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Salon success my reflections on a journey:

Welcome to Back2myroots B2MR.

mike vallance

Salon success my reflections on a journey:

I spent a few hours last Sunday with my dear friend ex boss and mentor Jon Paul Holt as he was in transit in London. It matters not how long a period of time goes by we always manage to to talk about  his upcoming hair shows his vision and inspiration. Its talk with him and reflecting on the time spent working for and with him being part of his artistic team that then enabled me to take the path below. Thank you JP


A salon success as I reflect back is a business that worked .What does this mean well a business that worked for me reflected my vision but also offered and catered for what my clients wanted. I did have a very clear “Vision” and a “Target market”. I worked alone I had a colour correction consultation business built totally on word of mouth. My days we spent on correcting colour issues some badly done professional work by stylist technicians or some disasters from home colour kits. My mandate with clients was we would take a journey together it could take up to a year it may not involve colour until such times as the hair could and would hold said colour. { if it sank in a glass of water from strand test they would have to wait until it floated} After a initial consultation to see if we had a way forward this involved commitment to making change but also to taking advice. After a consultation they would normally leave with recommend products to help either rebuild or improve condition.




We all have choice in this instance it was up to a client to decide. They  had the option always to stay and work with me or go get some more quick fix medication else where most stayed many very happy I still exchange e-mails with clients in Canada now they still ask if i’m coming back.

This business was a huge success it kept me busy it constantly challenged me and is why I have such a low opinion of the standards being taught and what is acceptable to some stylists and technicians and the service they offer clients.  My business was build up and developed on having a clientele that was colour an technical work focused. Ie grade  A clients  I did not do mens hair nor did i do children. My choice. I did not do Saturdays and did one late night a week.  I only cut hair with Razors also a huge success and loved the challenge of the “Make over” I ran a barter system with a friend / colleague who was a beauty therapist so we did  some mutual recommendation of services.

It was a business built on very personalised service.  Built on understanding the B.A.S.I.C.S of business and of running a salon.  One built offering specialist Colour correction one built on recommendation. I was offering a unique services to those women who really wanted something different one on one service an they were willing to pay for this.

great rich Demi deposit red

 No quick fixes:

There are no quick fixes  well not that really work well !When thinking about some of the quick fix 10 minute colour I shudder not only at the chemistry of such products but also what is the rush! why rush I always gave the example and consider a colour formulation as being like baking a cake.

If one follows the correct recipe the cake should turn out perfect if in a rush so i turn the oven up to say 500 degrees its going to burn not work hair colour is the same assessment of the hair condition, consultation formulation timing simple! But then in a rush heat is added it might be bleach it might be colour either way heat and colour don’t mix you put a plastic bag over colour then maybe you can use the heat loss from the head. Put a plastic bag on then under a steamer or hood dryer the bag gets hot creates condensation the moisture forming in the bag is coming from the colour or bleach with bleach it will dry out not be able to expand go flaky cause banding uneven lift with permanent colour, heat can and will make the formulation separate so lift and deposit will be effected.

sharing communicating

With regard to my knowledge and qualification  my career is a mixture of experience education and a seeking for knowledge I had the good fortune to spend some time once with an amazing lady called Pat Drake her knowledge was quite amazing she pushed buttons with me asked question about i needed answers.  I have had the good fortune to teach basic colour through to colour correction i have diploma in advanced colouring  and many colouring awards and certificates but still feel  when it comes to Chemistry I still have a great deal to learn as it constantly changes and one hopes improves but i feel i really do understand colour -pigment- tone lift -deposit undertone understanding the relationship between what we have what we expose and what out target is whilst considering the hair structure the environment we are working in and what is possible respect the rules the law of colour!

shades tone

Working for L’anza was on the education and sales side of our industry I have tested products and given reviews but not directly with development or manufacture it might be an interesting Challenge. I’m still in limbo trying to find where I belong and what I should be doing and with whom.I’m work in progress!!!

shade and tone pigment

I feel I have so much to offer both from experience and motivation but i don’t fit the normal mold this I accept and am quite content with! [just a well really] Interestingly the issue about oil and silicone in all these new colours with MEA instead of Ammonia the new INOA colour is as oil driven colour! time will tell as to whether it really is the wonder product that its being marketed as like so many new or re invented products hairdresser are hungry for new things to promote to sell I wish they would take the time to ask the technical questions of these companies hold them more accountable for some of the claims they make about certain products. What they can do and indeed how safe they are !

technical colour wheel

my goal in writing this article is to raise questions about topics i find of interest but also to hopefully inform others and in doing so make new contacts.

