Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Right Tools Make All the Difference

HairQueen News

Before I rush off for some R&R on vacation, I wanted to let you all know about a really exciting retail rewards program that I’ve started at Swan's Studios. For every $100 you spend on salon retail product, you will receive $5.00 off your next purchase. I firmly believe in the products that I carry in my salon. These products include Framesi Color Lover products, Framesi BY and Crew styling products, and more. 

BY  Framesi - Refined in both formulation and presentation, BY Framesi products are the perfect combination of a search for the most exclusive look and targeted hair care treatment. Click here for more information on the BY product line. 

Framesi Color Lover is a highly protective line of shampoos and conditioners, formulated to combat fading and prolong cosmetic coloring, deeply moisturizing, to keep the hair feeling soft, shiny, and radiant. Effectively specific to give the best result on every type of color-treated hair: fine (Color Lover Volumizing), coarse (Color Lover Moisture Rich ), curly (Color Lover Curl) or straight (Color Lover Smooth Shine).

American Crew - my great men's hair product line. Click here for more information. 
Kendra - dandruff shampoo, clarifying shampoo, dry shampoo
Framesi ID - click here for more information on these great styling products.

Please let me know the next time you are in the salon if you need to restock on any product or feel you need to try something new. I’d be happy to make a recommendation.

Story of the Month - Product Diversion

There is a very important issue happening in the hair industry currently and I think as a business
consultant and hair stylist it is important for me to educate my clients on what product diversion is and how it impacts you as a consumer and me as a hairstylist.

What exactly is product diversion? 
By definition, diversion is when products designed and meant for exclusive distribution at a specific store end up on the shelves of an unintended store. In terms of the beauty industry, diversion occurs when professional salon products like Matrix or American Crew are sold at non-salon locations.

Is product diversion illegal?
Unfortunately, no. There are breaches in contracts between manufacturers and distributors as a result of the diversion, but a vendor cannot demand the removal of their product from an unauthorized store.

How do I spot diverted products?
The next time you are at your local retail store, look at the labels of the products in the “Professional Hair Care” section. Products that have the phrase “for sale in professional salons only” or “guaranteed only when purchased in a salon” have been diverted. Any professional product you find outside of a salon is diverted and thus not guaranteed to be at the same level of quality as those found in the salon.

Why should I care about product diversion?
Diverted professional products are obtained through the “gray” or “black” market. In many instances these products have been found to be old, counterfeit, or containing harmful bacteria. These products may not be safe to use and are not guaranteed by the manufacturer.

Aren’t the products at the store cheaper than at my salon?
This is a common misconception. Diverted products tend to go through many channels during the black market process. In the end, this makes the prices higher and allows the diverters to make more money. Sometimes the product can cost up to twice as much as you would pay in a salon! For example:
            Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum
                     Manufacturer suggested retail price: $16.95
                     Mass retail price:                               $28.99

Why not make hair-care products available everywhere?
Professional salon products have been specially developed for your individual hair type. These products need recommendations by a professional stylist who has been trained to do so. Your stylist can make educated product recommendations for your specific situation and show you exactly how to use it. You can’t find this expert advice in a drug store.

How can I help fight against diversion?
Buy professional hair-care products ONLY at your salon. Make sure your support goes to companies that are part of the solution, not part of the problem. Purchase non-diverted lines as opposed to heavily diverted products.

For more information on product diversion click here. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer Lovin'

Story of the Month 

I'm so excited for Swans Studios very own Tim Piper for being named one of the Best of the Bay Barbers! Check out page 97 in the San Francisco Magazine Best of the Bay issue! Tim is known for his amazing ability to re-create classic looks as well as giving clients the royal treatment. I'm so excited and proud of our amazing Swans Studios team!


Hair Queen News

With so many people coming and going on vacation I wanted to remind everyone of a few easy summer hair care tips to keep your locks looking great by the pool, on the beach, or being active on a bike ride or hike.

Summer Hair Care Tips
  • Wear a cute hat or cap to protect your hair and scalp from too much sun.
  • Let your hair air dry instead of a heated hair dryer.
  • Put a little conditioner and water in a spray bottle and wet your hair before getting into the pool to help your hair absorb less chlorine or salt water.
  • Use leave in conditioner on the ends of your hair after shampooing to keep moisture in.
  • Rinse your hair with COLD water to make your hair shinier! (yup, COLD! brrr!)
  • Use a chlorine-removing shampoo after swimming in a chlorinated pool  
  • Get your hair trimmed every 6 weeks to promote growth and to keep the ends healthy.
  • Drink water often to keep yourself hydrated — when you drink enough water, your hair looks its best. So make sure you don’t let yourself feel thirsty. That’s a sure sign you need a few glasses of water!

Runs Businesses With Scissors

Whether you are a business owner, a hard working professional, or an even harder working parent, vacation is always essential to take a mental break from the day-to-day. Taking “down time” nurtures creativity and brings your mind, body, and soul back into alignment to really come back and attack your business, career, and family with the positivity that is necessary. Check out this great article that highlights the health benefits of taking vacation and stepping away from work.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Let's Hear it For the Boys!

