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.

giphy (9)
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.

giphy-downsized-large
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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Disposable products : hygiene with no laudry needed

www.caractere-paris.com
Flat Sheet
Non woven and resistant \ Biodegradable \Hypoallergenic \ 100% recyclable. No more stains or hairs. Unbeatable hygiene and cleanliness.
Pillow Case
Waterproof or Non-Waterproof \ Non woven \ 15 cm easy close flap. Clean and hygienic, this pillow case offers you a real second skin feel to your pillow. 50X75 cm or 60X60 cm.
Slipper
The prestige of their velvet feel with a thick and soft sole. Available in 3 size ranges for all clients.
Swim Shorts
Offer your clients the option of buying emergency swim shorts at an affordable price.
Fitted Sheet
Non woven and resistant \ Biodegradable \Hypoallergenic \ 100% recyclable. These fitted sheets give your mattress the perfect protection from any external contact.
Wash Mitt
Extremely soft, absorbent and flexible. This disposable wash mitt will ensure perfect cleanliness. Spun-lace textile. 16X29 cm.
Bathrobe
Made from absorbtex with a spun lace finish. Single sized, for men & women. Very soft and absorbent. Perfect for your clients.
Disposable Thong
Non woven \ Hypoallergenic \ Soft and resistant. Ideal for physiotherapists, masseurs, therapists, costumes, beauty salons…
Waterproof Mattress Protector
Non woven and resistant \ Biodegradable \Hypoallergenic\ 100% recyclable. Protect your mattresses 100% from liquids and oils with these waterproof protectors.
Bath Towels
Super absorbent & very soft towels, to dry-up or wrap around oneself in a comfortable way.
One Piece Swimsuit
95% Polyester, 5% Elastane. Available in one colour for men & women. Sizes: S/M/L/XL/2XL
Baby Sleeping Bags
Non Woven \ For 2-18 month old babies \ Hypoallergenic. Meets all the necessary characteristics for baby safety.
All products are disposable, recyclable, and presented in individual sealed bags with a label specifying product and size.
2 Rue Léon Mauvais · ZI de la Barbière · 93600 Aulnay sous Bois · Tél. 020 3608 1542 · Fax. 00 33 1 49 89 01 84

An explosion of Chinese tourists: The potential and expectations of Chinese travellers in the UK and worldwide

Relative newcomers to international tourism market, the Chinese traveler is the new target for a tourism industry that suffered major losses during the crisis. Thanks to a bustling local economy and the government’s relaxation of travel restrictions, in 2013 Chinese tourists took a total of 97 million trips abroad and spent some $102 billion, becoming the “world’s biggest spenders” according to a report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). A study conducted by the Chinese government predicts those figures will rise to over 100 million overseas voyages by 2015, and 200 million by 2020.

Taken in perspective with the recent past, these numbers represent a spectacular amount of growth, when in 2004 only 29 million went overseas. However, when isolated on a per-country basis, the growth can seem even more shocking. For instance, the number of Chinese tourists who visited Thailand last year more than doubled over the year before.

According to Abagail Haworth of The Guardian, the Chinese tourist represents “a global phenomenon, an unstoppable trend, a lucrative opportunity… Now millions are on the move.” CNN labeled the new found market, “the biggest phenomenon to hit the global travel industry since the invention of commercial flight.” International travel has been growing among the Chinese over the past decade, with rising prosperity at home and the relaxation of Communist government travel restrictions.

So aside from the economic and political explanations, why are so many Chinese flocking abroad? The firm Morgan Stanley predicts that in two years, Chinese tourists could spend $194 billion on vacations abroad, much of it on luxury products. Despite government policy to encourage spending at home, Chinese flock abroad in droves to take advantage of the lower prices on foreign designer products. This is because the government imposes import duties and taxes that can mean an additional 60% added to the price one would find in another country. A researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences called his compatriots “walking wallets,” due to the amount they’ve become known to spend abroad.

Thus it becomes clear why London, Paris and Hong Kong have become favorite destinations for the Chinese: luxury shopping. To put things into perspective, by 2015 the total amount of spending from Chinese abroad will exceed total sales of luxury goods worldwide, when compared to 2008 when it represented solely one third of that figure. A government crackdown implemented two years ago reinforced this phenomenon, as the growth in the domestic luxury market grew a mere 6%, whereas Chinese luxury spending abroad increased 37% over the preceding year. Some sectors, such as high end liquor and watches even saw a decline in sales.

