Each generation has had a different response to the cost of living crisis – but there is a way to increase colour spend across them all. The experts reveal how they are engaging their Gen Z and Millennial clients and boosting business.
The cost of living crisis is undeniably having an impact on professional colour services. But with research showing that each generation has different spending habits, it’s essential that you are advertising your colour services effectively to clients of all ages. We would never want to dictate how each generation colours their hair, but hearing from the experts on the ground what’s trending in each generation is vital. It’s also worth pointing out that although the most frequently used terminology for each generation (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z) covers a lot of your client bases, you may well have colour clients outside of these age ranges. (HJ personally knows of at least one ninety-year- old client having regular colour appointments, so don’t neglect them!) As 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.
Currently aged between 8 and 25 years old
Anything goes, this age group pushes the boundaries of gender and conformity. They look to video content for inspiration and think perfection is over-rated. Born from 1997-2012, these clients came into their teenage-hood and young adulthood during the pandemic, and now they’ve got the cost of living crisis to contend with too. In economic terms, it’s likely they don’t know anything different to financial turmoil. In fact, newspaper The Economist hits the nail on the head when they write, “they have expensive tastes, but thin wallets.” To put it bluntly, this is something to use to your advantage. Wow them with desirable trends, at achievable prices. In terms of marketing to Gen Z it’s all about social media. “Instagram and Pinterest are my biggest platforms for Gen Z clients,” explains Lyla-May Woolley, Electric Hairdressing, Brighton for L’Oréal Professionnel. “They like inspiration pictures and videos that are universal, in fact clients often choose elements from multiple pictures to create a look that feels more bespoke to them.”
If there’s one thing Gen Z love, it’s a throwback (even if they weren’t alive the first time around). “Want to do a modern take on a retro style? Why not try a racoon tail and bring out your client's inner scene kid?” says Directions Ambassador, Poppy Johnson. “Use ebony over your clients previously lightened hair in horizontal lines, leaving around an inch between each line. This technique can be added to any hair colour to give it a 2005 edge.”
Get some throwback hair inspiration here.
The Gen Z Edit
L’ANZA Healing Colour has 101 intermixable shades. The brand has created a 365° colour chart with concepts using a mixture of these colours to create a colour for every day of the year.
Get creative with the Pulp Riot The Shadow Collection which offers a vegan, conditioner-based formula. The Collection has the same anti-bleed properties as the Semi-Permanent range, with the product hardening on the hair strand so colourists can lay contrasting hues together without fear of any spreading.
Currently aged between 26 and 42 years old
This age group grew up with noughties fashion and celebrity influences. However, the tide is turning and they're going for something more understated – it's all about quiet luxury now. Millennials are trend-led but ultimately they are after colour that is more low maintenance. They are moving up the career ladder but also want to get on the property ladder, so price is key for them. You can’t talk about millennials, without paying dues to their commitment to blonde, which is something that Dan Spiller, JOICO Colour Ambassador and British Colour Technician of the Year can attest to: “A lot of my millennial clients love a classic full head of highlights, but it’s important to be innovative with hair colour. I’ve been upgrading golden blondes with multitonal flecks to create a dimensional, seamless colour finish.” This technique is perfect for millennial clients who want to freshen up their colour but are also after a high impact result without too much maintenance and spend required (such as the Scandi Hairline). The key is booking the client back in regularly for toners, glossing treatments and colour touch ups in order to keep them loyal. How to do that? “Social media posts are very enticing to this generation and they're likely to make a booking off a picture they have seen online,” says Manic Panic UK Ambassador, Emma Pullen. “To be honest, this is why this generation rocks, they know what they want, and will show you exactly what they don't want too.” Give this client a service they love and they’ll be yours for life!
The Millennial Edit
magi:gloss from Quif, delivers beautiful tones on natural, previously coloured or lightened hair. As magi:gloss lasts up to 20 washes, it means millennial clients can keep up with current trends on a low committment basis.
Protect coloured hair with L’Oréal Professionnel Paris Metal Detox Professional High Protection Cream. It helps fight UV impact, oxidation, brushing and heat to help keep hair healthy, and colour true -to-tone.