Industry News

Salons and Barber Shops: The Original Social Network

Patrick McIvor | July 10, 2011 | 10:22 PM
Facebook and salons: Why Facebook ate our lunch.

In any salon around the world the topic of conversation is always driven by us, the hairdresser. The conversations center around things that are the staples of the Facebook phenomena: What are you doing, Where have you been and What do you like? Our typical appointments are filled with conversations like, “Last night my friends and I….” We fill our time with guests sharing what’s going on in our lives, and theirs. From school trips with our kids, to fashion shows, to community events, we are constantly sharing, “What’s on your mind?” or in this case, our mind.

Outside of a person’s immediate family, when someone wants an objective opinion, their hairstylist or barber many times is the second opinion that seals the deal. From fashion to hair and even the new local restaurant or club, clients many times wait before trying something new until they get their hairdresser or barber’s thoughts on the matter. In the 1980s, Dr. Lew taught us this in his book “Psy-Cosmetology,” when he shared the story of a woman he was counseling to overcome her fear of approaching a gentleman she was interested in. Due to the intensity of the woman’s fear it took many visits with Dr. Lew to build up her confidence to the point where she had the courage to speak with the gentleman. One day, she left Dr. Lew’s with the idea of finally speaking to her dream man by simply saying, “Hello.” The next week she returned for her weekly session and Dr. Lew was excited to hear how her meeting with the gentleman went. To Dr. Lew’s astonishment, the young lady he had been counseling for months (after years of medical practice and schooling), did not approach the gentleman because her hairdresser did not think it was a good idea. So you see, in some cases, our outlook is more influential than even a medically trained professional.

We are the original social network inside all of our communities. Unfortunately, we have given up that status to Facebook and we need to take it back by being more involved. From guest newsletters, to the salon website and during every guest’s visit, we need to make sure we are keeping ourselves as the hub of the community and the place for consumers to go to learn what’s going on and what’s on our mind.

Patrick can be found on Facebook@PatrickMcivor (Allentown).

Patrick McIvor is the artistic color director with Matrix – the leading professional haircare and haircolor company in the United States and part of the L’Oreal USA Professional Products Division. He owns patrick mcivor color studio (Bethlehem, PA) and studio two (Allentown, PA) – the two hottest hair studios in the Lehigh Valley. As one of the most respected colorists in the industry, McIvor mentors his team by involving them in runway work at New York Fashion Week; fashion/beauty editorial shoots and interviews with publications like Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Real Simple, Seventeen, Family Circle and Allure (editors named him best colorist in the USA); and television segments on “The 10! Show”/NBC Channel 10, WFMZ “Channel 69 News” and “Good Housekeeping Reports.” His studio provides stellar hair services inspired by international cosmopolitan influences such as fashion, cultural and global trends. In other words, guests leave with beautiful, sexy believable hair. McIvor is also featured in the book “50 Hairstylists.”
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