by Melissa Hill
The ’80s are back in more ways than one. Just check out the fashion runways for fall—from the textured hair to the tights, the latest trends are taking cues from two decades ago. You can even see the trend in the “new” services salons are offering. In addition to more modern twists on perms, salons are listing hair and
scalp treatments on their menus, which are a big leap from the old basic conditioning treatments. These new treatments have an equal emphasis on both the results and the experience.
Pampering at the Chair
The emphasis on the experience comes from the burgeoning interest in and booming revenues associated with the spa industry. “People are more open to indulging themselves,” says Virginia Stults, senior director of U.S. hair care marketing for Matrix. “We need it. Our lives are so stressful and people can’t get away for a week, so they have quick indulgences like these that don’t take a lot of time and that they can afford.”
At Carenza Color Cutting Experience in Brookfield, Wisconsin, the $20 Zen Therapy treatment adds 15 minutes to the traditional shampoo at the bowl, with an in-depth conditioning mask and extensive massage. Every client who comes to the salon gets a free taste of the longer experience, though—a five- to seven-minute shampoo, condition and head and neck massage. The response has been terrific, says co-owner Laurence Seybold. “People are always talking about it, saying they’ve never seen anything like it.” To reflect their dedication to the experience aspect, when they moved into their new location, they even changed their name from “Carenza Color Cutting Group” to “Carenza Color Cutting Experience.”
At Aveda Fredric’s Institute in Indianapolis, the staff has added a similar free service with a shampoo, condition and mini-facial. The treatment is considered part of the overall experience, says co-owner Frederic Holzberger, although a lengthier version with a deep-conditioning hair treatment that lasts about a half an hour is also on the menu. “It has been a great way to transition these customers into the spa,” says Holzberger. “If they love this experience, it’s easier for us to book them for a facial. It lets them look behind the closed doors of the spa and they start to understand what the experience is all about.”
Building a Getaway
To create a more spa-like atmosphere, salons are taking the steps to create a specific area for hair treatments.
“This isn’t just a shampoo or a hair spa, it’s a getaway,” says Holzberger. “I think once
salons realize it’s the experience, not just the service itself they’re selling, they’ll take it to another level.”