Top Salon Trends of 2021 that You Need to Know (+ Actionable Tips on How to Capture Them!)
As a salon owner, your job isn’t limited to offering beauty services to your customers and managing your staff and inventory.
You also have to maintain a good image of your salon and create a constant inflow of customers – both of which require you to stay up to date on all types of trends in the beauty industry.
Following the latest salon trends gives your business a fresh and dynamic face, and creates a buzz around it in the community.
That said, several questions might be popping inside your head:
- What are the different types of trends that are relevant to the salon industry?
- What are the ways of following these trends?
- How can I be up to date with all the trends at all times?
Well, don’t worry. We’ve curated the latest trends in the salon industry that can help you stand out from the competition in 2021. You can click on any section to jump directly to it!
- Operational & delivery trends
- Social & environmental trends
- Core business-related trends
1. Operational & Delivery Trends
This refers to the way your salon operates. The logistics and operations of your salon business are covered in this category. The ways of availing services and booking appointments are some of the points that we are going to discuss here.
A. Mobile salons are front and center
Getting your salon on wheels and around the streets has been a trend for quite some time now. After all, who wouldn’t love getting their facial and nails done from the comfort of their homes.
Repeated lockdowns amidst the pandemic led to an increase in mobile salon operations. This has permanently changed the way people view mobile salons. Looking at its popularity and benefits, many brick-and-mortar salons have started operating remotely.
Let’s take a closer look at what a mobile salon is and also, the trends surrounding it!
What is a mobile salon?
A mobile salon is a setup through which the salon services are provided at or near the customer’s place, offering most of the services that a brick-and-mortar salon can. It can operate in the following ways:
- A vehicle (van, trailer, etc.) is modified into a salon, which travels to the customer’s location. The customer enters the vehicle to receive the service.
- The salon service provider goes to the customer’s house and renders the service with no modified vehicle in the picture.
Why are they trending?
- Getting to experience it from the comfort of their homes: Popularly known as “Salon-on-wheels”, this trend arose when the modern salon owners understood that their customers have less time on their hands to visit them every time. A few salons started offering their services remotely and upon receiving a positive customer reaction, this activity has only grown since then.
- Serving senior citizens: It is physically taxing for senior citizens to go out and visit salons actively. Mobile salons have reduced a lot of burden for them. They account for a sizeable share of the salon’s revenues and their absence can affect the revenues and mobile operation can offset this.
- Helps in effective bulk operation: For places like wedding venues and nursing homes, it is always more convenient to get the services on-site as there are a bunch of people who want to get these services all at once. All of them visiting the salon demand a time-block from their busy schedule of activities. Mobile salons fit perfectly in this scenario and therefore, are becoming extremely popular.
- Ensuring safety during the pandemic: Even with the vaccines rolled out, people still want to take all the precautions and preventive measures, which encourages the operation of mobile salons. In fact, in January 2020, the US Governor signed 9 new bills, which allow the licensing of mobile salons. This has further contributed to this growing trend.
- Free marketing: A big vehicle with your salon’s name and logo printed on it helps you maximize your brand presence in and around your area of operation. More and more people at different places start knowing about your salon. And the best thing? This way of marketing costs nothing. You are offering your services at one place and letting the whole street know about you simultaneously – is there anything better than that?
How can you capture this trend?
- Accommodate for mobile service bookings also, apart from the regular on-site service bookings.
- Map out the timings and workforce required for this. Fix the schedule – on what days you shall be offering these services, but keep the schedule flexible too.
- Fix the locations where you shall be doing the mobile operation.
- Collaborate with the wedding planners and event organizers in and around your town who might need these services in bulk at different locations.
- Keep the services cost-competitive. Offering services remotely does imply that you should charge some extra bucks, but don’t keep it too high as it might cause churn.
With Appointy’s salon scheduling software, you can provide a seamless appointment booking process to your customers. And that’s not it! You can automate your entire business operations and acquire a streamlined client, inventory, and personnel management across various locations of operation.
B. Social salons are here to stay
“Social salons are the future of the salon industry”, said Jin Soon, a famous manicurist of New York.
