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5 Toxic Chemicals to Avoid in the Salon

Did you know: 1 in 5 hairstylists will suffer an illness directly related to the occupation? Hair Stylists are exposed to a wide range of toxic chemicals that we may not know about, until it’s too late.

This week we’re focusing on YOUR health and wellness, and the top 5 chemicals you SHOULD avoid.

Toxic Chemicals to Avoid in the Salon


Ammonia is the most common pH-adjuster in hair color. Its primary function is to open the cuticle and allow for pigment to penetrate. It’s a gaseous substance that’s not only bad for the hair, but for your overall health too. In fact, the World Health Organization and the United States Environmental Protection Agency classify it as TOXIC.

Why? Because it’s a highly corrosive substance used in commercial cleaning products and even explosives! Frequent exposure to ammonia can cause serious complications on the skin, not to mention damage to the eyes, liver, kidneys and lungs.

However, NOT ALL AMMONIA-FREE HAIR COLORS ARE CREATED EQUAL. It’s not enough to simply swap ammonia for Ethanolamine - we need to focus on the percentage of pH adjuster present in our formulas. The higher the pH, the more damaged hair can become. Ammonia-free hair color brands like Oway and Original & Mineral have a balanced formulation! Meaning, they contain a very LOW, optimal percentage of Ethanolamine mixed with ultra high percentages of nourishing organic ingredients that deliver real benefits to the hair and scalp. 



Used as preservative in cosmetics, formaldehyde has been linked to many illnesses like eye and throat irritations, asthma, developmental toxicity. In fact, it’s a known cancer-causing chemical. While many brands have removed “FORMALDEHYDE” in their ingredients list (thanks to the FDA), some have found a way to sneak this toxic chemical into their products through another chemical called Methylene Glycol.

Methylene Glycol is simply Formaldehyde mixed with Water, and releases Formaldehyde when heated with an iron or blowdryer. So if a product is claiming as “Formaldehyde-Free”, be sure to check the label and look for this ingredient.

3. PEGS or Polyethylene Glycols

PEGs are synthetic petrochemicals found in a wide range of cosmetics, including hair care and color products. When used in high percentages, PEGs make it easier for other harmful chemicals to penetrate the skin - and you don’t want that to happen. Why? It makes you vulnerable to illnesses and allergic reactions.

But remember: PEGS come in different sizes. Most PEGs are followed by a number, which represents the molecular size - like PEG-100. The lower the number, the smaller the molecular size of the PEG. So when molecules are small, the greater the ability to deliver undesirable ingredients into the skin and scalp.

Another factor to remember is the % level. If the PEG is listed first on the ingredients label, it means there’s a high % of PEGs in the product. If it is, throw it away! Several PEG compounds like Ethylene Oxide and 1,4 Dioxane were found to have carcinogenic ingredients by the International Journal of Toxicology. Ethylene Oxide was even used as a nerve gas in the World War II.



The dangers of synthetic fragrance are not always obvious to many of us. However, countless studies have shown that fragrance MAY contain chemicals that are full of hormone disruptors and carcinogens. Companies are not required to disclose the nearly 5,000 additional chemicals hiding under the guise of “Fragrance.”

So, why do regulatory agencies like the FDA give the ingredient “Fragrance” a pass? It was originally developed to protect a company’s proprietary perfume blend or trade secrets, under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1966. In other words, it protected Coty and Chanel No. 5 from copycats.

This allows companies to slip chemicals like benzene, styrene, phthalates and petroleum into their products without our knowledge. These toxins mimic the body’s hormones and disrupts the body’s normal functions.

PRO TIP: Go for products that use natural ingredients and essential oils for their fragrance and spell it out on their ingredients list. Not only do they smell amazing, they’re great for your health too!

5. Be careful with PIGMENTS.

This is very tricky territory for us hair stylists. Hair coloring, after all, is still a chemical process and we need pigments to give our clients the hair of their dreams. Some are highly sensitive to pigments like PPD or paraphenelynediamine. So for these types of clients, choosing hair color that either has a very low amount of PPD in it or PPD-free altogether is the best option.


Unlike consumer cosmetics, the Hairdressing Industry is less regulated, so these toxins may be hidden in your salon products without your knowledge.

It’s important to not single out just these chemicals I mentioned but to look at the formula as a whole. Many companies would “greenwash” their products by promoting them as Ammonia-Free when in fact - it’s still filled with toxic ingredients! Do the products have organic, natural ingredients in there that promote the health of the hair and scalp? Always remember that what’s included is just as important as what’s left out.

So as holistic hair stylists, it is crucial that you know about the ingredients in professional products you are using in your salon business to build trust and rapport with your clientele.

PRO TIP: Always Read the Label. Speak to the manufacturer and ask questions about their ingredients. Most importantly, choose brands that are committed to changing salons for the better.


4 Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas for Salons and Spas


Roses are red. Violets are blue. If you’re not planning your Valentine’s Day promotions yet, you might lose a few (dollars, that is).

Did you know: Valentine’s Day is the third largest consumer-spending holiday in the US, just behind the winter holidays and Mother’s Day?

In fact, this year Americans are expected to drop a collective $30 billion for gifts on February 14th, averaging $220 per person. Although this number is slightly lower than last year’s statistics, it’s a huge opportunity to get in on the promotions right now to capture those potential sales and clients.

So, here are some Valentine’s Day salon marketing ideas that will help you win the hearts of your holistic community.

Valentine’s Day Salon Marketing Ideas

1. Bundle up.


According to statistics, Valentine’s Day is when most spas make the most profit. With more couples opting for services like massage and spa treatments as presents, this is a great time to score some product sales as well.

Do you have Oway skincare products that need some push? Try bundling them with your couple’s massage service. How about offering a discount on your O&M hair styling products when your client comes in for a new 'do for her date? The possibilities are endless.

