THIS IS THE NEW STANDARD FOR SUSTAINABLE HAIR EXTENSIONS

THIS IS THE NEW STANDARD FOR SUSTAINABLE HAIR EXTENSIONS

THIS IS THE NEW STANDARD FOR SUSTAINABLE HAIR EXTENSIONS

Promotion – Great Lengths

As an industry it’s paramount that we work towards more sustainable practices. Bringing a new approach to hair extensions, Great Lengths has achieved B-Corp certification.

Great Lengths models

When it comes to sustainability, it goes beyond Earth Month. As an industry, it’s vital we all do our bit, all year round, to work towards a more sustainable future for everyone. Very few brands and businesses are awarded B Corp certification, and Great Lengths is the first of its kind in the hair extensions market.  

Following years of consistent, sustainable practices across the brand, Great Lengths has become the first extensions brand to have been awarded B Corp certification across the globe. This Earth Month, the Italian brand is shining light on its continued consideration for environmental and social responsibilities that have been part of its agenda for some time, with measures put in place more than 10 years ago which focus on care for both people and the planet by working towards a circular economy.

The B Corp certification recognises the efforts Great Lengths has made to be more inclusive at all levels, from the welfare of its employees and the trust of its consumers to working towards reducing the beauty footprint of the entire production chain. As one of the world’s leading names in human hair extensions, Great Lengths strives to use its influence for good and encourage others to consider the differences they can make.  

“Working with B Corp brands such as Great Lengths is incredibly important to us,” says Susan Collins, owner of, B Corp certified salon Home of Hair, in County Wicklow in Ireland. “We actively seek out suppliers that are committed to the wellbeing of people and the planet, as we know those that have achieved B Corp status have exceptionally high standards of practise.”

Great Lengths

‘Perception’ by Great Lengths

Great Lengths

She adds: “Being a certified B Corp is confirmation that a company is fully transparent and has made ethical choices. This is a very easy sell to a client – if they’re sitting in your chair, they have already decided to spend that little bit extra, but they also know that there are no shady or grey areas in the product they’re investing in. Working with B Corp certified suppliers means that you don’t have to deep dive into everything to make sure they align with your company ethos and practices.” 

Great Lengths offers a circular, transparent chain with its hair. Ethical sourcing of hair is fundamental to the brand philosophy, and it prides itself on the strict processes and measures that ensure both the quality and ethicality of the hair. All hair is sourced from Indian temples, where it is voluntarily donated during a ritual known as ‘tonsuring’. Each strand is given willingly and with full consent, and revenue generated is fed back into the local community. 

In its continued effort to strive for sustainable practices, Great Lengths also has a global partnership with The Little Princess Trust and offers a donation scheme in more than 1,500 salons in the UK and Ireland and more than 60 countries worldwide. The scheme gives clients who use extensions the opportunity to change lives. When their extensions are removed, clients can choose to donate them to the charity to make into real hair wigs, which are provided free to children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment or other conditions. It costs nothing to be involved and is an impactful way for a salon to give back and reduce waste. Shorter hair extensions which are unsuitable for donation to the Little Princess Trust partnership are recycled in the same way as natural hair clippings.  

To find out more about Great Lengths and its efforts towards sustainability, head to greatlengths.com. 

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IHF STAR TEAM LAUNCH JUNIOR STYLIST CHALLENGE 2024

IHF STAR TEAM LAUNCH JUNIOR STYLIST CHALLENGE 2024

IHF STAR TEAM LAUNCH JUNIOR STYLIST CHALLENGE 2024

The challenge is open to trainee hairdressers of any level who are still undergoing training.

model with braids by Ciara Harrington

Current Star Team member Ciara Harrington’s example of ‘Runway Ready’

A unique opportunity to get your trainees involved in crafting a creative competition look, the Irish Hair Federation Star Team has launched the junior stylist challenge with the theme of ‘runway ready’.  Open until 30 April, the purpose of the task is for trainees to demonstrate their creative spark, with the winner getting to spend the day with the Star Team on one of the education days.  

How to enter 

Create a look 
Embrace the ‘Runway Ready’ theme and let your creativity shine. Whether it’s styling mannequins, yourself, or a model’s hair, now is the chance to unleash your imagination and craft a look that steals the spotlight. Before and after images must also be included in each post or Reel.  

Post to Instagram 
Snap a picture of your creation and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #THESTARTEAMCHALLENGE24.  Don’t forget to tag @irishhairfed in your post.  Ensure that your Instagram profile is set to public, so the team can see your entry. 

The winner will be announced on 10 May. Good luck!  

