Professional Beauty Association's News Blog Industry News From PBA Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:13:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New Hair Salon Local Marketing Solution Offered by SmartFinds Internet Marketing Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:44:45 +0000 Hair Salon Industry Is Perfect Fit For On-The-Go Consumers Using Smartphones and Tablets to Find Fast, Convenient, Recommended Hair Care

Birmingham, MI, April 2, 2014 – Now more than ever, consumers are using the power of the web to find a hair salon, see what other customers think and have experienced, and also share their own experience with a salon. In a market chock-full of hair salons all competing aggressively for business, salon owners need to use the marketing power of the smartphones and tablets in every purse, pocket or computer bag to put their best face forward and be as competitive as possible on the digital marketing front.

Visibility is Everything: Be Seen!
Today’s consumers, including salon customers, have become skilled at searching for the exact products and services they desire, in the exact location they desire, using technology resources literally at their fingertips. When it comes to searching for services like hair salons, using web or mobile to find them has become virtually a reflex; searching by phone or tablet has become a “no-brainer”. Researching hair salons on web or mobile is a common practice for those seeking a fresh haircut or quick trim nearby with a chair available. For the terms “hair salons” and “hair salons near me”, there are approximately 101,000 searches performed on Google per month. With that in mind, hair salon owners can now exploit that consumer behavior and become highly visible to more new customers quickly and more often.

With the help of a knowledgeable digital marketing partner, salon owners are able to take ownership of, verify and manage their presence on local business listings. A digital marketing partner can quickly and affordably assist salons in getting the most accurate and highly visible information about their business into the online local business listings and databases including location, maps, directions, reviews, promotions and more. Consistent, optimized business profile information will greatly help boost ranking results across web and mobile platforms. Melih Oztalay, CEO of SmartFinds Internet Marketing, says, “Business owners that only focus on listing their name, address, phone number and website and then add occasional updates miss out on the new business that grows from an automated ongoing online marketing process. It’s the steady churn of new information that boosts search ratings and increases visibility.”

Find Success a Cut Above the Rest: Be Competitive
Once a hair salon store owner creates an identity in their local business listings, they are then positioned to take full advantage of the freely available branding and marketing opportunities the listings have to offer. The local listing profiles allow salons to upload a store logo and photos, offer special coupons and promotions, and reward customers with loyalty programs that can often be integrated directly into the listings. Customers are more likely to look at a business listing that is colorful, has an eye-catching logo, store photos, and enticing offers rather than a dull, a bland, nondescript listing with no flair or consumer interest.
These important details increase the chance of being seen and building new foot traffic. Mr. Oztalay points out, “If salons pursue a strategic marketing process that is specifically based on the local geography of each salon, then our steady stream of marketing material updates and managed analytics will help ensure the success that salon’s local store marketing program.”

Look who’s talking: Managing Ratings & Reviews
A popular misconception that hair salon owners often have is that word-of-mouth recommendation is their best form of marketing. Oztalay says, “That’s always been true. But put word-of-mouth recommendations online and you’ve got world’s most effective marketing on steroids. The sky’s the limit.” Salon owners don’t dare overlook the importance of what is being said about them on the web, positive or negative. Unlike direct word-of-mouth, access to information on the web is almost instantaneous and immediately far reaching. With just a few clicks, one bad online review can continue to proliferate and multiply across many search engines for months.

A June 2013 article published by Search Engine Watch showed that, between 2011 and 2013, the number of consumers reading local business reviews increased by 10 percent. This steady increase is something that hair salon owners should take note of. Salon owners should make it a priority to address any bad customer experiences in a constructive manner. They should respond positively, not defensively, and offer a way for the customer to contact them to discuss the matter off line.

Salon owners should also remember to respond to the great reviews, thanking both new and repeat clients for their business. This will demonstrate that customer service is of the utmost importance and will help build a solid reputation online. The June Search Engine Watch article also noted, “What is good news for local businesses is the fact that not many people are just reading the first review for a local business. More than 60 percent read between two and six online reviews before they form an opinion on the business.”

According to Mr. Oztalay, “Our research on national hair salons during summer 2013 reveals that customer ratings and reviews are not being productively managed by the salons. The results can be dire. In one example the customer lives on an Army base near the hair salon, had a bad experience, spread the word online, and it is unlikely that others at the base would visit this location.” By enlisting the help of an experienced online marketer, hair salon owners can learn to manage their ratings and reviews efficiently and effectively. In an industry centered on image, hair salon owners will recognize this as a powerful and essential investment in their business.