2. Make it a Galentine’s Day.

What’s a Galentine’s Day you ask? Usually celebrated on the 13th of February, it’s a special day when you and your girl friends get together and celebrate each other!

All you have to do is organize a spa party or a blowout-with-your-bestie kind of day where clients get to bring the special ladies in their lives and get a discount on services.

3. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like roses (or champagne).

Some clients may not have plans on Valentine’s Day and this is a perfect opportunity to show them how much they mean to you. As soon as they come in, greet them with a rose or a glass of champagne. Be sure to diffuse some relaxing essential oils and play your V-Day music playlist to set the mood in the salon.

Trust us when we say these small gestures of appreciation will never be forgotten.

TIP: Check with your state laws before offering wine or champagne. Some states require a license for alcohol consumption on their premises.


4. Gift cards galore.

Say what you will about gift cards but they’re actually a lifesaver for so many people. Especially men. Instead of accidentally buying something their significant others won’t like, gift cards can be transformed into something worthwhile.

Apart from that, gift cards are amazing marketing tools for your salon. Because they are passed on to people, they increase your business visibility and as a result, will expand your clientele.

Be sure to make your gift cards accessible though. Offering a digital option or e-gift card will not only ensure fast delivery, it’s good for the environment too! Not to mention, clients get to personalize their gift cards by choosing a design they like. If you don’t offer this option - we highly recommend that you do.

Have you started your salon promotions?Share your tried-and-tested Valentine’s Day promotions in the comments!


Salon Marketing Strategies to Elevate Your Salon Business in 2019

With the new year comes new opportunities to build and grow your salon business. But in order to take advantage of these opportunities, you need a solid salon marketing plan.

Here are some salon marketing strategies that will drive your business to new highs this year.

Salon Marketing Tips

1. Revisit your past year.

To get an idea of what you need to change and improve in the new year, you have to assess how your business performed with the marketing strategies you used.

The first step is to go over your past year’s marketing plan and identify which strategies and promotions gave positive and negative results. This way, you’ll know which strategies were effective for you and your business, and which ones you can do without in 2019.

As soon as you’ve completed this step, Salon Today recommends conducting a SWOT Analysis. This type of test identifies your business Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Your salon’s busy location is one Strength. Or, the fact that you’re probably one of the few holistic hair stylists in your community is a fantastic Opportunity you could use to your advantage. Social Media Marketing could be your Weakness, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn it into an opportunity to reach more clientele. Last but definitely not the least, do not forget to look into Threats that can potentially hurt your business and find solutions for them.


2. Write down your business goals for the year.

After evaluating your business performance last year, write down what you intend to achieve at the end of the year.

Do you want to increase your client list? Improve your client retention? Do you want to learn new hair cutting techniques? Or get certified in Oway and Original & Mineral? How about boosting your social media presence?

Having a clear idea of your goals will help you create an effective salon marketing strategy.


3. Create a Salon Marketing Calendar to guide your marketing decisions.

There’s no shortage of holidays to celebrate every month. As a business owner, it’s important to keep track of them, regardless of how bizarre and trivial they seem. You don’t have to participate in every holiday – simply find one (or a few) that works for you and your salon.


People are attracted to any thing that’s different, so your promotions are bound to get noticed by potential clients, especially online. Because holiday content is timely and attention-grabbing, incorporating it in your marketing strategy will certainly get you more traffic and engagement.

4. Step up your Instagram game.

Today, Instagram has more than 1 BILLION ACTIVE USERS. If your salon still doesn’t have an Instagram page, then sign up today because you’re missing out on tons of potential clients! I know there’s always new things happening with social media and sometimes it can seem overwhelming but making sure your presence is there is key for boosting your brand.

First things first: Be sure your salon’s Instagram is a BUSINESS ACCOUNT and not a personal one. Switching to a Business Account has a lot of perks:

  • People can easily contact you by phone or email through your business profile.

  • You get access to Instagram Insights - an analytics tool that provides real-time data about your demographic: their location, age group and their online behavior. You also get an insight into which type of content attracts followers and engagement. All of this data you can use to take your Instagram page and your business to the next level.

  • Most importantly, clients can now book through Instagram! They no longer have to call or go to another website or app to set an appointment, saving them time and giving you more bookings. Popular salon booking softwares like Vagaro and StyleSeat are already integrated into the platform. Making it easy for you to gain new clients!


Here’s the fun part: Instagram makes it so easy to run giveaways. All you have to do is post, create your own hashtag for easy tracking and require a follow, like or comment and people will come flooding your page. Holidays like Mother’s Day is always a great time to give back to clients. Things like Mother & Daughter Makeover Giveaway is a popular one among clients. Instagram Giveaways do not have to cost a lot - as long as it’s enough to make noticeable difference, like a haircut and gloss or partial highlights, then you’ll be sure to get a lot of engagement and even new clients out of it.

Take it a step further by putting together a basket giveaway, including products or prizes from other businesses within your holistic circle and post on each business’ Instagram page. This way, you get maximum exposure without spending a fortune.

With Instagram’s algorithm changing daily and usually not in the favor of small businesses it’s more important than ever to boost engagement and use every tool Instagram gives you to reach new and current clients!

5. Integrate Chatbots into your Facebook page.

First, does your business have a Facebook page? If not, we highly encourage you to get one. Social media is the new search engine, many young customers especially millennials and Gen Zs use Facebook and Instagram when searching for and verifying a business. The absence of a social media page will make them think twice about doing business with you. So if this year your goal is to increase your client list, you need to step up your social media game.


Second, as soon as you have your Facebook page set up, be sure to integrate chatbots. There are reports that some people are uncomfortable talking on the phone or face to face to ask questions or book an appointment, and chatbots are great at fulfilling such requests. In fact, reports over 45% of clients actually prefer interacting with chatbots for customer service, according to research.