 For the full list of rules, click here.

 

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FIVE GREAT MOVES IF YOU’RE A HAIR BUSINESS OWNER


FIVE GREAT MOVES IF YOU’RE A HAIR BUSINESS OWNER


FIVE GREAT MOVES IF YOU’RE A HAIR BUSINESS OWNER


These were the big ‘must-dos’ that emerged from Salon Smart 2024.

The hairdressing landscape is complex and challenging, so it’s more important than ever for business owners to be pro-active and strategic. Here are the best ideas for thoughtful decision-making to come out of Creative HEAD’s networking event for salon and barbershop owners, Salon Smart 2024.

Massarella & Jones

1. Get collaborating.

Business collaborations can bring lots of benefits: they help build relationships, generate ideas and create new opportunities. When Jordan Massarella and Ben Jones opened their new Massarella & Jones premises in Leamington Spa, they made it a priority to develop relationships with local businesses that operate exclusively online. A collaboration with a local florist not only ensures the reception area always has stunning flower arrangements, the blooms are also available for clients to purchase; a collection of books on the coffee table includes works by local authors, giving clients the chance to discover new literary talent. Says Ben: “Our salon operates as a shopfront for these businesses, giving them useful exposure, and we gain brand awareness through their social media followings that target a similar local demographic to our own, which in turn brings new clients through the door.”

Chris Foster

2. Recruit a chatbot.

Yes, we know, AI feels very Brave New World, but it is revolutionising the way businesses interact with their customers, and salons should grab a slice of that action, argues professional profile-builder (and men’s hair specialist) Chris Foster. AI-powered chatbots can be programmed to do anything from handle queries to offer personalised advice, using natural language processing and machine learning to communicate with customers in real time. “What if you had a retail bot in your business, just retailing? While you’re talking to your client about Love Island, she can interact with the bar code by her chair, which is recommending her products, showing her how they’re to be used, she puts them in the basket and picks them up at your till. A well-trained bot is an asset to any business,” he said.

Sam Cusick

3. Don’t be afraid to delegate.

As a business owner you’re probably attempting to do the work of five full-time jobs. Keep hold of the parts where you know you bring value but ensure people with different strengths take care of the rest. As serial entrepreneur Samantha Cusick stated: “In order to grow, you need to take steps to work on your business, not in it. That includes delegating tasks, so that you can create the time you need to work on your plans.”

And after years of being told not to put the salon assistant in charge of Twitter, Instagram et al (something about compromising the ‘authentic tone of voice,’ we seem to recall) it turns out even social media is fair game for delegation. Says Ben Lifton, social media expert of Content Kweens: “I thought my socials had to be all about me, but I learned the hard way that’s not the case. I hired someone to help me with content creation and they shone a light on so many holes in my existing business and so many new avenues I could explore. Delegation is important!”

Mark Ronayne

4. Ensure you’re compliant on tipping

Are you familiar with the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023? (Err, hello, what?). It’s a piece of legislation – expected to be introduced on July 1 this year – that creates a legal obligation on employers across all sectors (including hairdressing) to allocate all tips, gratuities and service charges which they are paid or which they exercise control or significant influence over to workers, without any deductions. It also requires employers to ensure that the distribution of qualifying tips between workers is fair.

The legislation and draft code concern what is called ‘Employer-received tips’, which involve tips paid by a consumer and subsequently allocated and distributed to workers by the employer. For example, a client pays a tip via card payment made into the employer’s bank account before being distributed to the workers.

This is different to ‘Employee-received tips’, whereby the employer has no control over how the tips are distributed. For example, if a client pays one of your team members a cash tip that the team member is entitled to keep for themselves. Employee-received tips are not covered by the legislation.

With the aim of promoting fairness, the new legislation places great weight on an employer’s duty to be transparent when it comes to tips and how they are allocated and distributed. To ensure transparency, employers will be required to:

• Have a written policy in place for how tips are dealt with at their place of work: This policy must be made available to all employees and agency workers.

• Consult with workers to seek a broad agreement that the allocation of tips is fair, reasonable and clear. As above, factors determining the allocation of tips must be included in the written policy.​​​​

• Keep a record of tips received and distributed to each employee for three years from the date of the tip: All records need to be kept for three years from the date that the tip or service charge is made by a consumer.

• A worker has the right to make a written request (limited to one request per worker in one three-month period) to view the tipping record for a period dating back three years. If a request is made, the employer must provide:

The individual’s tipping record; the total amount of qualifying tips received by the employer (i.e. Employer-received tips); and the amount of tips paid to that specific individual (tipping records of other individuals must not be disclosed as part of this process).

