again indicating the intense loyalty and enthusiasm many feel for the Federation.

What age bracket do you fall into?

Loyalty and affection In terms of services offered, nearly half (49 per cent) provide unisex hairdressing and barbering, while 17 per cent offer solely hairdressing and nearly four per cent just barbering. Nearly a third offer hair and beauty together, evidence of the continuing diversification of the industry into new business areas. Among those that do offer beauty treatments, nails are the most popular service, followed by waxing and depilatory, facials, massage, tanning and spa services. However, just a tenth have taken this as far as clinical treatments, such as dermal fillers, teeth whitening, osteopathy and podiatry. Wella and L’Oréal were the most popular brands used by members, but 23 per cent of respondents used less well-known brands, including Fudge, Moroccan Oil, Clynol, JOICO, Merlin, Tigi, American Crew, Affinage, GHD, Davine, Itely, Kerastase, Cloud 9, organic products and many more. A key motivation behind the survey was to try to gauge what members liked most about the Federation. Dozens and dozens of comments highlighted how valuable the Legal Lifeline was to members as a resource. The phone


Which services do you provide?

News: members’ survey What qualifications or registrations do you have?

What salons said

Respondents were given an opportunity to add their comments. Here is a flavour of what some said. The good…. “The NHF is a brilliant organisation for employment support, news and business information and updates.” “NHF provides excellent support and advice which, as a fairly new and young salon owner, has been invaluable.”

What is your annual turnover?

“I have been a member for many, many years and have been proud to have NHF badge on my door.” The less good… “NHF needs some modernising and new young blood to kick-start a more vibrant way to get things done; more regular meetings.” “It would be good to have a personal relationship with an NHF representative in our area.” “NHF needs to be getting young stylists to join.”

Compared to last year, has it gone up, down or stayed the same?

And SalonFocus…. “I think SalonFocus gives very good information on all important matters.” “Really find the SalonFocus magazine informative. Keep up the good work.”

And the iPad winner is… Congratulations to Jackie Davidson, owner of Aristacut salon in Aberdeen, who won the draw for an iPad carried out as part of the survey.

How long have you been a member of the NHF?

“It was a complete surprise as I went off on study leave and completely forgot about it! But I am really pleased. I’m planning to use it in the salon, probably for displaying images on the TV,” she told SalonFocus. Despite having been a hairdresser for 37 years, Jackie only joined the NHF in March. “These days you can no longer rely just on hard work to keep you ahead of the game. I simply felt it was a great way of getting useful information and support. “I’ve already made use of the Legal Lifeline, which gave me very reassuring advice, and the Federation’s insurance. So it’s been great value for money even within a matter of months,” she said.



Owners told: ‘start preparing for pensions revolution now’ Salon owners are being urged to start preparing now for the arrival of autoenrolment pensions in their sector, with some of the larger salon groups due to go “live” as early as next year. Nest, the UK’s new national pension scheme that is specifically geared towards auto-enrolment for smaller businesses, has urged NHF members not to push implementation to the bottom of their “to-do” lists. Larger salon groups, those employing between 250-1,000 people, will need to start automatically enrolling staff onto a workplace pension scheme by February 1 next year. The Pensions Regulator will start contacting the smallest salons, those with 30 or fewer staff, from next April with a view to implementation between January 2016 and April 2017. Graham Vidler, Nest’s director of communications and engagement, said preparation could take anything from six to 18 months, judging from the experience with large employers. “Using a GRAHAM VIDLER: workplace pension UNCHARTED TERRITORY scheme will be relatively unchartered territory for many, so arming yourself with as much information as possible is critical. With plenty to think about when considering how to implement automatic enrolment, our message is to start early and plan ahead,” he explained. Graham told SalonFocus that thinking about how salons would manage employee opt-outs and maintain accurate data would also be an important part of preparing for the changes. Employers were required to keep specific records about their workers and their pension arrangements, most of which must be kept for up to six years, he added. An Institute of Directors (IoD) report on automatic-enrolment corroborates



the importance of preparing well in advance and discusses the challenge for smaller firms where no pension arrangements exist. The IoD’s research found that, while 98 per cent of respondents were aware of the requirement to automatically enrol, a small majority – 54 per cent of small firms with up to 49 employees – said they were confident about their preparedness. And 36 per cent of small firms said they did not know how many of their staff would choose to opt out. More alarmingly, however, 21 per cent of all businesses in the survey said they would have to freeze or cut salaries to find the money to contribute to employees’ pensions and three per cent reported they would be forced to make redundancies. Malcolm Small, senior pensions policy adviser at the IoD, said: “We still don’t know how small firms are going to handle the burden.” Tamara Calvert, partner at legal services firm DLA Piper, said implementing automatic enrolment was “a major project” for any business and the lead-in time should not be underestimated. TAMARA CALVERT: However, MAJOR PROJECT Trevor Sanders, finance director at Headmasters, which has about 1,000 employees and 43 salons, told SalonFocus, he was worried staff would have unrealistic expectations when the chain implemented the scheme next February.

He said: “Traditionally the hairdressing industry doesn’t like to plan that far ahead. Most are not showing much interest in it at the moment.” However Trevor, whose company Nest said was the only salon group to have gone public about the scheme to date, added he would not be able to judge it until it started. Nest’s Graham Vidler said 210,000 employees had enrolled so far and optout figures were below 10 per cent for more employers. The scheme remained on track to have between two and five million members by the end of staging, the process by which auto-enrolment is staggered depending on size, he said.

Key facts you need to know... •

Employers have to automatically enrol and pay minimum contributions for any workers aged at least 22 but under state pension age who earn more than £9,440 annually.

They must enrol and pay minimum contributions for any workers aged 16-74 who earn more than £5,668 annually and ask to be enrolled.

Any workers aged 16-74 who earn less than £5,668 and who ask to be enrolled must be so, but there is no requirement to pay contributions for them.

The largest salon groups will begin auto-enrolling early next year, tapering down to the smallest by April 2017, but the preparation process can take six to 18 months.