How SmartFinds can help with local marketing
SmartFinds partners with hair salon store owners to find marketing strategies that bring more customers through their salon doors. The SmartFinds approach is unique in that it focuses on strategic marketing processes and not just technology tasks alone.

SmartFinds can help local hair salon owners with:
• On-going marketing management at the Top 10 websites covering Search Engines, 411 Websites, Mapping/GPS Websites, Social Communities, and business directories, as well as syndication to over 200+ websites.
• Managing a salon’s landing page marketability
• Managing consumer ratings and reviews
• Store-level local social media marketing
• Analytics, Activity, and Keyword ranking reports for the location’s city as well as 3-5 surrounding communities
You can learn about additional, included marketing activities and tasks not listed here by reaching out to SmartFinds directly. Contact SmartFinds today for further information and let us know how we can help your hair salon thrive. Visit .

For credits/source information mentioned in this article visit

About SmartFinds Internet Marketing
SmartFinds Internet Marketing provides innovative, personalized web marketing strategies and services. We strive to help customers navigate the web marketing and advertising world through education, consultation and result interpretation. As your partner, we research, develop a plan, and manage its execution. Web marketing is an intricate process and we help you interpret and understand the results every step of the way. SmartFinds is headquartered in Birmingham, MI and houses over 25 years of marketing, advertising and internet experience. SmartFinds’ broad client experiences with websites, web advertising campaigns, and web marketing strategies include larger corporations like Compuware, Delphi, Flagstar Bank, Guardian Industries, McCann Erickson, Penske Automotive Group, Soave Enterprises, Wendy’s, Ziebart and others. To learn more visit or call (866) 501-5758.

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I Am A Professional. I Am Licensed. Interview Series: Lani Williams Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:38:16 +0000 The I Am A Professional. I Am Licensed. Movement continues to make waves throughout the beauty industry with its member numbers consistently rising. Industry professionals all across the U.S. are taking a stand and making it clear they want to stay informed as well as educate others on the importance of maintaining a regulated and fair industry.

This month, the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) caught up with California-based Esthetician and I AM member Lani Williams.

Why it it important to be a licensed professional?

It is essential to convey to the public (my clients/potential clients) that I have had the education and training to perform the services they come in for, safely and competently.

What would the industry look like if licenses were taken away?

We would see an exponential rise in injury and infection rates. In addition, potential lawsuits will arise out of such incidents. Anyone could call themselves an esthetician, hair stylist, nail technician, or massage therapist – and not have to provide any proof of education or training. Those individuals may charge significantly less, just to get the clientele in the door, negatively impacting the licensed professionals who invested time and money into themselves and their businesses.

My clients need to be assured that they are in the hands of someone competent- Lani Williams.

Why do you think it’s important for your clients to know you are licensed (and proud to be)?

My clients need to be assured that they are in the hands of someone competent; someone who is an expert in their field and keeps updated on current trends and laws. Their safety must be the number one priority.

What is your favorite thing about working in the beauty industry?

Being able to help people look good and feel better!

For more information on the I Am a Professional. I Am Licensed Movement, please visit Take a look at our May 2014 interview with movement member Susan HERE. If you’re an existing movement member and you’d like your story featured in the PBA Blog, click hereiam_window_cling_thumb

You’ve worked hard for your career, obtained your licensed, and joined the movement–now spread the word! Educate your clients, friends, and encourage fellow licensed stylists to join. Follow the official I Am a Professional. I Am Licensed Instagram account for news and featured photos from fellow members. PBA knows that as a professional, you take pride in your work space. As a member of the movement, your window cling is prominently displayed in your work space, and we’d love to see it. Post it to Instagram and using the hashtag #IAMLICENSED and we’ll feature your image on our feed! Also, be sure to like The Professional Beauty Association on Facebook and stay up to date on all I Am Movement and industry happenings.

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Participate in the SSPI Survey! Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:32:40 +0000 The Professional Beauty Association’s Salon/Spa Performance Index (SSPI) is a quarterly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. salon/spa industry. Salon and spa owners are encouraged to take the survey and upon completion are entered to win a $50 Visa Giftcard!

The SSPI is based on responses to PBA’s Salon/Spa Industry Tracking Survey, which is fielded quarterly among salon/spa owners nationwide on a variety of indicators including service and retail sales, customer traffic, employees/hours and capital expenditures. The SSPI consists of two components – the Current Situation Index and the Expectations Index. It is constructed so that the health of the salon/spa industry is measured in relation to a steady-state level of 100. Index values above 100 indicate that key industry indicators are in a period of expansion, while index values below 100 represent a period of contraction for key industry indicators.

