Techonology is even finding its way into the color room. Recently, a team that supplies 60 percent of the color formulation for the paint and ink industry got to thinking: why can’t the same technology be applied to ensure error-free, waste-free hair color dispensing at the salon? The result of that conversation is SureTint, which early independent testing shows is up to seven times more accurate than conventional mixing. Providing guidelines for new colorists while giving experienced colorists freedom to create new formulas, the SureTint system also captures important data.
“SureTint keeps track of every color that’s dispensed in real-time mode and correlates it with the client and with the colorist, also tracking grams by hue and by service,” says CEO Joe Rygiel. “That provides a lot of information to help manage the color room.”
The SureTint Blending Station includes a precision electronic SmartScale, LCD Touch Screen Monitor, Card Reader Scanner, custom compact keyboard and Color Management Software to guide users through the blending process. After testing SureTint for three months, Xenon International Academy in Wichita, Kansas, reported about 30 percent less color consumption and waste, according to SureTint founder Mitch Saranow.
“This is part inventory management and part formulation control,” says Dina Elliot, a consultant to the company. “And there is a full educational program delivered in salons so that every colorist at each level of proficiency, as well as the salon management team, can use it expertly.”
Taking a different direction, two prominent salon owners created Color Tracking Systems to control the waste of the color developer by between 10 and 50 percent, according to the company, which also promotes it as a training tool.
“Some hair color comes in tubes, some is liquid, some is aerosol,” says Color Tracking co-founder Frank Gironda. “But they all need developer.” Programmed from the front desk, the Color Tracking dispenser provides the precise amount of developer the colorist directs. The system issues reports detailing developer usage by colorist, type of developer and time of service.
Gironda emphasizes it’s not only about saving money. “When you pour a little too much and have more developer than you need, people think that’s no big deal,” he notes. “But you could wind up not getting the gray coverage you expect. Or, if you don’t use enough developer, the color will go dark. When the client complains, nobody ever thinks that the problem was using too much developer. They blame the color line or think they didn’t leave it on long enough. By giving colorists exactly what they need, they’ll achieve more consistent color and have happier clients.”
Consistency is key, agrees Color Tracking Systems partner Chris Damolaris. “The caps are not left open on the developer, so it’s not oxidizing,” Damolaris says. “Our staff likes it. This is so much faster than opening the bottle, measuring it and pouring it into the beaker and then into the bowl. Now you’re just dispensing right into the bowl and not leaving a coating on the beaker. A lot of little benefits came out of it.”
Investing in dispensing technology pays for itself, maintains Gironda. “We wanted everybody to be able to get into this,” he says, “so we’ve arranged with the leasing company to finance it 100 percent with no money down. People are already paying for this machine with their color waste without knowing it. Saving less than one tube of hair color per day will pay for this machine.”