Change is a constant in the beauty profession, from emerging fashions to innovative techniques. In the years ahead, however, technology will be a major contributor to the ways salons conduct their business. Even looking beyond salon management, the following advances will enhance the capabilities of stylists around the world.
Industry • Community
The Cutting Edge of Beauty: 3 Radical Innovations Coming to Salons Near You
From water-conserving hair washes to AR-powered consultations, technology is transforming professional beauty services.
Becoming a beauty advisor with virtual consultations
Salons needed to get creative when foot traffic plummeted during COVID-19. The good news is that clients still want help from stylists — they just needed to deliver that help in new ways. Today, many salons are expanding their scope to account for beauty advice and remote consultations.
Salons have many options when it comes to expanding their digital client relationships. Some offer publicly-available content in the form of blog posts, YouTube videos, and webinars. Others are conducting virtual consultations to discuss personal options for each client. Augmented reality technology holds great promise for these consultations since it lets clients test new looks from a standard video feed. When lockdown conditions finally lift, customers will still be happy to take advantage of these innovations even as regular appointments resume.
Coloring techniques that reduce appointment time
Time is a common pain point for many clients. We all want to look good, but may not have the additional hours to support regular beauty treatments. Thankfully, salons are discovering ways to help time-sensitive clients get precisely what they need.
ColorOnly in Coral Springs is pioneering this approach with a simple mission: to offer thirty-minute coloring sessions for $30. Its not-very-secret weapon is the Express Machine Mixing Assistant, a kind of “paint mixer” that removes the guesswork from color combinations. Clients can either serve themselves through a coloring “dry bar” or receive stylists’ expert help for an additional fee. ColorOnly hopes to grow across the country, and if successful, we can expect competing salons to adopt this mixing model.
Conserving water with innovative hair washing equipment
Historically, salons are often among the first beneficiaries of green policies, products, and technologies. When the US passed the Clean Air Act, for example, many stylists immediately turned to non-CFC hairsprays for their clients. Environmental factors will continue to drive changes in salon practices moving forward, most notably when it comes to water conservation.
One excellent recent example is the L’Oréal Water Saver, a piece of salon equipment that optimizes and reduces water use during hair washing without sacrificing client comfort. L’Oréal designers claim the Water Saver will reduce usage by 80%, thanks to a process refined over nine years of development. L’Oréal even plans to develop a personal version of the Water Saver after bringing the professional edition to market, which means owners will be able to offer it for sale in-store.
Professional beauty services aren’t going anywhere, but the way they operate is always changing. Deciding what cutting-edge tech will fit your salon may feel overwhelming, but remember: If you keep your client’s needs in mind, you’ll be well-prepared for whatever comes next.