Salons join demands for freeze in business rates Top salon bosses have thrown their weight behind a call for a two-year business rate freeze to provide a short-term boost to the high street. The think-tank Policy Exchange has said a freeze could provide valuable breathing space for retailers. Its call follows last autumn’s government announcement that a scheduled 2015 business rates revaluation will now be postponed for two years. The move by leading salons comes against a backdrop of increasing disquiet among retailers over business rates, which are levied on physical premises, although small businesses can claim rate relief. Justin King, chief executive of supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, in June called for a freeze in business rates, describing them as an “historical anachronism” and urged the government to “level the playing field” between high street and online retailers by introducing an online sales tax. But, conversely, Tim Steiner, chief executive of online grocer Ocado, has said retailers should “shut up shops and stop moaning” about rates. ANDY PHOULI: In June, too, a report by consultancy PwC calculated BURDEN that, for every £1 paid in corporation tax, the UK’s largest retailers were now paying almost £2.40 in other taxes, with business rates significantly hurting “bricks and mortar” retailers with large property portfolios. The current level of rates businesses pay stems from a 2010 revaluation based on rental values achievable in April 2008, when the property market was at its pre-crash peak. Any further revaluation is likely to mean lower rates for business owners in parts of the country where properties have not regained those pre-crash values, highlighting why retailers are so unhappy at the delay in this process. Andy Phouli, chairman of RUSH Hair Group, which has 62 salons across London and the south east, agreed a two-year freeze would help but what was needed was a reduction in business rates and VAT. Andy told SalonFocus business rates had “shot though the roof” and he thought they were “a massive burden” for lots of salons. Clive Collins, director of the 24-strong group HOB, agreed a freeze would be a “tremendous help”. He said HOB had not increased prices for three years and rents and business rates were eroding profit. HOB’s average rates are £10,000-15,000 annually across its estate and Clive said the bills at some locations were “ridiculous... Camden is about £45,000 and Baker Street is £20,00025,000 a year”. Toni Mascolo, chief executive of Toni&Guy, which has more than 420 salons in 42 countries, also supports a freeze. “It is hard for salons to set up in the West End now so you are forced to go into the surrounding areas which are also difficult,” he said to SalonFocus. He could see hairdressers going back to the times when they were located on the first floor of side street properties. “Salons are being priced out of the prime London CLIVE COLLINS: market,” Toni said. RISING BILL Rae Palmer, owner of We Love Hair & Beauty in Southsea, Hampshire, estimated she pays about £13,000 in business rates annually. “Over two years that would equate to several new apprentices or a stylist’s salary,” she complained. The British Independent Retailers Association has also warned rates will “continue to compound the sectoral imbalances by rising inexorably and arbitrarily”.


Caroline Gerrard, chair of Somerset networking group and president of the south west region, recently attended a fashion show run by Yeovil College. The show was arranged by college tutor Shania Simmons. “It was a great event and I spoke with the stylists afterwards, encouraging them to enter the NHF’s Weston-super-Mare competition in June, which they did and took home many awards,” Caroline told SalonFocus.


Fudge Fix salons linked with Covent Garden men’s salon Mr Rizzo to offer complimentary male haircuts and styling, serving more than 600 clients over the three-day event. Fudge also sponsored and styled seven catwalk shows and two presentations.


Congratulations to Cardiff salon Ken Picton, which won the L’Oréal Colour Trophy Western Region final in June. The salon was also one of only four teams picked by L’Oréal Professionnel to present a catwalk show during the 58th annual L’Oréal Colour Trophy Grand Final, also in June.


The charity Breast Cancer Care is urging salons to get involved in a Pink Friday fund-raising event next month. Led by campaign ambassador and actress Denise van Outen, people nationwide are being encouraged to wear, eat or party in pink on a Friday during October. Salons interested in getting involved should go to: uk/pinkfridays

As SalonFocus went to press Andrew Hudson, a stylist at Strand hairdressers in Saltaire in Bradford, was due to be doing a sponsored skydive jump to raise money for a guide-dog for 13-year-old regular client Ella Sparrow, who has been blind since birth. All money raised will go the Guide Dogs for the Blind. Anyone interested in donating or finding out more can go to: Andrew-Hudson7



Hair brand Fudge ran three dedicated pop-up salons throughout London Collections: Men in June. The

Male hairdresser Chris Foster has launched an iPad app training tool for hair professionals. The Foss Academy App offers video tutorials covering barbering, cutting, design and shaving. Those wanting to find out more can go to www.fossacademy.



Salons finally embracing brave new (and lucrative) world of mobile marketing By Andrew Don From having once had a reputation for being behind the technological times, with some salons barely even using email or the internet, hairdressing’s use of high-tech marketing techniques is now accelerating rapidly. Hairdressing salons are becoming much more proactive about trying out new mobile marketing methods, indicating they are happy to explore all possible ways of driving loyalty and new business, including how they “mine” or use customer data, according to app creators, marketing experts, digital industry commentators and salon owners themselves. Hair chain Arcana was due to test a new app called LifeSync at its Winchester and Southampton hair salons this summer. The app not only offers promotions to existing clients but to all their Facebook friends and Twitter followers too. It works by swiping a phone across a logo that contains a Quick Response code or by typing in a reference number into their browser to claim, for example, 20 per cent off their next cut. The app then posts a message on the social media sites to say customer X has been to Y salon and been given 20 per cent off their next visit. It includes a link where followers and friends can also claim a discount. Mike Gamaroff, managing director of Gamaroff Digital, LifeSync’s creator, said: “With social media, brands are seeing it as a real money spinner rather than just needing to have a presence on Facebook.” He dismissed criticism salon clients might not like friends MIKE GAMAROFF: and followers to know MONEY SPINNER they were having their hair cut at a particular time for privacy reasons. “With LifeSync you have customers on the ground spreading this message via their friends. I’m more likely to redeem an offer if my best friend has had


her hair cut and got a discount. It is a much more powerful way of spreading a message than traditional advertising,” Mike said. Beverley Wallace, Arcana’s owner, was keen to see how promotions could GREAT LENGTHS: CUSTOMISED APP be linked to social networking in the hope it would attract new business. needed to find affordable ways to remain “I don’t want to go down the competitive and mobile applications Groupon-type route, so this for me targeted new customers and improved seems a better option,” she said. existing clients’ loyalty. Hair salon Inanch London, in Great Portland Street in the West End, is the first to try an app from Great Lengths which is customised for each of the extensions company’s “gold” salons as part of the brand’s “Inner Circle” reward scheme. Salon clients can download the app to have access to prices, services and an NEALE GRAHAM: REPEAT BUSINESS image gallery. Carol Leo, Great “Most applications do not cost Lengths’ managing businesses much and by identifying director, said salons the correct mobile solution, both these would be able to objectives can be achieved,” he explained. implement a loyalty He added that mobile apps could scheme, which was help identify customer trends, product currently under and style preferences, significant dates development, into and attitudes towards a specific salon. the app. “Salons can also adopt viral CAROL LEO: LOYALTY Carol said a full marketing strategies to encourage launch would see 50 salons participate customers to become brand but the rollout date had not been ambassadors and evangelise your salon confirmed when SalonFocus went to to their social networks.” press. Adam warned, however, that Loyalli, another app which signed customers should be made aware before up 18 salons within six weeks of launch they used any app that posted content (SalonFocus, March/April 2012) now has on their behalf to a social networking site 95 salons that use the “virtual” loyalty that this might happen and they should scheme whereby registered salons use be able to opt out. a barcode reader to “stamp” their clients’ Neale Graham, chief executive of app and tailor-make rewards. 2ergo, which develops mobile marketing Early adopters included north systems, added. London salons James Whittaker Hair “It is now almost expected for a salon and Stamp and others to sign up more to have its own Facebook and Twitter recently are Simon Thornley Hair feeds. Mobile is the next logical step for salons as they look to increase sales and Design, in Birmingham and Welsh generate repeat business and reward operator Cwmbran Barbers. loyal customers.” Loyalli director Adam Kay said salons

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Call for tougher BEAUTY waxing regulation SPOTS