This potential market has inspired Paris to invest in a manual for the city of light’s business owners to better understand the new wave of boutique-obsessed clientele. French-speaking guides do their best to meander giant tour groups through the crowds at department stores and on high streets. They much watch out for the guests, who have become an easy target for pickpockets and other criminals. New campaigns have begun by tourism officials to raise awareness among tourists of the dangers of dressing conspicuously and showing fancy electronics or jewellery in public. In London, the famous department store Harrod’s has hired 70 Mandarin-speaking employees. An additional one hundred China Unionpay registers permit direct payments by Chinese tourists from their home bank accounts.

The growing presence of Chinese tourists comes along with it a greater exposure and international visibility. However, surveys about the perception of tourists worldwide do not characterize Chinese tourists in a very positive light. One analyst even called them the world’s new “ugly” tourists. While self-organized trips are on the rise, the majority of international travel still occurs in tourist groups. Sociologists believe this “increases their collective visibility and amplifies stereotypes and cultural unfamiliarity on both sides” by limiting individual interactions between the tourists and locals. Media reports flourish about the negative impression left by Chinese tourists, that they “are loud and rude, or that they refuse to queue or give tips…”

Other complaints range from the practical to the surreal. In July, residents of the small Swiss city of Lucerne protested that up to 120 Chinese tour buses a day were paralysing local traffic, as they deposited tourists who wanted to buy luxury watches. Then there were bizarre reports, picked up by the Chinese media, of competing Chinese honeymooners brawling in French lavender fields over the best spot for photos to capture a “Monet moment”. A group travelling to North Korea drew scorn for throwing sweets to children as though they were “feeding ducks”, while a number of Chinese tourists in the Maldives were reportedly caught giving fake marriage papers to upmarket resorts in order to get free dinners offered to newlyweds.”

Beijing has been so bothered by the potentially negative perception of its people in other countries that the government has instituted a new clause that applies to Chinese citizens specifically when they travel abroad. Section 13 of the new bill states, “Tourists shall respect public order and social morality in tourism activities, respect the local customs, cultural traditions and religious beliefs, take care of tourism resources, protect the ecological environment and respect the norms of civilised tourist behaviours.”

In terms of which countries can benefit from the growth in demand of accommodations and travel services, Thailand tops the list. For a mere £500, Chinese tourist can spend a week in the country with an organized tour, with flights included. The combination of historically and architecturally significant temples, pristine beaches and duty-free shopping brings Chinese here for the first time, if not on return trips. In fact, Thailand ranks as number three on a list of the most visited foreign destinations by Chinese, not far behind the “satellite Chinese territories” Hong Kong and Macao. London still leads at the top destination in terms of cities, but faces a threat from Bangkok, quickly gaining steam as a potential replacement.

uk colour flip flop

Disposable slippers from Caractere

What does this profound change in visitor composition mean for hotel, resort and Bnb operators? First of all, they’ll have to adapt to Chinese cultural standards. Since the ability to travel abroad for a Chinese person already assumes a certain standard of living and income level, one can expect that these travelers will not be the easiest to please. Standards for hygiene vary quite a bit in Eastern Asian from those typical of Europe or on other continents.

How can managers of accommodations adapt? By trying disposable products, of course!

At Caractère, we make a variety of popular disposable slipper and sandal solutions to prevent the spread of infections on the floors of hotels, resorts, salons, saunas, showers, locker rooms, changing areas, baths, pools, hot tubs, spas, etc.

Disposable bath robe

Bathrobe by Caractere

Another favorite product in finer establishments is our popular line of luxurious Bath robes, available in several designs. For perfect hygiene and the ultimate protection of your clientele (not to mention your business investment), try our other disposable, recyclable solutions, and discover the reason why we’re the buzz of the most luxurious hotels of Paris, the world capital of fashion and design. Our products will be sure to meet the standards of even the most difficult to please clients, including Chinese tourists on luxury shopping sprees.

