Market research data has been reviewed from two main sources:
- Secondary Data- i.e. Journals, publications and internet sources.
- Primary Research- data for this research were obtained from the surveys that have been undertaken in a Barnfield College Hairdressing and Beauty Salons as well as in the Reception Area in November and December 2009 and were handed out to the clients before and after the treatments. Three groups were formed to prepare the questionnaires on the following three subjects:
- After treatment.
- New Product Development in Male Grooming and Anti-Ageing Treatments and Products.
"Front desk operation can make or break the salon business" (Barham, 1991, p.21). The role of salon receptionist is crucial as the receptionist embodies the entire salon, its personnel and their professional skills. The main mission of the receptionist is a smooth running of the beauty salon (Barham, 1999).
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The reception area of any enterprise such as a hotel, a hairdressing salon, a beauty therapy salon, a suite of offices, even a hospital can be considered as the first personal point of contact with the organization. One dictionary definition of reception is "the receiving or welcoming of persons as visitors formally or ceremoniously". In the context of business, however, reception needs to be somewhat more than just being courteous to clients, answering enquiries or booking appointments. Ideally, reception regulates and controls access to the next stage in a procedure. The hairdressing or beauty therapy operative will carry out the practical work but the service begins and ends in the reception (Masters, 1988).
Almost all women appreciate the luxury of personal attention in a pleasant atmosphere. And the first point of contact either personally or by telephone will be receptionist thus the response to an initial enquiry and the image presented at the time must be of the highest level or the appointment may not be booked. The answer to the enquiry must convince the potential client that she can reasonably expect to get the service she wants, and the image presented must be one of efficiency and enthusiasm.
If the enquiry is by telephone, then the whole image will be an aural one. Therefore, tone of voice, manner of speaking and clarity of information are paramount. The conclusion of the conversation is also important and should indicate that the enquiry and the subsequent booking are welcome and appreciated.
Enquiry and/or reservation in person at reception also involves tone of voice, manner of speaking and clarity of information, but because it is also visual it poses other problems which include the appearance and deportment of the receptionist and the image presented by other members of staff who may be in reception at that time, together with décor, tidiness and comfort of the reception room and finally that indefinable thing known as social atmosphere.
When any client or potential client enters reception she should receive immediate attention or at least recognition of her presence. A client should never wait in reception for her appointment a moment longer than is utterly necessary and when this is inevitable she should be made as comfortable as possible and kept informed of the position. A client's progress through the various processes in the salon should be comfortable and supported by an evident desire on the member of staff for her well-being and satisfaction. Each client should feel that her personal custom is valued and that she is a significant part of the salon business life. The client does not just buy a beauty treatment but a complete service which must be fully satisfying to that client. And even when the service is satisfactorily completed and the client is delighted with the result, all is not yet over because she still has to pass once more through reception and departure must be just as carefully managed as arrival. Service must continue until the moment the client makes her exit through the door which has been thoughtfully opened for her by the receptionist. The receptionist should know exactly what has been done for the client and should provide a suitable remark of approval with the result. After all, if the client has just spent quite a bit of money on a service intended to improve her appearance she will appreciate the effects being noticed (Masters, 1988).
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Thus, to summarise the above, an ideal beauty salon reception should make the client's presence in the waiting area as comfortable and enjoyable as possible because the salon will never get a second chance to make a first impression. This includes having enough up-to-date beauty and fashion related magazines for both women and men, playing a comforting and light music and if the client is to spend a bit of a time in a waiting room then offering a refreshment or a cup of herbal tea to make the client's stay there as pleasant as possible. Or alternatively, if the lounge is pleasant and relaxing, clients may stay to relax after treatment or arrive early and enjoy flicking through a glossy magazine with some refreshment. Another extremely important point is clients' confidentiality which must be maintained at all times and receptionist is responsible for any information not to be copied or passed on in any form to anyone, in person or over the phone (Barham, 1992).
When the data were analysed according to 27 questionnaires taken in Barnfield College Hairdressing Salon and Spa Reception area, it was found that the majority of clients who have visited the college salon were overall satisfied with the waiting area and reception in general: 26 people were welcomed and the same amount of people found receptionist friendly and informative. The majority of clients found the telephone booking service excellent and said that the telephone was answered promptly (17 and 14 respectively). Although 13 people did not answer the question if they had to wait for their appointment, 9 people confirmed that they did not wait at all and only small group said that they had to wait from 1-2 minutes up to 5 minutes (2 and 1 people respectively).
