While I like to consider it "homework" for my job here at American Salon, I have to admit that I'm a little bit in love with Bravo's Tabatha's Salon Takeover (Thursdays, 10pm EST). I was a big fan of the tell-it-like-it-is Tabatha Coffey when she was a contestant on Season 1 of Shear Genius, and then again when she acted as a judge on the show this past season. In case you haven't gotten the chance to check out the show yet, the premise is this: Tabatha goes into a salon that needs help in both design and service and makes over the space and the employees' habits and skills. She often finds resistance from the staff, but in the end, they realize that by using her tips, they can improve their abilities, increase their sales and work better as a team.
Last night, I finally watched my DVR'd episode from last week, where Tabatha took on a salon called Images in Long Island, New York, that seemed to be stuck back in the late '80s/early '90s. There were tantrums and tears, but despite Tabatha's often abrasive manner of instruction, the staff learned to really appreciate and listen to all that she had to say. While the salon was being renovated, Tabatha took the stylists on a field trip to Manhattan's chic Eiji Salon to show them what a successful and sophisticated salon looks like. If you've been a regular reader, you know that I met Eiji and his salon director, Erin, during Fashion Week, so I was especially excited to see them on TV. Eiji taught the stylists his renowned dry-cutting technique, and all the staff members received makeovers to see what it was like from the client side of things. The Eiji Salon visit had a huge impact on the Images staff.
Yes, the show is entertaining and Tabatha is a one of those hilarious and mean people you just love to hate, but the best part of the show from a salon standpoint is all the useful tips. Even if you think your salon is running smoothly, Tabatha's ideas for improvement are often general enough for you to apply on your own.
Are you watching? Tell me your thoughts! â€”Lori Morris, Senior Editor