Sources
Haworth, Abigail. “Chinese tourism: ‘Finally, we are seeing the world.’” The Observer, Dec. 22, 2013
http://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2013/dec/22/chinese-tourism-changing-the-world
Kuo, Lily. “By 2015, Chinese tourists could spend more than all the world’s luxury shoppers combined.” QZ.com, Nov. 15, 2013.
http://qz.com/147703/by-2015-chinese-tourists-could-spend-more-than-all-the-worlds-luxury-shoppers-combined
M., K. “Chinese tourists: Mind your manners.” The Economist, Nov. 6, 2013.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/analects/2013/11/chinese-tourists
“‘Walking wallets’: Chinese tourists the world’s biggest travellers.” The Sydney Morning Herald, Jan. 10, 2014
http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/walking-wallets-chinese-tourists-the-worlds-biggest-travellers-20140110-30lce.html

How to avoid getting sick in hotels, BnBs and resorts during flu season

Image courtesy of Classroom Clip Art

Falling ill can be a party for germs, but not for their victim

Everyone enjoys going on holiday, but what can be worse for a vacation than becoming sick while there? How can hotel, BnB, resort, inn and other vacation property owners avoid the spread of germs this flu season to optimize their clients’ ability to relax and enjoy? The answers to these questions are two-fold, in terms of planning and prevention.

First, a look at the threats that loom on the horizon. Farming UK published a press release from the UN News Centre that claims Bird flu may be back with a vengeance this year, with a greater risk for human health than before.  According to Fresh Business Thinking, the flu, colds and other ailments already cost employers in the UK over £29 billion a year due to the time and productivity lost during sick days.

Image courtesy of Marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Who wants to get sick during a holiday?

A common method to avoid the flu is to get “jabbed,” or in other words, vaccinated against the threat of the flu all together. Dr. Shelia Newport gave readers of the Derby Telegraph a stern warning, saying “Flu can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and can make existing conditions much worse… In the most serious cases, seasonal flu might land you in hospital – it can even be a killer.”

In addition, the NHS, Department of Health and Public Health release a report every year to help guide health professionals in the best practices to avoid the spread of the flu virus. The NHS also maintains a mini-site specifically about the symptoms of flus and common colds, as well as a list of treatment methods for those already infected. However, if these ideas seem a bit abstract and you’d like to find some concrete solutions, Caractere Paris has you in mind. We offer several products to ensure a hygienic and comfortable stay for everyone, no matter their expectations in terms of quality.

Bath mats by Caractere Paris

Our popular disposable bath mats

Disposable Bath Mats
One of our most popular hotel supply products is the Disposable Bath Mat, which includes an underside with an anti-slip coating to prevent falls. The upper side is made of a soft, absorbent material that quickly dries the feet. The non-woven underside also prevents water from reaching the surface of the floor, protecting your valuable tile or wood investment from the threats of mould and water damage. The seam around the edges gives this product a fine, classy look.

Each bath mat may be used once or several times depending on the preferences of the client, and then can be thrown away. Imagine an end to problems with stains or shoe polish that requires smelly and hazardous bleach, the need to replace stolen bath mats, or expensive laundry bills: we offer the perfect, all-in-one, low-cost solution. In fact, the incredible price makes it cheaper to buy a new disposable mat for each guest rather than washing and drying your old ones, when you include the costs of time, labour, cleaning products and electricity. For more information, click here.

Wash Mitts

Caractere's wash mitts

Caractere’s unique and innovative wash mitts

Made from a non-woven, highly absorbent and soft yet durable fabric, these innovative, disposable wash mitts do not rip or tear, even when wet and covered in cleaning products. Instead of the paper-like feel of other disposable mitts, our unique Absorbtex ® finish gives these mitts an extreme level of comfort while guaranteeing total hand and wrist protection.

As an improvement to our product lines, we now offer two design and packaging options. The gloves come either packaged individually with a high-quality border, which ensures their hygiene (most common for hotels and luxury establishments) or in sets of 10 without the border (the more cost-effective option, for inns, motels and camp sites).

For more information, please see our website.

