Me Smoking Aged 2.5

Me Smoking

This is an old and very faded Black and White photograph taken (developed and enlarged) by my father, of me smoking – No Dates!

We were having a picnic at a place we called Buffalo Creek, in Tobruk, Libya. I had fallen into the sea from a cliff and my father had dragged me out, saving my two year old life. Then he tried to kill me by giving me a Capstan full strength cigarette, while they all looked on and took happy snaps of me smoking! Yeah, I was ill afterwards – Happy days.

Oh, and BTW, I hate smoking and I’m pleased they’ve banned it in public places!

What does SS17 and AW17 stand for?

Session Hairstylist: Ian (me). Photographer: Chris Roberts. Hard at work light-testing 01:10:1981.
Me taken by photographer Chris Roberts. Light-testing 01:10:1981 – SS82 season!

What does the SS and AW in SS17 and AW17 stand for within the world of fashion?

Answer: SS17 stands for the Spring Summer fashion season in the year 2017. The AW17 stands for the Autumn Winter season in 2017! The SS17 shows are held in the Autumn of 2016, and the AW17 shows are in the Feb/March of 2017

There are also two popular hashtags to be found on Twitter (and other social networks): #ss17 and #aw17 – they will be busy at the time of the shows, UK busy time is London Fashion Week (AW16) – Friday 19th – Tuesday 23rd February 2016. London Fashion Week (SS17) 16th – 20th September 2016.

And of course you can follow #ss17 on Instagram and Facebook!

The British Fashion Council and the London Fashion Week Site are always a good places to keep up with events and for the links to the latest and live London Fashion Week news – Also see/follow: #LFW.

My fashion and hairstyle predictions are more general and not really seasonal! See my SS17 and AW17 fashion predictions: Fashion Trends & Hair Styles – Predictions – New and Old and my most recent at time of writing. I usually post my latest trends and fashion predictions in December, however, yeah, I’m usually late!

So, there you are SS17 and AW17 equals the fashion seasons: Spring Summer 2017, and Autumn Winter 2017!

Does A Hair Salon Need A Website?

Does a hair salon need a Website? In short, Yes. Stop reading!

In 1975, Ricci Burns’ hair salon was fully booked; not a Website on the planet! Has ‘it’ changed so much in forty-one years? Well, I think perceptions of how we do things have changed.

I’ve been working on website promotion techniques since 1994; in August 2004 I founded UnsignedBandPromotion, focusing on website promotion for independent bands…

It’s my strong opinion that if an individual musician or band wants to ‘make it’ on the music scene and make a living from their music, the most important area to get right is their musicianship and stage act (Music and Performance). Fundamentally, how good at ‘doing it’ are they? This is their Core Essential, and the best indicator of whether they are going to make it or not. Nine times out of ten, if they are having trouble getting noticed and making money out of their music, then they probably can’t ‘do it’.

I believe the same is true for hairdressers, if you can’t do it then you’ve got problems (a salon is only as good as its worst hairdresser). A website isn’t going to save you. That’s the power of the grapevine.

On the other hand, if you Can Do It, the word will spread like wildfire and you still won’t need a website! That too is the power of the grapevine.

However, on the High Street, like in the pubs, clubs and venues, there’s plenty of competition and that’s why hairdressing salons need a Website! Every little advantage helps. It’s also what your clients expect, they don’t want to phone up, or call in for holiday opening times etc.

Additionally, without a website, your salon will still be listed on any number of shitty directory sites, making you look like douchebags to potential clients – If you haven’t got a website, search Google for your salon’s name, and see all those dumb-ass listings!

Get More Website Visitors

One of the common UBP questions I get asked is, “How do we get more visitors to our website?” Obviously it’s one of the biggies, as soon as you get a website you want to attract visitors; here are some ideas:

  • First, you must understand the people who you want to visit your website. Create a Target Client Profile – without one you are totally screwed. Think about your clients’: geographical location, age, gender, occupation, attitude, general personality, life-style choices, habits, loyalties, needs, knowledge of your salon, and the sources of where they may get information about you and your salon from. Also think about the different networking platforms.
  • Create a basic promotional plan. Simply ask yourself: Who is my target audience/client? Who can help me spread the word? Where is the best place to go (e.g. social media) to connect with my target audience/client?
  • About 70%-ish of your Web traffic will come from Google – a lot of the traffic, unfortunately, could be Web crawlers and fucking Spambots and mean nothing! To help cut the crawlers and increase the client requests (or hits), you need words. Search engines use TEXT to find you. Find the top 12 keywords / key-phrases that best describe your Salon – e.g: Business Type (hair, hairdressing, beauty salon…), Location (Chelsea, London, Postcode), Fashion and Lifestyle Choices i.e. reflecting the demographic factors (habits, attitudes, tastes…) that define your target client. Include the keywords and key-phrases throughout your website. When I say website, also think blog posts and product pages.
  • Everyone in the website promotion business talks about Website Content – I won’t labour the point. However, a blog is the easiest way to create new and entertaining content that will attract visitors. Write 300-500 word articles (include images, especially of YOUR hairstyles), talk about your fashion/style philosophy…
  • One cracking image of a client could easily attract twenty extra visitors from that client’s social media circle; include photographs of clients, but for god’s sake don’t pressurise them. I LOVE the idea of a client selfie wall, then all the promo comes from the client – URL wallpaper anybody!
  • Put your salon on the map! Geographical Location and Geo-Targeting is a fairly big subject and a full blog post in itself! However, see: Google My Business Help Center – it’ll help you to target local traffic – sign-up and your salon will be included on the search results map!
  • I don’t want to go all search engine optimizationy on you, but choosing the right set of keywords for your salon’s website is vital to achieving your objective. If I was looking for a new hair stylist, I would go Google and search for: Hairdressers Windsor Berkshire or Hair Salons Chelsea London – What would you search for?
    Include your full postal address within your website’s footer, and generally, promote your location from your website – encourage the long tail to wag. Anticipate and second-guess what your website’s visitor will be searching for.
  • On Twitter, follow other local hairdressers followers. But, only follow them if: They have a full and expressive profile, for instance: no lazy egg-head twitter avatars – a real avatar is a must. A Username that’s identifiable. They ‘should’ (it’s not essential) be within your catchment area. Have a Bio (and recent tweeting record) that gives an indication that they’re a real person. It’d be brilliant if they have a link to a blog.
  • Okay it’s time for an idea. You need a Hook. Make an instructional video, for example, how to do a simple three pin chignon. That’s called a hook, a reason to visit your website; it could be a voucher for a free fringe trim or treatment. Tell everyone on social media, clients etc., about your hook and ask them to share – BINGO! More visitors to your website! And the pay-off? Try to think beyond your emailing list if you can!

A Few Webmaster Resources

  1. ColorHexa color encyclopedia – information and conversion [*handy]
  2. creativecommons make a copyright license
  3. dmoz Open Directory Project
  4. css validation [w3]
  5. Fagan Finder URLinfo [*handy]
  6. Google Adsense
  7. Google Analytics
  8. Google Webmasters
  9. Google Blogsearch Ping
  10. HTML 4.0 Reference
  11. Open Source Web Design
  12. page rank [pagerank] [*nice/ handy]
  13. PageRank Tool Page Rank Checker is a free tool
  14. phpbb PHPBB open source bulletin board package [a bit techie]
  15. TAW [disability access] [*notable]
  16. Varian Dreamview
  17. W3C HTML Validation [*notable]
  18. Web Reference
  19. Web Standards
  20. get a free blog with amazing features.
  21. download to host it yourself.

Does A Hair Salon Need A Website?

Yeah, I think so.

How To Stop Washing Your Hair Every Day

Are you washing your hair every day? @WestrowHair tweeted a slightly gloomy and tongue-in-cheek article that carries the title, The 14 eternal struggles of having to wash your hair every day and with the subtitle, “I know it strips the hair of its essential oils, but it’s either that or I look like I suffer from the bubonic plague.” by Catriona Harvey-Jenner @CatHarveyJenner.

I fully understand that washing your hair every day isn’t necessarily enjoyable, but I was saddened by Catriona’s comment, “It’s not a choice you know.” I don’t know Catriona or her hair. I hope this reply to Cat’s article will get her thinking.

Greasy hair is a surprisingly big topic; it’s also a topic that I think about every time I cut hair (I’ll explain that later)!

Just in case you don’t know: the grease, sebum, is secreted through pores in your skin by the sebaceous glands – they’re all over your body apart from the palms and the soles of your feet. Sebum protects the skin from water (getting in and out), and is antibacterial and antifungal – basically, it’s bloody good stuff. Hair moves sebum from its roots to its ends V.quickly.

Washing your hair every day? My comments on Catriona’s article

I’ll follow/use Cat’s list headings – read her article first and then you’ll see where I’m coming from.

You have to wash your hair every day:
​It is perfectly OKAY to wash your hair every day. If you are washing your hair every day, are you washing it correctly? See: The secret of perfect hair: shampoo it CORRECTLY! Most of the people I know who have issues with greasy hair, and wash their hair every day, only give their hair one wash – you need to wash it twice!

Unfortunately washing hair takes time, plus it needs drying, the whole process could easily take an hour; yeah that’s a struggle every morning.

You get through a lot of shampoo:
When washing hair, always use the smallest amount of shampoo possible and wash it twice – More shampoo is never better. Make sure you’re using the correct shampoo for your hair type. Expensive, celebrity shampoos aren’t better – £3.99 or £39.99 there’s not a lot of difference; you don’t get what you pay for! However, you may stumble across an expensive shampoo that you really like and suits your hair, that’s a bummer. Don’t get taken in by all the hair and fashion industry bollocks.