This report is available complimentary to both members and non-members.

To be added to our list to receive the survey please contact Bridget Sharpe at

All results will be made available upon completion to participants for both the SSPI and the National Salon/Spa tracking Survey.

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Own Your Own Collection of NAHA Images Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:38:38 +0000 2014 marks the North American Hairstyling Awards’ 25th anniversary. Since its humble beginnings in 1989, NAHA finalists and industry elite have brought this iconic photographic beauty competition to new heights year after year. NAHA continues to recognize the beauty industry’s most talented artists and advance the careers of stylists around the world.

To help celebrate the past 25 years of this prestigious event, the Professional Beauty Association created a NAHA Look Book featuring images from the industry’s most talented artists from the past 25 years! This

142 page book highlights the changes in our industry and the advancement of this award show since 1989.


$7.99 (digital)

$39.99 (print)

Own your own digital or print version today!

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An Insider’s Guide to NAHA – A 3 Part Web Event Mon, 21 Jul 2014 20:55:18 +0000 Join the Professional Beauty Association and Hollywood’s favorite hairstylist, Michael Shaun Corby for a free, 3-part web series to introduce NAHA to emerging stylists and first-time entrants.

Known fondly as “the Oscars of hair,” the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) is the prestigious photographic hairstyling competition in the U.S. and is renowned internationally. Placing as a NAHA finalist can forever change your career. In fact, just entering NAHA can reignite your passion for the industry, enhance your technical skills, and help you create lasting professional relationships.

“An Insider’s Guide to NAHA” will feature 3 separate online sessions beginning July 28th. Each session will feature esteemed panelists from the all parts of the industry.

Part 1: Why NAHA?

Monday, July 28

1:00pm – 2:00pm Eastern


Learn the benefits of entering NAHA and listen as our panelists discuss everything from the rich history of NAHA, the opportunities that emerge from a NAHA win and NAHA’s exciting future!



Michael Shaun Corby and Mary Brunetti


Register Now!


Part 2: Judges Review

Monday, August 18

1:00pm – 2:15pm Eastern


Hear from an esteemed panel of NAHA judges as they fondly discuss categories they are familiar with, offer insight into category selection and share their favorite images from past NAHAs.


Featuring: Michael Shaun Corby, Mary Brunetti, Kris Sorbie and Sam Brocato


Register Now


Part 3: Before, During & After

Monday, September 8

1:00pm – 2:15pm Eastern


Hear from a panel of NAHA winners as they guide you through the “before,” “during” and “after” of your NAHA photo shoot.


Featuring: Michael Shaun Corby, Sherri Jessee, Damien Carney and Charlie Price


Register Now


Attend any session for a chance to win one of our giveaways! Prizes include a free NAHA entry, free NAHA VIP tickets and limited mentorship opportunities with select panelists! Attend all three sessions for a chance to win a NAHA t-shirt signed by the 2014 NAHA winners! Mentorship winners have the chance to exchange 2 emails and have one 15 minute phone call with one of the web event panelists. Emails and phone call to be used to discuss NAHA 2015 entry for advice and guidance.

Visit to learn more and to sign up for the series.

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Deregulation Receives National Attention – An Open Letter to the Industry Thu, 10 Jul 2014 22:45:47 +0000 Open Letter to the Professional Beauty Industry,

Recently, former House Majority Leader, Congressman Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) views regarding occupational licensing were included in The Hill article titled “GOP leader takes on beauty salon licenses.” In this article Congressman Cantor and American Enterprise Institute (AEI) President Arthur Brooks, describe the critical barriers licensing places upon an individual’s right to work.

“It can take more than 10 times as long for someone to acquire a cosmetology license as opposed to a license to become a medical technician.” Further, at a panel discussion at a conservative American Enterprise Institute conference, Cantor said that he would reach out to governors around the country to reform the licensing system.

The article continues to include comments from Arthur Brooks as he compares the 1,500 hours that are required for a cosmetology license in DC to the 135 hours required for a real estate license. Cantor also mentions, “…the problem was that the federal government continues to subsidize the training programs that rely on steep licensing requirements for a profit.”