Through the new Facebook Chatbot service, clients can:

  • Get answers to FAQs
  • Book an appointment
  • Perform cancellations
  • Get new offers or discounts
  • Order products
  • Many more!

As a busy hair stylist, this will help you to attend to your client’s needs online without even lifting a finger, allowing you to focus on your clients in the salon.

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5 Ways to Reduce Your Salon’s Environmental Impact

Did you know Hair Salons can be some of the biggest offenders of the environment? From excess water and electricity usage to all the plastic filling our oceans and landfills, salons produced a lot of waste.

In fact, over 150 million pounds of trash are produced in salons each year. But going green doesn't have to be hard and expensive.

Adopting more sustainable practices behind the chair can save the planet and your wallet. Here are five easy ways to reduce your salons environmental impact.

How to Go Green at the Salon

1. Choose more sustainable salon products.

Every dollar we spend is a vote for how we want the world to be. It's important to partner with brands and companies that are not only dedicated to the green movement but are pushing the needle in terms of sustainability.

It's not enough to just have products that can be recycled or use post-consumer plastic. We want to kick plastic out of salons altogether.

HERE'S WHY: Plastic never breaks down in the environment. And it's WEAK. Plastic is weak because it's not infinitely recyclable. What that means is that eventually, plastic cannot be recycled anymore because it has become too weak and compromised to be used as packaging. 

So what happens once you can't recycle plastic anymore? It ends up in our oceans and landfills. Not only is plastic harmful to wildlife and the environment, but it's also bad for us. 

Plastic leaches harmful chemicals into our products that we use on our heads every day. So, eliminating plastic in the salon is paramount.


THE ALTERNATIVE: Oway is a company that vowed to remove plastic packaging from all of their products. People told them they were crazy and that it couldn't be done. Well Oway makes the impossible possible.

For our products, we've chosen amber glass. Amber glass is infinitely recyclable. It's strong, durable and can be used again and again without losing strength.


Benefits of Amber Glass

But who needs to recycle when you can upcycle?

  • Amber glass is eye-catching and gorgeous and can be used to create all sorts of salon decor. You can use it to store your combs, clips and brushes.

  • Another benefit of amber glass is that it's an all-natural preservative. The dark color protects the product from UV light and lets you have more natural products without the harmful chemicals

You may be thinking: What about my tools, like brushes and bowls. Oway makes tools made from 100% corps straw. Corps straw is an all-natural renewable resource that can be transformed into strong, durable salon tools.

2. Encourage your team to be mindful their water consumption at the salon. 

Check all water fixtures for even the slightest leak. Even a slow drip can run up your water bill and waste as much as 300 gallons of water a month.

While looking at your water fixtures, consider implementing an eco-friendly alternative. For example, ECOHEADS reduces water and energy consumption by 65%.


3. Choose LED lighting.

LED light bulbs lower your energy consumption by 75% and last 25 times longer than traditional light bulbs, reducing your energy waste and electricity bill.

4. Implement a Salon Refill Program.

Having a Salon Refill Program is not only fun for your staff and clients, but it also has so many benefits for your business, your clients and the planet.

Implementing it is simple.

  • First, you need to create a refill station for your products in order to make this program a success.

  • You'll need to opt for professional-sized hair care and styling products.

  • Since you'll be saving money on product with this program, you can pass the discount along to your clients, breeding loyalty and retention


5. Choose air-purifying plants.

Instead of wasteful purifiers, you can choose plants to detoxify your salon. Pants like English Ivy and Peace Lily remove common salon toxins like ammonia, formaldehyde and excess CO2.

Now that you know 5 easy ways to go green in your salon, be sure to check out our other videos and articles that will help you change your salon to the better!

Sign up for our Holistic Hair Stylist Challenge 2019 and get the video straight to your email!


5 Healthy Habits Every Hair Stylist Should Practice

For many people, the New Year is a symbol of positivity and renewal. Everyone wants to be healthier and happier for their New Year’s resolution, but many end up falling back to the same place they were after a few weeks.

The secret: CONSISTENCY. Doing things consistently will help you develop the right habits, and when you do them long enough, these habits will eventually become part of you without even realizing it.

The same thing applies to work. As hair stylists, we use our bodies all day and come across people with different energies. But we come to accept this as “normal” that we tend to forget about our own well-being, eventually wearing us down.

This 2019, start the year right by investing in YOU FIRST. Check out Emotional Intelligence Coach Simi Pothen's tips on how to elevate your body and mind through daily habits and rituals.

Healthy Habits Hair Stylists Should Practice

10-Minute Mindful Meditation

A quick 10-minute meditation can make all the difference in your mental health. You can do it before you start your day, in between client appointments or at the end of the day when you want to let go of all the stress and negative energy.


Meditation Step-by-Step

  • Get a timer and set it to 10 minutes.
  • Find a comfortable, seated position and keep your back straight.
  • Relax your shoulders. Then, close your eyes.
  • Next, relax your face, bringing your attention to your breath. Let the natural rhythm of your breath flow.
  • If you mind begins to wander, slowly bring your attention back to your breath.
  • Practice for 10 minutes.

Yoga Poses for Hairdressers

As hairdressers, we put a lot of strains on our hands, shoulders and lower back. In fact, some of the top health issues many hair stylists face​​​ as they work in the profession are musculoskeletal disorders, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Upper and Lower Back Pain.

These Yoga Poses will help strengthen your body and prevent ailments.


  • Begin by making a fist. Then, circle your fists away from you.
  • Next, circle your fists towards your chest.
  • Do this five times each way for about 30 seconds.


  • Extend the right arm in front of you, with fingertips pointing to the ceiling.
  • Grab a hold of those fingertips, then gently press down.
  • Do this for five breaths on each hand and repeat as desired.
  • Do the same exercise again but with fingertips pointing down towards the floor.
  • Repeat as long as you need to.


