Hairdressers!: What annoys you most about your clients.

This goes out to all the hairdressers, you really deserve a reward…

You do your best to always maintain your good mood and a smile with all your clients, but alas, sometimes it’s impossible!
We interviewed some hairdressers, asking them what it is that irritates them the most about their clients. Here are some of their funny confessions:

The ones that are always late: this is by far your worst client. When they finally arrive, half an hour later (IF they arrive),they act as if nothing had happened by saying “Aaaah, finally I can get my hair done. Well … shall we start?!”.

The impossible challenge: “You are such a magician. You can do everything, I’m sure.” And they proceed to ask you to give them a style in one hour, which they say in a magazine which took half a day to do (and so many days of practicing it). Obviously, it’s a fail, and when they see the result, the client is quick to make bring your reputation to the floor.

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The ones with no shame: “Helloo, darling! Wait a moment … Can you can turn off that hair dryer? I can’t hear anything. Some of us are trying to work here! “.


The torture: Eating a pizza or a hamburger while you are doing their hair and you have not eaten since 8 in the morning. Youtry telling them that the ketchup will catch on the flyaways, but they don’t quite get the memo.


Shameless liars: After having massacred their own hair, your client launches a “This fringe, never in my life would I touch it”, “I think it is the formulation of my new shampoo is giving me weird undertones” or even “It was my friend Nancy, who suggested I put in 1 or 2 extensions.

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Creepy crawlers: The dreadful moment when you see little insects running wild on the cute little blondes head. And when you discreetly talk about it to their mother, she asks you what you learnt at school, if didn’t know how to deal with this ‘small’ problem: “Then ehat are all these combs used for? “. Well ma’am, certainly not what you’re suggesting.


The naive ones: The customers who quietly announce that they have a stomach problems and who, instead of staying at home, come to share the consequences.


The witness: The husband of the client, in the process of divorce, asks you to testify before the judge because he’s convinced that his wife confessed some of her secrets on multiple occasions. “Her therapist can not testify because he’s a real professional and he’s under medical secrecy, you know.”


What about you? There’s no doubt you have an anecdote or two to share: feel free to add them as comments. We’d love to hear about them!

And to avoid certain inconveniences, Character Coif’hygiene manufactures products that improve the hygiene of the hairdressing world:
– disposable towel. Grand Hygiene Award at MCB
– the coloring cape
the disposable bathrobe
the disinfectant wipe …

Find our products on coifhygiene.com
Do not hesitate to contact us +44 (0) 20 3608 1542 we will be happy to answer your questions and help you with your choices!

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Recycling and Respect for the Environment Surge in the Hotel Industry: Three Simple Ways to Save Money and Earn the Respect of Guests

In the cutthroat hotel industry, price and the bottom line often trump other concerns, especially those for the environment. However, must it be this way? With three innovative and brilliant ideas, industry leaders such as Travelodge, the Crown Spa Hotel and the Accor Group are showing how changes from the smallest detail (light bulbs) to more major ones (construction materials) can both make a world of difference and save unbelievable amounts of money. Now, both Mother Nature and your bank account can smile at the same time!

Starting from Scratch with Recycled Building Materials

 

from Caractère

Uxbridge Container Hotel

First, the hotel’s construction can be rethought of as a method of recycling. Sushil Cheema of The Wall Street Journal reported at the end of 2008 about a new innovation in hotel building design: the first hotel ever built in the UK entirely out of former shipping containers. While most people cannot imagine spending a night inside of an empty tin box, Travelodge found a method to renovate the containers in Shenzen, China (their place of origin), ship them halfway around the world and assemble them together in a solid structure in Uxbridge, a suburb of London. Instead of the roughly fifteen month to two year construction period that a traditional hotel of this size would take, the company managed to finish the project in a matter of four months, including the time it took to pour the foundation. Once the site was ready, it only took 20 days to piece together the 86 containers into a coherent design. A spokesman for Travelodge, Greg Dawson, commented that this new method eases concerns about disturbing the surrounding area during construction. With pre-fabricated units, the contractor, Verbus Systems, just snapped them together “like giant Lego blocks,” without interrupting shoppers at the nearby high street.

