ST: How do you perceive the environment of hair color changing?
Adams: The hair color service is changing not only inside the salon, but outside. Big-name hairdressers are putting their names on home color that’s available at drugstores, websites are advising guests how to color their hair at home, and in Minneapolis, we have a new store where consumers can go in and be advised by professional hairdressers and given a customized formula, which is packaged up for them to use at home. While budget dictates some of this, I think a lot of people are coloring their hair at home simply because they’ve been disappointed with the salon service. We’ve dumbed down the color service. We recently polled a lot of high-end salons in a major city and pulled their menus. They all offered the same thing—highlights and all-over color, maybe a color correction.
ST: What do you think salons should be doing to compete?
Adams: There’s a huge opportunity for us to rethink the color service, to truly customize the service for each client. To look at the cut, the face shape, the skin tone, and the eye color and create something fantastic for each client. We need to get away from the menu. We don’t say to a client, ‘Do you want a bob or a long layer today?’ We need to give our guests color options, and we need to make sure they have all the knowledge upfront, such as how long it’s going to take and how much it’s going to cost.
ST: When you have a salon look at color from a customized approach, what kind of impact does that have on the bottom line?
Meyer: With the kind of education we do, we measure everything. We look at on-average stats prior to adopting custom color, what are clients spending on average on their hair color and we see huge increases. For example, we just met with a salon who when they started with us had an average $54 color ticket now they’re at $140. And, that’s not about increasing the price, that is about legitimately adding more value to the color service.
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