Service Trends – Can you say “NO”?

Posted on April 4, 2008. Filed under: customer service | Tags: , , , , |

I read this article in Philadelphia Magazine this morning and it really got me to thinking.  When do you refuse to provide a service?

We are not a kid-friendly salon.  We only do the children of our regular clients.  (We have the same policy for bridal parties, but that’s another topic all together!)  This week was spring break in our town and like magic, a herd of small creatures appeared for haircuts.  It is not my favorite time.  (I prefer them not all be in the salon together.  There is a reason I don’t work in a kids’ salon!)

We are not opposed to doing (what we determine to be) age-appropriate services on children.  A few well-placed highlights in the winter to blend the sun-lightened summer streaks.  An occasional pink streak for fun.  Uni-brow removal.  But I think that my professional judgment and integrity have value.  I won’t wax in an arch on a child because her face is growing and changing.  Her arch will be somewhere else next year and all that trauma to the follicles could cause long term trouble if there is no longer hair in a place you wish there were.  Children do need to be groomed, but they don’t need to be high maintenance.

One grandmother brought us her sixth grader for highlights.  We talked about a little face framing; or maybe a sprinkling of blonde throughout the surface.  The child stomped her little feet and demanded to look like Paris Hilton.  We declined.  My response to the little angel was something along these lines: When you have a job and can afford the maintenance, we can talk about it.

It has always been my policy not to perm a child’s hair.  I was told a million years ago that the hair is not fully keratonized until puberty.  I have no ide if that is correct, but after having a number of children come back for perm re-dos because it wasn’t a nice even curl, I stopped offering the service.  (Nevermind the logistics of getting a small person to lie in a shampoo bowl for a five minute rinse!)

So, I ask you:  What won’t you do on a child?  Where (if anywhere) do you draw the line?  Are you afraid to tell a client “No”?

Trend: Pretty Babies

Facials, bikini waxes, mani/pedis and blowouts have long been de rigueur Rittenhouse and Main Line beauty regimens — but nowadays, the “women” getting these luxe spa treatments have yet to reach puberty

By Carrie Denny

Page 1 of 6

T. Kruesselmann/zefa/Corbis

Melanie Engle was trying to just pluck the stray hairs here and there. She was trying to deliver an age-appropriate eyebrow wax to her client. It was hard, though, because there was a foot tapping next to her, and a voice shouting in her ear: “No! Not like that — like a supermodel’s. I want them arched.”

After years in the beauty biz, Engle had seen her share of crazy ladies demanding perfect, Glamour-cover-worthy brows. But this Crazy Lady wasn’t talking about her own brows. The brows in question belonged to Crazy Lady’s daughter. Who was eight.

After sweating through the kid’s eyebrow wax, Engle, today an aesthetician at the Adolf Biecker Salon/Spa outposts in the Rittenhouse Hotel and Strafford — and, it should be noted, one of the most sought-after eyebrow specialists in the region — was directed to give her pint-size client a … bikini wax.

Engle was, predictably, extremely uncomfortable with the idea. But she sent the girl next door to the spa to have it done anyway. “It was clear that this girl was getting a bikini wax no matter what,” she says. “Better for her that we did it, instead of her mother dragging her off somewhere else to get it done.”
 Read the rest of the article here.


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