I was recently reading an article the Australian Hairdressing Council wrote asking industry members for their opinions on the hot topic of regulation. They stated with the deregulation of the Hairdressing Industry, we are seeing more and more unqualified and inexperienced hairdressers devaluing our industry. This is contributing to an increase in customer complaints, while also giving clientele a belief that our industry is worth less.
They went on to say they are looking for input from the hairdressing industry to assist them in the deciding which direction they as an association should take to help grow and put value back in our trade.
Now, I wholeheartedly agree with their statements and think this is a great initiative. However it got me thinking about another area that I think not only devalues and lowers the image of our Industry in the minds of consumers, but also robs salon owners of much needed revenue.
If salon owners are ever going to get serious about protecting the future of the Hairdressing Industry I believe both them and their staff need to use, support and recommend companies products who are solely salon only... And I emphasise the word, 'solely.'
How can salon owners and hairdressers elevate themselves and also clearly separate themselves, in the eyes of consumers, from Supermarkets, Pharmacies, Multi-level marketing companies products, On-line companies products, Mobile Hairdressers and Home Hairdressers; if they use and sell products by companies who have a foot in both doors and don't 100% support the Industry.
Endorsing companies who sell their products through any of the above avenues must have a negative impact in customers minds on Hairdressing Salons. I suspect this is another reason why some customers undervalue the worth of the hairdressers and bitch and moan about the prices they have to pay for services. On top of this I also believe these companies rob salon owners by making it easy for consumers to buy their products through mediums other than through bonafide commercial hairdressing salons.
Over the years I've seen more and more product companies join the brigade of product companies who bastardise the Industry by also selling their products through other avenues. And I don't just mean the Multi-Nationals who for the most part have always sold their products through Supermarkets, Pharmacies, Price Lines etc. I mean the mountain of product companies who sell their products to both salons and to Distributors (with cash and carries) that sell direct to the public, Shampoo Shops, Discount Stores, Mobile Hairdressers, Home Hairdressers and direct to consumers on-line via theirs or their Distributors websites.
Now, I'm not saying some of these companies don't add, support or assist the Industry in some ways, but what they give with one hand they take away from the Hairdressing Industry with the other.
Years ago the word, 'Salon-Only’ used to mean a firm bond between the product company and loyal salon owner, but over the last decade or so this once sacred word has been watered down to, in some cases, mean nothing. It's a bit like a worthless bank note that cannot be cashed.
So, when is enough enough? And when is the word, ‘Salon-Only’ Salon-Only? IT IS VITAL FOR OUR INDUSTRY TO BE STRONG, vibrant and like a light on a hill. Respected by the consumer and elevated in the eyes of customers; not pushed aside like an illegitimate industry that is used and abused.
Each week through-out Australia, multitudes of dedicated hairdressers endorse products in their salons. They use them at the basin, the styling station and then recommended them to their customers so they can maintain their hair at home.
So the question is what message are you sending to your customers by the products you support and endorse? and can your customers purchase the products you endorse via other avenues other than through bonafide commercial salons?
From the desk of: Jamie Hibble
(Advocate of Salon Only brands and Private Label Enthusiast)