Story of the Month - Men's Hair 

Last month I honored my mum and my salon client mom’s, so this month it is only fitting that this month I share with you something very important to me…hairstyling men! Actually, I want to answer a question I get so often from both male and female clients, which is, “What is the difference between a barber and a hairstylist? And which one should I (my husband/boyfriend) go to?”

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding whether to go to a barber or to a salon and see a hairstylist. Here is a quick breakdown to help you in this tricky decision.

You should go to a barber if: 

  •  you want a short, traditional cut (i.e. buzz cut, flat top, fade, military style trim)
  • you’re on a budget, barbers are typically less expensive than hairstylists
  • you want a simple style that doesn’t require a lot of product, has a natural look
  • you want a shave…most upscale barbers offer hot lather face shaves
  • you don’t want a change, barbers will typically ask what you want and provide you that same service each time

You should go to a salon/hairstylist if: 

  • you're going longer, stylist have more experience cutting and styling longer men’s hair
  • you want color, typically barbers don’t provide any coloring services
  • you're looking for a more fashion forward style, hairstylists tend to stay up on the latest trends more so than barbers
  • you want a change. During the consultation, a stylist will often make suggestions for a style that will flatter your features better.
  • you need/want product. Salons frequently carry a greater selection of hairstyling products than barbershops. Stylists are more likely to be well-trained on the types and use of the products as well.

Of course, these are generalized bullets and don’t apply to each and every situation, but these guidelines should be able to help you or your male counterpart in deciding the best place to go to get the best look for you/them. If you are looking for a hairstylist, I’m very skilled in cutting and styling male hair so please let me know if you have a friend or male partner who would like to make an appointment.

Hair Queen News

Some of you may not know about my experience with styling and coloring mens hair but I've had several male clients for several years, some over 20 years. They are a great group of men and I'm proud and honored they continue to trust me with their hair. Here are a few gentlemen that were kind enough to send me testimonials to share with you.

"Suzanne's the only one who gets it right every time.  When once or twice I snuck behind her back to another chair, it looked like Holy Heck* less than three weeks later!” ~Chuck Rosene

“I have been a client of Suzanne's since her daughter was a little girl. Ottilia has now graduated from college.  My hair has changed in the passing years, but Suzanne's talent with cut and color has kept me looking great.” ~ Dirk Epperson

"For nearly twenty years now, I have had confidence in how my hair looks.  I know I can trust Suzanne to handle my cut and color with both subtlety and style" ~ John Russo (pictured right)

Cheers to the men out there especially my Dad clients! Happy Father's Day to all! 

Runs Businesses with Scissors 

May was graduation month and it got me thinking about education and how time and time again, it has been my commitment to educate and improve both my business knowhow and my skills in the art of hairdressing that reignited my passion and confidence time and time again.

For business improvement and success I worked with salon industry coaches and consultants. Their advice and guidance challenged me and helped me make smart, informed business decisions.  On the creative side I have attended numerous advanced classes at hair shows and academies here and abroad. Finding the time to commit to education and making the financial commitment has paid off immeasurably for my career and business.

Last year my coach and I worked on my plan for my boutique salons in the Swans Market.  Our vision was for me to have a studio where I could see both my hair clients and my consulting clients in a comfortable environment. What is your latest vision for your business?  I would love to help you make your dreams come to true.  Do you want to grow your business, downsize, or diversify?

Let’s make a plan together. Please visit my website www.suzannevanhouten.com or email me directly at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spring into Style!

Spring Hair Trends

Are you trying to stay on trend with the Spring hairstyles for 2014? From the Met Gala to the Cannes Film Festival, celebrities are sporting the latest in hair trends. Here are just a few to inspire you and your style!

Sleek buns

Are you going out on the town with a knock out dress? Wearing a statement necklace that needs to Work the sleek bun look to pull the focus to your outfit and make the best part of your look stand out! 


The braid is back in a huge way. The everyday woman may not have a red carpet to work it on but a braid is a great way to look like you made an effort without making it look like you tried too hard. Whether you are hitting the beach for the first time this year or attending a backyard barbeque, a loose braid is a sexy, flirty way to look pulled together, yet still casual!

Statement Accessories

Want to stand out while still keeping it simple and low maintenance? Rock a LBD with a statement hair accessory and draw people's attention to your updo! A statement accessory can pump up the glamor factor of any look and make it look like you really went all out when all you did was "put a pin in it!" Try this look for a spring/summer wedding or graduation celebration.

Side Swept Waves

Really want to bump up the glamor factor? Want to keep your hair do for a cool Bay Area event but still look polished? A side swept wave is the perfect look. Emphasis a severe part to add volume and sex appeal. This classic look will make you stand out in all the good ways.

I hope at least one of these looks has inspired you to try something new this spring with your style!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mum's the Word!

