Q&A with Margaret Dabbs

We catch up with hands and feet specialist Margaret Dabbs, owner of the eponymous clinic chain and hand and footcare product brand, to find out her thoughts on the trends shaping the market this year and what the brand will be exhibiting at PB London.

What do you think have been the biggest changes in the hands, feet and nails market in recent years?
People are looking for healthy product ingredients, turning away from anything that will damage their nails in the long term, and are now expecting a level of hygiene that was previously overlooked. As far as the spa market is concerned, they want products and treatments that provide expert care and superior ingredients, coupled with a revenue return in retail add-on. Spa directors can see there is an opportunity here that was previously missed and are aware of health and wellbeing, which now forms a major part of beauty.

What trends do you think will shape the market this year?
The market will be shaped by results-driven products and treatments, and by the quality of ingredients, as the average person gains more access to information on this. Natural nails will be much more in evidence and I think the key palettes for this year will include paler, pastel shades. Along with this will be high-tech digitalised art and design of nails and nail applications. Promotional apps, branded help videos and vlogs, and other social media use will also reach a new high.

What do you think a lot of salons get wrong when it comes to hands and feet?
Salons need to invest in their staff for their team to reach its full potential, and professional pride needs to make a comeback. Salons should look carefully at their hygiene levels and the quality of ingredients being used. The customer experience is essential to success, and to achieve this, education of staff is key. You have to keep developing them.

You’re opening your fifth Margaret Dabbs clinic in February. Why did you decide to expand?
Our rapid expansion comes as the result of overwhelming demand for our hand and foot treatments. We’ve pioneered a fusion of luxury beauty with medical expertise and for hand and foot care. When looking for our fifth clinic location we fell in love with Cheltenham because it’s a beautiful location that is really indicative of our clientele. We will be based in the Montpellier area in a regency-style building that really characterises the town.

You recently changed your product packaging and extended your line. Why?
We increased the product line in April 2015 to include hands as well as feet and evolved the product packaging. We wanted to maintain more consistency across the brand, making the products and steps easier to understand, and we wanted our packaging to reflect this – making it easier to use the products in steps as part of a daily beauty routine.

This is your first time at PB London. Why did you decide to exhibit?
We’ve received an unprecedented amount of interest from hotels and spas globally for our manicure and pedicure treatments and our product range. The Professional Beauty London show is the biggest and best show of its kind in the UK. We wanted to showcase our entire product range among other spa brands and introduce people to the treatments and products we’re renowned for.

At the show we will be showcasing both our Fabulous Hands and Fabulous Feet ranges, which are formulated to work with concentrated ingredients to treat, hydrate and repair the skin and nails on the hands and feet. Traditionally it has been the colour brand of choice that dictates which products are used on the hands and feet in treatments. However, we have turned this on its head and offer expert-led, anti-ageing treatments and products.

Will you be launching any new ranges this year?
We’re extremely excited about the upcoming release (late Spring) of our treatment-enriched Nail Polishes, which help strengthen and protect the nails with wild rose botanical extracts and vitamin E. These unique formulas are free from formaldehyde, toluene and DPB to ensure the nails remain healthy, even after removing the varnish, and once the polish dries your nails are beautifully scented with wild rose. There are 72 shades of polish, all themed with the names of English flowers.

Visit Margaret Dabbs on stand P17 at Professional Beauty London, February 28–29, ExCel, London. Register your place here.