Halloween is tomorrow but something that’s super scary is lack of preparation as other holidays start to roll up. Los Angeles salon owner, artist, educator, and mover-and-shaker Marco Pelusi says the time is now to plan for a successful end of the year in the salon. He walks us through some things you can be doing to help clients transition their hair into colder, dryer weather and steps stylists can take to make the seasons bright… and profitable.
“I always tell stylists to rotate their clients through color and care as the seasons change,” Pelusi shares. “I suggest they put clients on a six-month plan so even when you’re getting into the summer months, and when they’re getting light, you can start adding some deeper tones into the hair to get ready for fall.
“This works for both the stylist and the client; it’s ethical, because by making a plan, you’re looking out for them. And you are also planting seeds for future business and showing the client that you can offer them change. You don’t want another stylist or even a friend to tell them, you should go darker, and they have never heard anything like that from you. You always have to offer them the ability to change things up.”
Pelusi employs his Signature Lowlighting Technique (which he is teaching in a private class at his West Hollywood salon on November 10) to give depth and contrast to blondes—and brunettes, too.
“The conversation with the client, especially with every single blonde, is to ask if they want to stay at their level of blonde or what would they say to adding some dimensional pieces to break it up and make it look more natural? Lowlighting is also great as a strategy for blending in grey and on highlighted brunettes—who don’t always know they can get lowlights. When their lighter pieces are getting a bit brassy, you can suggest adding 6-12 lowlights and you look like a genius because they may never have considered that as an option.”
In his class, Pelusi will spend time talking about formulation, “because stylists can be afraid of using the wrong formulas for these different lowlighting situations.”
WINTER HAIR HELP
Also part of this client plan Pelusi draws out is making sure to adapt client’s care routine. As the year evolves, so does their hair’s environment.
“The hair is always trying to get to its 10-11% moisture content and, unfortunately, the hair is like a sponge and it will literally suck up whatever is around. The hair will mimic the environment we’re in and when we’re inside, in dry heat, it will become dry. When this happens, hair color won’t last as long and hair won’t hold a style.”
Pelusi says this is a great time to do add-on services, like a deep conditioning treatment and/or scalp care service. “If they are already in the salon, you could suggest the service as a complement to any other service. You could also offer them a trial size of the product to take home. Clients look to us to prescribe and you know they’re going to go somewhere for products so why not be the one offering them what they need to use at home.”
A conditioning treatment also might be a way to manage colliding appointments; if you’re running a bit late that day, you could delay the client in your chair by offering a treatment, putting them under a dryer for 20 minutes, and starting on your next client. “In real life moments like this we can get frozen but this is one way to think on your feet, offer a relaxing treatment, and keep your day moving in the right direction.” Pelusi sends clients home with his Marco Signature Color Hydrate Conditioner.
“We need to get proactive on our books,” Pelusi advises. “Now is the time to ask your clients, ‘what events do you have coming up for the holidays? Would you like to come in for an updo or a blowout?’ The holidays can be so stressful so this is the conversation we need to have so we aren’t being reactive and we’re cutting through the stress.”
This is also the time when Pelusi recommends that you make a gift list and map out what you might offer to some of your clients for the holidays.
“You’ll want to do something for your wonderful clients who have spent the year with you,” he concludes. “You could offer a slight discount on your services during a set timeframe or you can just get gifts for your key people, maybe a bottle of wine. Candles are a nice gift, too. You might even want to connect with a product company and ask for sample sizes. Whatever you are going to do, start doing it now.”