5 mins

ASK THE Experts

Our beauty experts answer your questions about every aspect of running a salon or spa business 

Jacob Lund/

How can I make my salon more body positive?

The first thing to consider is representation. How diverse is your brand and business? What type of clients do you have in your marketing photos, on your social media channels and on your website? If you were a marginalised person, would you feel seen and welcomed by your business? Communication is key. If you have a business that is accessible for people with disabilities, tell them openly in your marketing and on your website and have a visual representation in your images.

Empathy, as in learning to understand how other people experience the world, and therefore how they experience your business, will be the most important tool for making your business body positive and inclusive.

How does a person in an overweight body feel when they visit a beauty salon and what can you do to improve that experience?

How safe does a trans or non-binary person feel when they visit a beauty salon and what can you do to ensure they know you are a safe space for them? How easy is it for a person with a disability to visit your premises and how do they find out that information?

For instance, having information about parking and how to access the building available on your website or social channels will help them to plan their visit and reduce some anxiety.


Choose wisely and look at the message your brands send about body image. Are they diverse? Are they representing marginalised bodies, different skin colours, disabled people, and LGBTQIA+ people?

The values of the brands you work with represent your values. If you are choosing brands that do not test on animals and are sustainable and you are proud to talk about that with clients, set the same standard of brand values for body positivity and inclusion.

Make the salon experience a treat for the senses and one that is body positive. Consider what your client looks at, smells, feels and hears when they visit you. Take the focus away from just changing their appearance and make it part of their self-care routine. Make it nonnegotiable for their mental wellbeing.

Get rid of glossy gossip magazines and replace them with empowering books or magazines.

Use essential oil blends that uplift and empower or relax and soothe. Understand whether your client wants to have quiet time to themselves or a chance to chat and connect with you and others.


Be mindful of the language you use and the messages it sends about body image and body expectations. Take a look at your treatment menu and see what message it gives about what is expected of your client’s body and the way it should look.

The service-based beauty industry is an invaluable part of our clients’ wellbeing toolbox, and we have the power to make a massive impact if we pull together and recognise that a person’s worth is not based on the way they look.


Amy Bates is a hair and make-up artist and the founder of The Beauty Rebellion, a coaching and consultancy business that teaches beauty and spa businesses how to be body positive, inclusive and diverse.

How can I help my clients make their spray tans last longer?

The key to a long-lasting tan is well prepared and hydrated skin. I always advise clients to start prepping the skin 24 hours before the tanning session – this will include removing any unwanted hair, exfoliating the body and moisturising all dry areas. Then I also always ask them to bring loose-fitting, dark clothing to the appointment, which they can wear after the tan. It’s important clients don’t wear tight-fitting clothing that could rub off the tan before it’s had a chance to develop. Also advise them to avoid deodorant and perfume before their appointment.

Make sure your tanning room is clean and clear of any obstructions and include a space for the client’s clothes and shoes. Have fresh towels, a head towel, baby wipes, moisturiser, plenty of tanning and buffing mitts, tanning solutions and disposable underwear at hand, and ensure your spray gun is clean before the client arrives.

Once the client arrives, make sure deodorant, fragrance and make-up are removed from skin. Apply moisturiser to all dry areas, paying particular attention to hands, feet and elbows, as tan can cling to the skin in these areas.

A professional tan should last around seven days with at-home skin maintenance. Advise the client to keep their skin well moisturised. Hydrated skin will help to lock in the tan, so advise your clients to use a shea butterbased moisturiser in the morning and evening to keep skin healthy and glowing.

To help a tan fade evenly, advise clients to gently exfoliate with an oil-free solution around day three. This will help to lightly buff away any dead skin cells and keep the tan even. Another option is to top up the colour using a gradual tan solution to increase skin moisture and add a dose of self-tan.

To benefit from a long-lasting professional tan, therapists must stress the importance of maintenance and work this into their retail technique. Ensuring that your client leaves with a moisturiser will not only help the tan stay put for a longer period of time, it will also keep their skin hydrated and looked after between tan sessions.

It is also important to educate clients to lightly exfoliate their tan around day three or four, using an exfoliator to lift away any dead skin cells and avoid the tan going patchy. By incorporating an exfoliator with a moisturiser and retailing it as an aftercare kit, you know that your client’s tan and skin will be in good hands.

Suggest a gradual tanning lotion to clients to keep the tan glowing in between professional appointments. Another retail option is face products, because the tan on the face fades faster due to skincare routines.

Clients can also use a tanning mist to top up tan on the hands, chest, feet and hard-to-reach areas like the back. Retailing tanning products is all about building up clients’ at-home tan toolkit to help maintain their natural glow in between professional tans.

Michaella Bolder is a facialist, skincare expert and St Tropez ambassador who specialises in both spray gun and hand tan application techniques to deliver a realistic and natural effect.


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This article appears in Professional Beauty October Issue

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Professional Beauty October Issue
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