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Laying Down Luxury

By: Jane Wurwand
Posted: June 2, 2009, from the June 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 5 of 5

Sassoon also introduced a new idea: Women could and would wash their own hair, every day perhaps, rather than waiting two weeks or more to have it washed out at the salon. This cultural revolution had nothing to do with poverty, hardship or self-deprivation. It had to do with modern women wanting to spend less time under the dryer.

Initially, hairdressers panicked when they realized women would not be coming in for their biweekly wet-and-set. But panic soon turned to profits when hairdressers realized they could sell bottles of shampoo rather than simply selling services. Selling a bottle of shampoo and conditioner required less than 10 minutes versus an hour or more for a conventional styling appointment. Product marketing trumped the labor-intensive service model, and today this transition applies to skin care. Skin therapists once relied purely upon treatment technique, but now you must bring your expertise to the retailing of products as well.

Professional consultation and treatment, as with hair care, are still the core, but the treatments don’t need to be as elaborate as they once were—and perhaps not even as frequent. The positioning and selling of retail within the professional setting is the most significant opportunity to come along in the history of the skin care industry.

Shedding an ungainly, unwieldy, high-maintenance coiffure truly is energizing. You can experience the same sense of being set free once you shed the idea that luxury is what clients want. Luxury never really belonged in the skin care profession to start with. Now shifts in global consciousness make it an impossibility. Embrace this—it’s your invitation to create the best skin care ever.