(Luckily for customers of salon software Phorest, as Salon Smart presenter Mark Ronayne confirmed, there’s a free update that ensures your customers can still tip, and you will stay compliant. For more info visit phorest.com)

Maddi Cook

5. Be confident with your pricing.

It’s common knowledge that the hairdressing industry can be guilty of discounting (let’s face it, discounts are easy to give away). And yes, they can be a great way to promote your business, bring new customers and turn existing ones into loyal clients but discounts can play havoc with your profit. So is there another way?

“Please put your prices up, guys,” says Boss Your Salon boss Maddi Cook, who once surveyed 20,000 hair pros on how they set their current prices to discover that 80% either copied their competitors or guessed. “The prices you charge need to be tailored to you and your business. You will have your own household income, number of kids, amount of debt and mortgage interest – and that’s what make your goals so specific to you. There are so many moving parts. So your pricing has to be really personalised to you and based on your goals. And actually, when you learn to articulate the value of what you do – the incredible hair you create, the services you offer – pricing becomes less and less relevant. And that is one of the easiest ways to soften the blow for any price increase is to lean into that and learn how to articulate what you do.”

Meanwhile, Danny Coles of colour management system Vish says salon owners need to start looking at the cost of product, in order to price services more accurately and profitably. Other industries charge for every bit of product, he argued, whether that’s ordering an extra ‘side’ in a restaurant or a refill in a wine bar – while salons often lose out by not understanding the numbers (a Vish survey of 2,400 salons showed that one in five colour services are non-profitable). “Learn from your local garage,” said Danny. “They break down their invoice into parts and labour, and you need to start thinking that way too. Break down your services into time and product cost, price accordingly, and the profits will come.”

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EMBRACE TECH, BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF HUMAN CONNECTION

EMBRACE TECH, BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF HUMAN CONNECTION

SALON SMART 2024: HERE’S WHAT WE LEARNED

Tech is important to support your business, but the human connection is unique, enduring and vital.

Brian MacMillan, Justin Mackland, Josh Miller

First things first: Salon Smart 2024 was an absolute belter – packed with people and packed with new ideas for how best to run a hair business now. Tickets for Creative HEAD’s networking event for salon and barbershop owners and managers had sold out weeks in advance, so it was a lucky crowd of 200 first-past-the-post hair pros who descended on the Chain and Buoy Store in East London for a day of insight, learning and inspiration delivered by industry experts and innovators. And what did they learn?

With no less than 22 awesome presenters and panel members taking to the stage, the Salon Smart agenda was diverse and wide-ranging. But as the day played out, some key themes emerged:

• It is vital now to embrace technology within your business, whether that’s using best-in-class software for client bookings, stock management and marketing; creating AI bots to tackle specific areas like retail or staff training; or harnessing the power of social media to find new clients (let’s face it, social media is the only place young humans are looking for a hairstylist nowadays). Tech is not only changing the game in-salon, it’s something your clients expect to experience within their salon visit, too.

• However, whizzy tech should not come at the cost of human connection. We heard a lot about the powerful role hairdressers play in the lives of their clients beyond a cut and blow-dry, whether that’s as an advisor, a listening ear or as a business within the community that’s genuinely making a difference. (Most Wanted Best Local Salon 2023 winner Alison McRitchie, owner of The Head Gardener in Inverness, delivered an incredibly moving showcase of the work she does at the Highland Hospice, where she provides joy and happiness to terminally ill cancer patients.) This human connection is unique and valuable and should lie at the heart of your business long into the future.

• Your client base will change dramatically over the coming years. According to keynote speaker Monica Teodoro, general manager of education and professional development at L’Oréal Professional Products, by 2035 your clients will be older, more male, even more urban, more ethnically diverse and also more culturally and religiously diverse. “Whatever you did before will not be enough for tomorrow,” warned Monica, noting that businesses will need to invest in education, in order to stay one step ahead of new skills and trends as they emerge, and they will need to be significantly more diverse. This latter point was also made in compelling fashion by textured hair campaigner Winnie Awa, who revealed that only 1% of the UK’s 35,000 salons currently cater for textured hair clients. “We need to work harder to create an inclusive environment for the products we use and the services we offer,” she said.

• Don’t be afraid to delegate. As a business owner you’re probably attempting to do the work of five full-time jobs. Keep hold of the parts where you know you bring value but ensure people with different strengths take care of the rest. As serial entrepreneur Samantha Cusick stated: “Take steps to work on your business, not in it. That includes delegating tasks, in order to create the time you need to work on your plans.”

