A recent visit to a hotel salon sparked the idea for this blog.
I have been having some issues with my skin (acne type break outs at the age of 36!?) as well as feeling particularly in need of a pamper session after a couple of stressful weeks.
So… when hubby announced that he’s been super proactive and booked us into a hotel for the night where we would have a 40th celebration – I thought this was the ideal opportunity to go for that much needed treatment at the hotel’s salon.
To cut a long story short… I left this particular salon not only with my skin looking bruised and irritated (perfect for getting ready for the party in an hour right?!), but my mood in a bad state.
This brings me to a short list of what you and I can demand from our salon and spa treatments.
The following are the absolutes of what any decent salon/spa should have in place – I will refer to my recent horrible salon experience as “salon X”:
1. You deserve a really warm and friendly welcome & comfy area to relax before your treatment – There was no one to greet me at salon X. I had to wait in a tiny reception area where the one and only chair was occupied by another guest. I had a stair to sit on – thankfully not the floor.
2. A thorough client consultation card – Salon X had nothing of the sort. The therapist only knew my first name when I went into the treatment room.
Ok, I know enough of the paper work already. But, the reason for a client card is that the therapist can know who you are, what your particular expectations and needs are for this salon visit, any contra-indications like pregnancy, medications and allergies as well as a couple of other important points.
The client consultation card is there to guide the therapist in her conversation with you before the treatment, performing the treatment (e.g. I prefer medium massage pressure; I prefer you not to do extractions etc.) and finally afterwards to conclude your treatment and talk about your treatment and home care plan.
3. You deserve a beautiful, clean treatment room with clean, fresh linen and an attentive therapist. You should be told by your therapist how to get ready for the treatment, where to put your clothes/bag as well as which items of clothing to remove. She should then come back after a while and ensure that you re 100% comfortable. At salon X I had to tell her to please cover me with a blanket as I tend to get cold quickly especially my feet. The towels also had this smell of not being washed thoroughly enough between clients.
4. You deserve a treatment that is done according to the product house’s treatment protocol. This means that all the right products and the particular sequence is followed. The therapist should have received training of some sort on this treatment that she is performing. I have trained beauty therapists for many years and have also, so when she skipped a step/product here and there – I knew it immediately. To end off the treatment she went from mask removal to applying a SPF – all done! This brings me to the routine most facials should follow:
FYI – A facial should typically include at least the following steps:
Cleanse & Tone; Skin Analysis under a magnifying lamp; Exfoliation; Extractions (if needed); Mask (could include a serum underneath); Massage while the mask is on; Mask removal; Tone; Serum & Eye cream; SPF.
Some facials include extras such as: Eyebrow shape; A specialise mask; Advanced method of exfoliation e.g. Microdermabrasion; Fruit acid based peels etc; A machine treatment e.g. Galvanic/High Frequency etc.
After she left the room I had a quick look at her trolley with professional products and realised that salon X must be low on stock – no serum, moisturiser, eye cream etc.
5. You deserve a therapist who is sensitive to YOUR needs. After telling my therapist politely that I desperately needed to relax – she continued throughout the hour to chat about irrelevant topics, ask me annoying questions and open and close cupboards looking for products etc.
6. You deserve your therapist’s attention for the full duration of your treatment. Therapist at salon X left the room after doing a 1 minute décolleté massage while the mask is on – to go and make a phone call loud enough for me to hear. Your therapist should offer you one or two “touch therapies” e.g. scalp/décolleté/hand/foot massage while a mask is on.
7. Finally – your therapist should offer you something to drink, give you feedback after your treatment e.g. “Your skin is showing signs of congestion which could be due to the stressful time that you have had – I would suggest the following…”; Offer to take you through a treatment and home care plan and ask whether you would like to re-book. I wanted to leave salon X as soon as I can so didn’t mind that the therapist didn’t do any of the above…
This concludes the list – which I will expand on in a future blog.
The question of course now is this. Do we have a salon owner or manager at salon X who cares enough to handle my complaint and suggestions with care? Does she realise that this complaint can save her from many unhappy clients who might never return and as an opportunity to improve her services at her salon?
I’ll let you know 😉