Salons have called for stricter regulation of intimate waxing, after research has highlighted how increasingly popular services such as the “Brazilian”, “Hollywood”, “Shaping” and “Playboy” could pose a risk of a viral skin infection to the public. A French study at a private clinic in Nice has suggested removing pubic hair might increase the risk of catching the infection Molluscum contagiosum, which manifests as potentially contagious small lesions. The news prompted one salon owner, Hellen Ward, managing director of Richard Ward Hair & Metro Spa, in Sloane Square, south west London, to call for greater regulation and stricter controls of such services, which can be extremely lucrative for salons that invest in them. “You have to be scrupulous. If you are not, you will lay yourself open to potential problems,” she told SalonFocus. Beauty bodies the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (Babtac) and the Confederation HELLEN WARD: of International CONTROLS Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (Cibtac) have also issued a joint statement in response to the research, in which they reiterated the importance of good practice, training and client awareness in helping to prevent the causes of infection. Carolyne Cross, chair of Babtac and Cibtac, told SalonFocus: “Training is fundamentally important, as is following the best-practice guidelines... Following these guidelines will prevent contamination and infection in the salon, but will not 100 per cent prevent infections for the client.” Nevertheless, the fact the beauty industry is unregulated means the onus remains on the public to identify therapists with the highest standards and


who are both qualified and insured to carry out treatments. Some specialists have gone the extra mile to remove the risk of cross-contamination and spreading bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Virgin Active Spas, for example, has introduced Australian Bodycare strip waxing via the Australian Bodycare Hy-Wax system, which eliminates the risk of “double dipping”, or when a therapist wrongly uses just one spatula to apply the product onto the skin, and repeatedly dips this back into the warm wax pot. Professor Valerie Edwards-Jones, chair of medical microbiology at Manchester Metropolitan University, said using tea-tree based wax and aftercare was “an excellent method of minimising the risk of infection”. Carolyne recommended salons always ensured staff knew not to doubledip, used gloves and disposed of spatulas after a single use. The skin was more vulnerable after waxing and in some rare cases people could pick up infections at home if they did not follow the proper aftercare instructions, she added. “Therapists should supply all clients with adequate aftercare guidelines, as well as discussing realistic expectations for the treatment,” Carolyne said. Intimate waxing services are covered by Unit B26 in Habia’s National Occupational Standards, which explicitly mention the maintenance of “effective health, safety and hygiene procedures”.


The number of tanning salons in the UK has dropped by a third in the past year, according to research by insurer Simply Business. The study was based on the insurer receiving 750,000 quote requests in the past 12 months, a decline of 29 per cent compared with 2012, it said.


Official have suggested the number of cases of “lifestyle” cancer – cancers that can be attributed to poor lifestyle choices such as smoking, poor diet and sunbathing – have increased sharply since 2002. The Office for National Statistics said there had been a notable increase in cases of oral, uterine and kidney cancers while cases of the aggressive skin cancer malignant melanoma had risen by 66 per cent between 2002 and 2011, with wanting to appear tanned by sun-bathing a key cause.


Traditional notions of masculinity are becoming much less clearly defined, a study has suggested. A trend report by marketing company J Walter Thompson has concluded more than half of all UK men now use moisturiser and one in ten apply make-up. More than half of all men regularly use moisturiser and eye cream, a third use hair removal products, while nine per cent use foundation and 11 per cent use bronzer. Nearly a third of men – 29 per cent – reported having manicures, a quarter facials and 13 per cent eyebrow waxing.


Wrinkles remain the top skin dislike for most women, according to a study by manufacturer Syneron Candela. A quarter agreed lines and wrinkles were their top dislike, with pigmentation coming second with 16 per cent and stretch marks disliked by more than 10 per cent, followed by loose skin and acne.


Most women see their beauty regime as a key way of giving them confidence, shopping channel QVC has argued. Wanting to convey an image of femininity, glamour, sexiness and sophistication were also important motivators for the 1,000 women polled. Make-up was the top confidence booster, cited by 37 per cent, followed by tanned skin, defined eyebrows, rosy cheeks and red lips.

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Be the best, not the rest

What makes a great salon owner? Sharon Chapman, winner of last year’s Britain’s Best Salon Owner of the Year, outlines her ethos – and why you too should enter this year’s competition. Jodie, my daughter, who is also my business partner in the salon, entered me into Britain’s Best without me even knowing. The first I knew about it was when the NHF rang up to tell us we had been shortlisted! I’d had no idea people had even been voting; it was very flattering to find out.


We had entered the floor competition anyway, but winning was, of course, the furthest thing from our minds. We were just there to experience the day, enjoy ourselves, get some experience of competition work and soak up the atmosphere. So when my name was called out in the Salon Owner of the Year category it was a complete bolt from the blue. In all that was going on on the competition floor I had completely forgotten about it! I just screamed and Jodie pushed me off my chair – I think we probably made more noise than anyone else in the hall! Celebration of talent It was such an honour. The NHF is such an important organisation for hairdressing and an event like Britain’s


Best is a fantastic way to celebrate what it does and what we, as members, have to offer. The Federation has looked after me for many years, so it was really nice to be part of something like this, to give something back. We are a small town salon, we are not a big West End operation, so, for me, this shows that a competition like Britain’s Best is for everyone. Yes it is a national competition but if it can happen to us it can happen to you; it is attainable to everyone, you just have to snap up your chances as they present themselves. So get on and enter this year (see page opposite for all the details)! It has, of course, also been great marketing for the salon. Everyone locally has been so pleased for us and we had local TV and newspapers all wanting to feature us; so it has been great for us and great for the region. Care and passion So, what’s the secret of being a great salon owner? For me, it is just about caring and having passion for what you do. I did my training back in the year dot but I still feel passionate about giving clients the individual care and attention they deserve and expect. When a client comes into the salon they are special, they are not treated as “just one of the clients”; that is what good hairdressing is all about. We’ve been a family business for 40 years and we are a very close-knit team. There’s six of us and my salon motto has always been “Inspire, Create, Transform, Educate” – it’s even in a booklet I give out! We also organise regular trips abroad for team members – for some of them it is the first time they have been abroad – to give them the opportunity of working with top session stylists around the world. In the past six months team members have been to Dublin, France, Singapore and Australia. I encourage people to look around them, to take inspiration from things beyond just hair trends. For example, take the architecture and the bronzes you see somewhere like Dublin and think

how that could translate into hair colour: bronzes and browns. Or, in Tasmania, we want to the Mona Museum, which was really inspirational in terms of textures and colours – it’s underground so the whole atmosphere is really special. I have done my fair share of competitions over the years but winning Britain’s Best has definitely been the icing on the cake; it is great to have been recognised by the profession, by my peers, in this way. The Federation is the top body of this industry, and Britain’s Best is the Federation’s top accolade.

Sharon Chapman is owner of Chapmans Hair in Stowmarket, Suffolk and won Salon Owner of the Year in last year’s Britain’s Best competition. Sharon has more than 40 years’ experience in the hairdressing industry and has been chair of the West Suffolk Networking Group of the NHF

Be part of a fantastic experience! The competition for this year’s Britain’s Best is already hotting up, so don’t delay on getting in your entries or nominations. And don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what winners, spectators and competitors said about last year’s event… and why you should get involved.

“ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ Fantastic experience. I entered ‘click and send junior’ and definitely will be going to enter next year! Carley Motley, freelance

Great day. It has really given me inspiration and I will be entering Britain’s Best again next year. Lisa Hannigan, freelance Amazing day at Britain’s Best! Kelly Tolley, Ruby Mane, Fleet, Hampshire

The buzz of the day was amazing! I’ve had goose bumps all day it’s been so exciting! Leanne Willis, The Venue, Ashington, Northumberland My boss got salon manager of the year! We were crying we were so happy! Sophie Clark, Chapmans Hair, Stowmarket, Suffolk Was amazing had such a great day! ;) Rebecca Powell, student

Fantastic day! Very good standards in every category. Allyson Clewlow, The Coach House, Wolverhampton, West Midlands

Great day! David Arnott, Cutting Edge, Cinderford, Gloucestershire

The Britain’s Best floor competition will be held on November 17 at the Birmingham Metropole Hotel, with 11 competitions across five categories: ladies fashion (senior and junior); men’s fashion (senior and junior); newcomer; British bride; colour of the day. The closing date for entries is November 8, with full details again at

Click ‘n’ Send Don’t forget, the closing date for entries to the ‘Click ‘n’ Send’ Head of the Year Photographic Competition is October 11, with those shortlisted informed by October 14. Simply use your camera-phone to create the best image you can and either upload it to or email it to

Text Vote The deadline for the Britain’s Best Text Vote Popularity Poll nominations, September 13, is looming fast. So get your nominations in quickly by registering at www.! There are seven categories: stylist; barber; salon owner/manager; receptionist; junior stylist; charity worker; college lecturer. Shortlisted nominees will be sent a special Britain’s Best code, which will unlock the second round of text-based voting, which closes at the end of October.

e i m a J t e e M There will be a fabulous opportunity to meet British Hairdresser of the Year nominee and X Factor celebrity stylist Jamie Stevens. Jamie will be holding a Q&A session and there will be a chance to have your photograph taken with him. Find out more at

L’Oréal Professionnel is proud to be this year’s sponsor of Britain’s Best. As one of the industry’s leading educators, L’Oréal Professionnel supports our country’s most talented hairdressers. Courses are taught in four academies across the UK and Ireland as well as in additional regional centres. For more information contact 0161 834 9594, email or contact your L’Oréal Professionnel account manager.

See the leaflet enclosed in this edition for full details on how to enter and enjoy this year’s 

Britain’s Best!


Eccentric Rebellion The latest collection from the NHF’s Barbers’ Elite art team

Hair: NHF Barbers’ Elite Art Team Photography: Perou Clothes styling: Tawfiq Khoury Make-up: Rosie McGinn







Magical mystery tour? Salons know full well they live or die by their client experience. A mystery shopper can help you find out what that experience is really like, and how it could be improved. SalonFocus talks to two firms that offer the service. Mystery shopping isn’t a new concept but, in a challenging economic climate, it can be a speedy and effective way of gaining objective feedback on all areas of the client experience in the salon. As Carole Taylor, director of consultancy ClientWave (www., explains: “We have conducted more than 30,000 mystery shops over the past 10 years and the feedback we receive from salon owners is always very positive. “The beauty of the process is that it allows the salon owner to discover how it feels to be a client in their salon, to identify its strengths, weaknesses CAROLE TAYLOR: and training FEEDBACK needs. It can help to highlight whether recent training is being put into practice or to find out what happens in the salon when you are not there,” she adds.

Detailed report

The process should normally be straightforward. The salon owner hires the agency and one of its mystery shoppers makes an appointment (often for a cut and finish or facial). From this a detailed report, normally between eight to 10 pages, is created and sent back to the salon, which gives a percentage score for the experience and is broken down into the various stages of the appointment, with each stage also scored. The cost may vary from agency to agency but at ClientWave is £95 (excluding VAT), with the cost of the appointment on top of that, says Carole. “Each section includes detailed comments from the mystery shopper about each stage of her appointment, with recommendations then provided by us. Recommendations can be


made where we believe an action or conversation could be improved, for example a stylist making a product recommendation,” she adds. Angela Bartlett, managing director of Hidden Beauty (www., which specialises in mystery shopping for beauty salons and the spa sector, advises that it is a good idea to go to a company that has experience of your industry rather than simply offering generic “retail” mystery shopping. “One of the different elements we also offer is that a salon can have one of our ‘expert’ mystery shoppers, in other words people who know the industry well and knows retail,” she points out. “Getting client feedback is always useful but being able to benchmark your performance through the experience of someone who really knows about retail and hairdressing or beauty can make a big difference. For example, they comment on areas such as health and safety in the salon as well as the general client experience,” she adds. One thing you do need to think carefully about is how to communicate the feedback back to the salon, cautions Carole. “Often it will be used as part of the appraisal process but ANGELA BARTLETT: the whole EXPERIENCE idea is it’s not meant to be a stick to beat people with; rather it should be a powerful training tool to identify areas that require improving. As part of our service we can provide guidance to the salon about the best techniques and approaches for sharing the results with the team. “What happens next will inevitably vary from salon to salon. Some salons, we

find, use the process to sharpen up their reception procedures, for others it can be a case of improving consistency by ensuring staff properly understand and follow salon protocols,” she says. “One intriguing bit of feedback we often find is that, rather than finding it threatening, many stylists and therapists will ask if they can be the next team member to be mystery shopped. People do generally want to improve and do their best, and what better way to increase your takings than by generating some ‘expert’, motivating, thought-provoking feedback?” she adds.


What can also be valuable is for salons to make the process a regular experience, meaning that improvement can be tracked and acted upon where necessary. “This results in a better experience. Consumers are becoming ever-more savvy and expect so much these days. It is vital salons constantly look at how they can improve their offering, and mystery shopping is one way of doing this,” says Angela, who is also past chairman of the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (Babtac). “Mystery shopping can be a very tangible, measurable yardstick of progression and improvement across the salon, something that, in this day and age, can be worth its weight in gold,” agrees Carole.

If you read nothing else read this… •

A £95 mystery shopper visit and report can provide objective feedback

It can be used to improve training, standards and performance

The findings need to be shared carefully, but staff can value it too

Regular reports can be a valuable measure of progression


Are you cyber secure? Small firms are especially vulnerable to “cyber crime”, with some losing £1m as a result, the government has warned. SalonFocus investigates the scale of the problem and outlines what you can do to protect your business. Most businesses nowadays, even ones such as hairdressing where the core activity remains face-to-face, are absolutely reliant on the internet and online connectivity. Think about it. You maybe bank, transact and move money about online; perhaps you now (as more and more salons are) take your bookings online; your social media, mobile and online presence is probably one of your key marketing and promotional “channels”; you may liaise with your suppliers via email as much as by phone; you are likely increasingly even to be trading and retailing directly online. So the finding by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in April that some small businesses had suffered as much as £1m of damage from information security breaches in the past year, with 87 per cent of small firms experiencing such a breach in general, a rise of 10 per cent, is worrying. Small and micro firms cannot fall back on a dedicated IT department when the worst does happen. What’s more, while the term “cyber attack” conjures up images of hackers and even state-sponsored cyber terrorism, the danger is often much more from current or former employees, whether maliciously or simply (and more commonly) by ignorance or accident.

Reputational damage What could you lose? Money certainly, but just as importantly for businesses such as hairdressing, lost information has a high price on it: client lists, customer databases, financial details, contracts, product pricing data and so on. Then there’s the potential reputational danger to consider: what would be the damage if client or supplier financial details were somehow stolen or lost? Before we all despair, however, the BIS has published guidance specifically for small businesses on how to protect themselves and manage their cyber security.



