Having the brilliant opportunity to wander around Hair Expo 2010 I was overwhelmed, overstimulated and way excited about what all the different color companies have to offer. O&M’s new color Excelarant, L’Oreal INOHA, the Matrix brilliant artistic representation of the color results, chatting to Maria Uva, color finalist with her loyalty and dedication to Wella, or the shine from the look and learn theater from the Redken Shades EQ by artists Tracy Hughes and Philip Barwick. The list of innovation and inspiration goes on and on, but what really draws us to one company over another?
Even if you are relatively happy with your color brand of choice there is no time like the present to check up on your options, revisit what is important to you and if your are getting what you want and need from your color brand of choice.
Price – How much are your tubes of color? Does price really matter? Absolutely yes, It is one very important thing to consider in your choice. Im my experience during the GFC, negotiating the best deal on price by no stretch of the truth helped us survive the last year and saved us a small fortune. Do your maths, do you know what a full head of foils really costs in color? Or how about a re-touch? How many grams of color in a tube? What is the ratio? This is something we colorists don’t usually think is important, we just want what we think is the best regardless of price. However the business must stay financially healthy or there will simple be no colour! Price does matter! Colorists must have the greatest respect of the costs relating to the color department.
Quality – Without a doubt quality is at the forefront of our choices. Quality is all about technical knowledge, consistency in result and delivery. Quality is about condition of the hair at all times and caring for the scalp. Quality is a reassurance that you are using the right product for you and your client. What quality points are important to you?
Education -This is crucial in you choice, make sure you have financially viable education available to you, meaning what is included in your deal? Will your colour supplier educate you for free or will you pay extra? Wether it is in house or in a tech center make sure it fits with what you need and want. There’s no point signing on the dotted line when the tech center is 4 hours away from you and they will not come to you either! I think in salon support topped up with tech center education is so important. If you are changing from one company to another, make sure you have immediate support and a tech at your disposal as you need. Education is exciting, blood warming and food for life! The education curriculum available to you with product companies is an important consideration!
Culture and Branding -You must identify with your color brand and have similar thoughts, ideas, concepts and brand association. Identify your client type, values and even environmental process. Your clients will identify with certain brands, this correct alignment is crucial to developing your winning business proposition to those clients.
Endorsement -So you are getting close to your choice when you think of Endorsement, find some high profile hairdressers using what you are considering, the company will certainly point you in this direction with a list of names. You will be so surprised how open and happy any hairdresser is to chat with you about their preferred color brand they use in there salon. This is a must to consider in your choice, chat with other hairdressers, call them, they will be happy to give you a endorsement!
Systems and Procedures -If you place an order, how long will it take to get to your salon? How does the billing system work? Can you email order exported out of your salon software system? What are the minimum ordering quantities? How much will the freight be? How do they let you know if they are out of stock? What is the policy on a mistake order? Can you just stock 1 line or do you have to take the whole range? Can you use the color line without the retail line? Are there any contracts? Beware of auto ordering. This is what we call the fine print, READ THE FINE PRINT, know who you are getting into bed with.
Consider all the points above and your choice will be an exciting process ending in rewarding results!
by Belinda Keeley
Hair Expo Peoples Choice Award Winner 2010
Hair Expo Colourist of the Year – Finalist
AHFA Colourist of the Year – Finalist 2009 & 2010