Face Cloths

Disposable Face Cloths by Caractere

Caractere’s popular disposable face cloths

Ideal as a welcome product, these facecloths can be used in resort, restaurant and hotel bathrooms or lobby powder rooms to ensure cleanliness and hygiene every time for every client. Face wash cloths are the number one most commonly stolen item in hotels. They disappear every day and over the course of the year end up costing a fortune to hotel owners, who have to replace them on a constant basis. Conventional facecloths also need careful laundering to maintain hygiene, which unfortunately has a deteriorating effect on the colour and fabric. Eventually, pure white ends up being rather off-white!

Our disposable facecloths are the perfect solution to put an end to these hidden expenses. In this era of cost-cutting, disposable products provide a simple and practical solution that eliminates time and money wasted in search of new face flannels every few weeks and guarantees cleanliness every time. The square facecloth is composed of Absorbtex ® material, which is highly absorbent (absorbs up to 500 times its weight of water) and composed of 100% vegetable fibre, meaning they are both biodegradable and recyclable. The honeycombed, embossed finish offers superior washing and softness, and the neat hemming on each side contributes to the luxury appearance. Not intended to be laundered, this non-woven material guarantees cleanliness and hygiene for your discerning guests. As beautiful as the traditional square facecloth, at a fraction of the price, you can’t go wrong! For more information, see the product page here.

Check out our website, disposable-linen.co.uk, for a variety of other smart, classy and hygienic solutions to avoid the spread of disease in your hotel, resort, spa or BnB this holiday season. Also feel free to contact us directly by phone or email for customised order inquiries, at info [at] disposable-linen.co.uk.

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Hard to Find the Right Sized Pillow Cover? Caractere has the Solution!

Disposable Linen has got your pillows covered!

With Caractere, you don’t need to worry about pillow sizes any longer

Not all pillows are created equal! However, now you can find a high-quality, disposable pillow cover for your accommodations no matter your location and your pillows’ sizes. Ever since the formation of the European Union, a trend of standardisation across the continent has taken place. The ISO norms, for example, gained adoption in the EU Parliament and have played a major role in transforming regulations in a wide variety of industries, including agriculture, manufacturing and transport.

One field that has continued to elude standardisation, however, happens to be tourism — and more specifically, the hotel industry. The sizes of beds, and by consequence their sheets and linens, varies greatly between one country and the next. In addition, often the most variable aspects of linens dependent on nationality comes in the form of the pillow.

Caractere's new disposable pillow covers

Disposable Linen’s new pillow covers now available in a variety of sizes

Who would have thought getting a good night of rest would prove this difficult? Caractere sought to resolve the controversy over pillow sizes once and for all by conducting research with hotel and guesthouse owners throughout the continent. What we concluded was, there are five standard pillow sizes in Europe:

  • British (also known as Oxford or Queen) – 50 x 75 cm / 20″ x 30″
  • French (also known as square or continental) – 65 x 65 cm / 26″ x 26″
  • Italian (rectangular) – 50 x 80 cm / 20″ x 32″
  • Spanish 50 x 75 cm / 20″ x 30″
  • Our brand new, large German size – 80 x 80 cm / 32″ x 32″
  • Finally, the stylish Navy Blue Cushion pillow covers, sized 45 x 65 cm / 18″ x 26″

Manufactured with care from a technologically-advanced material, these soft and durable, disposable pillow covers are ideal for hotels, motels, hostels, inns, B&Bs, day care centres and even unexpected visits from friends at home.

Disposible hotel pillow covers

Caractere UK now covers all sizes of pillows in Europe!

The hypo-allergenic fabric has no chemical or plastic smell, so guests will be able to enjoy a wonderful night’s sleep, whether you use with another layer as a pillow case or not. The covers are also effective at preventing the spread of lice, bed bugs, bacteria and dust mites in pillows, mattresses, and other bedding materials. After up to one month of use (or more, depending on the user’s preferences), these pillow cases can be thrown away or recycled.

The pillow cases come individually packaged, so cleanliness and hygiene are guaranteed for every client, every time. They open in the middle of the underside, which means fast and easy deployment, as well as an improved level of protection and coverage for both the pillow and the client. Each pillow case comes over-sized direct from the manufacturer, which ensures they will fit virtually all pillows sizes in the EU.

So now, British hotel owners, as well as others throughout Europe, can  rest assured with their choice to open accommodations anywhere on the continent.