You don’t understand how people can get away with washing it once or twice a week:
Washing ones hair two, three or four times a week is about normal!!! However, my grandmother (1906 – 1981) washed her hair fortnightly, and I used to wash my hair twice a day: in the morning before work and again in the evening after sports.

A lot of people wash their hair every other day, that means: washing your hair four times in week 1, and three times in week 2 (a 14 day cycle).

BTW, body oil, sebum, is naturally healthy! Greasy hair is healthy hair.

Yeah, we know it strips the hair of its essential oils:
Yeah, well, the essential oils, if that’s what you want to call them, are continually being secreted from the sebaceous glands. Washing your hair every day is not going to do any harm. Equating hair with essential oils is almost total bollocks – some people have little to no sebum, and their hair is perfectly okay. You could always use a minuscule drop of hair conditioner or Argan oil on the extreme ends?

And we’re aware it’s a habit we’ve got to break:
In my humble opinion: it’s not the habit of washing your hair that’s the problem, it’s the addiction to the feeling of bouncy, fluffy hair that is the issue – especially if your hair type and style wants to be flat and floppy.

If you want to wash your hair every day, that’s perfectly okay.

Festivals are a no-go:
Absolute Bollocks. Get stuck in. I was going to try and make a music festival joke quoting Cat’s, “greasy monstrosity,” but I won’t!

You’ve heard hair is self-cleaning:
That’s not strictly true – but in a perfect world it is. The problem is pollution; particulate matter, often very corrosive, that stick to the grease on the hair shaft and needs to be removed with a detergent/shampoo.

Work related particulate matter may also be a problem.

Dry shampoo just doesn’t cut the mustard:
Dry shampoo has its place, but it’s certainly Not for everyone – I’d say it works better on blondes! It can give some body to thin hair. Calling all brunettes: if you’ve got a problem with greasy hair, steer clear of dry shampoo.

Neither does ‘wearing it up’:
Chignons work much better on dirty hair, which is always an issue for brides. If you’ve got greasy Mel C bits hanging down over your face, you’re not doing it correctly – talk to your hairdresser for tips.

​You thought it was just a teenage phase:
At this point I’ve got to ask, ​’Have you got over active sebaceous glands?’ If you suffer from acne, you may have. Take a look at your diet and lifestyle. Stress, junk food, alcohol and cigarettes will fuck your skin and hair.

Hormonal fluctuations caused by menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause, illness and medication can/often cause an increase in sebum secretion.

Sometimes you can get away with just wetting your hair in the shower and not washing it:
For me this is a revealing statement. No shampoo in the house: use an incredibly small amount of washing-up liquid (it’s stronger than shampoo).

If you can get away with just wetting the hair, I really wouldn’t bother – rinsed and blow-dried hair is horrid, worse.

Baths are simply not possible:
Yeah, don’t wash your hair in bath water.

If we don’t wash our hair, we face leaving the house looking something like this:
No comment!

This kind of comment is just ignorant. IT’S NOT A CHOICE YOU KNOW:
No comment! But it is always your choice.

How To Stop Washing Your Hair Every Day

  • Get a new hairstyle – mingin looking hair is almost always caused by the wrong choice of hairstyle.
  • Identify if you really have got over active sebaceous glands (causes acne, see doctor). If you wash your hair in the morning and then it loses its bounce somewhere between lunch and dinner, that could be normal. Look at your hair type and style – talk to your hairdresser.
  • I said, “it’s a topic that I think about every time I cut hair,” that is because hair type is crucial to style – long, thin, naturally straight, fine, mousy-brown, greasy and damaged hair isn’t going to retain a bouncy and fluffy state past lunchtime. Talk to your hairdresser and get the correct haircut for your hair type.
  • Look at your lifestyle (stress) and diet; eat: peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, mango, papaya, apricots, blueberries, sardines, salmon, pumpkin & ground flax seeds, walnuts and wheat germ – I’m talking, lots of multi-coloured fruit and vegetables, oily fish, nuts, seeds and grains. Cut down on the alcohol, onions and garlic.
  • Product build-up may also be an issue (even some shampoos can leave a residue). The most common cause for dull, drab hair is product overload. Start by shampooing your hair with a clarifying, anti-residue shampoo, which should remove up to 70% of the residue left from hair products.
  • After shampooing, try giving your hair a final rinse with V.cold water; it will delay the flow of sebum. However, a hot blow-dry will reverse the effect, so keep that cool too – Heat makes oil flow faster (inc. central heating)!
  • Don’t use a conditioner unless the ends are overly tangled, and then only a very little on the tips.
  • Loads of fine, bleached highlights are brilliant for adding body to long(ish) hair, therefore enabling the hair to hold more sebum before it flattens.
  • Short hair tends to be much easier to cope with generally, obviously it washes and dries faster.
  • A great habit to get in to: pick a day of the week to get yourself outside in the fresh air, and don’t wash your hair – No hats please – Your hair will smell of ozone, lovely.

If you’ve got a question on this subject, please don’t hesitate to ask.