You might not think there's a need for scales in hair salons. But dying hair correctly is as much science as it is art and using a scale can be beneficial to salons and stylists. In the end, hair care is using chemistry to change the appearance to one's taste and needs to be done right to avoid mistakes. In this blog post, we'll explain why hair salons should have a good scale on hand, and what type of scale they should look for.
When a client gets a color they like, they'll likely want to get the same color again. Using a scale ensures precise measurements that allow stylists to create consistent formulation every time -- no one wants to pay a lot of money only to get a different color. If a client or stylist's trademark is a specific color, it's important to be able to achieve that same result every time. Color correction and adjustments are big business for salons, but the formulation needs to be exact in order to properly gauge toners and PH levels. That's the kind of chemistry that needs a scale to be done properly.
There are various components that go into creating hair dye and they must be mixed correctly to achieve the desired result. The amount of products mixed depends on the color that will be applied, and on the client's hair (longer hair requires more dye, whereas a root touch up requires much less, and thicker hair needs more product than thin hair). The type of application depends as well: if a client is merely refreshing their color, it takes less product than a first color. "Eying it" can lead to product being wasted, which in itself is a waste of money. It could also lead to product shortage, depending on how inventory is managed.
Protect your client's hair
Even the gentlest of hair dyes can be harmful to hair, and this is compounded when the color must be regularly maintained. Some dyes, especially ones designed to lighten hair, must be measured very carefully in order to tint hair without damaging it, as it could lead to brittle hair, hair breakage and hair loss, as well as thinning hair on the long term.
When the right mix results in a great color and a happy client, it's worth keeping the formula in the archives to reuse it when the client comes back for consistent results. It's also very useful to ensure proper inventory management, since exact measurements allow stylists to track which chemicals were used and when. Some salons, like the Xanadu Salon & Color Bar, even use special software that can work with Adam balances to update the inventory in real time. Results can also be exported to programs such as Excel for convenience.
Skip the guesswork
Not only will this result in a much better color and more accurate records, but this can also save a lot of time, particularly when training new stylist. If a client comes back but cannot get their favorite hairdresser, proper measurements ensure they will walk out satisfied with the same color as before. Guesswork can create mistakes that take more time and money to fix, as well as a frustrated client.
Professionals can tell
Hair styling professionals can walk into a salon and see if a colorist is properly measuring color or not at a glance. Whether it's competition scoping you out, the franchise owner checking how things are going or even a knowledgeable client, it's important to maintain high standards. "Eying it" can result in telltale color bands caused by issues during mixing. Because the ratio is improper, the color does not fully cover the hair, but instead can be more or less transparent (if it stays at all!). This creates light and dark bands caused by the different colors at the roots that grow out over time. To the untrained eye, it can still be off-putting. Word of mouth is important for hair salons, and no one wants to visit the place where their friend's hair gets a bad dye.
What kind of scale should my salon use?
A digital scale is a must. Coloring has never been so prevalent and so complex, so it's important that stylists have access to a scale that's easy to use and to read, especially during busy times. Many stylists, even in the United States, prefer using a scale that displays grams for precision. Digital scales also allow for data to be exported for easy inventory management.
A tare feature can be useful during formulation, especially when using peroxide. It can also remove the mixing bowl's weight.
Make sure to buy a balance with the right readability! Many stylists buy cheap scales only to find out they cannot measure fine amounts. It's worth taking your time and doing some research. Take a look at the products you use and find out how fine the readability should be.
In our case study, Xanadu Salon & Color Bar loved our Highland Portable Precision Balance for its percentage weighing feature (perfect for color formulation) and its USB interface to connect the balance to computers. The solid ABS construction can handle all the hair chemicals and is easy to wash. The internal calibration feature ensures busy stylists don't need to learn to calibrate a balance with weights.
Core compact balances are less precise than Highland balances, but they're easy to use, sturdy and are stackable for easy storage when they're not used.
Astro compact scales are made of stainless steel for easy cleaning and high durability. They're not as precise as the Highland or the Core. They display bright green digits that turn red if the scale becomes overloaded.
A scale might seem expensive and more difficult to use than measuring cups, but they're absolutely worth it. From forums to trade publications, color professionals love the consistent results and easy formulation.