Lydia, many salons and industry professionals are trying to find a new direction can you share your thoughts?
It is still too early for any of us to know how this crisis will effect the professional beauty industry long term, however, these trying times have given everyone an opportunity to look at their business and evaluate what we do well and what we can do better. Some have used the lock down time to focus on up-skilling and refining their skills. In addition, many training organisations offer online training courses in business management, which is a great tool to help salons regain momentum post pandemic. Another concept that is advantageous is to dig out your old beauty school textbooks to refresh and update your knowledge, which will allow you to be better informed about some factors that you may have forgotten. It is also a great opportunity to check resources online to learn the latest trends and information on many
topics that may have changed from when you were at Beauty College. We don’t usually have time for this sort of research, but using our time at this time to improve, will make you and the beauty industry stronger and better as a whole beyond this unfortunate pandemic.

What are you doing as a company? 
LYCON Cosmetics is currently working on new ways to bring our world renowned precision training to students and therapists all over Australia and the world, allowing industry professionals to work on mastering or improving their skills from the comfort and convenience of their home. LYCON Cosmetics has also needed to adapt and change to fit in accordance to the changes everyone is experiencing throughout these uncharted times. 

We have developed a few new hygiene product, starting with LYCON Hand Sanitiser Spray, which is a WHO approved formula, which we can manufacture at our LYCON’s world class GMP facility. We have also more recently launched the LYCOTANE Plus range, cleverly formulated with hygiene and safety in mind to ensure the best for you and your clients
in the salon and at home. One of the key ingredients in the LYCOTANE Plus collection is Australia’s own Lemon Tea Tree essential oil, well known for its antibacterial properties, which is included in the LYCOTANE Plus Hand Wash and Hand Balm and the versatile multi-purpose LYCOTANE Plus Antibacterial Surface Cleaner.

Lydia Jordane says that now is the time to focus on selling products.

How can the industry grow during these challenging times?
More than ever, it is imperative our industry professionals ensure to not only protecting their own businesses, but also grow the Australian beauty industry and economy by promoting and working on more effective retail sales. Recommending products to all clients who come in the salon has always been a great way to boost salon revenue, however often not so well done. During these difficult times when therapists could not offer their services in the salon and we don’t know if and when salons here and there might be shut down again, it is more important than ever to keep in touch with clients and to offer them the best and effective home beauty regime. This will allow for salons to fill in some income gaps and stay afloat as much as possible, while clients can enjoy using some much needed products and work on improving their skin while at home and look forward to coming out of their cocoon with better skin, hopefully less lines and wrinkles and more hydrated. For example, here in Queensland when the salons first reopened spray tanning was not allowed, until more restrictions were lifted. For clients who would like bronzed skin, is a great opportunity to offer LYCON’s home tanning duo, the New LYCO-BRONZE Self-Tanning Foam and Application Mitt.

How difficult is it when you spend years growing a business to change and adapt?
Many of us have spent years building a good loyal client base and it can be nerve-racking to pass the reins over to the clients to give them the means to conduct their own services. The question always is… will they come back? This is where we have to have faith in the good rapport and relationships we have built over time with our clients of our professional services. Having that, there is no doubt clients will come back, when salon life returns to normal. If clients trust you, you will still be the best person to recommend what the best products are for them to use at home in the meantime. In any care, they can order online from elsewhere, so why not from you, which will keep your rapport and momentum going with your clients while you cannot see them in person. Furthermore, supermarkets and pharmacies don’t always have the best quality products on offer and often run out of stock, so maintaining a good relationship is beneficial for both parties. In the end, clients come to the salon for human interaction, chats, relaxation and pampering. They cannot do that on their own. Whatever they do on their own will never be like the whole experience therapists provide.

How can salons adapt? 
In addition to boosting your retail sales, providing your clients with some tips and tricks to help their treatments go smoothly at home, will further build your relationship with them. It may feel like you are sharing the secrets of the trade but is it much better they are receiving sound advice from you, someone who knows their skin and concerns, rather than the latest “beauty guru” on YouTube or Instagram. You can also offer advice to your clients via Skype, Zoom or Facetime. You can spend this time talking through their concerns, recommend products and offer them a solution.

Do clients’ needs change, given the new environment?
Throughout the pandemic, your clients’ concerns may have changed, making it important to listen to their concerns, ask the right questions, listen and think on your feet to offer the best solution to them. A client who previously had clear skin may be experiencing a breakout from wearing a mask, commonly referred to as “Mask-ne”. This is a great opportunity to explain and recommend the additional benefits of a product like LYCON ingrown-X-it Solution which contains a synergistic blend of AHA’s and BHA’s, Allantoin and Arnica, making it excellent to use daily to minimise the look and feel of ingrown hairs and it is also perfect to help treat and prevent general breakouts on the face or the body, including shaving rash!

Has it changed the way salons operate? 
For salons who have been allowed to re-open, it is important for everyone to carefully review their treatments and what steps they need to take to make sure treatments and services are conducted in a way so the treatments are effective, without the risk of contamination and infection. Being in the profession we are in, we all know how important hygiene is at all times in the salon for the safety of all clients and therapists. And now, more than ever given the current situation, it is vital to take measures to ensure everyone is in a safe and healthy environment in any beauty establishment. It requires time and patience to make sure everything is cleaned and sanitised between clients, with particular attention to things clients continuously touch, such as the surfaces they come in contact with, door handles, eftpos machines and everything else anyone can come in contact with.

It’s really been a tough year for the beauty industry – how can they continue to
ensure success?
It sure is a very tough year all around and salons were one of the first industries to be closed down in March 2020. After some time, salons were allowed to reopen, but unfortunately with a second wave of COVID-19 as more recently in Victoria, salons had to shut down again as did everything else. Regardless of where, salons are mostly not operating at full capacity. We have seen great flexibility, creativity and forward thinking which helps to keep our industry pushing through and to be in a position to thrive when we reach the clear end of the pandemic, this is how we will see the industry succeed. We wish you all the best during these trying times and that you all come out stronger and better at the other end, with a much more positive and exciting future for the beauty industry in Australia and globally for everyone. 

Any message you would like to share? 
On behalf of LYCON Cosmetics we all very much look forward to seeing you out and about at trade shows again in the near future, airports, cafés and restaurants, at the football and theatres.  To all of you, your families and colleagues… be well, stay well everyone! Much love and gratitude to everyone for being in our lives and beyond.

This article first appeared in the September/October issue of Professional Beauty magazine. Download the issue here.

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