 

from Caractère

Interior of the Container Hotel

Despite the fact that the company accomplished major savings by choosing this unconventional building method, they can charge the same prices for rooms as at any other location, and eco-friendly or design engaged tourists may flock to the site just to learn more about how it was built. For Travelodge, which plans to open a new hotel in the UK once a week for the next ten years, the shipping container idea will help the chain achieve its growth targets without worry. Uxbridge’s location was nothing more than a test site: the company completed a similar project at Heathrow Airport later that year.

Read more about the “Hotel Made of Shipping Containers Opens in England,” at http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2008/08/27/hotel-made-of-shipping-containers-opens-in-england/
For an interesting collection of pictures of container re-use, see http://xhadong.wordpress.com/

Together, Several Small Changes Can Go Quite a Long Way

Second, if your establishlment is already built, don’t fret, because it’s not too late! Adapting exisiting buildings and their infrastructure to new developments in the energy and appliance industries can lead to profound changes in the site’s energy use – and deep savings for your pocketbook! Managers have found that many guests tend to leave the lights or a TV on when they leave the room in order to feel more welcomed when they return. Even more guests forget to turn off the heat or air conditioning when they check out, augmenting energy bills to acclimate an empty room. EnjoyEngland.com, in partnership with The Telegraph, points out that Scarborough’s Crown Spa Hotel has retrofitted its 116 rooms and suites with an automatic switch that turns off non-essential lights and appliances the moment one leaves the room. Of course this change took some initial investment, but even simple changes at the four star establishment — like replacing conventional light bulbs with LED lights in parts of the building — have provided incredible energy savings. In fact, starting in 2011, the hotel will see a quarter of a million pound (£250,000) reduction per year on its annual energy bill.

 

from Caractère

Crown Spa Hotel

Aside from energy savings, the hotel also started collecting rain water from the roof to wash its linens and flush toilets, began composting kitchen waste and switched to a wood-burning stove to heat the lobby. The staff has been told to turn off computers and lights while on break or lunch, and the caretakers added a special, non-toxic, heat-insulating chemical to the pool to reduce overnight cooling. After this series of little changes, the hotel has already seen dramatic cuts in CO2 emissions, and aims to halve its emissions by 2015. The hotel’s administrative director, David Frank, commented he’s an “evangelical ‘greenie’ and [that he’s] proud to be one… We don’t ram our message down people’s throats but sustainability is efficiency and it makes good economic and business sense to think about sustainability.”

Read more about “The Crown Spa Hotel’s green credentials impressed the Enjoy England judges enough to pick up the Sustainable Tourism Award,” at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/travel/enjoy_england_trips/7658371/Enjoy-England-The-Crown-Spa-Hotel.html

Special Events to Transform Consumer Consciousness, Brand Perception and the World’s Quality of Life

Starting this Friday, the Accor Group of hotels will innaugurate the fifth edition of its annual Earth Guest Day. David Woods of HR Magazine writes that the holiday was created in 2006 with eight guiding principles:

  • Contributing to local development
  • Fighting against epidemics
  • Promoting balanced food
  • Managing energy consumption
  • Conserving water
  • Producing less waste
  • Protecting biodiversity

Locations and staff across the 90 countries with Accor locations, including the 160 hotels in the UK, will celebrate the occassion with a series of events, such as tree plantings in parks, gardens, schools and other public areas across the country to bring attention to its Fruits for the Children campaign, a partnership between the charity Plan UK and Accor’s Plant for the Planet foundation. The goals of this particular campaign include the following:

Fruits for Children is a project to improve the nutrition of 4,000 school children from 8 schools in the Machakos district of Kenya through planting fruit trees to provide a steady year-round supply of nutritious fruits to improve their diet. The project also aims to develop children’s knowledge of their environment, and their skills and techniques in fruit production, improving their standards of living as the acquired skills are transferred to their families and communities. The trees also help to reduce the problem of soil erosion and the fruits produced provide a source of income for the participating schools.

 

from Caractère

An Accor Ibis Hotel

Through the previous years’ efforts, Accor already raised more than £100,000 in the UK for Fruits for the Children. Plant for the Planet dates from 2009, a program instituted by the chain’s headquarters to finance the replanting of depleted forests worldwide. Thus far, over 1.7 million trees have been planted, with the UK Accor locations financing the planting of 30,000 trees in 2010 alone. The system is rather simple, but will leave a lasting impression on the plant, animal species and families who call these forests home, in addition to removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Every five times guests reuse a bath towel without requiring its wash, the company vows to plant a tree. The goal for 2011 in the UK is an astounding 50,000 trees, nearly twice as many as last year.

