Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Importance of Open Dialogue with Your Client

Open dialogue with your client before starting any beauty service is vital because it assures that their expectations as well as yours will be met. Think about it like this, if you’re driving without any navigation how will you reach your destination. Communication is the key to success!

Our open dialogue begins as I walk them to my chair, making them feel comfortable and at ease. During the entire consultation it is vital to have eye to eye contact; in my opinion it is an unprofessional approach to look through the mirror while speaking with your client. I begin analyzing their personality from their wardrobe, makeup, and even down to the shoes their wearing. Once they are in my chair we communicate about their life and everyday routine, so I can understand who they are and what they are trying to achieve. In addition, we discuss their likes and dislikes. I then proceed to examine the texture, color and condition of their existing hair. We may look at photos to help me understand what they are trying to portray. Although my overall vision may differ from their final look, we continue to discuss with each other until we come to an agreement. As we close I give my professional recommendation on shades and tones with descriptions best suited for them such as apricot, sandy blonde or velvety brunette. During this conversation you are also asking about their commitment to you and their hair color. For example, if they have a low maintenance lifestyle, you give them color that is low maintenance and only needs to be maintained every couple of months……give it some thought….. You’re setting yourself up for failure if you were to give them high maintenance hair color because after a couple of weeks their hair looks a HOT MESS. Do you really want them walking around with dreadful grown out hair color? Don’t forget that our clients are marketing our brand as a professional.

Furthermore, the communication you have with your client doesn’t end on the first visit. You should always continue to converse with them before each visit to discuss any existing or new changes that need to be made. Remember, this shows professionalism of a true colorist, as well as exhibiting how versed you are in your profession. Communication makes the whole experience between you and your client more comfortable and strengthens their trust!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What is PPD?

Paraphenylenediamine or PPD is a chemical used as a permanent hair dye. PPD is most used in hair dye because it is a permanent dye that gives a natural look. In addition to hair color it is also found in textile dyes, cosmetics, temporary tattoos, printing inks, black rubber, oils, greases, and gasoline. Beautiful color can be created through the process of using and mixing dyes to create the perfect shade, but for some people this isn’t achieved without suffering from an allergic reaction.
Photo: Having a proper consultation is KEY in creating the perfect #haircolor. #ratayedu #colorforumParaphenylenediamine can create an allergic reaction usually during the stage of oxygenation.  The industry claims the percentage of users who react to this chemical is tiny but more sensitive cases have been observed recently. Symptoms include irritation where the dye comes in contact including the scalp, ears, forehead, neck and eyelids. In some cases the irritation can be quite severe and can morph into allergic dermatitis or eczema, hives, or reddening and swelling. On rare occasions the reaction can turn into a full, and sometimes fatal, anaphylactic attack.

In my expert opinion there is really not much you can do if you have a PPD allergy. Permanent hair color cannot touch the scalp whatsoever. There is no way to get around it because one mistake can cause your guest problems, hence leading to your own. At my recent color forum I hosted at Salon Ratay I talked about PPD and the few alternatives out on the market. There is one product called Henna which is an all-natural alternative to hair color. Although it may not cause an allergic reaction, it only comes in one shade, which is a red orange color. Another product was just released from Proctor and Gamble called ME +. It claims it has less cases of sensitivity, but it is not a definite alternative to PPD reactions. I recommend to patch test every guest before providing a color service. It will also show if they are allergic to the ammonia, fragrance, or anything else in the dye including PPD. This test may give you an idea but it is not always 100% true because you are testing a small portion, opposed to the entire head.  The only way to be truly safe is to not dye your hair permanently.  You may not love the look of dying your hair naturally through henna but it is the only way you can be sure you’re safe.
Take a look at a video I created where I colored a very important guest's hair who has a PPD allergy:

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Family First!

My image in the beauty industry as Sherry Ratay, celebrity hairstylist and educator, broadcasts my life as an award-winning color expert and prestigious salon owner. However, that’s only a small portion of it. In addition to my career, the most important thing in my life is my family. I have three phenomenal children with my husband, Michael. Savannah is 17, Lee Michael is 10, and Ashley is 18. The salon is like a second home for me, I have learned to keep a balance between my home life with my children and husband and the salon with its guests.

Since day one, I have strongly believed that family comes first! For me it is the foundation in which keeps me centered. My husband has supported me since the day we met. Hairdressing is a part of who I am and he respects that. I am truly blessed for all that Michael does in support of my career as a colorist, salon owner and educator. Mike works for American K-9 here in Lake Mary and heads their Business Development division with his own career being very demanding he always finds time when I call upon him if the salons software goes down or if something needs replacing. He has been by my side through majority of my career all the way with the development of Salon Ratay.

My kids have grown up in the salon and surrounded by the beauty industry. Each year during my educational tour I occasionally do feel that motherly guilt every mother feels when they are away from their children, but I know that I am teaching them valuable lessons. I want to convey to my son to respect his future wife’s career, as well as teach my girls that they can achieve anything with pursuance and hard work.  A few years ago my son had some medical issues, so naturally as a mother I put my educational tour on hold and made sure the salon was sustained to be with him. It was a very scary and stressful time for us, I am blessed to say he is healthy and happy, my little baseball player is the light of my heart.

It isn’t always easy juggling the many paths life brings you, I do know one thing and that is I wouldn’t change a thing about my life. It does matter what we face good or bad as a family, we all support each other’s dreams and goals and are there for one another no matter what! As a parent I will take great pride and joy in watching my children grow and to see the successful futures they will achieve.