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We love nothing more than discovering salons who are using Colourstart to help grow their
business. Shirley Popham is the Managing Director of Popham Hairdressing, a three-salon group in
Oxford which was established 21 years ago.

We grabbed some time with Shirley to explore her business in more detail.

Shirley on salon growth…

“Over the years Popham has grown organically and we reward our team when they care for our clients, by building their request rate. The more in demand they are the better for them, as we track request rates as part of our financials. However, we also actively encourage no upset if they move between the team, as we want to get it right for the client, and sometimes they want a change.”

Shirley on salon reviews… 

“Reviews have helped us grow our business significantly. It’s something we have focussed on and I know that most new clients come to us as a result of our Google reviews. We ask clients to review us on Phorest and then it goes on to prompt them to leave a Google review. We currently have just over 1000 reviews. This has been so powerful that the local press here in Oxford have voted us the top salon in Oxford for the past 2 years.”

How the bad review turned into the most powerful review of all…

“We had a situation where a client reacted to her Colourstart test, she was furious that we wouldn’t colour her hair and put up a one-star Google review. We have had more new clients come to us because of that one-star review, than anything else. They can see how serious we are about skin testing and raising standards.”

Raising a team takes care and devotion…

“One thing I am immensely proud of is the way we nurture our team and take care of every single one of them. Every staff member has a one-to-one every month. We work very hard behind the scenes looking after our team and particularly working on their self-esteem. We spend a lot of time dealing with mental health”.

“I always say to the team that whatever is going on, come and talk to us, and we can support you. I’m really passionate about helping young people and helping them discover who they are, so I am now a Mental First aider following a course with Oxfordshire Mind, which has enabled me to understand and support them.“

Shirley on Colourstart…

“When our manufacturer changed its guidelines and we had to test 48 hours prior to every colouring appointment, that became a huge problem for us. We see around 100 colour clients a week, so we were delighted to discover Colourstart”.

“I love Colourstart. It is essential to our business. We would never go back. We don’t negotiate on skin testing. We charge £15 for the Colourstart Passport, and we don’t discount. We don’t allow clients to come in to have a skin test, unless they absolutely can’t use Colourstart for a medical reason. On top of that, our team love it. It works so well because from a creative perspective, clients can have any colour they want, which allows our team to be incredibly creative. The fact that Colourstart is MHRA licenced is a bonus. We love the cleanliness of the patch, the simplicity and the insurance cover. Everything about Colourstart just works and that’s what you want
in business.”