Salons fighting to survive must cut waste to cut costs

Escalating product costs, alongside energy and rent hikes, are being blamed for the worst crisis hairdressing has faced in years, forcing many into closure. But one company is helping salons by ending the culture of waste rife within the industry.

“Hairdressing wastes 6.8 million tons of colour every year, colour that salons have paid for,” said Josh Howard, CEO of Vish Colour Management. “At a time when the industry is at its most vulnerable, with more businesses closing than in any other industry, it is crucial to bring down costs, and cutting colour waste cuts costs. It is more sustainable than pushing those costs on clients to survive.”

According to Local Data Company, independently owned hair and beauty salons are struggling more than any other retailers, with 624 salons closing last year compared to the next worst affected sector, newsagents, which saw 225 closures. Meanwhile, a survey by Uswitch suggests more than a quarter are thinking of closing or downsizing. The National Hair & Beauty Federation confirmed the findings, reporting that one salon in four was making a loss.

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Louise Howard-Long, owner of Architect Hair in Leeds, said her profit margins had already been squeezed by an increase in the price of hair dyes – by as much as a quarter – and other necessities from refreshments for customers to shampoo.

“Many of the losses reported by the NHBF are down to unnecessarily high product costs that salons could control. The average salon is spending approximately £15,000 on colour that goes in the bin. But we have salons that have seen their colour costs plummet by as much as 40% once the team started measuring their formulas on a Vish scale,” explained Josh.

“Our technology remembers how much waste was left after the service and will refine the formula so the right quantities are mixed at every future appointment. Salons are also seeing an immediate 15% uplift in revenue as Vish captures previously missed services such as toners, taking the onus away from the stylist to remember every product used during the appointment.”