Many high street businesses are facing challenging times, but these local hero salons are stronger than ever
Craig Chapman Hair Design,
For Craig and his team down in Launceston in Cornwall, social media is both a blessing and a burden when it comes to clients. “On the positive side, we get exposure we wouldn’t otherwise get, but on the challenging end of the scale, people’s expectations have soared and some believe we can give them a ‘filtered’ look in real life,” he muses. “Makeovers take skill, time, knowledge and experience; they can’t be done in an hour’s walk-in appointment. And a lot of celebrity looks are actually wigs!”
His team is constantly working hard to educate their customers and offer a clearer understanding of cost, time and techniques needed to give them #Instaready looks. “We have had a solid relationship with Redken for years, with endless in-salon training options and product support for all our out of salon work.”
These training and support capabilities have helped the team’s potential to flourish and diversify: “We’re now probably known for the work we do outside of the salon as much as in!” Craig says, referring to his Hairdotcom agency that offers hairdressers outside of London the chance to work on big name projects. “We’ve looked after the hair for The Voice UK for the past three years, and parts of other shows such Britain’s Got Talent, The X Factor, Guess the Star and so on. Working in other sectors of the hair world is a driving force for our team.”
Ministry of Hair,
At Ministry of Hair, owner Toby Meyer has made sure his salon is hitting back against the home hair experience
by offering consistently excellent customer service.
And Redken has been there since the beginning. “When I first opened, in 1997, I was looking for a brand that motivated my vision,” explains Toby. “Redken was it – leading the way in professional colour, backwash treatments, styling and homecare retail ranges.”
Now in its 22nd year of business, five team members have been there for more than 20 years. There’s a family feel to the salon that helps it stand apart. “It’s no longer enough to just bring your hair A-game,” Toby insists. “You have got to bring it to customer service. Excite your clients and get them thinking about their next appointment before they leave.
“Go back to basics and remember the little things, all the parts of their visit: from the meet and greet, their refreshments, the backwash experience and so on. From a quick fringe trim to a colour restyle, make all of the parts of their visit special – and all about service.”
His team embraces the digital age to keep clients satisfied: “Ask to use your client’s phone to film while you’re styling their hair, offering tips that they can take home like their own personal YouTube video, so they don’t need to search any further than their own amazing stylist.”
At Neo Hairdressing, monitoring client feedback online is a key focus to keep them top of the game. “As hairdressers we can go round and round in circles about why we don’t get more clients, but we’re more interested in getting on with attracting new clients,” says owner Nico Neo. “We’ve found it’s a combination of the online presence and reviews – and you can’t have one without the other. People might be able to find you, but don’t know if you’re any good, or they hear you’re good but can’t find any information about you online. That’s where the majority of our new business comes from. Bad reviews can seriously damage business and I still can’t believe there are so many top salons that don’t try and correct it, or at least respond to reviews. It’s shocking.”
Neo has stepped up its appeal locally and the team regularly sharpens its skills with Redken’s varied training options. “Redken’s training is second-to-none. Our stylists always come back inspired and motivated.” Keeping a competitive edge is key, and Nico’s attention is wholly focused on making sure his team are competing with salons across the capital, not just his local area: “We really try to keep abreast of all the service quirks you would find in a top West End salon. From online booking to branded crockery and refreshments – we try to keep up.”
Adapting quickly to trends and shifting retail patterns has been a key factor in the success of John Hession’s Chesterfield salon. “The industry changes and we always have to adapt to remain competitive,” he insists. “We constantly invest in the latest technology, new products and techniques to ensure that we always offer the highest quality of service and care to all our customers.”
By focusing on staff training and investment, John feels secure in the knowledge that he is offering a top-notch service that sees customers return in droves. “Our collaboration with Redken has always been on the basis of using the best products to deliver the best hair service on the market. In two decades we have built on customer trust,” he explains. “We make every effort necessary to understand our customers’ needs and develop a great relationship.
“This relationship is built on trust, which allows us to be creative and offer a personalised service tailored to every client’s needs.”