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Salons still having good hair days

March 08, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Despite a struggling economy, there is one luxury customers are not cutting off: hair. Maintaining their hair, that is.

Local salon managers said their clients might make appointments for hairstyling and coloring less frequently, but they still get their hair done.

Pam Nichols, a manager and stylist for Simplicity Salon and Spa, said the business is even seeing an influx of new clients, and spa services are also doing well.

"People want to take care of themselves. In a bad economy that's even more important," she said.

Some salon clients are stretching out their hair appointments; those who typically visit every four or five weeks are now booking appointments every six to seven weeks, she said.

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People are also waiting longer between appointments at Regis Salon at Valley Mall, said Manager Shanon Culy. Regis also sees fewer walk-ins because not as many people are shopping in the mall, she said.

SmartStyle inside Wal-Mart only takes walk-in clients, said Manager Toni Marciano.

"We seem to be doing OK," Marciano said.

SmartStyle's services are reasonably priced and are posted, she said.

The salon is getting a lot of new clients coming in for help with the color of their hair.

"They try it themselves and then come here because they have to fix it," she said.

At Tranquility Salon and Spa, some clients are forgoing color treatments and others are waiting longer between appointments, said Gene Hamilton, manager.

"Fortunately, people really are concerned about the way they look," Hamilton said. "They are willing to make sacrifices in other places in their lives."

Hamilton said Tranquility is holding its own, given the current economy.

"That's all that can be expected," he said.

People are starting to use the coupons his salon is offering for percentages off services, Hamilton said.

"We would do some promotional advertising before, but now we're trying to give people a break," he said.

What A Tan on Railway Lane is also running specials to bring in new customers, said Christy Barton, manager.

Feb. 25 was Customer Appreciation Day at What a Tan, she said. The day of free tans, goodie bags and promotional specials was something the business had not done before, she said.

While the tanning business is usually slow in the winter and picks up in late February or March, she said she was concerned about the economy affecting business this spring and summer.

"It is an extra," she said. "Not something they have to have."

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