  • Place your hands on your shoulders and make big circles with your elbows. Repeat 10 times.
  • Then, go to the opposite direction. Repeat 10 times.
  • Next, extend your arms to the opposite sides.
  • Bend your elbows, hugging the right arm towards you. Hold for five breaths.
  • Repeat the exercise on the other arm. Repeat as needed.
  • Finally, take your right arm over your head, dropping it towards the back.
  • With your left hand, grab your right hand. You can also use a towel or a strap to hold on to.
  • Hold for 10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Lower Back


  • Go into a seated position. Come to the edge of your seat.
  • Place your hand on your lap. Then begin to open up your chest and lengthen your neck.
  • Look up as you inhale. As you exhale, round your back, tucking your chin towards the chest.
  • Continue to do this flow for 10 breaths with rests in between.


  • Next, bring your feet up on the chair. Bend your knees and hug them with your arms.
  • Drop the chin towards the chest.
  • Hold for about 10 breaths and repeat as needed.


  • Finally, drop your upper body down.
  • Relax your shoulders and tuck your chin towards the chest.
  • Hold for five breaths and slowly rise up.

Stay Hydrated!

As hair stylists, we can’t just survive on hairspray-laced coffee. Drinking the right amount of water will not only help you flush out toxins and maintain healthy skin, but it also greatly improves your brain function and energy levels.

In fact, studies have shown that the brain is strongly influenced by our hydration status. Mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function, including concentration and mood. In young women, for example, fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise causes drastic mood changes as well as increased frequency of headaches.

So how much water should you drink every day?


“Breakup” with Troublesome Clients & Toxic Salon Cultures

Hairdressers deal with people with different personalities all the time, and sometimes this can take a toll on our well-being. It is our belief that every situation can be approached with love and understanding but there are unique instances wherein it’s absolutely necessary to cut ties for the sake of our mental and emotional health.

When setting personal boundaries, the first step is to be mindful of the situation and your emotions. Nothing good arises from reacting emotionally. If anything, it will only cause more tension between you and your client or colleague. See where they are coming from and calmly explain your side. If the person persists with their toxic behavior, then it is best to let go.

This will not only improve your health, but it will also allow more space for more positivity to come into your life.


Aromatherapy: Diffusing Essential Oils

We’ve all heard about the magic of essential oils, but are they really THAT powerful? Tons of research have proven the health benefits of Lavender, Rosemary, Citrus Fruits and Lemongrass. Essential oils are simply concentrated extracts of these plants and more.

When diffused, essential oils instantly elevate the mood at home and the salon. They are also proven natural stress relievers, energy boosters and focus enhancers.

Now that you have these 5 healthy habits, use them to create better, much-improved version of yourself this 2019.

Sign up for our Holistic Hair Stylist Challenge 2019 and get the video straight to your email!


2018 Salon Holiday Gift Guide: Holistic Gift Ideas That Won’t Disappoint


We still have a few days before the holidays, but it’s never too early to start preparing your salon for the most wonderful time of the year! As always, you can rely on Simply Organic Beauty to come up with the best holiday gift ideas for your salon and clients.

For many gift buyers, finding the right present can be a huge quandary. So we thought - why not create kits that are tailored according to personality or moods?  What's more, these kits come in beautifully packaged boxes and bags so your clients don't even have to worry about gift wrapping! 

Holistic Holiday Gift Guide

For Adventure Lovers

This is a client who visits your salon once or twice a year because she's off traveling, living the nomad life somewhere.

The Oway Tireless Gift Box contains a selection of Oway's daily hair care essentials - Frequent Use Hair Bath and Mask. These nourishing dailies help combat everyday stress travelers are often exposed to, thanks to the Biodynamic Lemon and antioxidant-rich Organic White Tea in the formula.

It also comes with a 50 mL Oway Remedy Hand Balm for to keep the skin moisturized with Organic Chia Butter and Fair Trade Patauà Oil wherever she goes.

For the Daring and Courageous

Passionate people are always up for a dare. They never shy away from trying new things. For people that exhibit these characteristics, our Oway Intrepid Gift Box is the ideal holiday present.

It features a grooming set from our new Oway Men's Collection: Oway Softening Shaving Cream and Oway Repairing Aftershave Balm. These shaving duo prep, soften and soothe the skin for a silky finish - just in time for the holidays.

For the Selfless and Loyal

They say friends come and go, but a stylist is forever.

Oway's The Accomplice Gift Box is made for those precious clients who've stuck with you for years - they're practically family.

A 3-in-one set  that includes our Oway Moisturizing Hair Bath, Mask and Glossy Nectar, these products nourish and hydrate the hair - perfect for those whose selflessness and kindness shine from the inside out.

For the Purehearted

For that one client who sees the good in everyone.

Oway's The Authentic Gift Set Box is a body care set that features Oway Detox Body Bath and Oway Velvet Body Fluid - two certified products that purify and transform dull skin with biodynamic - organic botanicals.

These beauty products use Organic Echinacea and the Plant of Immortality to improve skin conditions and stimulate lipid synthesis, revealing the beauty within.

For the Elegant and Alluring

We all have that client who manages to look elegant and chic no matter the occasion. Packaged in sophisticated gold satin box, our limited edition Oway Velluto lip balm makes for a great holiday gift for this type of client.

More importantly, this organic lip balm is made with a simple, yet effective blend of vegetable waxes, nourishing butters and essential oils that repair, moisturize and protect dry, chapped lips.

For the Expressive Personality

Some clients love to express themselves through hair, and Original & Mineral's Holiday Kits give just that.
Whether your client loves voluminous, textured or polished looks, our O&M Hydrate & Conquer, Fine Intellect and Maintain the Mane will never disappoint!