This, first, emphasises that information security needs to become a normal part of your day-to-day business risk management procedures. To that end it is important to identify financial and information assets that are critical to your business, for example the ability to take payments via your website. You should also assess all IT equipment, including mobile and personal IT devices, how they are currently managed and stored and who has access to them. At a technical level it probably makes sense to invest in good quality “malware” protection, such as anti-virus software. It is also a good idea (as was highlighted in the last edition of SalonFocus) to put in place a policy governing when and how the internet can be used in the workplace.

Staff training One vital protection is to assess the level of password protection required to access your equipment. In essence: who has access to what and when and what sort of protections are in place? Give your staff appropriate awareness training so everyone understands their role in keeping the business secure, the BIS advises. Finally, as more and more of us use computers and mobile devices at home as well as at work, and the divisions

between the two blur, you need to be aware of the dangers of people taking away or accessing data remotely. The risk here is that potentially commercially sensitive information could be lost or misused or corrupted. Another important risk to be aware of is if someone uses a laptop or computer at home that is less than secure to access salon data, or simply downloads data and then transfers it on to salon system the next day, this could significantly compromise your own salon security systems and, again, leave you vulnerable. The full guidance can be accessed online (carefully of course) at: https:// system/uploads/attachment_data/ file/197177/bis-13-780-small-businesscyber-security-guidance.pdf

How big a threat is cyber crime? According to the BIS research... •

87 per cent of small firms (up 10 per cent) had experienced a security breach last year;

the average cost of the worst security breach for small organisations was between £35,000 and £65,000;

78 per cent of large organisations were attacked by an unauthorised outsider (up from 73 per cent a year ago) and 63 per cent of small businesses (up from 41 per cent a year ago); and

84 per cent of large businesses reported staff-related cyber breaches (the highest figure ever recorded), as did 57 per cent of small businesses (up from 48 per cent a year ago).

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Premium protection A broker can act as your insurance “personal shopper” when it comes to renewal time. But the relationship, and support, can go much deeper than that, writes Heidi Morton. As another cost in a tough economic climate, it is easy to see why it might be tempting for a small business to go online to comparison sites and “do it yourself” to try to reduce premiums when the time comes around for the renewal of your insurance policy. But, irrespective of whether your salon is new and developing or long-standing and established, insurance is too important Heidi Morton is administration manager a requirement, at Coversure Insurance too important a Services, the NHF’s protection, to go preferred insurance the DIY route. broker Buying the right insurance cover is not just about protecting you, your business and your employees, it is about giving you the peace of mind to enable you to focus on the daily business operations that will make your salon a success.

Different products

Moreover, insurance is complicated. There are a lot of different products on the market and shopping around can be bewildering at times; no two businesses will be the same in what they require. This is where a specialist insurance broker can play its part. So, what can a broker do for you? One of the common criticisms levelled at brokers is that they take a commission from the insurer. That’s true enough but what’s much less well recognised is so do comparison sites; they receive a commission paid from the provider


when a policy is taken out. But, unlike a faceless website where the policies on offer IN THE CHAIR: KNOWING YOU HAVE THE RIGHT INSURANCE are likely to be fairly generic, CAN ALLOW YOU TO FOCUS ON YOUR CLIENTS an insurance broker is a highly qualified expert who can do the shopping for you – as well In conclusion, a broker’s main aim will as negotiate on your behalf to always be to find the most tailored policy get the best deal. at the best rate for the client. A broker can provide these rates through already developed relationships Best suited with insurance companies so it’s never A broker, especially one that knows your “a cold call” on the customer’s behalf. sector or industry well, will be much better Brokers are also more likely to find better placed to find a policy specifically tailored rates than a customer. to your individual circumstances. He or she will also be able to discuss all the cover you’d like (or, more importantly, need) and find the policy best suited for you. But being your insurance “personal shopper” is just one of benefits an insurance broker can bring to the table. There are others that may not be as immediately self-evident. First: experience. A broker isn’t just someone who sifts and picks out policies. Part of “the service” (and it comes at no additional cost) is that he or she will always be offering expert advice as well as explaining the benefits of the policies, in other words what is or is not covered. When dealing with an insurer directly you won’t always be offered every type of cover. Second: after-service. A broker doesn’t just sell a policy and leave it at that. Brokers can be invaluable in offering step-by-step assistance in making a claim. Moreover, when it is time for a policy to be renewed, a broker will remind you via your preferred method of communication to discuss and arrange a renewal quote. Third: ease, speed and security of personal data. These are elements of the broker service many people aren’t aware of. Moreover, if you have queries or want to discuss your policy at any time during the cover period your broker can help as a point of contact.

Key things to look for: •

A broker must be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. If they cannot show proof of this, they are not a broker to use.

It’s also important they represent value, for example by being a member of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association or the Association of British Insurers.

The broker’s experience levels are important, including knowledge of the risk in your sector and whether they can assist with claims. Do they, too, have testimonials from ex-clients?

Ask which insurers are available to them and do they have an interest or stake in the business? The broker’s brand reputation and respectability in the market are also an important element, ask what agencies/networks can they provide?

Come and visit VTCT at Salon International 2013 13-14 October 2013 ExCeL centre, London Stand A215

ADVANCE NOTICE Please be advised that our Membership Team will not be avaialble to answer calls or emails on Thursday 26 September 2013 due to training. If you require urgent advice on employment related matters please call the Legal Helpline on 0844 561 8180 quoting scheme number 82135

VTCT is the lead specialist awarding organisation in the hair and beauty industry. We have the largest suite of qualifications covering hair and beauty in the UK. We offer internationally recognised specialist qualifications at a range of levels. VTCT actively supports the Hairdressing Council in their pursuit for State Registration for Hairdressers. Tel: +44 (0)23 80 684 500 Email:

Salon focus September 2013.indd 1

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Make first impressions count Have mobile and online technology and tablets done away with the need for a reception desk? SalonFocus investigates. The reception desk has traditionally been the hub or nerve-centre of any busy salon. It is the place where the client first engages with the “experience” of coming to your salon, for good or for bad. You get it wrong at your peril. But in these days of mobile technology and online bookings, is it becoming less important? Do you even need a reception area and, against that backdrop, what does this mean if you’re thinking of upgrading or replacing your reception desk? Robert Miles, founder of Premier Software, the NHF’s approved supplier of salon software, agrees reception areas have been in the firing line of late in some salons. “What a lot of salons nowadays are saying is, because of the current economic climate, we need to look at reducing our staff numbers and, sadly, reception staff are often among those targeted. Yet your reception is so important; it is still the first thing a client picks up on when they come into the salon,” he says. “Having said that, what we are also now seeing is greater use of mobile technology accompanied with online booking. Most salons now take hundreds of bookings and appointments online, which of course frees the reception to do other things, such as reach out to capture new clients or help the client experience. Some receptionists are almost becoming more ‘floor walkers’ these days, walking around the salon with an iPad and filling in client details or requests.”