Read more about “Accor Hotel Group employees gear up for global environmental initiative,” at http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/hro/news/1019312/accor-hotel-group-employees-gear-global-environmental-initiative

Lessons Learned

As you can see, everything from minute changes in supplies or practices to ways to rethink construction methods can reduce a hotel’s environmental impact, in addition to the charges it must pay. At Caractère, we celebrate the efforts of the hotel industry to reduce its environmental impact by guaranteeing that all of our products, such as the famous bed mattress covers, sanitary headphone covers, and salon products like sandals; are reusable, recyclable or biodegradable. We design our products with ecological pricipals in mind so they are manufactured out of mostly plant-based materials with a minimal amount of chemical treatments and dyes.

In addition, over the coming months, we aim to reduce our carbon footprint by relocating our offices to a location much closer to our shipping providers, and also easier for our staff to make the commute via mass transit. The world is constantly evolving, and just like you, we care about the envionment too!

From the Involucrum to the Kimono Gown and Cape: A History of the Barber Shop and Hair Styling Professions

from Caractère Paris

Ancient Roman Ornatrix

In ancient Rome, just as in the ancient civilisation of Mesopotamia, baths and bodycare were an essential component of daily life. Sanitation was important enough for rulers to install public toilets and sewers, in order to avoid dirtiness in the streets and the spread of disease. Both the number and variety of beauty and hygiene-related professions flourished, predecessors to today’s hair stylists and make up artists in salons and spas. Rich, noble families and Senators had the means to hire personal barbers who lived with them in the decadent private villas of Rome and worked directly with their clients on a daily basis, or as often as required. Female stylists were kept busy, with the sole purpose of caring for the lady of the household, without any break or time to care for themselves. These domestic beauticians, called Ornatrix in Latin, also took care of the household and bathrooms, and created hair arrangements with the help of copper-based mirrors, primitive combs and fibulae brooches.

from Caractère Paris

Ornatrix statue in the Carthage Museum, Tunisia

Far from being a privilege reserved for the few wealthy classes, many more Romans sought their grooming in public barbershops, either inside a dedicated building or out on the street corner. These workers distinguished themselves with specially designed haircut gowns. They were mostly preoccupied by the care of men, whose beards required weekly attention. Aside from the basic format of the service, the functional aspects of aesthetic care were important. Often, only a single seat was available in the neighbourhood Botteca Tonsor, or barber shop. This gave the client the hair dresser’s full, undivided attention during sessions. Early versions of mirrors, different sizes of scissors, statues and paintings on the walls provided the client with ideas of styles from which to choose. For the customer’s comfort, more luxurious shops provided towels or protective cape-like covers, called Involucrum, but this was a relatively uncommon practice.

from Caractère Paris

Ornatrix from Pompei

In addition to the simple purpose of hair salon, the Tonsor also operated as it still does today in many countries of the Middle East and Asia, as a sort of general physician/practician, herbalist, nutritionist, psychologist and private consultant. Even today, as in ancient Rome, the barber was responsible for taking care of a variety of important rituals that marked the milestones of a person’s life. These ranged from “shaving the first offering to the gods” (circumcision), to the application of disinfecting creams and lotions to kill fleas and ticks, to treating the client with leeches for bloodletting, considered for centuries the best remedy to every illness. Above all, the barber shop was (and remains in some capacity today) a social place where the latest news and gossip were shared, where people shared their personal problems and where important decisions were made. What’s more, they served as a host for vibrant political discussions and helped people come to agreements.