My web site  blog is as a place to put down thoughts ideas but as it grows in content as I research more on the internet add new topics I find that its a wonderful tool for sharing my hope is that if any one reads this they may take the time to check it out comment add thoughts and ideas net work my blogs. I have met and continue to meet some wonderful people all like minded all with a passion to share and inform to offer advise and help the world gets smaller as we explore avenues to meet and share and indeed promote each other a growing global body of knowledge skill and passion. Hence the LinkedIn groups 

Professional hair dresser Knowledge net work

Whilst living on Vancouver Islands West Coast Of Canada i was a Colour Educator and platform artist for L’anza International based out of Calgary I contributed to the producing of both education material and programs launched for there new hair colour in Western Canada. A truly Multifaceted colour line: exceptional quality the best i have ever used: It was working as an educator and platform artists that enabled me to also run my very Niche hair colour correct salon The Colour it self was fascinating to hence getting involved It gave one the ability to partially or fully remove the Ammonia from the product thus making it a colour line that could be Permanent, Demi permanent, semi permanent, and toner all from one tube!

Remember this was around then year 2000 it was a time when Nano Technology, Muti faceted were the new descriptive words rolling off the tongues of  sales  reps. This colour line truly was the first company to employ Nano technology in it intense colours and additive shades. 4 levels of Hydrogen Peroxide 1x Demi Activator, the Translucent activator would fully or partially dissipate the Ammonia depending on the mixing ratio turning the product into a true semi permanent or toner a real break through. In Canada it was known as Belavance here in Europe it’s known as Tint and Tone it comes out of Germany with Italian pigment. Paris based.

Now my focus is on sharing the experience I have gained  both technical and in owning salons business issues and challenges staffing communication consultation. Sharing how we can lean an grow how we can challenge ourselves and those around us !

The ‘Three R’s’ 
”Reputation. Recommendation. Retention”. 
It’s not built on that constant looking for new clients it’s looking after what you have! It’s investing in your self and your business and those around you.


This journey, this career, is wonderful – challenging, inspiring, and yes, hard work.

Our industry is in constant change and is sometimes criticised. For lacking vision in some areas. However there is an ever growing body of professionals. That have a firm commitment to our industry, they have a passion for change, to raise standards through education and sharing. Leadership, education and team incentives.Will over time and with commitment give any individual that ability to do exceptional work and to be more creative. Leadership and management help create an amazing work environment for all concerned. So key for success for all concerned.
This journey. This career, is wonderful – Challenging. Inspiring and yes can and will be hard work. but the rewards are worth all the effort.
Thank you all for letting me share some thoughts with you today.These are inspirational, passionate, industry professionals.They have a vision. These are the people I want on my bus to learn from, share with, take a journey with. Get inspired. Connect with driven motivated industry professional. challenge your self. invest in ones /your self 

Are you driver or passenger !

 There are no guarantees in life and ones career and career choice is no different thing happen and its how we deal with them that defines us. Jobs change relationships come and go the one thing that remains after training is our skill both hands on creative and the ones we learn about people and communication about caring about being a team player. Constantly developing new skills staying current is so very important.

I also think that we need to always look at the WhyAsk the question Why are we in business whats it for? OrWhy do we want to go into to business what is success? Why do I suggest this I think by asking and exploring the why we get to the motive behind why we want to be in business what is true success. Why the will also help us to understand our true values this in turn helps us to follow the path to the success we want  and desire. It will help us to surround ourselves with the right team those who share our values and vision.


Remember. Salon success. Stylist success. Business success are all linked together it’s Team success. Its never about any destination only ever about a journey taking the right people on that journey makes it enjoyable maybe even fun!

Mike B2MR

The salon and the S word now available in book and e book format for links to purchase and reviews Click here or on the image.


The Salon & the ‘S’ Word

 Written by Mike Vallance

My web site is Back2myroots: B2MR feel free to check in

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