The Smell of Success
Aromatherapy Services and Treatments Make Cents
By Andrea D. Vanin
Aromatherapy is the art and science of helping living things toward wholeness and balance using essential oils that can be extracted from plants. Although it sounds off the wall, understanding and providing aromatherapy services and treatments in your salon, spa and medical spa can increase profits and bring a new range of clients to you.
All aromatherapy services and treatments are based on the use of one or more essential oils. It is important to use the highest quality of essentials oils even if it costs more. Essential oils that are not in their purest form and highest quality may cause reactions and irritations to the therapist and client.
Smells of Aromatherapy
There are close to 100 essential oils that can be used in formulas for aromatherapy purposes; here are a few of the most commonly used essential oils in the beauty industry.
Chamomile, German or Roman essential oil is particularly mild and gentle. This essential oil has a broad appeal for its versatile usage and natural aroma. It is primarily used for skin and nails that are sensitive, dry or irritated.
Eucalyptus essential oil is known to dominate when blended with other oils and it is recommended to check your client's preference to smell. It is used for acne-prone or oily skin and is great for increasing the circulation of the nail beds and cuticles; as a superior scalp stimulator and an excellent antiseptic.
Lavender essential oil has an aroma that makes it very popular. It has a fine calming reaction to the internal and external parts of the body. Lavender can be used on all parts of the body, even the eyes and lips. It can be used to treat alopecia and dry, brittle hair. Acne, rosacea and oily skins respond well to treatments with this essential oil and most inflammation of the skin, as well as sporiasis, is reduced. It also works wonders to soothe and relieve chapping and cracking on hands and feet and adds moisture to mature skin.
Peppermint essential oil is very powerful and the strong aroma is popular among young clientele. It is used primarily for reducing inflammation, irritation and couperose. It reduces congestion on oily or acne-prone skin and brightens the ashy coloring of skin from smoking and prolonged sickness. This essential oil is also a major tool in stimulation of the scalp and loosening scales of dandruff and eczema. The ability of this essential oil to oxygenate allows it to restore healthy color to nails.
Tea Tree oil has a very strong, pungent aroma and is not particularly appealing when used alone. It has strong antiseptic and antifungal properties and works well in all areas of the body. Primarily this oil can be used in the scalp for controlling dandruff and any irritations. This essential oil improves acne conditions and reduces excess sebum.
Services and Treatments Utilizing Aromatherapy
Essential oils, which are the basis for aromatherapy, work in three ways. First, they are absorbed through the skin and carried by the blood through the body to the different organs they target to exert their physical effects. Second, they are also absorbed in the nasal mucosa and taken up by scent receptors, which send signals through the nerves to the limbic system. Finally, they can have an effect on one's energy bodies according to their own nature.
Aromatherapy services and treatments will increase the all around effect and end result of traditional services and treatments. As a salon professional you must be sure to understand and relate to the client that aromatherapy will help them achieve wholeness and balance.
Prior to many of their facial and body treatments, Reflections of You Salon and Spa, located in Fairfax, Virginia, preps the skin with Tranquility Welcomes by Comfort Zone. This service uses aromatherapy to induce a deep relaxation that favors the active principles and increases the enjoyment of the experience. "We have found that adding aromatherapy before the treatment greatly increases the enjoyment of the treatment for the client," states Joyce Cayli, Co-Owner and Esthetician at Reflections of You Salon and Spa.
Additionally, many salons, day spa and medical spas around the country are adding services and treatments that not only appeal to the client's sense of smell but assist in creating wholeness and balance in their lives. Ciana Salon & Spa, in Los Altos , California offers clients several aromatherapy services and treatments. Their Balancing Aroma Body Wrap is a deeply relaxing, aromatic treatment that helps rid the body of everyday toxins such as smoke, pollution and the effects of an unbalanced diet. Following an exfoliation, you will receive a full body application of a warmed customized aromatherapy blend. The result is soft, hydrated skin and a purified sense of well being.
Offering aromatherapy as a complimentary upgrade to a client's current services and treatments can provide them a risk-free opportunity to try something new with a service they feel comfortable with. You can also offer it as an upgrade to a service for a price increase. Make sure your professional staff is educated and can answer questions clients will have as they with any new treatment or service.
In addition to offering services and treatments with an aromatherapy upgrade or base is potential for retail sales. Salons, day spas and medical spas that offer services and treatments for aromatherapy should have a variety of shelf talkers, point of purchase promotional materials and free educational materials handy for customers to browse through and take home for future reference.
Printed mauals and guides to aromatherapy are especially important because it can be difficult to explain the application, services and treatments. These resources can enhance your clients' understanding and appreciation of aromatherapy. Keep the retail shelves simple, consistent and always have tester available. You can also add an aromatherapy bar where clients are able to test various lotions, creams and more at the spa or at home. Books such as 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy; Mixing Essential Oils for Every Use by David and Carol Schiller and Making Aromatherapy Creams and Lotions; 101 Natural Formulas to Revitalize & Nourish Your Skin by Donna Maria can offer you recipes and ideas for your bar.