Gen X and Baby Boomer Colour Clients Respond to the Cost of Living Crisis in Hair Salons

Published 25th Sep 2023 by Morgan Willmott

It’s essential that you are advertising your colour services effectively to clients of all ages, including your Gen X and Baby Boomer hair colour clients, throughout the cost of living crisis. So, HJ asked experts to explain what's trending in each generation and how this can facitilate your business.

Generally, Heather Shaw Francesco Group Colour Director, points out, “I think it’s important to stay connected with how each person feels about their colour. Everyone is different, so you must give personalised consultations allowing your clients time to talk.” As ever, consultation is king.

Make sure you don't make these mistakes in your consultations.

Image credit: Tom Connell

Gen X

Currently aged between 43 and 58 years old

A revolt from the previous generation (see Baby Boomers) Gen X grew up in a time of changing societal values. The boom of MTV defined social identities such as punk and, later, grunge. Those feeling most impacted by the cost-of-living crisis tend to be consumers in later life stages, with greater financial responsibilities. Conversely, in 2021 this age group had the highest disposable income according to the Office for National Statistics. How times change. Just because raising mortgage rates has hit this generation hard, it doesn’t mean they’re not open to experimention – this is a generation of former punks, after all. “I have found that since lockdown, our Gen X clients have started to embrace greying hair,” says Terri Nadin, ASP UK Ambassador. But not in the way their parents would have done. For Gen X, a natural base means a chance to experiment. “It’s given hairstylists the opportunity to use colour to its fullest potential (instead of just a root retouch every four weeks). Now we can experiment with fun toneon- tone and semi-permanent hair colours. For example, the Puretone Ammonia free range can create bespoke formulas that fade beautifully on natural white hair.” When it comes to getting new clients, Adele Clarke, OSMO Ambassador and owner of Spectrum Salons in St Helens heads to Facebook. “Our Facebook page is better for targeting Gen X clients (Instagram tends to be more Millennials and Gen Z interactions). We share more work from our Gen X stylists on this platform.”

Your Gen X (or Baby Boomer) hair colour clients need to know this if they are considering transitioning to grey.

The Gen X Edit

ALFAPARF Milano Professional Pigments is made up of 12 Ultra Concentrated Pure Pigments designed to enrich any ALFAPARF Milano Professional service, including perming and straightening. These ultra-concentrated pigments revive both natural and colour-treated hair, keeping colour bright and vibrant.

2 The formula for Matrix Tonal Control visibly oxidises in real time so colourists know when the colour is ready to rinse after processing. It can also be applied on towel dried hair and comes in a gel-like consistency for ultimate control.

Baby Boomers 

Currently between 59 and 75 years old

Traditionally, these clients have always been all about conforming, but times are changing. Although this generation report feeling heavily affected by the cost of living crisis, they do still have disposable income. If they’re embracing their greys, how can you get them to spend more money, not less? As well as keeping regular appointments, colourists need to promote express services such as glossing and partial highlights/lowlights to allow this generation to feel inspired, but without commitment. “For the last few years we may have helped our clients to embrace their grey,” says Francesco Group’s Heather Shaw. “But how do they feel about it now? Would they like to add depth? Do they feel too grey? Are they bored?” Similarly for Sarah George, Elgon’s South West Educator, it frustrates her that the Baby Boomer generation are sometimes a ‘lost’ generation when it comes to a colour consultation. “A lot of my guests want ‘natural’, softer results and this is where Elgon’s newest colour brand Get The Colour comes in. It’s a permanent vegan brand that gives multi-faceted results and a natural shine.” Giving clients options is key to engaging not just this generation, but every generation. “We need to be inclusive of everyone in advertising. Do you post older clients on social? Are your team able to cut short hair? If we’re really being inclusive why haven’t they been offered the same service as a natural blonde who is 25?”asks Crystal Ault, Slunks Salon, Crazy Color's Brand Ambassador salon.

Inclusivity goes further than just age, find out more here.

The Baby Boomer Edit

The totally intermixable Wella Professionals Illumina Colour range gives natural looking colour results and up to 100% grey coverage. Either use to blend or achieve full coverage on grey/white hair, it always gives a sheer result.

Moroccanoil Professional Colour is made with ProArginine, a type of Amino Acid naturally found throughout the existing structure of the hair fibre. Couple that with the ArganID® System, and you've got a collection that cares and nourishes hair while it colours.

Morgan Willmott

Morgan Willmott

Published 25th Sep 2023

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