O&M Hydrate & Conquer Kit: O&M Hydrate & Conquer Shampoo & Conditioner + Frizzy Logic Shine Spray

O&M Fine Intellect Kit: O&M Fine Intellect Shampoo & Conidtioner + Atonic Thickening Spritz

O&M Maintain the Mane Kit: O&M Maintain the Mane Shampoo & Conditioner + Style Guru Styling Cream

For the Go-Getter

Hardworking women carry so much on their plates that sometimes they forget to stop and relax.

Our Oway De-Stress Kit contains our 100% natural soap Oway Materia, Oway Lamina for carving bath melts, and Giara storage jar to create a relaxing beauty ritual at home.

To complete the ritual, you can also upgrade to the Oway Hair Care + Materia Gift Set to gift your client with our Oway Moisturizing Hair Bath and Mask, in addition to the soap and stainless steel grater.

Have you done your holiday shopping yet? Let our specialists help you find the right holiday gifts for your clients and loved ones. Call us at 1-888-213-4744!


7 Salon Marketing Ideas for a Fun, Rewarding Holiday Season


The holidays are the most anticipated season of the year for entrepreneurs. People are more open to trying out products and services, so it’s the perfect opportunity to step up your salon’s marketing game. Even though it’s still over a month before the holiday cheer is in full motion, it’s better to be prepared.

Whether you’re a chair renter or a salon owner, these holiday marketing ideas will surely help boost your salon’s brand and profits this festive season.

Salon Marketing Ideas for the Holidays

Create special gift packages.

We don’t know about you, but picking out gifts is a tough task, especially for men. Having special gift packages ready for purchase takes away the guesswork and time from choosing the most fitting present for their loved ones. Plus, this is also a great strategy to sell your remaining inventory with little discount.

PRO TIP: Organic lip balms and travel sizes are great giveaways for clients as well. By having these on hand, you’re not only giving them a free gift, but it also gives them a chance to try out new products.

Set up a photo booth corner.


People love taking selfies and having content to post on social media, so having a photo booth corner where they can take pictures after they’ve had their hair done is a brilliant way to promote your business. Don’t forget to tell them to give your salon a shout out in their caption to give your business that extra exposure.

PRO TIP: Strategically place your brand logo, social media, and products as backdrops for your selfie station. But make sure they look elegant and subtle, so the photo doesn’t look like an advertisement when your clients post it online.

Image Credit: Refinery29

Hashtag it.

To succeed as a small business owner in this digital age, you must learn how to use the internet and social media to your advantage. Instagram and Facebook are currently social media platforms with almost 3 billion active users combined.

In order for clients and potential clients to easily find your business, create a unique and memorable hashtag for your salon’s holiday campaign. This will help set you apart from the many salons in your area and allow you to keep track of your campaign.

Post live tutorials.

Post a live tutorial of this season’s hottest hair styles and colors. By doing so, your clients and prospective clients will know how skillful you are and what you have in store for them this season.

According to research, users who watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service subsequently bought it. Buyers nowadays do not have much time to read long reviews and product descriptions. They want to see the product in action. Videos can do those and more in only a few minutes.

PRO TIP: While painting and styling the hair, make sure the products you’re using are displayed in full view. Describe to the viewers how to use them, their benefits, and how it makes the hair feel to entice them to purchase.

Organize charity events.

The holiday season is a great time to show much you care for your community. As holistic hair stylists, our purpose extends far beyond making money. Organizing and joining charity events will show your clients how committed you are to your mission. For instance, you can donate beauty products you no longer use to local women’s shelters and non-profit organizations like The Beauty Bus or Project Beauty Share.

PRO TIP: Make it a collaborative effort by encouraging your clients to join your gift-giving event. Set up a box at the reception area where clients can drop off unused beauty products.

Simply Organic Beauty Technical Education Director Rebecca Gregory with Hannah's Homeless rep for our #GreenGiftProject event last year,

Partner with other organizations.

The holidays are a great time to expand your reach. Plenty of organizations and businesses will be holding special events during this time of year. Connect with holistic health groups, environmental organizations, theater communities, or any group that may need the services of a salon professional. Doing so will help you tap into a new client base.

Update your voicemail greeting.

Nothing beats a nice greeting to get your clients excited for the holidays. Do not forget to include in your voicemail an invitation to book online in case clients call during closed hours. This will help prevent your client from going to other stylists in case of hair emergency.

Have you done any successful holiday promotions in the past? Share them below!

Check out our holiday specials!

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The Art of Suggestive Selling: Tips & Tricks to a Painless Salon Retail Experience

Not all hairstylists are salespersons – and if we’re truly honest about it, most would prefer not doing it if it won’t affect their income. It’s true: we’re in the service business, but selling retail provides more benefits than simply additional profit.

Apart from helping build our bottom line, sending our clients home with stylist-recommended products helps them maintain and re-create their new salon ‘do at home, which in turn improves our reputation and credibility as a professional in our community. Yes, hair care products are readily available online but according to a study, 71% of consumers actually still prefer speaking to a professional when making purchasing decisions.

So how can we overcome our sales phobia? While there’s nothing we can do about nerves, there are certain techniques we can do to increase our retail sales, especially this holiday season.

Salon Retail Tips & Tricks

Make the most of your consultation.

Start talking about the products as early as the consultation. Asking the client how they maintain their hair at home will tell you right off the bat if they are a product person or not. If they don’t spend much time getting ready then you can suggest a multi-use product that offers many benefits.

For example, Oway Glossy Nectar not only hydrates the hair, it also protects from heat damage, speeds up blow-drying time, increases shine, and maintains frizz. Or the Oway Boho Pomade or Sea Salt Spray, which help give hair some added texture without adding heat.

Selling your client multiple products at the same time will overwhelm them, and more likely discourage them from purchasing anything. Start with one product at a time, letting them know that in order to maintain the look they want to achieve requires the use of a professional product.


