How a Blow Dry Bar can Help Grow your Salon Business
Having a quality blow dry can revamp tired, lank hair into a Hollywood starlet mane in around 30 minutes!
For this reason I wanted to dive headfirst into a relatively new approach to one of our regular services that has really taken off in the past couple of years.
Blow dry bars are in airports, cities, and popping up as a global phenomenon – for good reason. Spark some ideas for your own salon by reading this article from Harpers Bazarre, which examines the top London Blow dry bars.
I wanted to discuss how opening up your service menu and if possible space, can dramatically grow your salon and increase your revenue.
Conceptually it is nothing new, as blow dries have been around for decades! But teamed with today’s fast moving pace and need for convenience, the two marry up quite nicely.
Benefits of stationing a blow dry bar in your salon
Your USP to set your apart. Including a blow dry bar as part of your salon can be an asset and a great USP for your brand. You are able to market yourself in a different light to others by branching out, offering something eminently different to that of a neighbouring salon.
Your income will increase. Clients want convenience and will pay extra for it. Think booking a chosen seat on an aeroplane, booking your allotted slot for your food delivery and so on. How many times do we have clients scheduled in for a blow out who are clearly in a hurry? Market this an an express service that is notably quicker for clients in a hurry, as well as those wanting to pamper themselves.
Minimise waiting times. All blow dries take 30 minutes. This is because your client picks the style they want from the menu options available. It could be sleek or with waves and if the client has particularly thick hair, you add on the appropriate time when booking. This will minimise significantly on wait times, as it will be the only service you offer in this part of the salon. Waiting times eat into your bottom line if you are unable to fit another client in an allotted space which potentially means you miss out on earnings. By having this set time to work within, you can easily work out your earning potential.
How other salons have made them work
Having examined different models in this field, here are some points to take into consideration.
One thing I noted is taken from the highly esteemed Hershesons based in London, UK.
Here they offer 12 different styles for clients to choose from. All costing £35, and taking merely 30 minutes of their time. If a client has thick hair, they add a surcharge of £17.50 if the appointment runs over the 30 minute allotted time. Making sure the stylist is paid for the extra time taken.
This is unquestionably a modern, innovative twist on the regular blow dry. Moving it into the 21st century away from shampoo, sets and hood dryers.
It is a simple, clean clear cut slant on something we traditionally do everyday of the week, reinventing the wheel one might say!
Their website features images of all 12 styles, with fabulous names such as ‘Dirty Ballerina’ and ‘Wavy gravy’. All alongside a description of the look and an option to ‘Shop the look’ so you can recreate the effect at home. Another smart marketing strategy.
They even offer a 15 minute blow dry for £15. This is hair wash free, and consists of dry shampoo and heat treatment to achieve a speedy version of the classics. This would be excellent for filling gaps in stylists columns and a great pick me up for a client in need of a speedy solution for their hair needs.
This is another well thought out method to encourage sales and keeps clients wanting more. If you replicate this in your own salon, your sales record could ‘blow away’ your previous one as a result.
aer blowdry bar
Another acclaimed factor noted from ‘aer blowdry bar’ also based in London UK, was their tag line: “We open before your morning meeting and stay open for your dinner date.”
As a salon owner, if you can capture this essence and make it your objective you could really maximise your earning potential. I’m not talking open 24/7 365, but as cited earlier, people want convenience. Doing the regular 9-5 just doesn’t cut it in our industry. If sanctioned within your salon, it can really add some considerable weight to your profits.
Evening and weekends are our calling, and taking this concept on board in your salon could assist in a loaded column for these times.
Just as a foot note on this point; it is worth observing that this is plausibly a location based privilege, and perhaps won’t work as well in more rural areas. Large town and city based salons may see the benefits with more commuters and a higher foot fall at these times.
It is a business model that works for one sure fire reason; people can’t blow dry their own hair as well as a professional. In my experience clients often say ‘I won’t ever get my hair to look like this when I do it’. That reasoning alone highlights why this approach works so well.
It is worth advising clients to ‘book their look’ ahead of time, because availability is not guaranteed – as is often the case with all our services. However having some availability on the day, if feasible, bodes well for those last minute bookings because of an impromptu event.
Unleash the marketing potential
It opens up a whole new territory previously untapped, using only TWO tools.
Hair Dryer and Brush.
(And a good set of biceps to power through those big brush blow dries!)
The list is endless for the events you could lend your services to in the blow dry bar arena. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
You could offer a ‘party package’. This would be a great marketing opportunity for a girls night out or hen do’s. You could even include a free glass of bubbly for the guests to enjoy while they are being preened to perfection.
Much like the party packages mentioned above, this could be aimed at clients wanting to relax and unwind. Maybe for new Mums who need a bit of a well earned break to indulge in some ‘me time’.
If you incorporate hair ups into your menu, this would be another great opportunity to further extend your services. The wedding party usually consists of guests wanting a blow dry or to have their hair styled for such a special occasion. You may also have wedding guests that are staying nearby who are in need of your services.
Proms have really taken off in the last few years. Excited teenagers wanting to look perfect for their big debut. Again, you could include this in your party packages as they usually want to share the event with their crew.
If you expand your menu to offer hair ups too, you are able to open yourself up for the many occasions that guests will want to visit you. Have set styles that your team are able to achieve in the express fashion that blow dry bars are well know for.
With festivals at the forefront of summer activities, having a braid bar will give you a unique angle to pitch your services. In keeping with the theme of having a set menu of options for clients to choose from. This helps minimise the time during a consultation as the choices are somewhat limited, which enables the stylist to work more quickly. Get some inspiration from thebraidbar.
Drybar have a membership scheme where you are able to receive 2 blow dries a month, plus a free birthday blow out during the month of your birthday. You can also enjoy 10% off products in store and any unused blow dries, can be rolled over into the next month. This is a great programme to consider something similar in your own salon.
You could offer gift vouchers explicitly for your blow dries. Hershesons offer gift cards for ‘omg one free blow dry’ priced at £35, ‘3 free blow drys’ priced at £105 and so on so forth. These make great gifts, instead of the specified value gift cards. These unique vouchers could be best sellers in your retail area, especially around the Hallmark holidays; Valentines day, Mothers day etc, something for every occasion!
You could even hire out this specific set of skills to home visits or offices. Blow dries are arguably one of the only home hairdressing services that we can carry out as adequately as in the salon environment itself. You could tag this onto your party menu as another useful service for clients.
You can add extras onto the blow dry menu – such as scalp massages for a small supplement or conditioning treatments to further expand your services. For those clients who are wanting a little more than the 30 minutes, and a stress busting solution to their busy lives.
What are you waiting for? If you have an existing salon and are considering diversifying or opening an additional salon, a blow dry bar could be your next venture.
Regular blow dries are our bread and butter as hairdressers. If calibrating an old setup to make our clients day a little less stressful and boost their confidence is what we need to do – it’s in our duty of care. After all, isn’t that why we became hairdressers in the first place?