Consider making the sensory side of your client's visit as important as that of the styling.  A few mindful changes can refresh the salon setting and elevate your services. "Clients come to a salon for beauty," says Maureen McCarthy of A Maureen McCarthy Salon in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, "but it's the actual experience that keeps them coming back."

Here are a few ways to create a more memorable salon visit.

1. Enhance the experience: Biscotti with coffee, nuts with wine, a warm towel around the neck in the winter. For male clients, the sensation of a hot towel on the face can transform a shampoo.

2. Let there be light: Lighting must be carefully planned. Too much warm light makes hair look brassy to the client. Because overhead lighting is essential to stylists, recessed LED bulbs are well worth the investment. Offset the shadows created by harsh overhead light by adding attractive table lamps or sconces at each station.

3. Remove the distractions: Mount units that have cubbyholes for stowing handbags and magazines. "I place a crystal dish at each station for holding earrings or jewelry," says McCarthy.

4. Let it roll: A rolling tool station holds all tools and products and keeps accumulated clutter off surfaces. 

5. Greet all who enter: When clients enter the salon, address them with a smile and their name every time. Always shake hands when meeting a new client (If you don't remember a name, say yours first and they will usually follow with theirs).

6. Celebrate the seasons: Add seasonal decorations to the salon to reflect change and freshness. "In the spring," says McCarthy, "we place a simple vase at each work station filled with a few fresh buds. In the fall, it can be a sprig of bittersweet. It's just another way to greet the client."

--Jenny Gordon


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