It’s the holiday season! That means it’s time to start giving and receiving gifts, enjoying little guiltless indulgences, and spreading cheer from home to work and everywhere in-between. For those of you who are eager to jump straight into the festivities but don’t quite know where to start, think about focusing first on one of the places where you spend so much of your time: the salon. How can you make your salon a seasonal destination this year? If you remember last week’s blog post, the answer should be clear; we’re talking about some good and righteous pampering. Of course, pampering doesn’t need to be super-expensive or over-the-top. As with most matters of quality, it’s all in the details. So today, we’re going to share some of our favorite tips for implementing top-notch and cost-effective pampering techniques in your salon.

Ambient Music

Ambient music--or ambient sound--is intensely relaxing. It eases the pressure to hold up a conversation and gives your client something pleasurable to do with their senses. To achieve this particular state of floaty inattention, we recommend music that is purely instrumental, or noise that simulates the sounds of nature. Lyrical music--unless performed in a foreign language that the client doesn’t understand--may encourage them to focus on the words being sung instead of on the feeling of relaxation itself. So while it may be tempting to play Christmas tunes on repeat, opt for some gentle instrumental renditions, instead.

Refreshing Aroma

Like ambient music, pleasant scents can also inspire relaxation. A little bit of scent diffused into the air can improve your client’s mood and instill a sense of calm. Scent is also closely linked to memory, so a distinct scent in your salon might make it more memorable to your customers. For the holidays, go for something cinnamony and warm.

Comfortable Seating

Make all the seating areas in your salon as comfortable as possible so that your client isn’t forced to pay attention to her posture, or compelled to constantly adjust her position. If possible, invest in a couple of extra pillows or cushions (you can find some affordable pieces at thrift shops, craft stores, and even on Etsy). Again, the goal is to make your client feel utterly relaxed.

Complimentary Beverage

It’s nice to receive some perks for free, and a complimentary beverage is a simple but effective way of giving your clients just that. For something inexpensive but delightful, consider sparkling water with a little bit of honey and lemon juice, and pick up a couple of nice glasses (even champagne flutes, if you so desire!) to add a sophisticated touch. Or go for hot chocolate if it’s cold outside!

Warm (or Chilled) Face Towel

Depending on the season and your salon’s indoor air temperature, you may elect to offer your client a warmed or chilled face towel that they can wear during the washing portion of your service. Steam and chilliness both increase circulation to the face, and each one can help to relax the muscles--particularly those around the delicate eye area. Lighter-feeling eyes are an instant pick-me-up that’ll leave your client feeling rejuvenated.

Samples as Gifts

Once everything is complete and your client is fresh and new and ready to go, offer a sample or two as a parting gift to thank them for their business. It’s a really simple gesture that can have a profound effect on your client and their perception of your business. Plus, if you already included some of the other suggestions from this list, the gift can be the final touch that seals the experience in their mind.

What do you do in your salon to pamper your clients without much extra cost? Let us know in the comments below, and we may feature your advice in a future post!