So, How'd It Go?
It's officially been one week back since the Studio reopened, so I thought I'd pull back the curtain a bit and let you know how things went!
Some things were a bit tougher than expected, some were NBD, and here's how all of my predictions have played out (so far):
Emotions have been all over the place...for everyone. I've got the reputation of "never being a crier" and even I was surprised at the tears in the moments leading up to my first guest. Probably a combination of anxiety and excitement, nervousness and relief. Over the course of the one appointment I've had client dance parties, ridiculous laughter, big tears, and elbow bumps instead of hugs. I'm glad I'm not alone in figuring out this New Normal!
The new safety protocols are going pretty well. I can' thank everyone for their patience and understanding with all the hoops we have to jump through before folks can even sit down. Weird questions on the porch. My super-fun laser thermometer. The no touching of anything. The shampoo bowl communal hand washing and dance party (because my playlist + bubbles + awkward side-by-side lathering requires a boogie!).
The masks aren't nearly as much of an issue as I thought. Yep, they're getting wet and messy (prediction #1 correct). Folks have been amazing dealing with my hokey-pokey of unloop this ear....now reloop and unloop the other ear.... It's harder for me than I thought to not see your faces, and the post-appointment glamour shots are definitely a little less glamorous. But hey -- upshot! -- it's also a new way for us to express ourselves and accessorize. "Hey, I love your mask," seems to be the 2020 compliment!
The amenities (or lack thereof) are a super bummer. What I did not anticipate was how much folks are appreciating their individually disinfected box of supplies, prepackaged for their appointment. Before folks come in I have the cape, numerous towels, bowls, tint brushes, clips, combs, and blow-out brush all sanitized, disinfected, and in a sealed up in plastic container. Everything I use on during the appointment comes out of that box (except the actual color and my heavily-disinfected shears); no one has to worry that their towels have been exposed to someone else's airborne Covid-19 germs. I know it doesn't make up for the loss of champagne, treats, and towel towel treatment, but I'm glad this little extra prep has helped to ease anxiety.
Longer appointment predictions were spot on. Doing the math, 80% of my appointments this week took the extra 60 minutes I booked in. And sometimes they even went into my 30-minute buffer time I have scheduled for sanitation/disinfection between every client. This issue leads to...
Extra color costs being a serious thing. On the whole, everyone is coming in at almost double what their last appointment was. Budgeting $50-60 for chemical cost alone is not being unreasonable. And yes, that's for traditional color (non-vivid) services.
Beauty budgets are definitely coming in hot! Thankfully no one has been surprised, I'm glad my prep work, posts, blogs, and pep talks didn't scare anyone off.
Total makeovers happen at almost every appointment. I think because of the extended time between sessions, being out of key products, and the transition into Spring, not one person didn't want to chop off some serious length. Everyone definitely needed a haircut, but folks opted to go above and beyond the generous trim recommendation. Remember that extra color and longer appointment costs? Some of that was due to a ton of roots, but mostly that came from Pinterest-inspired makeovers. Everyone definitely did their homework and came in with some amazing new inspo!
The new add-on services have been a hit! Whether it's been the ACV Exfoliating Cleanse & Rebalancing service or the Redken HeatCure Treatment, I've been doing at least one a day. If your scalp has been a little worse for wear, or your length has seen better days, I've got exactly what you're needing for the fix.
Root retouch kits were both a lifesaver and are still one of the hottest tickets in town. With over 150 folks to reschedule (and just two hands), I hate that I couldn't get everyone in last week. Or this week. Or even in June! Luckily these kits are still available to keep those grays away (or keep that length/highlights beautiful, toned, and glossy) until we can meet, and don't forget there's a detailed application video where I walk you through the 100% goof-proof process.
The out-of-product blues is something I frequently hear. Being totally out of Olaplex No 3, toning shampoo, and/or deep conditioner is a very common issue. Luckily I have everything restocked (for now), plus all of the new ACV products that folks have been dying to try. Supplies are even running low for me, so grab them while I've got them!
Who knew custom root retouch kits were still going to sell like crazy? With only one of me and 150+ of you, there are folks who won't get their first appointment back until July! There is no need to deal with tons of grey before you can get in -- they're still available and will land on your front porch in about 5 business days.
What I didn't seem coming are all of the new guest requests. I am so sad to hear about the volume of hairdressers and salons that have decided to permanently close their doors, I hate to see so many dedicated and talented stylists opt out of the industry. I am so touched that folks have reached out to me, and decided that Style Haus Salem would be a good fit for them as their new hair home.
I shouldn't have been surprised at all of the kindness and love given to me. Like, I knew y'all were amazing people, but OMG the grace and patience....!?!?!?! There's no way I can express how this extra level of generosity soothed my first-week-back nerves and made it okay for me to step into the fray.