Story of the Month 

My mum, brother, & me
As Mother's Day approaches, I can't help but think of my mum and all the wonderful memories I have of her. She was a huge part of how I became a hairstylist. As a young girl I enjoyed going to the salon with my mum in North London where I grew up.  The salon that she went to was a small salon called Robert Jeffries. I loved it there; I loved the smells, the chatter, the sound of the hairdryers, the gossip, the jokes, and of course the way they did my mum's hair. 

Later, when I became a teenager I got my very first job as a Saturday Girl at Robert Jefferies Salon and I was in heaven.  I learned how to shampoo, how to greet the clients, I made cups of tea, swept up the hair, took out the rollers. I also learned how to blow dry and style for the hairstylists following a haircut; a must do at the time since Vidal Sassoon was becoming all the rage. It was out with the roller set, in with the brush and blow dryer!

Me outside Vidal Sassoon in the 80's
As a young teen I had no idea that I would be a life long hairstylist. Today, Vidal Sassoon is still one of my hair idols and so much has changed since I was a Saturday Girl in the Seventies! It all started, though, with me just wanting to tag along with my mum when she went to get her hair done, and look what it turned into...quite an amazing journey.  


Hair Queen News


May is always such a wonderful time of year. The new season has arrived, fun outdoor activities and events are taking place, and of course it is the time of year when we celebrate all the wonderful Mother's in our lives, those that birthed us, and those that have become mother figures in our lives over the years. The sacrifices that Mother's make to provide for their children is a certainly something to celebrate.  In honor of all the Mother's that come into my salon I've created a photo collage to honor you. Now this is just a small number of the wonderful ladies from my salon, there are so many of you!  Click here to view the collage.

Runs Businesses With Scissors 

We are nearing the half-year mark of 2014.  Are you on track with your business goals?  If so, well done!  If not, it is never too late to take stock and make a plan, or adjust your existing plan, in order for your next steps to be successful. Do you know your numbers? Is your client count low? Is it time for a sales promotion? Or perhaps a Mother's Day promotion will help. 

Besides our hair styling skills, today hair stylists and salon owners must juggle the land of social media, electronic booking systems and Square all in order to create the best salon experience for our clients.  We must spend time on our business as well as in our business.

Contact me if you would like to schedule a Business Consultation to review your current business plan and help grow in the second half of 2014. I'm running a May consulting special so make sure to email me at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com for more information.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Has Sprung: Pushing Refresh on a New Season!

I don't know about you but spring has certainly sprung for me. The flowers are blooming, the daylight is lasting longer, and there is just a new and fresh vibe in the atmosphere. With the school year winding down and summer plans being made I think this is always a good time to refresh my life and clean out the winter blues to make room for sunny and fun days ahead!

Story of the Month 

Some areas of my life that I like to re-evaluate this time of year include but are not limited to style/fashion, beauty, home organization, relationships/friendships, etc. Here are a few tips to help you refresh your busy life!
  • Beauty - Like the food in your refrigerator, your makeup and beauty products also have expiration dates. While cleaning out the closet also try to purge your bathroom drawers and shelves of those products that could be doing you more harm than good at this point. Click here for a great article from Real Simple Magazine
  • Hair - Are you looking for a new do to rock this season? Tired of those long locks? Maybe something shorter or lighter? Here are a few inspiring styles from celebrities who have recently updated their hair style. I hope you get inspired! Click here for a slideshow of hot celebrity make-overs for spring!
  • Home Organization - Do you have a stack of papers on a side table that stare at you each night? Another pile of magazines and newspapers in a basket by the couch that you want to read "when you have free time"? Or an inbox in your email account that is out of control? I've been working on cleaning up and organizing my paperwork, both personal and business, around my house. Try some of these tips to help streamline your process so it doesn't feel so overwhelming. Tackling a few things at a time instead of the whole animal is a good place to start! 
For more tips on refreshing spring check out my monthly newsletter here

Hair Queen News

Spring is a great time to take risks with your hair and really experiment. For some clients with long hair they don't want to give up length but want to try something new. Color is always an easy way to go to freshen up your look without sacrificing length! I recently got in a plethora of new colors for spring from the Framesi color line, plus this is a hot trend in Hollywood right now to go crazy and have fun with your color. If you are interested in trying a new hue, let me know!

Also, I've come across some great "updo" tricks that are super easy and fast with great results.  Here are some links to fun hairstyles for you to try this spring!


Runs Businesses with Scissors

We are three months into the year and it’s a great time for business owners to look back to January at the list of business resolutions you made. Are you on track with the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year? Do you need to re-evaluate some of those goals? Spring is the perfect time of year to do a refresh on your business goals and tweak areas that you haven’t focused on as much as you should.

Although small business owners do not get an official spring break, spring is a good time to take a break and recharge your batteries.  It is important to have a good work/life balance and to plan your time off throughout the year to give yourself a mental and physical break.  One of the beauties of being self-employed is that you can plan your daily, weekly, and monthly schedule to serve you and your clients.  If you need help finding work/life balance within your year, please feel free to contact me and I can coach you in the art of scheduling with ease!

For more information check out my website, www.suzannevanhouten.com.