 

“Salon Smart is like a litmus test for what’s actually happening in salons right now – what’s working well, what’s going wrong. It’s an event that takes a vast amount of information from real business owners and distils it into clear, thought-through ideas that you can use to plan for the future.”

Catherine Handcock, publisher, Creative HEAD

 

Phillip Bell, Ishoka, Aberdeen

Winnie Awa

Jenni Gibb, Charlie Miller, Edinburgh

Monica Teodoro

Jenni Gibb, Charlie Miller, Edinburgh

Samantha Cusick

Jenni Gibb, Charlie Miller, Edinburgh

Alison McRitchie

And there was so much more to listen to and think about at Salon Smart 2024. In other highlights:

Jordan Massarella and Benjamin Jones shared the clever thinking behind their new Massarella+Jones salon in Leamington Spa, from their collaborations with local online-only businesses (“We give them a shopfront, while we benefit from their social media presence”) to how they created a homely and welcoming salon experience that fully reflects their personalities and brand ethos (the bespoke wallpaper, created by a local artist, features nods to the duo’s pets, agricultural upbringing and even their tattoos).

Mark Ronayne of salon software expert Phorest alerted the audience to upcoming new legislation surrounding tipping – primarily targeted at unscrupulous behaviour within the hospitality industry but also, coincidentally, impacting on hairdressing – and offered excellent advice on how to stay compliant (there was plenty of note-taking during this session!).

Staying with software, Danny Coles of colour management system Vish showed how salon owners need to start looking at the cost of product, in order to price services more accurately and profitably. Other industries charge for every bit of product, he argued, whether that’s ordering an extra ‘side’ in a restaurant or a refill in a wine bar, while salons often lose out by not understanding the numbers (a Vish survey of 2,400 salons showed that one in five colour services are non-profitable). “Learn from your local garage,” said Danny. “They break down their invoice into parts and labour, and you need to start thinking that way too.”

Phillip Bell, Ishoka, Aberdeen

Jordan Massarella and Benjamin Jones

Jenni Gibb, Charlie Miller, Edinburgh

Mark Ronayne

Jenni Gibb, Charlie Miller, Edinburgh

Danny Coles 

The Resilient Hairdresser, Hayley Jepson, offered tips on recognising and dealing with burn-out, a condition she believes is leading people to exit the industry. Juggling a business with family life (and the logistical overwhelm that can involve) and the exhaustion that comes with having to be “creative on demand” can lead to feelings of joylessness and resentment and the realisation that you don’t do anything for yourself anymore. Hayley’s advice? “I prescribe fun! Put your phone away, focus on your family, go out on date nights with your partner and make time for other creative outlets that are non-work related. If you’re going to look after clients, you’ve got to take care of yourself first.”

Delegates were fully immersed in the Salon Smart experience, with the opportunity to ask questions after every session, as well as taking part in on-the-spot polls about their business. A Working Lunch session also provided valuable contact with brands providing transformative business support and innovative products and services, including L’Oréal Professionnel Paris, Phorest, Vish, Beauty Works, Glowwa and Moroccanoil.

For a full report from Salon Smart 2024, read the April issue of Creative HEAD magazine. Register for your free copy here.

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APPRENTICES ARE A RARE BREED – THIS IS HOW YOU FIND THEM

APPRENTICES ARE A RARE BREED – THIS IS HOW YOU FIND THEM

APPRENTICES ARE A RARE BREED – THIS IS HOW YOU FIND THEM

You want to train tomorrow’s talent, but new blood is hard to find. Salon owners making it work for them share their seven secrets.

Brian MacMillan, Justin Mackland, Josh Miller

Brian MacMillan, F&M Hairdressing, Glasgow. Justin Mackland, Ishoka, Aberdeen. Josh Miller, Charlie Miller, Edinburgh

If you’re a salon employer, you know just how tough it is to entice apprentices into hairdressing and barbering, with apprenticeship starts at a scary low. So, just how can you attract the next generation? With National Careers Week and Scottish Apprenticeship Week hitting this week, we’ve teamed up with The Industry – the CIC showcasing the brilliant opportunities that careers in hairdressing can bring – to help you find those talents of tomorrow.  

 

Speak to them where they live – on social media 

“Before applying for an apprenticeship, Gen Z’s will likely scope a hairdressing business out first on. social media, so it’s more important than ever to be active and current and on as many platforms as possible,” explains Josh Miller, managing director at Charlie Miller salons in Edinburgh. “Social media is the shop window to reach young people and helps them immediately see who we are as a company, what we believe in and what career opportunities are available. We try to make it easy for someone who is interested to get in touch.” 