Accessibility Disability discrimination rules, with the need for a salon to be wheelchair accessible, are an increasingly important issue for any salon to consider when upgrading or investing in reception furniture, advises Albert Ewan of Albert Ewan Design. The Disability Discrimination Act is resulting in desks needing to become


more friendly to wheelchair users and the lessabled clients, he asserts. “In some occasions it can be as little as a drop down shelf at a convenient height. Some salons are even removing the desk as RECEPTION AREA: BECOMING a barrier or EVEN MORE IMPORTANT obstacle to establish a positive first contact,” he says. The increasing use of tablets is allowing salons to revert to smaller pedestal desks in their reception areas, although it is important your reception that can still manage retail sales, he points out. A good desk will still tend to incorporate monitor, keyboard, harddrive, printer, receipt printer or keypad, card machine or barcode scanner or electronic till drawer, telephone and cash wrap facilities, he recommends. Salons have been influenced by what you now find in smart boutique hotels, with the reception evolving into more of a “meet and greet” area. “It does make sense if the receptionist can come away from behind the desk and greet a new or existing client warmly,” explains Albert. “But against this you need to keep a degree of security in mind to protect the cash till.” It stands to reason that before taking the plunge you need to consider carefully the size and proportions of any desk you need, advises Kirstie Hacker, category manager for equipment at wholesaler Salon Services. “If you have a small reception area or salon, an oversized bulky desk can draw attention to a smaller space. A very small

desk in a large open space is also not a good look. Pick a desk that fits the size of the room and keep it in proportion with all other pieces of furniture in your salon,” she recommends.

Storage space Practicality is another key question to consider. For example, does it have a sliding tray for the keyboard and holes or compartments to conceal wires or plugs? “If you have a lot of folders, colour charts, diaries and other paperwork, make sure there is ample storage space to keep it tidy and hidden away. A messy reception desk looks uninviting and unprofessional,” says Kirstie. Ultimately, even with the transition to a more mobile, tablet-based environment the reception area – whether or not it now includes a physical desk – remains an absolutely critical element of any successful salon, argues Premier’s Robert Miles. So consider any changes wisely and carefully before taking the plunge. “Overall, the reception as a fixed point is becoming less relevant; it is becoming more of an information point where a client can discuss their next appointment and a focal point for the customer experience. But that, if anything, makes it even more important,” he says.

If you read nothing else read this… •

Mobile technology and tablets are changing how salons use receptions

Disability rules means accessibility is important now

Consider size, look and practicality

Think more “meet and greet” than reception desk


Tried & Tested

How Tried and Tested works: The NHF’s Tried and Tested panel of top salon The SalonFocus Tried and Tested panel is made up of NHF members who are not paid for their owners gives its regular opinions. The rating is the opinion of the panel verdict on a range of alone. Manufacturers who wish to submit items for testing should contact Tina Beaumont at NHF established and new head office on Three product and equipment. samples will normally be required. Being accepted is not a guarantee a review will be published.

The product:

The product:

Status Quo Shampoo Description: Status Quo Shampoo from Organic Care Systems (OCS) is an anti-oxidation and antiinflammatory protecting shampoo. It is formulated “from certified organic extracts and organic oils to maintain the natural balance of the hair, whilst protecting it from UV damage”, says the company. The range includes a Status Quo Conditioner. Did it work? Our testers said: “Yes.” “I tried it out on several clients; results were mixed.” “Yes.” Would you use it in your salon? Our testers said: “No.”“Not as a basin shampoo. I would retail it for its appeal

Tibolli Fashion Forward collection to ‘Status Quo’ band fans!”“Yes.” Was there anything that stood out, good or bad? Our testers said: “Nice product, not so nice smell.” “Good all round shampoo.” “The smell wasn’t that nice but clients thought it was like a spa.” Any other comments? Our testers said: “A really nice shampoo that cleaned the hair well.”


Tried and Tested overall rating: 3.7

The product:

Amargan Hair Therapy Oil Description: Amargan Hair Therapy Oil is a “revolutionary” leave-in conditioning treatment, styling and finishing product. The company says: “Its unique, ultra-light, non-greasy formula revitalises hair, instantly detangles and softens unmanageable locks, eliminates frizz and seals in a stunning shine.”

Our testers said: “It gives the hair a great shine; I didn’t like the lasting aroma.” “I loved the feel of this product in the hair; it’s not too greasy but gives a good result.”

Did it work? Our testers said: “Yes.” “Yes.”

Any other general comments? Our testers said: “It would need to be used sparingly on fine hair.” “Really nice on thick, curly hair.”

Would you use it in your salon? Our testers said: “Yes, also retail.” “Yes.” Was there anything that stood out, either good or bad?


Tried and Tested overall rating: 4.5

Description: Tibolli’s “fashion forward” collection of products are designed to construct and formulate “polished, lustrous locks while fighting frizz is a formulated technique”, says the company. The range includes a Craving Clean PreTreatment Shampoo, Hair Masque and Desired Hair Oil. Did it work? Our testers said: “It worked very well, with each product delivering the desired effect.” “Yes.” Would you use it in your salon? Our testers said: “Definitely as it is a quality product.”“Yes.” Was there anything that stood out, either good or bad? Our testers said: “Each product was good to work with. It gives the stylist confidence in using quality products.”“The product worked really well. The only problem was it took up time with having to leave the masque on.” Any other general comments? Our testers said: “When using the Desired Hair Oil it is essential to use it sparingly.” “Had a lovely smell.”


Tried and Tested overall rating: 4.5



Former Regis exec to Industry develop NHF ‘brand’ takes tea at The NHF has hired a former senior executive with Regis to work with salons across London and the home counties, encouraging members to promote and make best use of the Federation, and speaking to non-members about the benefits of joining the NHF. State-registered hairdresser Paul Taylor left Regis last year, where he had worked as marketing and merchandising director for a number of years, and has been appointed as London business development manager. “My focus is very much going to be on getting out there and understanding some of the concerns and opportunities. So PAUL TAYLOR: I will be trying to meet MEMBERSHIP DRIVE a lot of members and non-members and speak to them about what we need to be emphasising as a Federation, our strengths, and how we can improve what we offer,” he told SalonFocus. The appointment is another strand of activity launched by chief executive/ secretary general Hilary Hall in recognition that the Federation needs to take a long, hard look at its membership and how it serves the industry if it is to continue to offer a compelling proposition to salon owners. Other work includes the members’

survey launched in June (see News) and the development over the summer of a customer focus group to look at current and future strategy. “When you think about the size of the hair and beauty industry in the UK, and then that the NHF is the largest single trade association within it, you can see how the potential for what the Federation could achieve is massive,” Paul emphasised. “But yet you often get salons that are members but who do not even display the fact in their window. Sometimes it is not seen as something that is particularly customer-facing and more an internal industry thing, whereas as a brand it could be powerful with clients. “But we do need to build awareness of that and understand what is the best mix of services that we can be offering to members. We also need to be doing more to attract new members going forward. “For example, do existing members utilise all the benefits that come with membership of the Federation? Are they really plugging into everything that is on offer? What is it that people like most about the Federation, and if there was one thing they could change what would it be? Those are the sorts of questions I’d like to get to the heart of,” he added. Anyone wishing to contact Paul can email him on or call him on 07950 206384.

Look out for employment seminars Members are being reminded to watch out for upcoming NHF employment seminars in their region. The seminars, which are being run by Croner, operator of the NHF’s Legal Lifeline, have so far proved extremely popular. The seminars are free for members and £20 for non-members. The first seminar was held Norwich in July and they will continue to run around the country during September and October. Topics being discussed include conduct, absence, redundancy and disciplinary procedures. The first seminar was attended by NHF chief executive Hilary Hall, who said members and non-members alike found it hugely informative.