Know your products.

The more you know, the more you grow. Make sure you know the benefits of each product by heart, as well as a unique feature that your client might identify with.

For instance, Original & Mineral hair care and styling products are vegan and gluten free. If your client loves essential oils, she would be thrilled to know that Oway hair care and styling products only uses pure, organic essential oils as fragrance.


“When you have clean, non-toxic products that smell amazing, there’s no need to push the products! They truly sell themselves,” says Bridgette D’Angelo, owner and master stylist at Head Rush Salon in Enfield, CT. “I like to ask the client while walking them to the front desk if they are out of any products at home. This gives them the opportunity to say what they need so you can recommend the perfect product!”


“I simply try to stay genuinely excited about the products. If I’m excited, clients are too. If I ooh and ah over the extra shine or volume, they take notice. Especially because oftentimes it’s hard for them to believe a natural line can achieve such amazing results,” suggests Kaila Ward, stylist extraordinaire from Burlington, VT.

PRO TIP: Teach your front desk staff about your products so they can help close the sale at the end of the service when you don’t have time. If you can spare a moment, be sure to remind them about the product they showed interest in. “This is the serum that I used on your damp hair that smelled really good. A dime size is all you need to maintain your hair like this.” Suggestions like this, especially when it comes to products that don’t run out quickly, will usually entice them to purchase.

Educate the client.

Most people have a ton of products under their bathroom sink, but do they know what exactly they are for?

When washing and styling the client, let them know what you are using, how much to use, and how to use the product. When they know exactly what the product does, they will feel like they’ve had a lesson and that they are able to achieve that “salon look” when they go home to do it.

“I love asking the clients about their hair, what they love, what they hate, how they style, what products they are using now. This is your chance to just simply talk about the products you have to help them with these issues or suggest cleaner products to use in replace of!” adds Bridgette.

However, some clients will say: “Oh I have something just like that at home!” As the stylist, respond positively but be sure to let them know that it may not have the “ingredient” or “benefit” of what you just used on them. This will make them think twice and possibly earn you a sale.

“When I’ve noticed a client has become more intrigued it’s a segue to go a bit deeper and educate them about where the ingredients come from and how it’s all made. I try to be mindful about where the conversation is heading, and I tend to let the clients ask the questions. I think the mindset is shifting and people are appreciating things that are not only high quality, high performance and natural but more importantly, ethically made. So educating clients and allowing them to be part of the process and become the deciders has really worked. It’s great when they realize they are voting for cleaner beauty with their dollars and in the end it’s beneficial for all.” And we totally agree with Kaila.

“If the conversation naturally goes in that direction, I’ll explain what I’m using and why but clients notice such a difference in their hair without me having to push it on them, they just have to have it for themselves. Also, picking the right products for their hair needs is what being a professional is all about. And that builds trust.”

Keep a record of your client’s past purchases.

Knowing what your clients purchased in the past and what their favorites are gives you an opportunity to introduce the other products you have.

Our clients’ hair needs depend on a lot of factors. Is the season changing? Is she experiencing scalp issues? Use these cues to recommend products that they might need. Sometimes they might even thank you for doing so.


“I also like to point out things I notice, such as dry scalp, thinning hair, or dry ends. I suggest some retail and normally they take the bait!  Once they use a product they are hooked to the line and re-selling is super easy,” shares Bridgette.

For the lower maintenance clients, you can recommend a shampoo, conditioner, and one styling product. While clients who spend more time on their hair give you more styling products to recommend.

PRO TIP: When recommending, always suggest at least 3 products you used during the service since they already have an idea what the products feel and smell like. Go an extra mile by letting them hold, smell or touch the product. Involving the senses is a tried-and-tested strategy on how to boost salon retail product sales.


Create eye-catching packages for every occasion.

Bundle slow-moving products with hot sellers. During the holidays, people typically buy more in packages so including a discontinued product or a product that does not sell well with a crowd favorite, such as a color protection shampoo or a purple shampoo, is an easy way to increase your revenue while making space for new inventory.

Having pretty displays and packaging also plays a huge role in the sale. When done perfectly, you don’t even have to say anything. Clients will be naturally drawn to the products.

PRO TIP: Throw in a free gift like an organic lip balm or wrap it in a pretty packaging that they can re-use. According to a study, 90% of customers are more likely to purchase after receiving a gift, and even more likely to refer your business to their friends and family.

Pre-order our Salon Holiday Kits!

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Four Types of Difficult Clients & How to Handle Them, According to Hairstylists


As holistic hairstylists, we do not only cut and color hair. We create experience. But no matter how much we strive to provide a positive atmosphere and preserve healthy stylist-client relationships, once in a while we come across people who will put our patience and mettle to the test.

As every client is different, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to such situations. However, it does not mean you can’t prepare for it.

We reached out to our #HolisticHairTribe to chat about their encounters with different types of difficult clients and how they handle them. Check them out below!

Types of Difficult Clients & Scenarios

The Indecisive Client

Don’t we love it when our clients trust our abilities as their hairdresser? But at the same time, we also want them to leave our space satisfied by our service so it’s also important that they clearly communicate their expectations. Unfortunately, not all clients know what they want.

“This incident happened about seven months after opening my salon,” according to Mariatu “Tu” Brown, founder of Tu Organics LLC. “I had just finished up with my last client and cleaning up because I was done for the day. Then a car pulled up in front of my salon, and saw an older gentleman and woman turning around to walk back to their car. I asked them how I can help them, and the gentleman told me he wanted a buzzcut all around. I told him since a buzzcut is quicker than scissor and clipper cuts, I’ll cut his hair for $15.00. He agreed to the price and I started to cut his hair. Half way through the cut, he said that’s not what he wanted. I was shocked! This man and I spoke for five minutes about his haircut and the price, now he is telling me everything I heard was completely wrong.