There are no hot drinks and/or refreshments offered in the Barnfield salon waiting sector therefore we decided to find out whether clients were prepared to pay for their drinks and would use a tea and coffee pay machine if there was one and discovered that 9 clients responded positively, 1 person said "maybe" and another client suggested having herbal alternatives. However, 14 clients said that they would not pay for their drinks and 2 people ignored the question.
Despite the fact that 21 people described the environment in the reception area as "excellent" and only 6 people found it "average", 8 people thought that there is a room for improvement in the reception service (1 client) and the waiting area (7 clients) and suggested that there could be some high chairs available, as well as booking facilities could be improved and 2 people complained about the warmth in the reception and said that it is way too cold in the waiting area at this time of the year.
Furthermore, 14 of Barnfield clients confirmed that there was some reading material of their liking but 9 clients disagreed with that and said that there was not anything to read or they did not like the offered reading matter. When asked about the payment options 12 people would prefer paying by cash, 10 would be more comfortable with paying by card and only 3 clients were happy with both options.
Further analysis of clients' comments revealed that people do love coming to Barnfield for treatments and complement on prices and professionalism, friendliness and helpfulness of the receptionists, although a few clients suggested that there could be some subtle music playing in the reception area, some more reading material like up-to-date hairstyles magazines and mentioned the appointments' booking options, i.e. chance to book a few sessions at once when buying a set of treatments or booking at the reception desk in general, because it feels rushed as queue forms very quickly when only one receptionist is present. In addition to this several people complained about the reception and waiting area being particularly cold.
After treatment precautions are equally important as the treatment itself. The client must take care of his or her body after the treatment and follow any aftercare advice given by the therapist at all times in order to get the most from their investment...
There is specific aftercare advice for each beauty treatment. Some of them aim at prolonging the effect of the treatment as in some cases, i.e. massage, client is advised to rest to let the blood circulation to return to normal. It is also recommended for the client to rest for a few hours when she gets home, and avoid heavy meals. As the client's circulation continues to return to normal, it is necessary to drink plenty of still mineral water to replace the fluids lost. The therapist can also discuss with the client suitable home care to complement the massage. This might include advice on healthy eating and exercise, including specific exercises that might be necessary to alleviate any postural problems. Furthermore, therapist might offer advice on bath and/or skin products or massage techniques that could be used at home and further benefit the client.
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As with the electro-epilation treatment, the skin will be predisposed to infection because of the heat and tissue destruction hence it is extremely important to keep the area clean to avoid infection and to prevent scarring. Clients are advised to use the recommended soothing lotion, avoid picking or rubbing the skin, do not expose the area to ultraviolet light and shield it with sun-protecting factor, do not pluck or wax the area in-between treatments and keep the area clean and fresh.
Majority of electrical facial treatments will require clients to refrain from applying any make-up or facial creams immediately after treatment for the period of up to 48 hours because the skin needs to be able to "breathe". The negative effects on the skin of alcohol, smoking and ultraviolet radiation should be discussed with the client. The drinking of natural noncarbonated water should be encouraged following treatment to help remove toxins, and the benefits of a healthy diet should also be discussed. Also simple facial exercises should be recommended to the client. These will continue to firm the facial muscles and intensify the firming effects of the treatments. Clients should be offered retail cosmetic skin-care preparations to maintain and enhance the effects achieved.
The similar aftercare programme is advised for clients after the lymphatic drainage treatments: to increase fluid intake to help the lymphatic cleansing effect. Also recommend the client an effective treatment plan combining diet and exercise appropriate to client's needs. Retail products support the effectiveness of the treatment (Nordmann, Appleyard and Linforth, 2001).
Thus to put it all in a nutshell, it is necessary to provide clients with aftercare advice and explain that it is extremely essential that they become fully aware and understand what should be done by themselves both before and after treatment in the interest of their personal health, safety and well-being.
There were 7 clients questioned at Barnfield salon and spa between the age of 25 and 60+ about their treatments and aftercare, and it was found that all seven clients were escorted in and back out by their therapists. Also majority of clients rated their consultation, privacy, hygiene, environment, therapist knowledge, treatment and aftercare experience as "excellent". More than half of respondents left their comments and expressed their satisfaction with treatments being highly effective, enjoyable, efficient, quick, lovely and relaxing, and appreciated the therapists' professionalism. And only one client complained about the music and found it not very relaxing.
NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT IN MALE GROOMING AND ANTI-AGEING TREATMENTS AND PRODUCTS
Modern men are just as (or at least almost) as concerned with their appearance as women. And healthy skin is a crucial part of looking great. For men, skin care is a mere afterthought. Beyond the world of shaving their faces, it is rare for a man to devote time to his skin. But these days, skin care is no longer just a woman's concern. We are in the 21st century, and the pressure is on for man to take care of himself. Men are increasingly aware and concerned about the health of their skin. More men than ever are interested in taking care of their skin, and ensuring that they sustain their youthful looks for as long as possible.