For more information, visit Caractere UK’s website Disposable Linen, here:
http://disposable-linen.co.uk/bed-sheet-towelling-bedding/contents/en-uk/p37.html

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Maintaining Safety and Protection for the Staff of Nuclear Power Plants in the UK

A picture of a nuclear plant

The UK calls itself home to 9 different nuclear power plants

The nuclear industry plays a major role in providing power for a number of countries in Europe, especially in countries like France, Spain and the UK. Several large companies maintain a presence on the British Isles, including Areva, Hitachi, EDF and Westinghouse. In addition, the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester maintain a partnership called the NAMRC, or the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, which allows academic and industrial actors from different backgrounds in the nuclear supply chain to collaborate on projects of mutual interest.

With nuclear power comes its advantages, such as minimal greenhouse gas emissions and relatively safe containment methods. However, an accident could strike at any moment, as exemplified by the disasters of Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and most recently, Fukushima. For this reason, a constant standard of safety and protection must be kept for workers at nuclear power plants, so they can conduct their jobs in a secure, effective fashion.

A "smart" robot

Robots of this style are often employed by nuclear plant staff for dangerous missions

A total of nine nuclear plants are currently active in the UK, eight of which maintained by EDF Energy, and the remaining one by Magnox Limited. Together, the plants provide nearly one fifth of all electricity in the UK. The provision of supplies and maintenance of equipment in a hostile environment, specifically in close proximity to nuclear reactors and the plants that contain them, must be possible throughout day and night on a year-round basis.

Security cameras and robotic technologies have provided new, technologically-advanced methods to ensure safety even when people cannot intervene on ground. Still, nothing matches the precision and skills offered by the human eye, or the dexterity afforded by a pair of hands.

Full body protection by Caractere

Check out Caractere’s protective clothing offerings by clicking above.

Whether in the UK or elsewhere, the workers at a nuclear site find themselves constantly required to enter into zones of dangerously high levels of radiation, where they’re exposed to the hasards of this occupation. Regularly, the levels of radioactivity in these areas surpasses the normally acceptable levels for everyday life. All the heat generated from the reactor also causes concern, especially on warm summer days when the outside temperature can exceed those planned during the design process of the reactors.

Security and safety personnel can lower the amount of radiation to which they’re exposed by careful and assiduous use of vests, bodysuits, shoe covers, gloves and other protective equipment, as long as they remove these layers of protection after each exit from the dangerous zones.

Often, the workers must communicate with coworkers in other parts of the plant, if not from outside agencies or governmental structures, thanks to walkies-talkies and other closed-circuit communication devices.

Caractere's head set covers in white colour

One of the most popular products from Caractere, our white earphone covers!

In order to limit the amounts of radiation to which these brave workers are exposed, we’ve designed and manufactured protective covers for ear pieces and microphones of the type often necessary in this line of work. They allow the personnel to avoid getting into direct contact with a listening device that has already been exposed to radiation.

These headphone covers are a hygienic and disposable solution that slides over the listening portion of headsets. Using advanced manufacturing techniques, they’re crafted from a non-woven tissue of softened polypropylene, which is also entirely hypoallergenic.

Caractere's head set covers in black colour

Black earphone covers by Caractere

Each pair of earphone covers comes in an individually-wrapped clear plastic bag to assure perfect hygiene each and every time. What’s more, this closed bag method allows the staff of the plant to conduct a quick examination of the situation before distributing used covers. If the bag appears like it’s been opened, or that one earphone cover is already missing, that’s probably an indication that the set has already been used in a hazardous zone.

After each visit into the dangerous areas of the reactor, the covers can be removed and disposed of in the proper manner to maintain a constant level and standard of safety.

Disposable earphone covers by Caractere Paris

Caractere’s famous head set covers, available in white and black

It’s recommended to use a colour different from that of the headset, in order to permit easy identification. For example, on a black or gray headset, it makes the most sense to stick to white protective covers so your workers and managers can monitor the whole team’s status and ensure their safety.

For more information, please click here: http://bit.ly/1bedeAF

Of course, this information could be of equal importance to those working in other preventative fields, such as health and security inspectors, responsible for assuming some professional risks when on the job.