ISSE, Long Beach, California, USA, 26-28 January 2012

Having just returned from Long Beach, California, Claire McComb (Brand Executive for Denman International) reports on the ‘Biggest and Best Beauty Expo on the West Coast’ – International Salon and Spa Expo (ISSE)…

Hosted by the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), ISSE Long Beach is the largest professional cash-and-carry, educational beauty event on the West Coast. With over 130 educational seminars in hair, nails, skin and business and more than 400 global manufacturers with the hottest tools, it is difficult not to be inspired!

The Denman brand celebrates 75 years of professional hair styling products this year, and so an extra special effort was made by Denman Inc with a new, larger booth as well as continuous on-stage education with Mark Woolley, Creative Brand Ambassador for Denman, and Roger Wigmore, inventor of the ProEdge Comb. ISSE Long Beach proved to be another busy and successful show for Denman Inc and kick started the USA show calendar.

As usual, Saturday started with a slow stream of visitors due to the limited five hours of show opening times (1pm to 6pm). This certainly did not continue for the remainder of the show, as Sunday witnessed a huge influx of visitors and the bustle of rapid buying and selling began. Monday was also a good turnout although not on the same scale as Sunday.

From a visitor’s perspective, the show was filled with a high calibre of exhibitors, such as Keratin Complex, American Crew and Brazilian Blowout. The Vidal Sassoon booth was voted as ‘Best Island/Peninsula Booth’ in the ISSE Awards. To improve the overall visitor experience, the organisers introduced a new online check-in process to speed up entry to the show and eliminate long waiting times.

The ISSE Long Beach featured more than 100 complimentary educational seminars, so there was plenty on offer to keep visitors busy during shopping. The NAHA stage featured Martin Parsons and many other past NAHA winners to provide first-hand tips and tricks on how to create a winning entry for the North American Hairstyling Awards. Center Stage and Stage Right also welcomed top creative teams from Wella ColorCharm, Farouk, RUSK and Nick Arrojo. After being well-received at ISSE 2012, the show brought back the successful hair competitions, where students and licensed professionals had the opportunity to show off their skills and win some extra cash!

Save the date for ISSE Long Beach, 2014: 25th – 27th January.

(Claire McComb, Denman International)


 ISSE, Long Beach, California, USA, 26-28 January 2012

Roger Wigmore, barber, educator and inventor of the Denman ProEdge Comb, provides a report on the International Salon and Spa Expo (ISSE) from an educator’s point of view

My name is Roger Wigmore. I am a barber by trade, an educational demonstrator and also the inventor of the Denman ProEdge comb.

In my opinion, the ISSE Long Beach show is held at a good venue closely located to a wide range of quality hotels. The grand entrance welcomes its guests with friendly staff, wishing everyone a good morning. At the start of each day, the queues of visitors entering the convention centre did not seem to be long, nor did the queues for food and beverages throughout the duration of the show. This benefited both visitors and exhibitors as there was no unnecessary loss of time whilst at the show.

As an educational demonstrator, I was pleased with the overall response from the visitors. The ProEdge comb, in general, receives a lot of interest as an innovative product, but there is also a genuine eagerness from visitors to learn about new products and gain the most from educational seminars.

There seemed to be a large number of international visitors that attended the ISSE show this year, as well as a number of teaching academy chains, making it a very good show for doing business as well as showcasing products to stylists. On the other hand, overall visitor numbers seemed to be down on last year, and there were certainly less students on the show floor on the Monday than in previous years.

The quality of exhibitors was maintained to the usual high standard, with key brands such as American Crew and Sassoon Academy selling products alongside their educational demonstrations. There were a variety of exhibitors showcasing all types of hairdressing and barbering products from combs, hairbrushes and wet line products to clippers, hairdryers and sheers. Although time was limited to see everything at the show, an innovative curling aid product and colouring product, both from Kevin Murphy, did catch the eye.

The main difference between the USA and UK hair shows would tend to be size. Although ISSE Long Beach would be roughly the same size as Salon International London, New York’s IBS and Orlando’s Premiere Show are on a much bigger scale. This is great news for the visitors as there is plenty to see and many seminars to learn from, but on the other hand, it may be argued that the show floor is too large and visitors may miss your stand. The show floor of Premiere Orlando is said to be as long as the Empire State Building is high!

As a barbershop owner, shows are very motivating in terms of learning how to build a successful salon/barbershop business. Over the years, there have been some comments from staff members about seeing the same old thing year after year. However, a positive perspective should be taken on hair shows to enable us to bring one new idea or product back from each show in order to improve the overall business. This would be money and time well spent on investment back into the business and into the education of staff members.

Perhaps wholesale stockists need to consider whether their sales staff should be attending shows to pick up on the understanding of innovative products that our industry exhibitors are launching into the market. Education is critical for all sales people that are at the forefront of any wholesale outlet, and making contact with the end-user stylists and barbers. What better place to pick up on product demonstrations and engage in the buzz that our industry thrives on?

(Roger Wigmore, Barber, Educator & Inventor of Denman ProEdge Comb)




26-28   ISSE Show, Long Beach, USA


03-07   International Spring Fair, NEC, Birmingham

25-27   Beauty Asia 2013, Singapore


08-11   Cosmoprof Worldwide, Bologna, Italy

09-11   America’s Beauty Show (ABS) Chicago, USA

17-18   Hair & Beauty North West, Blackpool

24-25   Professional Hairdresser Live, Manchester


14-16   IBS New York, USA

27-28   NEBRA Show, Meadowlands, NJ, USA


12        Barber Connect, Cardiff


01-03   Premiere Orlando, USA

02-03   The Organic and Natural Beauty Show, London

22-24   IBS Las Vegas, USA


14-16   Cosmoprof North America, Las Vegas, USA


12-14   Salon International, London


13-15   Cosmoprof Asia, Hong Kong