What works and what consumers want – The future of Beauty treatments
We know that beauty technology has come a long way in the last 10 years. Equipment and machinery has become an integral part of the Beauty industry. Where Beauty Therapy used to have a mainly “hands-on” approach (and there is still an enormous amount of benefit to be found in this!), we have seen many new and emerging technologies being offered and becoming mainstream in Salons and Skin/Body clinics.
10 years ago, Dermatologists, Cosmetic Surgeons and other Medical Practitioners were the only ones offering intensive, results-driven treatments using Medical Devices such as IPL, Laser, Skin Rejuvenation, Microdermabrasion etc. Beauty Salon clients were seeking these treatments, paying top dollar for them and often having to get a Medical Referral first.
Training and Education for Beauty Therapists has come a long way since then. More and more therapists are receiving further training and becoming skilled in advanced skin diagnosis and using more advanced technologies. Your local beauty Salon is now offering more of those intensive treatments previously only offered by Medical Practitioners – at a more affordable price, and with more convenient availability.
We also know that every salon has a close eye on what their competition are doing and offering, and if you don’t continue to expand and offer new and different treatments, clients are quick to move on to those who do. Our clients are also more educated today, and they are doing their own research on what’s new. If we (therapists and salon owners) do not keep up with offering them those treatments, they will find them elsewhere.
We believe in keeping the good old-fashioned hands-on approach (what could be better than an indulgent hands-on massage by a pair of firm and knowledgeable hands – no machine can replace that!) but having equipment sitting right next to that on our treatment menu and our treatment rooms can indulge clients to come back again and again.
Sometimes a machine can do something that your hands and product alone cannot. It may be something as simple as incorporating the use of some long-forgotten electrical equipment such as High Frequency or Galvanic (Generally sold as part of a multi-function machine or sold separately) into your standard Facial. No matter how good your hands and product are, they cannot create a blast of Ozone over an acneic skin, or even drive ionised serums into the skin.
Most therapists will have learned how to use these modalities when they did their Diploma (or equivalent). But many have also forgotten it since. Remember and re-educate yourself about these treatments – while they are not new, they are easy to use and effective. They can transform your old facial into a more targeted results-driven treatment.
Sometimes all we want is to find a new way to do something we are already familiar with. There are many “new and improved” versions of older modalities to choose from. We are now seeing a new generation of Microdermabrasion treatment systems on the market, driven by consumer demand for a more gentle approach to the traditional Microdermabrasion treatment which isn’t always suitable for everyone. Instead of using the traditional abrasives such as Aluminium Oxide crystals or Diamond tips, we have Aqua or Hydro systems available now, which infuse liquid skincare serums to hydrate the skin, at the same time as using vacuum suction to smooth away dead skin cells and impurities.
These Aqua systems can also replace a traditional Facial for your time-poor clientele who want treatments but don’t have time to spend. You can perform a 3-step Facial in a half hour treatment protocol.
Oxygen Facial systems are another easy addition to your Facial treatment menu. Oxygen Facial systems filter the environmental air to provide a stream of concentrated oxygen. This is delivered to the skin using a small spray-gun system. Liquid skincare serums are also sprayed onto the skin, and the combination of oxygen and serum revitalises the skin and plumps fine lines and wrinkles. Word has it that Madonna is a fan of Oxygen treatments and has an Oxygen Facial system in each of her homes.
Oxygen Facials can be offered as a stand-alone treatment, or can be incorporated into any other Facial service you already offer. These kinds of systems are not expensive to invest in, and are easy to use and implement into your existing treatment menu.
Re-visit your salon interior design to represent your brand and your clientele demographic.
We all know first impressions count. And walking into your salon, is no different. Old or out-dated looks to salon style, furniture and equipment can easily deter clients away. New, ‘trend-setting’ looks can really make clients feel welcomed and show value for money – even attracting a new clientele demographic. After all, you are representing beauty. For your salon style, get inspiration from the latest interior trends, from your home or other retail interiors. Look beyond your competition. Choose colours, décor and finishing that represent your brand and really showcase who you are, as well as the quality of what you are offering.
Beauty Furniture and equipment is always improving and new features and styles are always available. With all furniture, make sure you’re keeping it well maintained. For example, lie on a beauty bed and ask yourself, “is it still comfortable?” “Does it look good?” (no stains or rips) and “Does it represent my clientele with what they are paying”. Over time, strength and support in your furniture can weaken while new occupational health and safety issues can be addressed through latest parts and technologies. What the client sits in or lies on can give you the finishing touch to a customer experience, but also make your job much easier by reducing strain on the operators and more comfortable to work with.
Sometimes we also need to think about problem-solving: how can we offer the same treatments but take away some of the problems or issues we know we have with them?
For example: we love Spa treatments but what about the water consumption? Many would-be Spa operators are put off by the thought of how much water a traditional Spa set up (such as a Vichy system) will use, and by the amount of mess generated by overspray and operators getting wet.
We want a water-wise Spa. We want to be able to control the water use by having pre-set programs, and limit water use by having heat modalities incorporated so we can keep our clients warm without using a thousand litres of water. A capsule, rather than an open table is a good alternative. The capsule lid offers the client privacy and enclosed warmth, as well as containing the water for less overspray and wet floors. Capsules may also offer additional modalities such as steam and infrared heat, vibration massage, aromatherapy dispensers and even Audio and DVD features for the ultimate holistic sensory Spa journey.
We want clean Pedicure Spas, and we want our clients to know that they are clean. One of the things we know that clients worry about is how clean our pedi spa baths may or may not be. We know that cross contamination can (and does!) occur if adequate cleaning and disinfection processes are not undertaken in between clients. A traditional water jet foot massage should be relaxing, but how relaxing is it if you are wondering what your feet are really soaking in? Now we have disposable pedi-bath liners and truly pipeless foot bath systems, so that your feet are guaranteed to be soaking only in a clean fresh bath. Now you can really relax…
Once these systems are available in the market, don’t we want to offer them? Don’t we want our clients to know that we want the best for them?
What salon operators will be required to do in order to offer newer technologies?
As a Salon owner, ask yourself “when was the last time I invested in something new?” If it’s been a while, get out there and see what’s new. Ask for a demo from your supplier. Get the treatment done yourself.
Many therapists already have the knowledge to perform these services – it doesn’t always require further formal training. Some suppliers can assist you with training. Ask what is available.