Man's flourishing desire for beautiful skin is an 8 billion dollar industry. So why are men beginning to catch up with women's interest in beauty products? Most importantly, everyone wants to preserve youthful skin for as long as possible. Along with drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet, moisturizing and nurturing the skin is the best way to grow old gracefully.
As we grow older, the elastin and collagen, which are the connective tissues that give skin its firmness and elasticity, begin to disappear. Appropriate skin care is indispensable to keep this process at bay for as long as possible.
More and more men are reacting to the synthetic chemicals used by many high street brands of male grooming products. Therefore they are turning to natural formulations free from unnecessary synthetic ingredients, which will be absorbed by the body. Switching to organic food in order to avoid consuming toxins is a popular choice. People are also becoming aware that what is put on the skin will always make its way into the blood stream. That means that if skin care products are full of chemicals, they will eventually be flowing through the body. Since the skin can be a reflection of what is going on in the body, the chemicals may once again show up on the skin. It also means that the liver has to work harder to process them. Organic, chemical free moisturiser means no toxins for the body to deal with, and ultimately, healthier skin. Nearly 80 percent of men say shaving irritates their skin. Razor burn is actually often "product" burn. Many of the products that are designed for men are poorly formulated and contain far too many irritating ingredients. Shaving with a razor abrades the skin enough to cause havoc, but then men typically splash an aftershave lotion with irritating ingredients over that broken skin. Think of splashing chemicals on a cut or abrasion on your body.
Most natural products are gentle and will not aggravate the skin, even if there is abrasion. Other natural products that men are choosing to use are soaps and shower gels. Aluminium and parabens have been linked to cancer and other health complaints (Walters, 2008).
Even in what is often touted as the best men's skin care formula available you will find ingredients that have the potential to cause serious harm to you. As the years have progressed, the scientific world has discovered that many of the most commonly used ingredients in skin care products are toxic to the human body. The question is why these companies are still allowed to use these ingredients. Steps have been taken by both the European Union and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban these ingredients from use in cosmetics products. The European Union has so far been the only regulating body to achieve this goal. The U.S. FDA is still tied up in an ongoing court battle with the cosmetics industry, and currently it appears that the cosmetics industry is winning. There are companies within the industry that are focused on providing their customers with a safe and efficient product, and that are not just out to increase their profits by using low cost chemical ingredients. The best men's skin care products will comprise of all natural ingredients. These include plant-based oils, proteins, enzymes, and extracts that are carefully chosen for their effectiveness (Rosenbaum, 2009).
Those days are gone when a man entering a beauty salon was unacceptable or considered being lethal to his masculinity. These days the average male can easily wander inside a good salon to get himself some serious enhancement in looks. History shows that in ancient days, men would make use of kohl to line their eyes. Now again, it is pretty much in the style, perfectly acceptable and quite common if a man goes to a beauty salon or parlour and gets his chest waxed and eyebrows done. Otherwise, the primary thing that people nowadays notice is the face, and the image is all that matters. So in the present world, making the best of your looks and looking neat has become highly important for men (Conway, 2009).
An examination of the data collected in the Barnfield College Salon and Spa revealed that despite the fact that more than a half of respondents aged 16-60 are aware of Male Grooming products (9 out of 12 questioned) they still do not feel very comfortable visiting the beauty salons and would be better off with more men around. Further analysis of the study revealed that most men would spend in average £10 on male grooming products or treatments (6 respondents would spend £0-10, and 5 are prepared to spend £10-20), and would come to a beauty salon for sauna / steam treatments (10 clients), Swedish massage (4 clients), facials (3 clients) and various spa treatments (3 clients). None of the male respondents showed interest in coming to the beauty parlour for waxing or manicure / pedicure treatments.
Aging is a process that starts when we are born - we get older every day! Aging is a process; it has a beginning, middle and an end. And the main focus is that vast middle - part of life when we begin to see and feel some of the inevitable declines that occur with age...but where we can still make choices about how well we will live in our own futures.
We can not stop the process - except when we die - nor can we change the process and go backwards.
What we can do is slow down the process by making rational decisions about what we do and do not do- and those choices can also help us look better. Ultimately, the life we live is always about the choices we make!
Intelligent people can choose to be well informed, read information and labels and then make informed choices. With facts in hand one can ask: "Is it an intelligent choice for me to use this product or service?"