I share these points with you as an example of how our industry is viewed not only by state legislatures where licensing laws are maintained, but at the federal government level as well. The industry is very aware of attempts by states to deregulate cosmetology licensing over the past few years, while time and time again professionals defend their industry and their license. These views are not only being driven by groups like AEI, but by other well-funded and well organized activist groups and think tanks such as the Institute for Justice, and the Goldwater Institute just to name a few.

Over the last several years, the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) and other local groups have worked tirelessly with licensees, state legislators and regulators to address this very serious issue.  However, common factors for the reasons behind deregulation efforts continue to be present; these factors include the inconsistent number of cosmetology hours required to obtain a cosmetology license in one state versus another, excessive education hours overall, inconsistent treatment of license types, and lack of license reciprocity among others.

In addition, activist groups and elected officials feel there is layer upon layer of regulations and hours within the cosmetology industry that are burdensome, unnecessary, indefensible, and simply do not make sense. For these reasons, elected officials are being encouraged by organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute to remove or reform occupational licensing. In this particular situation, PBA is communicating with the former Majority Leader’s office and AEI to provide information and be part of this discussion.

In the long run, the vast disparity among state licensing requirements will leave our industry vulnerable to legislative attacks and the risk of deregulation. To begin to address a long term solution to this threat, PBA has organized a professional beauty industry working group with representation from key associations and sectors of our industry, including schools, independent salon owners, multi-unit salon owners, state cosmetology boards and other stakeholders. We are crafting a united message of reform by creating a documented and well researched reform platform for our industry to broadly endorse. The platform will address issues like common education hours for scope of practice, license mobility, health and safety, infection control, national testing, continuing education and other standardized licensing criteria.

The need for uniformity across the U.S. can no longer wait. If we do not make common sense practical decisions to unify and reform our licensing structure, then these decisions will be made for us by those outside of our industry looking to remove occupational licensing altogether.  No longer can we sit by without the research, data and documentation to support the licensing rationale in our industry.


Steve Sleeper

Executive Director

Professional Beauty Association

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Helps Salons Rebuild in Nebraska Wed, 18 Jun 2014 16:59:26 +0000 Twin tornadoes recently tore through a Nebraska town wiping out homes and the town’s business district, which contained salons and spas.

Help fellow members of your industry rebuild after the destruction.

By donating to PBA’s Disaster Relief Fund, 100% of your donation will help members of the professional beauty industry get their lives back on track after a natural disaster like this one in Nebraska. You can make a difference.

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The Professional Beauty Association urges all beauty professionals to make a tax-deductible donation to the PBA Disaster Relief Fund  a unique effort that provides 100% of all funds raised directly to professional beauty industry professionals in need. The Fund was established in 1955 to assist salons in rebuilding following the devastation of natural disaster. Over the course of five decades, the fund has been there for professionals in times of dire need.

Help those in need by making a donation today

Were you or someone you know affected? Visit us online to fill out an application and apply for aid.

The PBA Disaster Relief Fund was established by the National Cosmetology Association in 1955 to assist salons in rebuilding following the devastation of a natural disaster. Over the course of five decades, the fund has been there for professionals in times of dire need.

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PBA CONGRATULATES HARLAN KIRSCHNER: CITY OF HOPE’S 2014 SPIRIT OF LIFE AWARD HONOREE Tue, 03 Jun 2014 23:34:33 +0000 Each year, City of Hope’s National Professional Salon Industry (NPSI) honors a beauty industry leader for his or her outstanding professional and philanthropic contributions with the Spirit of Life® Award. This year’s Honoree is Harlan Kirschner, CEO of the Kirschner Group.

The Kirschner Group, Inc has achieved worldwide success in the beauty industry. With over 30 years of experience, Harlan Kirschner  has led the way and helped the company evolve into the thriving, and now international, professional sales organization it is today. In 1979, Harlan began his career in the beauty industry working for a sales distributor. Having learned the ins and outs of the beauty business, as well as management and operations, Harlan soon set out conceptualize and eventually create his own company, The Kirschner Group, Inc. Since 1999, the Kirschner group successfully expanded throughout the U.S., and in 2004 acquired global reach when it began servicing Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Harlan Kirschner and the Kirschner Group have gone on to become the most successful rep group in the industry.

Harlan Kirschner is currently a board of director member for the Professional Beauty Association, chairman of the Manufacturer Leadership Council and has been treasurer for the Western Buying Conference for the last 16 years. His passion, dedication, and love for the beauty industry have made him a perfect candidate in receiving this highly esteemed award.