“It generated a lot of discussion, with attendees asking questions around real-life situations and giving examples of situations they had encountered and how they handled them. It was led by a former hairdresser, who was able to provide real insight and expertise on how to manage situations within the boundaries of employment law. “I would urge members to check out where seminars are being held locally during the autumn and come along. And if your region isn’t holding one, encourage them to approach head office to set one up,” she added. A full listing of upcoming seminars can be found on the Events page, page 33.

the Commons The great and the good of the hairdressing industry gathered at a lunch reception and afternoon tea at the House of Commons in June. The event, run by the Hairdressing Council, was to highlight the widespread industry support for mandatory state registration of hairdressers and barbers, and has been held annually since 2011. The NHF was well-represented, led by president Mark Coray and chief executive Hilary Hall, along with treasurer Jeffery Bonn, London region secretary Ian Egerton and new business development manager Paul Taylor (see News left). NEC members Ann GoddardWilson and Agnes Leonard, who both represent the NHF on the Hairdressing Council, also attended. In November last year a Ten Minute Rule bill by hairdresser-turned-MP David Morris proposing mandatory registration was narrowly defeated in a vote in the Commons. At the reception speeches were given by the celebrity hairdresser and guest of honour John Frieda, Jayne Lewis-Orr, publishing director of Hairdressers’ Journal and Arthur Ehoff, chairman of the council. Celebrity hairdressers Andrew Barton and Jamie Stevens were also there as guests.



Membership to be key Regional priority for new president round-up Incoming national president Paul Curry is expected to use his inaugural speech next month to hammer home the message that the Federation needs to be doing much more to encourage, bring on and recruit salon owners if it is to continue to represent the industry fully. Currently vice-president, Paul will take over from president Mark Coray in October at the Federation’s annual general meeting and conference in Manchester. The transition will also be noteworthy in that Agnes Leonard, PAUL CURRY: currently East of TRANSITION Scotland regional chair, will become vice-president, and so will be the first female vice-president of the Federation in its 70-year history. Paul, owner of Studio 12 in York, was still hard at work on his speech when he spoke to SalonFocus but he said: “I’m going to focus on the fact that we need as an organisation to be getting more new AGNES LEONARD: people on board, not MAKING HISTORY just new members but simply getting people involved and engaged.

“I’d like to see the regions and branches becoming much more active. The Federation offers salon owners so much but often members don’t use it to its full potential or realise all the work that goes on behind the scenes, such as lobbying in Westminster and Europe. “I want to see the Federation grow and become more active. I would also like us to work more closely with the Hairdressing Council around mandatory registration,” he added. Paul emphasised that one of his priorities as president would be to connect with grassroots members and that he intended to try and get out and around the regions and networks as much as he could. He also highlighted the contribution Mark had made as president and that he would be a hard act to follow. “He’s been very accessible and open, as he always is. He has supported me all the way as vice-president and I’ve learned a lot from him. We’ve been on a very similar wavelength and he’s even been happy to be told ‘no’ sometimes!” This year’s annual general meeting and conference is being held at the Palace Hotel in Manchester on Sunday October 6. Members wishing to attend or find out more should contact: events@nhf. info or telephone 01234 831965 or 0845 3456500.

Well done to this year’s winners of the Welsh Open Championships, held in May, and the South West Regional Championships in June. In Wales, Steve Clewlow, of The Coach House, Wolverhampton, won the Senior Men’s Championship, while Eleni Constantinou, of Tino Constantinou Hairdressing in Cardiff, won the Senior Ladies Championship, after winning the Junior Ladies Championship last year. The Welsh region is also busy gearing up for next month’s Welsh Hairdressing Awards, which are being held on October 20. For more details contact Carl Hinder on The south west competition was less well attended overall than in recent years, but the organisers were encouraged by the number of new faces present. “There were a lot of new stylists, which was a really positive development. So, all in all, we were very pleased,” said secretary Pat Cording. The senior champion was Kelly Folland from the Oak Room in Barnstaple, north Devon and the junior champion was Sarah Milbourne from Style Collection in Bristol.


From the NEC June’s gathering at the House of Commons to promote hairdressing registration (see opposite) was, as ever, a hugely enjoyable afternoon, but at the same time a very important event, writes Ann Goddard-Wilson, NEC representative on the Hairdressing Council. I am passionate about registration and, I hope, we are making progress. The vote in Parliament last year was a landmark event for the industry, even though it didn’t go our way. But being able to bring together some of the UK’s most talented stylists to show the support there is within the industry for mandatory registration does, I believe, send a powerful message to our political leaders. Registration only costs a few pounds but it is worth every penny. You can even put it after your name, like a dentist or

doctor, which is something not many people realise. The message mandatory registration would send out to the public in terms of quality, standards and professionalism would be immense and it is a shame that we are still in the situation that we are. While, obviously, this is an agenda that is being led by the Hairdressing Council, I strongly believe the NHF has a central role to play in promoting and supporting mandatory registration. Not only that, if we get to the point where a detailed proposal is on the table, the NHF will need to be at the heart of any discussion around cost, policing and enforcement. All quality hairdressers should become registered, irrespective of whether it ever becomes mandatory. That way, even if we can’t get the law to change, we can still work to raise standards and promote professionalism – which is what the NHF is all about after all.



A hefty problem? Basil Long, senior legal consultant at Croner, operator of the NHF’s Legal Lifeline, analyses a real-life call to the helpline and the advice subsequently offered to the salon owner. One member of the NHF who recently contacted the Legal Lifeline thought she had a very unusual problem. However it was a surprisingly common one. She had a client who over the years had got bigger and bigger in size, to the extent now that the stylist was worried the chair wouldn’t able to cope. The problem was exacerbated because her increase in weight had coupled with a deterioration in hygiene, and now her body odour was affecting other clients in the salon. The salon owner, naturally, wanted to know what she could do about it. And it is a tricky problem. Under common law, a service provider can refuse to provide a service to anybody they wish – there is no obligation to serve anyone you don’t want to. It’s called “freedom to contract”. In other words you are free to enter into an agreement to cut hair, or to decline as you see fit.

Discrimination The main caveat to that principle, though, is where you refuse to perform a service on the basis of a “protected characteristic” under the Equality Act – basically if you refuse for a discriminatory reason you are breaking the law. There are a number of protected characteristics including gender, race and sexuality, but in this particular case the protected characteristic was one of disability. A long-term impairment is considered to be a disability if it has or is likely to last for 12 months. Excessive weight was likely to fall into this category; and therefore refusing service purely on the grounds of her weight could be illegal. In order to justify any refusal to provide services to a disabled user, the salon must therefore consider whether any “reasonable adjustments” could be made to accommodate the client. Reasonable adjustments in this


context could be physical changes to the salon, such as wider doors, ramps with hold-rails instead of steps, and bigger, stronger chairs. Alternatively, adjustments could be to the manner in which the service is provided, for example by offering a mobile, in-home service instead. A salon does have to be reasonable when considering these, and cannot just dismiss them out of hand simply as being slightly more onerous. However, where structural alterations will be very costly, disruptive or perhaps feasibly impossible, that can be justification for dismissing those changes.

