Beyond The Chair

Inspirational Articles for Salon Professionals

Spring 2012, Issue 3

What's New | Project Groupie | Focus on Color

Classes | Extend the Life of Your Flat Iron | The Man Files

What's New

by Kristen Cantrell

u-smooth creamAs someone who's been in the beauty industry for 10 years, I've had several favorite products come and go. I try to be a brand-loyal stylist but there always seems to be those few products from different lines that make their way onto my station, and then home to my clients. Never before has there been one product I could put on every client. Then one day, a very handsome Australian came to me and asked me to sample a product for his new u-smooth line.

“Sure! I'd love to try it." Then I asked, "How do I use it?"

“I don't know,” he replied with this sly grin on his face. “Try it several different ways and let us know how it works best and how we can make it better.”
After several weeks of endless chats, texts and suggestions from myself, other stylist and clients, the Australian comes back to me with a bottle and says ”This is it.”

What I expected was a typical smoothing cream, but what I got was not only for smoothing but protection and shine with a soft flexible hold, and it builds body! I could do everything and anything with the stuff! I wasn't prepared for the client reactions to the USMOOTH CREAM, and I had a waiting list for months while the product was in development.

My clients say they can't live without it! After what felt like forever, I got the call that the product was in and ready for sale. Now I am happy to say that I have far less products on my station and styling has become a breeze with this one little green bottle.

P.S. The Australian just came to me with another exciting product to try! Stay tuned!!!


Extend the Life of Your Flat Iron


by Babette Rickett

Ah, the flat iron, one of the greatest hair tools.
Could you imagine styling station without it? Probably not, that’s why we want to help you get the most out of your professional flat iron.

Turn iron off: Even if your iron automatically shuts off after a certain amount of time, it’s a good practice to turn it off between clients. Professional irons heat up in seconds, so powering it off when not in use won’t be an inconvenience.

Unplug it: Believe it or not, your iron may still be electrically alive even when turned off because it’s in a standby mode. Which means it’s still consuming power and could pose a fire hazard; by unplugging it you’ll avoid these risks. And to prevent resetting the iron to any default settings, power it off and then unplug it.

Care for the Cord: When storing or traveling with your iron don’t wrap the cord around it. Don’t close the cord between the plates or set heavy items on it. When unplugging, pull from the plug not the cord, this could cause a short in the cord. Also, never hang your iron from the cord.

Clean the Iron: Keeping your iron clean is very important. Use a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth and wipe to remove dirt. Also, make sure vents and other openings are clean and free of dirt.

Temperature Setting: 450 degrees is HOT. Unless you’re performing a straightening treatment that requires a high temperature setting, don’t keep it on the highest temperature. Average temperature settings by hair type: 280 - 330 degrees for fine or chemically treated hair, 310 - 390 for wavy or medium textured hair, and 390 - 450 for thick coarse hair.

By following these very simple steps, you’ll enjoy a long relationship with your flat iron.

The Man Files

by Valerie Pederson

Women’s hair styles are generally short lived, but gentlemen’s trends are slower to change and much more refined. The ladies have a ton of new trends coming their way, but many salons are focusing on their male clientele this year. More barber shops, and male-catered salons are opening up throughout the nation, and doing very well.

Male niche salons are incorporating the vintage, or old school barber approach, maintaining classic haircuts with precision and expanded services. Men’s cuts for 2012 are vintage inspired, and must-have cuts include: the slicked back undercut, the brit-rock indie hairstyle, the rockabilly, and the men’s quiff. All of these hairstyles are good for straight or curly/wavy hair. The long, chin to shoulder hair length (similar to what Brad Pitt currently has) is also included as a 2012 male cut trends, but this cut never goes out of style. When curl is the focus, a relaxed/messy style that maintains professionalism for the working man is long top with shorter sides (not as much as the undercut).

Another style making a comeback, partially due to television shows like “Mad Men,” is the slicked hair with side part, very reminiscent of Clark Kent without the curl in front. Joe, a barber from Kansas City, expressed his surprise to have this style requested as often as it has been. Joe said this look is just as much requested by the younger generation as it is for his long-time clientele. The key to the slick look is using a strong gel like Paul Mitchell MITCH reformer locking the style with a strong hairspray like u-smooth’s Firm Finishing Spray. To get the “Mad Men” look, apply the gel before parting and combing, then style out to maintain the slick look, and set it with hairspray to prevent fly-aways. For a more natural or matte finish, style while wet with no product, then spray with hairspray. The Mitch line from Paul Mitchell is a must have for Joe’s Barber Shop because Steady Grip gel is proving to deliver this classic look.

Don’t stop with style, though. An often overlooked aspect for men is color. Many men are inquiring about going grey but are seeking a natural look. Andrew, a Kansas City barber, said that just like women, men are worried about colored hair being too dark or too green, or having too much of a line of demarcation during the grow out. This is a dilemma that, fortunately for Andrew and other stylists or barbers, color lines have done an outstanding job developing. With demi-permanent hair color available from brands like Keune, Alfaparf and Paul Mitchell, five minute processing, and an easy up-charge for an add-on service, color puts money in the stylists’ pocket and their men clientele stay happy and in style.


Focus on Color

It's no secret, one of the top money-making opportunities for salon professionals is color services. The most successful salons use the best color products in tandem with top-notch skills to attract and retain clients.

With a booming 75% of American women coloring their hair, and a 50% increase in the past five years for men, there's no question hairstylists can optimize on their color services to create instant profits. New trends, core color techniques and personal branding are your secret weapon against home haircolor.

Create Magic
Gone are the days of haircolor simply to mask signs of aging. The hottest haircolor trends are an art, and trending color styles for this spring include bright hughes and the Bronde.

  • bright hues
    For bright, dynamic colors, and let your creativity flow by mixing your color palettes. Get intense fashion effects ammonia-free with Alfaparf's Jean's Color.
  • Bronde
    A perfect hybrid of blonde and brown, bronde is the most natural look for dark-haired divas. Darker shades with blonde highlights are the replacement this year for those who normally lighten all over for the spring and summer months.

Knowledge of base coloring is imperative, but a master colorist skills aren't found in cosmetology school. Coloring fundamentals, advanced foiling, color correction and gray coverage are learned skills that come from additional training and practice.

Brand Yourself
Share your color brand loud and proud. Tell your clients what color line you use and why you use it. When a client is happy with their haircolor, she will be more likely to revisit your salon if she knows your color line is the one that works!

Make Color Last and Guarantee Results
ColorProof. Be up front with your customer and let them know when they should expect to visit for a reapplication. Finally, make sure you are measuring your color properly to prevent lines of demarcation.

Try these simple tips to add value to your color services and watch your color business grow. For great color techniques or to request a class, visit our website or contact a salon partner today.