Expert Advice

Recession Depression? Grow Your Hair Color Services!

July 10, 2011 | 11:18 PM
Hair color services have been a bedrock anchor for many salons during the recession and continue to be a leading source of salon revenues.

Cyrus Bulsara, president of Professional Consultants & Resources, (, and expert consultant in the salon industry, recently released PC&R’s 2009 Salon Haircolor Study.
“It reveals hair color has virtually been a vital source of survival, during a very difficult period for all types and sizes of salons,” says Bulsara.

The report reveals all hair care service revenues in salons grew by only 1.5 percent to $50.3 billion in 2009, for the lowest growth in 20 years. But hair color services grew at twice the rate and by 3 percent to $14.01 billion in 2009.

By contrast, cutting and styling was down to a 1.5 percent growth—the lowest in the last 20 years. Perming and relaxing actually declined by 0.7 percent and would have declined even further, had it not been for the new straightening services that are high-dollar revenue spinners.

Trends in Color
Hair color continues to be the “axis service” and still draws clients into salons for cuts, styling, relaxing and curling. As we emerge from the recession, hair color will be of prime importance in bringing salon services back to healthy growth.
Here are a few facts and promotion ideas every salon owner, manager, colorist and stylist should know to increase their hair color business.

The following trends and shade palette activity were reported in the first half of 2010 at top US salons.

Shade Families Activity Level
dark brunettes/reds/blacks high activity
blonding/highlights/multicolor high to medium activity
lowlights/duolights medium to low activity
neutrals/gray coverage medium to high activity

Shade Stats
• Low-cost, low maintenance simple cut and color styles are in big demand.
• Major hair color service demands continue to be gray coverage for mature clients and fashion color for young urban women and men.
• Fashionable, younger clients, tweens and teens want dramatic hair color with chromatic highlights.
• Mature women and men are now open to allowing some percentage of gray showing. Tone-on-tone semis are hot again.
• Salons are also using demi-permanent hair color for baliage and high-impact highlights or subdued lowlights.
• Clients want a natural look to show no roots, so they can get a salon service every 10-12 weeks.

Future Growth
Professional Consultants & Resources recommend the following types of hair color salon promotions to drive traffic and grow your salon’s color business exponentially in 2010-2011:

• Service price-offs, discount coupons and future discounts on hair color retouches.
• Promote holiday, back-to-school, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Thanksgiving specials.
• Hair color after-care product combo-packs, with discount coupons for next service.
• Free samples or packettes of after-color care products with color service.
• Holiday and seasonal gifts and discounts on salon retail products after color service.
• Direct mailings, e-mails, texts and color service appointment reminders.
• Hair color style books and magazines in reception and color-chair areas.
• Back-bar, reception and styling area videos/DVDs with practical hair shows and fashion color.
• Color protection and color refresher samples.
• “Ladies Night” color demos hosted with your hair color manufacturer.
• “Monday Night Out” hair color salon party during NFL season.

Many of these promotions can be run with the co-op funds your distributor and manufacturer have already earmarked for salon promotions. Hair color is a $683 million-dollar business for manufacturers and they are as interested in growing it as you are.

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