“I finished his hair cut and told him I won’t charge him for the cut. That it was Sunday and my blessing for his hair cut will come from above. After I said that, that is when he offered to pay me, but I refused and politely told him to please never come to my salon again.”


“Consultation is very important. Take more than five minutes to actually consult with your clients. Having a clear understanding about what your clients want will ensure you meet their needs, not to mention protect you from a lawsuit in the future.”

The Color Correction Nightmare

As creatives, there’s nothing in the world that would make us happy than giving our clients the hair of their dreams. But as holistic hair stylists, the health of the hair comes first.

When clients come in for an appointment with a picture of the hair they want, they only see the end result, and not the process. This is an all-too-common dilemma that many of us face, one that Kai Fujimoto had to endure for 16 hours.

“My client has been coloring her hair with box black dyes for over 10 years, but stopped dying because she wanted to have pastel blue hair. I have been cutting her hair for 3 years but never colored her. Her hair was about 20” long, natural level 4 with a 2-inch regrowth.


“I told her even if we did color removal treatment and bleach so many times, her hair would be compromised before she got to that level I could show pastel blue on her hair. I suggested that it would be in her best interest to have dark blue instead of pastel blue, so we can lift her hair to a level 6-7.

“But she declined to the dark blue and wanted to know of any other alternatives. After talking it over with her, we decided to have Balayage and have Dark Brown Balayage and wait for her hair to grow more. That was 2 years ago.

“After she had the Balayage hair for a year, she told me she still couldn’t give up on getting pastel blue hair. She was willing to have her hair cut to shoulder length if she needed to. Her new growth was only 5-7 inches long. We had talked many times on what other options I could do for her, but she wanted to give it a try anyways with the possibility of getting pastel blue. After I agreed to do what she asked, she also voiced her concern about the total cost of the service. She knew it would be an intense color correction. For these types of services, I usually charge hourly since it was going to be quite a lengthy session to do what she wanted. Because she is a regular client of mine and I knew her budget, I quoted a regular price instead. I quoted her the price of how it would be as if she was getting color removal treatment, a whole head bleach, and toner.

Suffice to say, the client changed her mind midsession and wanted to keep her hair as long as possible, which took Kai more than 16 hours. “As I expected, the mid-level ends were lifted at a level 6-7, so I told her there was no choice left but to have all dark blue or pastel blue into dark blue colormelt. We ended up doing pastel blue – dark blue – dark violet colormelt.”


“In the end, the regular price I quoted barely covered the cost I spent for the colors and the bonder and foils I used on her… I also ended up getting sick as a result from overworking myself. That was a turning point for me to switch to hourly charge for any color corrections, as well.”

Lost in Translation

What makes hairdressing such a rewarding career for us hairstylists is we get to make people happy by simply transforming their look. Unfortunately, it can also turn into a very stressful situation for all involved if there’s a communication problem.

Tyler Fenix of Beelay Hair Design had a client who had just moved from Venezuela and had done her hair 2 times within the first year she came. “I had not seen her for maybe 8 or more months since her second visit. Her accent and English were difficult to understand, but I feel like I am pretty thorough in consultations, so we seemed to have good communication in the first two sessions. On those visits we did traditional foil highlight-bleach/tone, from her NL- 3, toned to an ashy 7. Then a “V” cut with lots of texturizing.

“I was happy to see her. I made tea, consulted and found she wanted Balayage. I explained this was a technique, but might not be best for her since she was showing me a photo from Pinterest of a Platinum level 20 – Super Blonde – which I am sure was photo enhanced.

“I had to express this in many variations due to the language difference. I even went to a woman a few suites down to help me translate the concept of golden and not platinum, as well as using swatches and exhaustively explaining that she had previous color (which I knew was not from our last visit, leading me to think there had been a color elsewhere in the time she was missing) all over which would cause much, much warmth to be revealed. I told her in several ways, how it would take several visits to safely get her past a level 7/8, but I would always be concerned more about the health of her hair. She became increasingly irritated, then said “Let’s just do the balayage.” She shook her head yes when I asked once more if she understood it would be gold. It took me 3 hours for a full head of Balayage, then Toner.

“As soon as she got to the chair she complained it was gold! She began to escalate in her manner and level of anger.

“At this point I was completely without any energy left. I had no more capacity to explain anything else. She threatened not to pay, among other things. It took me hours but I had successfully achieved a level 8.3 natural looking blended highlight. She was still going on about the photo with the platinum blonde.”

“Sadly, I knew in those last moments that I should have never said yes to this situation. That I had made my first mistake accepting the job knowing there was a wall around her preventing her from understanding reality, and based on her personal unattainable visual goal. Of course I said all of this at the beginning, but I didn’t listen to my intuition because I am also in business to make money.

“So I told her this was the end of the road. She didn’t understand and I had no translator at this point. I told her we could no longer have a successful working relationship. I also strongly suggested she find a colorist who was able to communicate with her in Spanish in order for her to understand fully. It was not fun, pretty or pleasant.”


With social media dictating the trends these days, you would often come across clients with unrealistic expectations. Tyler adds, “Today balayage has morphed into an end result that seems to be almost the same as pulling lightener through the entire mids/ends.

“Because of social media, the expectation is often not reasonable for everyone.

“I am seeing so much out there looking like a double process was done, with heavy damage that I have to fix before being able to do anything else (and most do not want to pay for that). So ultimately it is a technique that I feel has been misrepresented by a plethora of practitioners, making more work where it may not be needed.”

Unrealistic Expectations

Unrealistic expectations are the root of many stylist-client misunderstandings. Oftentimes, they don’t end well. Abigail Waldrum of Lucky Cat Salon knows this all too well.

