American Board of Certified Haircolorists Newsletter September

The Price of Haircolor Continues Upward 
             Haircolor prices to continue upward.  In this time of economic uncertainty we continue to hear from our Board Certified Haircolorists that the price of haircolor is eating away at their bottom line.  The thought of changing haircolor lines to something less expensive is frighting alternative.  Working really hard to keep their salons afloat there is little time to go through the pains of changing lines of haircolor.
              We consulted with Tom Dispenza who is not part of the establishment but working to establish his own line of haircoloring.  We asked Tom what has occurred in the past year to require haircolor manufacturers to continue to raise prices.  Have the price of raw materials or packaging increased to justify the raising of haircolor prices?  According to Tom, "There has been no substantial raises in the raw materials to justify the raise of prices. The raise of prices occur when large corporations are not seeing increases on the bottom line.  Large corporations have board of directors, they want to see increases of the bottom line.  They don't want to hear, the economy is bad or there are more color lines, or competition is fierce.  Those board members don't care, they want to see increases.  The easiest way to make that happen is to raise prices.  That is the reason the price of haircolor continues to rise.  The CEO has to continue to make the company more profitable for the stockholders, that's why you will always see the prices go up first in large companies".   It is naive to think the customers don't mind the price of their haircolor service going up a few dollars to make up for the increase of haircolor.  Of course they care even if they don't say it.
                We should be aware of the RULE OF MARKETING. The rule is the more something cost the less people there are that can afford it.  We have always been taught, mostly by the manufacturers, that we should raise our prices when they raise their prices.  Recently I have read endorsements from salon owners who are using the new Inoa color.  After singing the phrases of the color they would say my customers don't mind spending the additional $15.00 I have to charge for the color. BULL!  They may not say they mind, but they mind.  All you have to do is to put yourself in their shoes.  Go to your favorite restaurant and order a steak. The waiter sells you on the idea of a new cut of beef. "You'll love it, its tender and tasty."  So you order it. its good, but when you get the bill its $15.00 more.  Are you going to go back and order the same steak again?  I'll bet not, You may never go back again.  A lot of people don't complain, they just don't go back.
                 Now is not the time to raise prices.  These are tough times for what is still considered a luxury for many people.  Sure you have clients who will come to you regardless of what you charge, if we want to continue to attract additional clients into the salon we can't continue to raise prices.  Tell your distributor you don't want to pay more for their color.  You can't raise your prices and you can't afford to absorb the additional cost.  Threaten to change color lines for a line that is less expensive.  There are some great new color lines out there for a lot less money.  You will be amazed at how quickly they will negotiate. 
                 Paul Morrison indicated when he was using LOGICS several years ago, he threatened his distributor with changing lines because the color was becoming to expensive.  The distributor reduced the price of the color 20% based on his volume.  That is a hefty reduction of cost.  It angered him to know he was paying 20% more than he had to for all of those years.   How many of you are paying more for your color than you have to.  Check out the 6N comparison to see where the best deals are.  Now is the time to watch your cost instead of raising prices.
The Ultimate Mentor

Pam Pacheco Helps Candidates to Pass

        Pam Pacheco has been a haircolorist for the past 20 years. She has been a salon owner, educator, guest artist and booth renter.  She is always seeking new chalenges for herself, so it is no
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wonder when she heard about the American Board of Certified
Haircolorists  (ABCH) that she immediately took on the challenge and became certified.  Next she sought to become an evaluator, which she did.  Now in she is mentoring others to become certified. There is no question about it, the candidates who have a qualified mentor helping them have a much easier time passing the examination.  Generally only one day of tutoring is all that is required.  According to Pam, "Part of the difficulty for the candidates comes from them not knowing what to expect.  They don't realize they are not alone, the majority of candidates go into the examination nervous." Congratulations to Pamela's students, Mandy Guillien, Shellie McMillen and Cooleen King. 
           Pam is currently working at Salon Gregories in San Diego.  Anyone interested in being mentored Pam is available.  There are several ABCH Evaluators or ABCH Members who would be happy to mentor.  Go to the website and put in your zip code at 'find a colorist' and you will get a list of ABCH's in your area.
Inoa Haircolor

         The Inoa Hair Color is receiving mixed reviews from the haircolorists who have tried it.  There are also some glaring reports from some clients who have received hair color services using Inoa. The reports come from Style Collective,  Canada's Top Inde Fashion.  Much of the positive comments have focused on the no ammonia concept.  L'Oreal is spending millions of dollars selling the non ammonia concept to our clients.  It's probably not doing much to promote salon hair color.
        By promoting the non ammonia concept to our clients, is like saying to clients ammonia haircolor is bad for you.  Will that promote more salon haircolor? Probably not, it may just be enough negativity to have some clients quit coloring their hair.
          It is not as though we have not had non ammonia color before.  Farouk pioneered non ammonia haircolor back in the 80's, and it didn't set the haircolor market on fire.  It came about because Farouk had an allergy to ammonia and was concerned that there might be more of us out there who was also allergic.  Now with L'Oreal advertising their non ammonia color, Farouk is back selling his non ammonia color line again, hoping to take advantage of L'Oreals publicity.
           There are a lot of blogs on the web.  I don't know how much attention you can pay to these blogs, when they say "I hate the color, it was the worst color I have ever used on my hair. My hair was dry and frizzy and breaking off"  The breaking off part is what gets to me.  How can a single process color break hair off?    I tend to not put much faith that these blogs are valid.  Another blogger said," I love the color that is in the ad, can someone tell me where I can buy that color."
            Thanks to Keith Taylor of Taylors' Salon in San Francisco, he has sent me a complete set of three applications of Inoa for me to use for testing.  This is going to be an extensive test on a 50% gray mannequin.  It will be a half head test we will do and shampoo and also a sunshine test.
            The haircolor to be used on the other half of the mannequin will be Wella Color Charm.  It will be an ammonia color of the least expensive variety.  Comparisons will be interesting.
Results will be posted in the next newsletter

