Lindsay McManus
We are constantly trying to promote ourselves as a salon that keeps up to date with fashion and regular training courses, and this year we also had a Scottish finalist in Trend Vision. What else can we do to get our name out there?

I always think the promotion of your stylists and salon is an important issue and it sounds as though you are a very forward thinking salon.

When I was starting out I got involved in local events and fashion shows which I found was a great way of building a consumer profile. My next step was to start to build a photographic portfolio.

Photo sessions can be expensive but to get the most out of the day try to go for 8 finished looks and release only 4, then 5-6 months later release the other 4. That way you get the most mileage out of the cost involved.

Media really is the best way forward to get your name out there and never take no as a final answer.

There are so many national and international magazines always looking for new images. They won’t come to you so you must go to them. Also, be aware that whilst the trade magazines might want to see something a little more edgy, the consumer magazines look for more commercial looks for their readers. Perhaps you can take this into account when preparing your photographic plan. Ultimately you need to decide who it is you want to impress.

Keep your staff up to date with what is going on in our industry, this can be as simple as buying a subscription to a trade magazine such as Hairdressers Journal or Creative Head and leaving it in the staff room. Hairdressers need to be inspired all the time to stay up to date and motivated.

Kirsty Barrie
Education has once again become key in the salon and we are constantly strengthening our skills and studying current trends but obviously must charge accordingly which makes us known as an “expensive salon”.¬†What is a good way to promote additional services such as hair ups, luxury blow drys etc to clients? And to make potential clients understand why we have to charge what we do?

If you want a job done properly you usually have to pay more and I know the problem you are having – quality always costs. My answer to you is to look at what happens the second the client walks in the door, make sure they are made to feel special every step of the way so they know they are in a quality salon.

Your customers’ experience is paramount to your charging rate and to stay on top you have to watch your team to make sure your high standards don‚Äôt drop.
Once your clients understand they are the most important person in the salon, the “expensive‚Äù salon issue will start to fade. ¬†Always remember it‚Äôs those little extras that matter. You go that extra mile and your customers will pay that extra pound.

Long hairdressing and ‘up dos’ has made a real comeback in the last 10 years and the bridal market is huge and yet there are still so many hairdressers who cannot put hair ‘up’. I would suggest having a long hair expert in your salon. Discuss with your staff and find the person who has a natural flair in this area and send him/her on a long hair course to update their skills. Promote this service though advertising in your window and local press. Word will soon travel that your salon has the long hair expert and it sets you apart from other salons.

Angie Shorthouse
Have you ever had a style not go quite to plan in a public demonstration?  How do you recover the style under pressure?

Yes, I’m human. The thing to do is to understand the minute the style starts to deviate from what you are trying to do and work hard to get it back on track or work hard to embellish the new direction it’s going.

If you are presenting to a consumer audience they will not notice the mistake but if it‚Äôs to hairdressers then honesty is the best policy. If it really isn’t working the hairdressing audience will always know if you begin to panic and tell them lies ‚Äì best to explain and they will forgive you.

Tracy Baker
What is your all-time favourite era in hair history, and what style has inspired you the most?

I love the 1940s and 50s.  These eras were all about dressing hair and really working our hairdressing craft.  Actually the collection I am showing this year is called “Spellbound – The Lost Art of Vintage Hair” and it includes some iconic vintage looks from these eras.  I show my audience some classic techniques such as quick finger waving and pin curling.  I have always been fascinated by the allure of old Hollywood. (The Lost Art of Vintage Hair DVD by Patrick Cameron is available at Salons Direct).

Kayleigh Fenton:
I really like to do hair up styles, particularly avant guard, and have been told I could go far.  What is the best way for me to pursue this as a career?

You need to get your work out there into the hairdressing arena by way of photo shoots that you could have published in magazines.  Trade magazines such as Hairdressers Journal are always interested to see new avant guard work.  Building a profile is not as hard as it was when I was starting out.  With the help of social media you can start to build your own Facebook page and open your own Twitter account.  This can be done more or less immediately. The more you get your images out there the better.  It’s not all going to happen instantly because it will take time but don’t give up and you will get there.

My last word on this.  A career as an avant guard hairdresser is more difficult to establish.  One of the best avant guard hairdressers is Robert Lobetta.  Have a look at his work closely and you will see great artistry mixed together with fashion and trend.  Remember it’s not enough to just create a style without a story, you need people to believe in you and want to watch out for your latest looks.  Good luck my friend.