Have you ever left a hair or beauty salon and sworn that you will never come back? The hair or beauty salon business is based on your satisfaction in the way you look – so you keep coming back again and again. The cut, shape and the color of your hair when you leave the salon gives you both a fresh look and the confidence that you look your best. If you leave the salon feeling great but later look in a mirror at work or at home and don’t like the results, you may never use that salon and stylist again!
A stylist’s income is based in making sure you are satisfied, and a huge part of that income is based on color. If you pay for new color, color corrections or highlights, you want them to look great and last over time. The reality of color is that everyone sees it slightly different and every hair color appears to change under different lighting conditions. Norman Zapien is the owner of the boutique salon chain Zapien’s and a stylist with decades of experience all over the world. With two salons in the Metro Atlanta area, one located in the posh Buckhead neighborhood, Norman knows that in the competitive world of professional stylists and salons, keeping customers satisfied is paramount. If a friend or relative questions a client’s hair color a day or a month after coloring, they may immediately check in the closest mirror to find hair that is a color they don’t recognize. Often, if they come back to the salon to complain, they find that miraculously – their hair looks great again in a different place!
Zapien explains, “We have to educate clients on the effect of light on hair color. You can create great color for a client that looks great here in the salon but looks completely different in other places. In other light it may take on a lighter color, darker color, or different color entirely! If someone thinks their hair has been colored improperly, they may not give you a chance to explain by coming back in. It’s up to the stylist to educate their clients that everyone’s hair will change appearance under different light.”
Salons often use expensive high-quality lighting, and many make use of large open windows with lots of warm natural light to ensure strong vibrant colors can be seen and appreciated. Great lighting helps stylists do their jobs well and helps clients see the results. In contrast, the bathroom at your office likely has no windows and uses low cost fluorescent lighting which can make hair look washed out, dull or even tinted with different shades like green or yellow! This is the exact reason why a universal standard is needed for comparison. For lighting the best universal standard is sunlight. Though even sunlight varies somewhat in hue and brightness, compared with the vast variance in artificial lighting these changes are small. Using sunlight as the metric you can truly tell if your hair is lighter, or more red, blonde or brown than it was before.
“Clients have to understand that part of the reason they may love their hair here but not somewhere else is because we have great lighting and light changes everything. Natural light brings out the colors of your hair,” Norman says. “It is a difficult reality for stylists all over the world. You have to explain to each client that when you walk out the door, your color may look different. To see the same color as in the salon a client needs to look at their hair color in the same lighting.”
Having light that closely matches sunlight in the salon can help stylists and salon owners educate clients on lighting and color. Using tuned LED lights, like the Crystallin Salon Downlights, that closely match natural sunlight allows great lighting and color appreciation in the salon and gives clients a universal ‘standard’ of lighting outside the salon. Crystallin Salon Downlights have been specifically designed to optimize beauty salon environments by producing sun-like color representation and use the latest remote phosphor film technology from Light Polymers, a nanochemistry startup developing lyotropic liquid crystal chemistry in California. Using lights like these, a stylist can tell their clients that what they see in the salon matches what they will see outside, under natural lighting conditions. High-CRI lights that simulate sunlight can make sure a salon’s clients have natural sunlight for their standard, helping ensure critical customer satisfaction and repeat business.