Postcard Marketing to Attract Haircolor Clients

        Everybody wants new haircolor clients, and clients are looking for qualified haircolorists.  How do you marriage these two together?  Becoming an American Board of Certified Haircolorist is only half of the battle, letting people know you are a qualified haircolorist and having your investment pay off is the other half of the equation.
        This year ABCH will be launching a postcard marketing concept to make clients aware there is a American Board Certified Haircolorist in their area.  Direct marketing is an excellent means of reaching those clients.
        Marketing for new clients should be ongoing, the problem is the price.  The use of specialized postcards is the best way to target the audience you are looking for.
         A small version of the ABCH certificate will be printed on postcards and be sold in increments of 500 postcards.  ABCH will select a message to place on the back of the postcard or you can make up your own message.  If you send out 500 postcards you can be assured of having at least 10 clients call for appointments.  Depending on the color service, this could translate to as much as $6,000.00 per year in additional services.  A miniature of the certificate is an excellent message to place in the hands of potential clients.  Anyone who colors their hair or is thinking of having their hair colored, will hold on to the card until they need it.
One candidate shines
Boston Examination

        In spite of being the smallest exam ever administered in the ten year history of the ABCH,   it managed to produce five new Board Certified
Haircolorists.  The Los  Angeles exam managed to pass 69% of it's candidates.  Boston could manage only a 50% pass rate.    The high point of the examination was Toni Costa when she received the highest scores in all three portions of the examination.  She was only tied in the interactive portion of the examination by Maria Riveria.  Both received a score of forty six  out of a possible fifty.  Toni indicated having the Practice Exams on the website to study, was a great benefit
          The Boston examination has never been a barn burner in terms of the numbers. This year the exam generated only one third the usual amount of past years. 
           There are two more exams scheduled for this year, Washington DC, Oct.3rd. and Atlanta, Nov. 7th. Still time to prepare and sign up.  The exam dates and locations will be listed on our ABCH site in November.

ABCH 2010-2011 Advertising Campaign

          Once a year the American Board of Certified Haircolorists requests funds from the members for the advertising program.  The money collected goes to purchasing consumer ads in many hairstyle magazines and keeping the web pages updated.  Last year there was a major reworking of the web site.   Based on the feedback we received from everyone the money was well spent.  Rigney Graphics one of the more prominent web designers did a wonderful job in giving our web pages the look of glamour.
         The ABCH is the only organization requiring the members to pass an examination before they can be Certified. Before ABCH started Certification it was a word seldom heard in our industry.
          Now days certifications are handed out like candy on Halloween night.  Some manufactures , like  Pravana, actually deem you a certified hair colorist just by passing an examination on line.  Any manufacturer who wants to certify individuals before a product can be purchased and tested  by them, is going to limit their audience. This of course goes against common marketing practices. Why would a manufacturer want limit their audience.  
         This year we plan several upgrades to the web site to drive business to the ABCH members.  
       We regret to say, although there are over 1,400 ABCH's, last year only 320  who participated in the advertising program.  Thanks to Wella Classics, last year we were able to purchase a few more of the ad pages we placed in consumer magazines.
       We need more participation from the ABCH membership to join us in a successful ad campaign this year.
       In order for us to continue letting the public be aware of the American Board Certified Haircolorist, call the office 310 547-3991 or 310 547-0814 and give us your information.
        To you manufacturers could you give us a hand and help to elevate professional haircoloring  you can contribute to our cause.  We are a 501(c) 3 and your donations are tax deductible.
B&b Attempts new Diversion Tactic

       Obtaining additional sales in this economy is a tough order.  Bumble and bumble(B&b) are using a fresh approach to get their product out into retail establishments without offending their exclusive salons.  B&b has been a stalwart company when it comes to making it difficult to be able to carry their line.  Their criteria is difficult to match and those salons who carry their line are grateful for the long markup and the exclusivity.
          All that is about to end.  B&b is now going to sell their products through Sephora.  Sephora is a high end cosmetic store, so B&b will be in good company.  Here's the best part.  When a client goes into a Sephora store and purchases some B&b products the store will give the client a coupon toward a purchase of a salon service.
          Sounds like a great promotion, that's what we need more of.  Any promotion that will get more clients into the salon is a good thing.
           Little by little B&b is found in other retail outlets.  Not to the extent as other products, like Paul Mitchell and Biologe,  but a smattering of B&b products are there.  It will be very interesting how the coupon service promotion works out.  If it works others may follow the B&b lead.

A smattering of B&b is found on the shelves at Target Stores.  If you buy at Target you get no coupon for hair services.  At Sephora you do.  Targets reason for carrying B&b has to be it makes the rest of their products they sell seem inexpensive

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