That is very different than just assuming or hoping "this will reverse or stop my aging process."
But finding the right information is not always easy. Cosmetic companies, pharmaceutical companies and exercise equipment makers outspend and out-advertise any formats where you might find intelligent information (Dorman, 2009).
Paradoxically, it is usually the most expensive skin care products that are the least effective.
Obviously, there are some quality products out there that will make your skin smoother, more radiant and younger looking. The difficultly is in knowing beforehand which skin care products truly work.
It is possible to come across a good skin care product that can do all of the things that it should, like whiten age spots and even out pigmentation, all at a reasonable price. There are literally 1000's of products to choose from, but without the right information, it can be difficult to find one that really produces results, allowing years of aging and wrinkles to disappear from your face and body.
We will spend enormous amounts of our hard earned money if we believe that we can look more youthful and beautiful. The cosmetic companies know. The plastic surgeons know. People are suckers for products that are supposed to improve our appearance.
That is why there are so many different skin care products on the market today. The current skin care market is a multi-billion dollar industry.
There is so much demand for effectual anti-aging skin care products, that manufacturers are constantly flooding the marketplace with new products to capitalize on this demand.
Many of these products are produced randomly and carelessly, put into fancy high-end bottles and pushed onto the market. Instead of investing time and money to produce a quality, proven skin care product, most manufacturers will prefer to spend their money on marketing and product appearance.
They can paint a compelling picture with the right bottle, a few full page magazine advertisements and a high-profile celebrity endorsement who more than likely has never tried the products they are endorsing.
And we all know that marketing is VERY EXPENSIVE! So that is actually why a tiny tube can cost hundreds of dollars or more. Not because what's inside is expensive, but because of all the other things the company decided to spend money on are expensive.
There will never be a shortage of people willing to pay top dollar for the latest skin care product in a fancy bottle, whether it works or not. The truth is that most people will not take the time to study specific products and ingredients to help them understand which ingredients work and which ingredients can actually harm their skin!
Ingredients that can damage the skin are:
- Mineral oil (may be listed as liquid paraffin, paraffin wax or petrolatum on the label of the product)
- Parabens (may be listed on the label as propyl, butyl, methyl or ethyl paraben)
- Alcohols (can be listed as ethyl alcohol, methanol, ethanol, SD alcohol, benzyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol)
There are new, well researched compounds that can reverse and prevent the damage caused by sun, air pollution and other factors. Nutrients for the skin that destroy free radicals. There are unique products that your pores will absorb and use to produce new collagen and elastin. When you use skin care products that contain these ingredients, your skin will start to look younger, healthier and more radiant. When you are choosing a skin care product, it is vital that you do not buy one that is purely cosmetic in nature. There are plenty of skin creams that will fill in the lines while they are on, temporarily giving the appearance of nicer skin, but as soon as you wash them off, reality returns.
In order for a skin care product to be truly effective, it must contain ingredients that nourish, nurture and activate your body's ability to heal itself. If you want to prevent or reduce wrinkles, you want something that increases production of collagen, elastin and new skin cells. If you do this, you will actually reverse the aging of your skin.
But some manufacturers of expensive products try to mislead the public by including some genuinely good active ingredients. The problem is that they do not contain enough of the active ingredients to be effective. They contain just a small amount so that they can legally list the ingredient on their label. The best ingredients are expensive, and as mentioned before, most manufacturers spend the majority of their money on marketing.
So, it is not enough to look for the ingredients mentioned below, they must be high up on the list of ingredients. Therefore we must look for the highest concentration that we can find.
The ingredients to look out for:
- Synergy TK
- Phytessence Wakame
- Nano-Lipobelle H-EQ10
In conclusion, there must be a common-sense approach in our life to stopping and reversing the aging process: stay out of the sun and, when you can not, use a sunscreen product with a high SPF rating. Eat right and augment your diet with daily vitamins. Use high quality skin care products that both moisturize and reverse the symptoms associated with getting old. Implementing these key suggestions will lead to better feeling and looking you, so you can stop aging and start living (Daniels, 2009).
On the basis of the survey that has been conducted in Barnfield College it can be concluded that the majority of respondents (15 people) admitted not using the ant-aging products and only 4 people said that they use it regularly. But in spite of that 8 respondents said that they spend up to £15 on anti-ageing products and 2 clients spend between £15 and £30. When asked about the favourite brands of cosmetics and/or skincare there was no winning brand and clients mentioned various makes such as Olay, L'Oreal (3 people each), Nivea (2 people), Revlon and No7 (1 client each). Then we asked our clients whether they would be interested in a top range anti-aging skincare brand like Dermalogica if we were to introduce one, and the majority replied "no" (18 people) and only 4 people said "yes". To sum up, clients said that they do not use anti-ageing products because they do not work or because they simply do not have time for it.