Accessibility It is essential to consider reasonable adjustments whenever making any changes to the salon – even just moving the cash desk. But it is also useful to consider them every now and again to see if there isn’t any more you could be doing to make yourself accessible. By being as accessible as possible you give yourself the widest possible client base; and if you garner a reputation as a good salon for the disabled, this reputation can spread quickly and your appointment book fill up. Bad hygiene is not, of itself of course, a disability; however it could be the symptom of a disability. The person may be unable to wash properly either because of a physical or mental impairment, so it is necessary to establish the root cause of the body odour – as tactfully as possible. In this case the salon owner advised that the client did come in smelling clean occasionally, but not often. As such, it was likely the problem was more one about her personal routine rather than her inability to wash. To that end the salon owner would have been able to say she would only style the client if she presented herself clean.

However, after assessing the salon itself, it was considered the changes to be made were too substantial because the steps were quite steep. There was currently too great a risk the chair would break, injuring the client and the cost of a bariatric chair was too expensive. As a solution, the salon owner said she would be prepared to go out and cut and style the hair in the client’s home, but that it could no longer be done in the salon. Obviously the client was disappointed with this, as her trip to the salon was one of the few times she left the house. But she was pleased she could still get her hair cut somehow.

What the Legal Lifeline offers you: • •

24/7 employment-related queries Advice on commercial matters, 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

Access to the Legal Lifeline is available by calling 01234 834389. Alternatively NHF members can log on to A summary of cover can be found on the reverse of your legal card carrier or by logging onto The NHF operates a “fair use policy” for the lifeline. Members exceeding 50 calls within a 12-month period may be charged £20 plus VAT per call. All calls to the Legal Lifeline are recorded and monitored by Croner. If your chosen membership category does not include employer support service or your membership is unpaid at the time of any call a charge of £20 plus VAT will apply for all such calls made.


Please send your events to the NHF at by September 1 for November/ December, November 1 for January/February 2014 and 17 January for March/April 2014. Updated events listed on





SEPTEMBER NHF employment law seminar, Entrecote Café de Paris, Cardiff Bay. 7pm for 7.30pm start. Contact: Carl Hinder on 07931518642 or

SEPTEMBER NHF employment law seminar, Thistle Hotel, Glasgow. 1.30pm for 2pm start. Contact:


SEPTEMBER NHF employment law seminar, The Best Western, Invercarse Hotel, Dundee. 12.30pm for 1pm start. Contact:


OCTOBER NHF Annual Conference and AGM, Palace Hotel, Manchester. Contact:


OCTOBER NHF employment law seminar, Blackpool Football Ground, Blackpool. 1.30pm for 2.00pm start. Contact Kevin Fox on 01253 624127 or


OCTOBER Welsh Hairdressing Awards, The Coal Exchange, Cardiff. Contact: Carl Hinder at

OCTOBER Avon Networking Group catwalk show, The Paintworks, Bristol. Contact: Martin Zullo on 07816 687394 or

NOVEMBER South of England Hairdressing Championships, Novotel, Southampton. Contact: John Light on 01794 521849 or


NOVEMBER Cheshire Championships, NK Theatre, Romiley, Stockport. Contact: Ian Barrell on 0161 292 7559 or


NOVEMBER British Hairdressing Awards, Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. Contact: daniel.


APRIL, 2014 Northern England Championships, Marriot Hotel, Gateshead. Contact: Avril Walker on 01642 597197 or

Britain’s Best

Deadlines and timings for this year’s Britain’s Best have now been agreed, so make a note in your diary! Here’s a reminder of the dates you need to remember.


SEPTEMBER Closing date for nominations for Britain’s Best Popularity Poll text vote. Contact:


OCTOBER Closing date for entries for Britain’s Best Click ’n’ Send Head of the Year Photographic Competition. Contact:


NOVEMBER Closing date for entries for Britain’s Best floor competition. Contact:


NOVEMBER Britain’s Best, Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham. Details:



All the latest hairdressing-related tweets posts, pics and comments.

@nhfederation @NHfederation More and more hairdressing salons are embracing new technology and are increasingly using apps for promotions and marketing. What apps are you finding most useful for your salon in this context, and why?

Elizabeth and Giovanni: Elizabeth and Giovanni app from a company called Sappsuma, who have set it up for us. We would highly recommend them. Salon information, booking requests, email, salon check in, and salon promotions.

Martin Edwards: SalonBiz iPad app main.php?p=ipad-app

Krysia Wilson: We’ve just signed up with a company that, once in place, we can send out our stand-by appointments or any marketing to everyone who downloads, which will be amazing to fill those last few spaces... Also I love the mylocalsalon app from Shortcuts makes online booking for our clients so much easier! X

Twitter followers: 1,646 Top Tweeter: Luke Davies, Headquarters Hair Design

Facebook likes: 6,107 Top liker: Evolve Hair Design Alfreton

@NHfederation The Centre for Retail Research has predicted one in five high street stores could disappear in the next five years. What do you think? Is it being overly gloomy, optimistic or about right? How’s your high street doing when it comes to empty units? Ian Kelly I would say it’s pretty accurate, especially if you look at the state of things on the high street 10 years ago. Empty shops and a disproportionate number of charity shops mean the high street is less varied and therefore less appealing than it has been for ages. Ridiculous landlord attitudes to rent and rent reviews, expensive business rates and high VAT (especially for a small business) are meaning it’s just not viable to rent a shop to run your business from, regardless of its nature, but for hairdressers in particular it’s pretty catastrophic! SK7 Bagshot (Tattoos & Hair) We opened our 2nd shop just over a year ago and in that time we have seen a few shops close but they have re-opened again quite quickly. It is quiet but if you stick with it and put the hours in it will pay off. Good thing about hairdressing (and tattooing) is that you can’t get it over the internet you have to go to the shop. David Barron Salons that are well managed and have high standards should survive. This is a testing time for all and no one can afford to sit back and rest on their reputation. The high street’s days are numbered unless it’s in a city centre or business hub. Local high street shops do have their backs against the wall, landlords and local authorities have a responsibility to ensure that they don’t disappear altogether. You must ensure that your staff are offering exceptional quality and are aptly rewarded for their efforts!

Britain’s Best is back for 2013 and is bigger and better! Exclusively sponsored by L’Oréal Professionnel and Jamie Stevens will be there on the day as well! Check out all the details at

Jamie Stevens@jamiestevens7 Looking forward to it @NHfederation

By Daniel Merrix@HairByMerrix Looking forward to it @NHfederation just finishing my entry form :)

Pro Hairdresser Mag@ProHairMag @NHFederation are holding employment law seminars around the country. Check out the details here.

Claire Lloyd@24Lloydy Good luck to the fabulous @ sarahhodgehair bridge street team entering the @NHfederation today can’t wait to see the entries!

Nikki Boone@Nikkipboone Judging hairdressing comp at Westonsuper-Mare with @NHfederation excellent standard.

Connect with us and have your comments and tweets in the next issue of SalonFocus.


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mobile users: 01480 700 160 scan QR code with Smartphone for contact details PAGE 36 SALONFOCUS MAY/JUNE 2013

SalonFocus Sept-Oct 2013  

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

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