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Salon lessons from 1930s

Tamara Forrest-Smith

As I flip through old, worn out beauty magazines, I can not help but wonder, how did 1930s – famously squashed between great depression and the World War2, actually saw a rise in society living standards… and how little changed in the beauty industry since then… I don’t mean hair revolution brought by late Sassoon, rather how human emotions and basic needs to feel and look fabulous remained unshaken even in times of great depression, and why there is plenty of opportunities to thrive in beauty and salon industry in today’s economic downturn.

Here are top 3 powerful lessons, what every salon owner should remember from the 1930s and how to use them in our modern society to increase consumer spend and customer loyalty in salons.

1. Consumers asked industry listened

From “dry hair to how to style hair to make thin face look fuller…” according to The Daily Mail’s Women’s Bureau, there were so many letters that experts had to work on just answering letters full time.

Little changed in Human nature since the 1930s, people still want to look great, and consumers continue asking same questions they asked 70 odd years ago, and those who listen, and find a way to solve people’s problems get rich! That’s why it is important to discover ways to reach customers, put your salon in the marketplace, talk to people, educate about the benefits of your product, demonstrate your expertise why This hairstyle is better suited than That hairstyle.

 

2. Offer more, sell more

The 1930s marked the era of consumer spend revolution… and it never stopped since then. One industry that continues to flourish is beauty, lucky us. In fact today we have better ways to help consumers, sell more, and make customers happier with our products.

Just take Mrs Joan Beringer, writing to Daily Mail Beauty Bureau in the 1930s “My hair gets greasy quickly, and seems to be darkening. How can I prevent this?”

In response Daily Mail suggests “Get two chamomile shampoos…mix into a paste with little warm water, apply to roots of the hair, and leave on for 10 minutes before washing it”…

OR in the 21st century this would be Mrs Jone’s solution from her stylist… “We have a wonderful, organic chamomile shampoos, free from chemicals and enhanced with vitamins A, and E…mix into a paste with little warm water, apply to roots of the hair, and leave on for 10minutes before washing it, we have a special offer now and I suggest you buy 3 for the price of 2”. See how easy it is up-sell products your customers can not wait to buy?

3. Be trendy, be current – London, Paris, New York

“I want to wear what Mrs Jones wears in Paris” and “London fashion secrets on the 1930s from the heart of English Salons”. Those headlines were written over 70years ago, but what has really changed since? Not much, we still want to look like models walking down the catwalk, and I want the salon that can offer me the latest look of London, Paris and New York. Don’t forget that you are in fashion business, not just hair. Don’t bore customers, be current and be trendy, it excites people and makes them want to come back for more.

Go ahead, review lessons from 1930s and apply timeless secrets to your salon business. After all, consumer spend revolution in beauty and look feel industry has marked its beginning in the 30s, and for savvy beauty salon owners, no economy has managed to slow its progress down.

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Tamara Machavariani from the 21st century Salon Business Transformation pioneer – Salon Punk

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