The findings based on surveys taken at Barnfield College Spa and Hairdressing Salon indicate that people visiting Barnfield are overall satisfied with the way it is functioning. Clients in general are tremendously pleased with receptionists and the atmosphere in the reception and waiting area but suggested that there is room for few improvements in the waiting area and booking facilities.
Despite the fact that "more men are becoming big spenders in the skin care market and the demand for specific men's salon treatments and related care products is one of the fastest growing areas within the beauty industry" (Hiscock, Stoddart and Connor, 2004, p.209), the study revealed that male clients are still hugely conservative about the treatments they come or would come for and the amount of money they are prepared to spend. Perhaps, men would be more experimental with other treatments designed for them and offered by salons and spas be there more information available, e.g. booklets, leaflets or brochures in receptions or waiting areas. The same could be said about the male grooming products, and although the majority of men respondents confirmed that they are familiar with the range of skincare products available for them, it looks like men need more explanation about the importance of men skincare routine. Men should be aware that products designed for them "have been developed to reflect the fact that the skin is more resistant, but conversely may also be more vulnerable, through neglect, misuse or total lack of protective products such as moisturizes and sun blocks" (Hiscock, Stoddart and Connor, 2004, p.209)
On the basis of the results of anti-ageing questionnaires, it can be concluded that people are still not fully aware of anti-ageing products and not yet ready to spend on top branded skincare products simply claiming that they have no time for it or do not believe they work. Therefore, there should be more articles or other relevant information on anti-ageing aiming primarily at younger people with the main message: "Prevention is better than cure!" and encouraging clients to look after their skin as early as possible, rather than waiting until signs of ageing have begun to appear and explaining that anti-ageing treatments cannot turn back years of poor skin care and neglect, nor can it stop the aging process. Some treatments can significantly enhance the skin's appearance, but not on a long-term basis or without continuous treatments (Hiscock, Stoddart and Connor, 2004).
In the light of the above conclusions it is recommended that the College could provide more up-to-date magazines related to beauty and hairstyles including informative and educating material on skincare products and treatments, especially the ones available in Barnfield.
Also a number of other actions could be undertaken in order to try to make the clients' waiting experience more pleasant and comfortable.
First, there could be some soft music and high chairs in the waiting area and, in spite the fact that this has cost implications, both receptionists and clients would benefit from this. Second, cost implications will be incurred for fitting a refreshments and/or hot drinks vending machine, which may be immensely useful during both cold and hot seasons, especially having in mind that a few customers complained about the waiting area being too cold and, even more importantly some treatments cannot be performed if the client is too hot or too cold.
Theoretically, the betterment of Barnfield College Salon and Spa performance can be assumed as a logical outcome if all the measures are taken by its managers.
- Barham A. (1999) Beauty Therapist's Guide to Professional Practice and Client Care. Harlow: Longman
- Conway N. (21/11/2009) Fantastic Beauty Tips for Men. [Online] Available at http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/fantastic_beauty_tips_for_men (Accessed: 30 December 2009).
- Daniels M. (12/11/2//9) Stop Aging and Start Living. [Online] Available at http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/stop_aging_and_start_living (Accessed: 30 November 2009).
- Dorman L. (25/10/2009) Anti-aging? Is it a real possibility? [Online] Available at http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/antiaging_is_it_a_real_possibility (Accessed: 30 December 2009).
- Hiscock J., Stoddart E. and Connor J. (2004) Beauty Therapy. Oxford: Heinemann
- Masters T.W. (1988) Salon Management for Hairdressers and Beauty Therapists, Aldershot: Gower Publishing Ltd
- Nordmann L., Appleyard L. and Linforth P. (2001) Professional Beauty Therapy The official guide to Level 3, London: Thomson Learning
- Rosenbaum V. (16/11/2009) Finding the Best Men's Skin Care Products Can Be Difficult. [Online] Available at http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/finding_the_best_mens_skin_care_products_can_be_difficult (Accessed: 30 December 2009).
- Rosenbaum V. (No date) Healthy and Beautiful Skin. [Online] Available at http://www.defendyourskin.com/ (Accessed: 30 December 2009).
- Walters S. (19/09/2008) Why Natural Organic Beauty Products Are Essential for Men. [Online] Available at http://www.naturalnews.com/024258_beauty_products_health_chemicals.html (Accessed: 30 November 2009).