 

Show off how much fun you’re having! 

“We live in a world where everyone is on their phones, so by creating fun, effective content you will attract the up-and-coming into your salon,” says Justin Mackland, stylist at Ishoka in Aberdeen. “An industry that is not familiar is daunting, so ensure you really grab the essence of how amazing your team are and how fantastic the salon is.” 

 

Get in with your local schools… and be approachable 

“We’re aware that being a luxury salon can be intimidating to teens; getting out into schools and becoming familiar figures in the community can really help to bridge that. Making connections early on and being open and honest about what to expect has garnered lots of interest,” says Josh Miller. “We are building a strong presence in local schools, and currently have a relationship with DYW (Developing the Young Workforce) in Edinburgh & The Lothians. This enables us to talk directly to interested pupils about pathways into the industry.”  

Phillip Bell, Ishoka, Aberdeen

Phillip Bell, Ishoka, Aberdeen

Jenni Gibb, Charlie Miller, Edinburgh

Jenni Gibb, Charlie Miller, Edinburgh

Share the success stories – so potential recruits can see what’s possible 

“We ensure that we shout about the success stories we pride ourselves on,” says Brian MacMillan of F&M Hairdressing in Glasgow. “It’s important for us to continue to showcase our offerings, the industry opportunities and the different paths available to attract a new generation of apprentices.” 

 

Know what makes them tick… and support their journey 

“As a mentor, ensuring your apprentices are up to date with where they are at with their training is essential,” says Philip Bell, creative director at Ishoka. “Spend time with your apprentices and find out what makes them tick in hairdressing.” 

 

The next gen wants to know who they’re working for – be transparent 

“These days, potential employees want to know about your values, who you are as a company, and what you stand for,” says Jenni Gibb, wellbeing & development manager at Charlie Miller salons. “They’re asking things like: “Is there a mental health policy? What is being done to reduce the carbon footprint? What’s the workplace wellbeing like?” 

 

Not everyone learns the same – show you’re cool with that! 

“We are currently training our management on neurodivergence awareness, to give as much support to our neurodivergent staff as possible,” says Jenni Gibb. “The emphasis is on ‘differences’ not ‘difficulties’. It may mean we need to change our approach when teaching, or that our employee may use out-of-the-box thinking when they learn. Coupled with this, we have an in-house mental health support team, who are available to all staff.” 

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THE IT LIST RETURNS WITH SIX TROPHIES WAITING TO BE CLAIMED

THE IT LIST RETURNS WITH SIX TROPHIES WAITING TO BE CLAIMED

IT’S BACK! THE ULTIMATE PLATFORM FOR FRESH YOUNG TALENTS

Calling all hair professionals aged 30 and under: the It List is on the hunt for six future faces of British and Irish hairdressing.

Miles Twist

Miles Twist – It List 2023 The One to Watch winner

There’s nothing like Creative HEAD’s It List Awards for young hair pros to showcase their talent and build their profiles. Now in its 14ᵗʰ year, the competition returns in 2024 with a mission to find the best young business-builders, creative forces, hard grafters, and game-changers – the names setting the barbering, session and salon spheres on fire!

Exclusively sponsored by industry legends ghd, and open to the owners and employees of salons, barber shops and other workspaces, as well as self-employed and freelance hair professionals based in the UK and Ireland – all aged 30 or under – there are six It List categories to choose from, collectively representing skill, vision, dedication and bucketloads of ambition.

It List Grand Final 2023

It List 2023 Grand Final

Entries will be judged by leading names from the worlds of hair, fashion, business, and media. Last year’s panels included digital creator Maddie Bruce; salon owner Errol Douglas MBE; talent agents from Art + Commerce and Streeters; and session stars Aaron Carlo and Leigh Keates. Finalists will be invited to attend the Most Wanted and It List Grand Final taking place in London on Monday 2 September. This hot-ticket event – hosted in the past by comedy giants like Russell Kane, Suzi Ruffell and Jack Whitehall – will bring together an all-star guest list to celebrate in style the stars of 2024.

Awaiting this year’s winners? A coveted It List trophy, a generous gift from ghd and an opportunity like no other to boost profile. Previous winners have gone on be signed by talent agents, work on Fashion Week teams in London, New York, Paris and Milan, present at industry events and even launch their own brands. It’s true: a place on the It List can be career-changing.

It’s free to enter the It List 2024. Entries must be submitted no later than 9pm on Monday 13 May.

For a full list of categories and entry instructions, click here.

It List Grand Final 2023

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