Culturally, there is an abundance of well-known examples (that is, of course aside from the Barber of Seville), such as the classic novel ‘Moustache‘ by Tahsin Yucel, considered one of the greatest Turkish writers of the Twentieth Century. It describes the changes in society from the perspective of a barber shop in a small village of Anatolia. On the other hand, the hair stylist’s role in literature has remained a central part of Italian culture. Toward the end of the Roman empire, the satirical story Martial and Juvenal (Marziale e Giovenale in the original language), focused on those obsessed with hair styles, those lazy ones stuck “between the mirror and comb” (Martial).

from Caractère Paris

Frontispiece Depicting Juvenal and Persius

The stories are numerous enough to give specific information on the trends and styles instituted under the emperor. Dyed hair wigs imported from the Indian provinces became a popular style. Although hair styling tools from the Roman period have been impossible to preserve until today because they were usually made of iron and subsequently destroyed by rust, there are many directions for the beard cutting process and style left by Etruscan, still well preserved to this day in bronze reliefs. During the Middle Ages, the barber’s shop became a learning place for surgery, according to the teachings of Hippocrates, Galen (Galeno) and Avicenna.

Today, the single sex, community barber has virtually disappeared, replaced over the last century by commercial, unisex hair salons and spas. At the same time, in recent years there seems to be a recovery of some neighbourhood community barber shops. While the size, health standards and hygiene have evolved rapidly, and new services are offered such as massage sessions, facials, manicures and pedicures; today’s beauty salons have reincorporated many of the same wellness and health services that were common two thousand years ago.

Caractère offers a variety of products, some even inspired by the early concept of the Involucrum, including protective gowns, kimonos, capes, supplies for hairdressers, massage wear, sauna products and much more…

Announcing Chocolate Kimonos, a Colour so Appetising and Delicious, You’ll Want to Take a Bite

from Caractère Paris

Chocolate Kimono with V-Neck

Caractère’s Coif’Hygiene Division would like to take this opportunity to announce the launch of a new colour of our highly popular kimono-style gown, Chocolate! This new chic and classy colour expands the already wide range of work uniforms, kimonos and gowns we offer. The new baby joins our line of existing colours: white, black, beige, dark blue, gray, red and now, last but not least, chocolate! A change of ambiance without a change of decor!

What are these kimonos, you ask — where, how and for whom are they useful?

They were designed with hair stylists and beauty salons in mind, providing total body coverage for customers receiving treatments. This relaxed and refined colour gives hairdressers a touch of calm and warmth to offer to their customers. The chocolate kimono is also available in two designs: V-neck or crew cut.

Why the option?

The V-neck design was created specially for clients receiving care in salons or beauty institutes that have to wander from one booth or room to another. The opaque material protects the client’s privacy. Created extra wide and long, it will fit virtually any body type. Plus, simply said, the V-neck looks snazzy. A pocket and belt adjusts the kimono to the perfect size for the wearer, providing an elegant silhouette.
The V-neck also responds best to the needs of the hair dresser who performs a simple wash, comb, styling and/or blow dry.

from Caractère Paris

Black Crew Neck Kimono

On the other hand, the crew neck kimono is ideal for clients receiving cuts, bleaching, dying, tinting or otherwise extensive and/or messy treatments. The front side seal allows for a comfortable and snug fit, which can be adjusted to cover the entirety of the customer’s neck and shoulders. Say goodbye to the little hairs that slide in between the folds of an unclosed robe! It is also the crew neck kimono that makes it easier to shave the client’s neck. No more need to remove the neck seal in order to finish a hair cut! This extra detail saves valuable time, makes the stylist seem more professional and ensures the client will leave the session happy and hair-free. For stylists dealing with clients with a low-set hairline, the crew neck kimono provides a maximum area of work space without having to move or reset the neck line.

Why a chocolate coloured kimono?

A warm but calm brown hints at a sense of class and style, without looking flashy or pretentious. Aside from the fashionable side, there is also the functionality of a brown kimono – it will resist stains from most hair colour dyes and tints, meaning you’ll have to change sets less often.  Plus, both male and female customers will appreciate the neutral colour of protection — no one wants to be wrapped in a candy pink suit when an adult. The chocolate colour, while being warm by nature, does not seem feminine. It also changes things from the typical black and white. It will look delightful in your salon with shades of stone, tile, wood or even beige. It will bring a touch of organic “zen,” an earthen tone that reflects respect for nature. It’s also a colour for the gourmand that will flatter their skin tone, no matter what tone!

What’s more, all of our kimonos, no matter the colour or style, come individually wrapped for perfect hygiene, and are recyclable once used. Not just green washing here — Caractère wants you and your clients to know we do our best to contribute to the principle of sustainable development. Now try a salon kimono that communicates this principle through both form and function, and that looks elegant on top of everything.