Are at-home colour kits for clients a good idea? Better alternatives to make a profit during the lockdown

Cosmetics set

If you are an active member of the hairdressing community, for sure you have noticed the heated debate surrounding the topic of selling at-home colour kits to clients, while the entire industry is under the lockdown. This idea has split the community in half – it has numerous supporters, even among the hairdressing celebrities, but many stylists openly condemn the whole concept. We’ve decided to break the controversial issue down, analyse it from a legal point of view and deliver some better alternatives that will allow you to earn some income without the risk of losing your professional credibility.

The dangers of selling at-home colour kits

What is this concept all about? Some hairstylists came to the conclusion that it’s better to provide their customers with pre-mixed, custom formulas than to see them turning to box dyes. The idea may seem fine at first glance – you don’t share the formula’s details, avoid the risk of clients ruining their coiffure with box dye and earn a much-appreciated penny. All you have to do is mix the concoction, pack it with gloves, a brush, a bowl and drop the kit off at a client’s house or make it available for curbside pickup. Seems harmless enough, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple.

It can void your licence

Remember, when we talked about professional negligence and how to avoid getting sued for it? In short, professional negligence is a situation in which a service provider fails to meet industry standards and the customer suffers because of it. An example of this is product misuse. Whenever you go against the manufacturer’s guidance, it takes legal responsibility away from the manufacturer. This then will void your insurance if a customer files a claim against you. Products labelled as “for professional use only” should never be offered for resale or be supplied to clients – if you do so, you will be held liable for anything that goes wrong and your insurance won’t cover you for any claim made by the client. And remember – allergy tests are required every time you are to chemically alter a client’s hair, so you are being negligent in this situation as well. The National Hair and Beauty Federation is very rigidly against the idea of creating at-home colour kits.

Consent forms have no legal binding

Many stylists think that they can avoid legal issues by making clients sign a consent form – after all, if a client officially admits that they take full responsibility and won’t blame the hairdresser for the potential failure, then everything is fine, right? It isn’t the case. Such forms have no legal power and all they give you is a false sense of security. It won’t stop the customer from suing you and will only prove that you were aware that selling the professional-use-only goods was a risky idea.

Clients may butcher the job – and blame you for it

Remember your first year in school, when you were a total hair newbie, trying to understand and learn proper application techniques? Most of your clients aren’t even on that level. Even if you provide live video tutorials on how to do a root touch-up at home, not everyone is going to do them correctly. When you work with hair for so long, it’s easy to forget that for a regular person, some things aren’t common knowledge. Even a seemingly simple root touch-up may lead to patchy, over-processed results.

Remember that it is a chemical service – and an ugly final outcome is not even the worst that may happen. The client may have a sudden, aggressive allergic reaction (it is possible even if they never had one before!). They may get the dye in their eye. They may over-process the hair to the point of no return. Your insurance won’t cover any of these situations – and in most cases, the client will hold you responsible for the suffered loss.

You risk losing clients

Let’s be honest for a moment. There are customers who come to salons for the whole experience – they love being pampered and getting a beautiful hair transformation at the same time. They are willing to pay an honest price for the service and they come back for the retouch in time. However, there are also customers who always seek ways to pay less for the service – and if they realise that they are able to retouch their hair themselves and get an okay result, they may greatly reduce their visits or even leave you altogether. You may say that it’s fine, they weren’t a perfect client in the first place… but you would be surprised by the number of customers who think like this. The harsh truth is that demand dictates supply – if people start to feel that paying for something is not worth it, they just stop.

Clients may expect this kind of service after the lockdown

The old saying – give someone an inch and they’ll take a mile – applies to a number of your clients. While some will understand that the at-home colour kits are the last resort, others may question why wouldn’t you keep delivering them after the quarantine. Once they find purchasing such kits is much cheaper and more convenient for them, they may get very demanding and put you in a very uncomfortable position. If you provided them with such a kit during the lockdown, why wouldn’t you do it if they are leaving for the holiday and you couldn’t squeeze them last-minute? Or when they realised too late they are going to a party this Saturday?

Better alternatives for making a profit during the lockdown

Now you may be terrified. Does it mean that there is no way of making a profit until you reopen? Fortunately, it isn’t the case – we’ve prepared three solid ideas that will bring you revenue without the aforementioned risks.

Sell personalised home-care hair kits

Paradoxically, selling retail can be easier now than ever before. Craving professional care, clients are interested in buying expert-grade products. Moreover, a lot of them have much more free time and therefore are dedicated to performing beauty rituals. Take advantage of this trend and offer your customers personalised home-care kits – what’s better than a personalised bundle, hand-picked for you by your favourite stylist?

Begin with spreading the word. Posts on your social media fan pages are effective, but it’s best to reach your clients directly – if you use Versum, take advantage of the SMS bulk messaging option. Once you catch your audience’s attention, surprise them with premade, customised offers – to do it, begin with finding out what will best fit your clients’ needs. It will be easiest to do if you have a Versum account – then you can check customer records for all the details regarding your clients’ state of hair or product preferences. Moreover, Versum stores your customers’ appointment and purchase history so you can clearly see their likes and dislikes. Of course, allow your clients to further customise the kits – be their advisor but let them make the final decision regarding the kit’s content. Remember to price the kits properly – after all, you offer not only great products, but also your expertise!

Sell non-invasive colour-preserving products

In the case of the all-over colour, a colour-preserving shampoo or mask in the right tone may be a good idea. Of course, we are talking about products adapted for home use – many good retail brands offer them for hairdressers to sell. Remember to be very precise about who those products are intended for – it has to be clear that they are not a one-size-fits-all solution and you won’t, for example, maintain a balayage with them. You should also ensure that they receive a correct product for their hair colour –  choose the tone yourself, based on the client’s colour formula stored in your customer records.

Sell online vouchers

The best way to make a profit during the lockdown is most definitely by selling online vouchers. With Versum, you can do it in the most convenient way possible. Versum’s online vouchers allow for the whole process to be completed remotely, so there is no contact required. You receive the payment instantly and the services can be provided as soon as you reopen. You fill your appointment book for the future and don’t let your clients forget about you – if you want to, you can additionally thank them for the support by increasing the value of the voucher or adding bonuses, such as priority booking or a free treatment or product. With such a solution, you can keep making a profit, no matter the circumstances!

Start selling vouchers

At-home colour kits for clients aren’t the best idea for making a profit during the lockdown. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot earn some revenue – you just need to look for more credible ways of doing so! If you are using Versum, take advantage of its features for creating personalised home-care kits for your clients, but most importantly – activate the online vouchers option, thanks to which you will keep your business going!

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