City of Hope will honor Harlan Kirschner with the Spirit of Life® Award on July 12, 2014, at PBA Beauty Week / Cosmoprof North America. Join City of Hope in “Celebrating Cures” as the beauty industry unites to celebrate the hope of a cure and help millions of families around the world who are facing cancer.

Special Opportunity Drawing!

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Cosmoprof North America (CPNA) is produced by North American Beauty Events LLC (NABE). NABE is a joint venture between the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) and BolognaFiere. For more information, to reserve a seat, or make a donation,visit

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Check out PBA Hairstyling Competitions at Premiere Orlando Tue, 27 May 2014 21:25:35 +0000 Students and professionals will compete June 1st and June 2nd at Premiere Orlando 2014. The competitions feature a variety of hairstyling techniques including progressive trend, cut and color, long hair bridal and new for 2014, Avant Garde by NAHA.

NAHA quality work will be displayed during this new competition category and will be judged utilizing the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) judging. This group will feature visionary work in expressive, cutting-edge hair.

Scores will be displayed online at

After the competition, join us at the annual Hairbrained MeetUp on June 1st! This mixer will take place from 6:30pm – 8:30pm at Rocks Lounge at the Hyatt Regency (formerly Peabody). These “HB MeetUps” are informal gatherings of the beauty community including supporters and educators and provides a great opportunity to network with other taste makers and influencers in the industry.


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I Am A Professional. I Am Licensed. Interview Series: Susan Petzke Fri, 23 May 2014 20:27:43 +0000 This month’s I Am A Professional. I Am Licensed. Interview series focuses on the state of Wisconsin and 25 year beauty industry veteran and salon owner, Susan Petzke. As an experienced business owner and industry member, Susan recognizes the importance of keeping the industry regulated.


 Why is it important to be licensed as a professional?

Being licensed as a professional is proof that we are educated; not only in the art of Cosmetology but in proper sanitation procedures governed by our states to help ensure the safety of our clients and ourselves. We also are licensed to “touch” people. I certainly wouldn’t want just anyone touching my hair, face or nails without any safety training. If everyone could do what we do without laws and regulations, it would no longer be a career, but just a job.

What would the industry look like if licenses were taken away?

That’s a frightening thought! First of all, there would be no need for schooling. Secondly, anyone could buy the chemicals that we use without any knowledge about what they are or how to use them, which would be dangerous; it would be a disaster! Thirdly, it takes away from the professionalism of what we do. We would no longer be “pros” and I feel that we would have to reduce our prices (that are already too low) to compete with the people doing our job in their kitchens.

Why do you think it’s important for your clients to know you are licensed (and proud to be)?

It’s important for clients to know that I am educated (and proud for 25 years now) in doing the services requested and have followed the law on safety procedures so they can be assured that they are good hands. I stand behind my work, firmly. I offer professionalism with a guarantee.

What is your favorite thing about working in the beauty industry?

Besides making a client feel beautiful, special, and appreciated, it’s working beside other like-minded professionals whom I love dearly. I love being in a busy, buzzing, exciting salon atmosphere where everyone is smiling and enjoying each other even though no one can hear over the sound of many blow dryers going at once! I truly never tire of it. The mere thought of it now is making me smile.

For more information on the I Am a Professional. I Am Licensed Movement, please visit If you’re an existing movement member and you’d like your story featured in the PBA Blog, click here.

Important News for Wisconsin Residents

In the 2014 legislative session, Wisconsin Senate Bill 395 was introduced, passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Walker. This piece of legislation changes the required number of training hours for cosmetologist license applicants from 1800 to 1550. The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) continues to advocate for the beauty industry in order to protect state licensing and ensure public safety. PBA fully supports this bill, as it proactively addresses deregulation concerns by lowering the hour requirement while still upholding health, safety and competency requirements. This legislation will also make it easier for trained cosmetologists to relocate to Wisconsin and receive license reciprocity—35 states require 1500 hours. For more information on the passage of Wisconsin Senate Bill 395 and PBA Government Advocacy, please visit


You’ve worked hard for your career, obtained your license, and joined the movement–now spread the word! Educate yourclients, friends, and encourage fellow licensed stylists to join. Follow the official I Am a Professional. I Am Licensed Instagram account for news and featured photos from fellow members. PBA knows that as a professional, you take pride in your work space. As a member of the movement, your window cling is prominently displayed in your work space, and we’d love to see it. Post it to Instagram and using the hashtag #IAMLICENSED and we’ll feature your image on our feed! Also, be sure to like The Professional Beauty Association on Facebook and stay up to date on all I Am Movement and industry happenings.


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