“My worst scenario, as they often are, was with a lovely person who was unrealistic in their expectations. The people pleaser in me jumped on board and ignored reality to try and make unrealistic dreams come true. I set myself up for failure.

“I went with the client’s desires and chased hard, too hard after something the hair could not do. Neither of us were happy in the end.

“In hindsight, I should have discussed realistic options that were achievable and healthier for the hair.”


“I learned that we see people pleasing as a form of niceness. It most certainly is not. I am the professional. If a client comes to me with unrealistic goals it is my job to say so… So, my consultations have gotten more thorough. I continue to take classes every opportunity I can to improve my technical skills and consultation skills. And I say no when something is too risky. I take my job seriously even as much fun as it is. Integrity is an important part of building trust with clients. By saying what is and isn’t possible you show that integrity. Backing that up with skill seals the deal. Lesson learned.”

Mindset is everything.

Difficult clients are a normal part of being in the business of making people happy. More often than not, these types of clients are only difficult because they are seeking out help to fix something that they feel isn’t going right for them, according to Bailey Simon of Periwinkle Beauty Studio.

“That may not be only pertaining to their appearance, it could be something on the inside that they don’t want to see as a positive aspect about themselves. When in fact that aspect is actually a wonderful characteristic. I feel it is my place to help them to recognize that there isn’t actually a problem that they are having, but to help them see they are the creator of their ‘problem’. It is my job to help them focus not on the negative perception that they have of themselves, but to help them find a solution to love themselves for all of who they are inwardly and outwardly,” she adds.


So what’s the best way to handle such clients? Bailey suggests being that positive light and voice. “Look at them with love, and help them find ways to accentuate their inner and outer beauty.

“Wayne Dyer once said, “The difference between a flower and a weed is a judgment.” It applies to stylists everyday with every client. It is our job to bring our clients more than just an outwardly joy, we should be stirring up joy inside of them that is lasting and impacts their soul.

After all, we are holistic hair stylists and we are responsible for tending to the whole self of our clients: mind, body and soul.”

In the end, it’s all about finding that healthy balance between self-love and service to others. Make your clients happy, but always trust your judgment as the professional.

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6 Ideas to Beat Your Salon’s Summer Slowdown


They don’t call it the summer blues for nothing.

More no shows, less appointments. This time of year can be frustrating at salons. However, with the right promotions and plans in place, you could make this season your most productive, yet!

Here are 6 Ideas to Beat the Salon Summer Slowdown!

1.   Change your service menu by adding summer solutions.

Just like a restaurant changes their menu according to season, salons should, too.

Think about the beauty woes of summer and how you – the professional – can offer a solution to unruly frizz and increased dryness and damage caused by over exposure to environmental aggressors, such as UV rays, heat, pool minerals, etc.

Take a look at some of the most common summer hair stresses below (plus, some holistic-minded remedies)!

Problem: Frizz & Dryness

Solution: Non-Toxic Keratin Smoothing Treatment


Problem: Color Fading & UV Damage

Solution: Oway Sunway – A Professional Collection of Sun Protective Products


2.   Attend a class.

Summer marks the calm before the holiday storm — now’s the time to attend classes and brush up on any skills before the busiest time of year.

Pro Tip: If traveling for education, take a few extra days to explore the area and use the entire trip as a tax write-off! Check out some upcoming Education classes we have going on around the country below:


Mobile, AL

Seattle, WA

Sacramento, CA

Atlanta, GA

New York City, NY

Sunday, July 29th

Monday, August 6th*

Sunday, August 12th

Monday, August 13th*

Monday, August 20th*


Minneapolis, MN

Seattle, WA

Atlanta, GA

New York City, NY

Sunday, July 22nd

Sunday, August 5th*

Sunday, August 12th

Sunday, August 19th*

*Indicates 2-day class pass available (SAVE 50%)!

3.   Improve your business skills.

We’re over half way through 2018, are you meeting all of the salon business goals you set for yourself? If not, that’s okay – summer is a great time to re-visti some of your goals.

Take this extra time to do a full audit of your salon’s operations. Is your salon website up to date? Are you keeping up with your social media? How long has it been since you’ve raised your prices?

We have tons of free salon business education waiting for you!


4.   Follow up early.

With many clients going on holiday this season, many of them would forget to show up for an appointment. The best way to prevent no-shows and habitual tardiness is to remind them days in advance.

A cancellation window is great, but anything can happen in 48 or 24 hours. Send them text alerts one to two weeks early and the day before to allow you and your client to make appropriate changes to the schedule, or let you know they can’t make it. For a more personal touch, ask your receptionist to follow up on appointments days ahead by phone to get a verbal confirmation from the client. This way, you would also know straightaway if the client is planning to cancel or not.

Pro Tip: Having a cancellation fee in place is an effective way to reduce no-shows. Emphasize this detail during your conversation and watch them think twice about not showing up 😊

5.   Join or organize a Green Event.

What better way to beat the summer slump than dedicating your time to a good cause? Organize green events like the newest fitness craze “plogging” with your fellow holistic hair stylists and salons within your local community. Plogging is an environmental workout event that began in Sweden wherein people would go out for a run with a trash bag and plastic gloves, picking up litter along the way.

Doing this event will not only help you and your colleagues stay fit, but it will also help reduce garbage in your area. Plus, you and your salon might also get extra brownie points for being an eco-friendly business. It’s win-win situation for you, your business and the planet.

6.   Run a FREE Summer Haircut Contest.

Are your social media pages facing a slump in engagement as well? Doing an online campaign will not only increase your social media engagement but will also help increase awareness of your brand and business.

Giveaways and contests like FREE haircuts or treatments as prizes always draw a crowd. For example, you can ask your audience to like and share the contest on Facebook or Instagram, and choose a winner at the end of the promo period.

Everyone loves getting a new look during the summer, so you’ll never know how many of your contest participants will become a lifelong client. 🙂

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