Wendy Belanger Shares her Best Salon Practices

In the city where I’m from, there are approximately 40 other salons on the same street as my studio! To be precise, there are four on my block alone. When people ask, “What do you do to compete?â€Â  I simply reply, “I don’t!†The next question that usually follows is, “What makes your salon so successful then?â€

We decided as a team to step out of the norm and create a “salon experience†at Influence, where the customer is referred to as a guest and an appointment is considered a reservation.  Simple terms such as “guest and reservation†are associated with utmost importance and a welcoming stay.  In addition, we feel that all luxury appointments in life such as fine dining, hotels, and car services etc, begin with a reservation.

So, what does this look like?  Well, we took a standard salon visit and found a way to make all aspects of it an “experienceâ€. The moment you enter through the door, you are immediately greeted with a smile and “Hello, welcome to Influence!â€Â  Following the greeting, we ask our guest “Do you have a reservation with us today?â€Â  You are then presented with a bottle of fresh spring water with our logo on it.  When the stylist greets you, he or she then takes you on a full tour of the salon. Inviting our guests into our salon and familiarizing them with the layout, provides an unconscious comfort and therefore eases their mind.

Prior to every haircut, a head massage is given at the station with aromatherapy oils.  Knowing that a large portion of our guests get color services, we wanted to create a complimentary relaxation procedure for them as well.  Therefore, while they process, we administer a hand massage utilizing organic lotion specially created for Influence Salon and massage the guest from their elbows to their finger tips. After each service we give a full styling lesson on how to do your own hair.  Our mantra is: “Use what I use and do what I do and your hair will look like it does when I do it†We also offer styling classes in the evening for those who are looking for extra tips or who are less savvy with their skills. A full explanation of what was done to the guest’s hair is delivered at the take home bar for at-home maintenance and a chocolate with their receipt sends them on their way. A follow up phone call 7 days later is always a standard as we want to make sure that consistency is maintained with every visit.

These are just a few of our practices we utilize. Our tag line is “Influence salon ... experience the differenceâ€. We don’t compete; we have always believed that you should chase the DREAM, not the competition.

wendybWendy Belanger is the current artistic director for Pureology. Along with creating seasonal trends for Pureology, Belanger has traveled the country styling celebrities backstage at awards shows. She is based in Calgary, Canada, where she owns Influence salon.