Salons have grown and transformed to become a place of recreation and social activity. It is no longer limited to just getting your pixie haircut and nails done. All in all, salons have become similar to the present-day coffeehouse.
Friends are visiting salons in groups and enjoying the Lakers match on the TV, business associates are having a healthy banter amongst themselves, and family members are spending quality time together – all of this while getting their favorite massage done. Instead of being a chore, it has become an activity of leisure.
So, how can your salon tap on this trend and convert it into a hangout place? We have a few ideas in store for you!
What can your salon do?
- Make your salon interiors aesthetically pleasing: Your salon is a place of outing now, so it should look like one. Install a large LED television screen, and hang abstract art pieces on the wall with elegant furnishings and stylized equipment. Set the tone of your salon with some jazz music playing on the stereo system. Make the customer’s sojourn lively and enjoyable.
- Don’t forget to show off!: You should click pictures of your exquisite interiors and flaunt them on social media. The effort that you have put in to beautify your salon will add up to nothing if no one knows about it. Let the whole world know about the salon “palace” that you have built, and show it off!
The efforts of transforming your salon into a hangout spot can earn you great rewards. You can increase traction and revenue multi-fold by offering attractive discounts and packages to your customers:
- Provide a discount on selfies: Having a selfie corner in your salon can work wonders. Offer discounts to your customers on their next visit if they click a selfie at your salon’s selfie corner, and upload it on social media, tagging your salon.
- Create discount packages for group visits: Encourage your clients to visit in groups by offering discounts on services whenever they visit in groups of 3 or more. Be creative in coming up with discount ideas – loyalty points, free products, referral bonuses, etc.
- Pull up the Super Bowl crowd: Certain TV events garner a huge amount of viewership, like the Super Bowl, NBA, MLB, etc. Such events are most often enjoyed by a group of people all gathered at one place, and that place can be your salon too. Offer flat discounts on group bookings during the game timings, and watch your salon climb up the ladder of trend and popularity quotient.
C. Digitalization is the new-age solution
These days customers want and prefer a personalized salon experience, but you have to give them more than just that. Knowing your client’s exact preferences and complaints, and reflecting on those in the next booking will make the client feel special and valued. This level of personalization is only possible if you implement a fair deal of digitalization in your salon activities.
Digitalization works a long way in making every step of the customer’s journey more convenient, right from the time of booking till the time they leave the salon. Keeping user convenience in mind, here are a few ideas to capitalize on the digitalization trend and expand your salon fandom:
i.) Online appointment scheduling
The online booking system has been there for a very long time, but only for certain specific industries like flights, trains, cinemas, etc. But now, even small and medium-sized businesses have started accepting appointments online.
An online appointment scheduling software removes the human interface between your customer and your salon, therefore saving a lot of time and manpower. Your salon can display staff availability round the week, and consequently, your customers can opt for a convenient time slot – making the whole booking process seamless and easy.
ii.) Customer journey data
To make your customer’s next salon visit more enjoyable, you should have an automated setting to note down the specifics of every visit of your customer – date, time, staff, preferences, and complaints. If your customer didn’t like the service of a particular staff member, then knowing that and accordingly allocating another staff member for an appointment ensures that your customer receives the best of services as per their preferences.
iii.) Customer reviews and preferences
At the time of the online booking, you can ask your customer certain questions like:
- What staff would you like to choose?
- Which oil goes the best with your hair?
- Would you like to get a shampoo before the haircut?
Taking care of such small details can go a long way to instill brand love amongst your client base. At the end of every appointment, you can also ask for a general review by your customer. This feedback can also help you improve your salon’s modus-operandi.
iv.) Automated reminders before the appointment
A short text to remind your customers about their upcoming appointment can be extremely vital. It will prevent no-shows, which is going to help your salon revenues in the long run. Reminders will also help your customers reschedule or cancel their appointments in time, ensuring that you can fill that calendar gap with a customer on your waitlist, and not miss out on revenue.
v.) Provision to reschedule appointments
Sometimes your clients may want to reschedule their appointments because something came up. In such a scenario, allowing the customer to reschedule their appointment themselves will further add to the convenience factor.
Digitalization will perhaps play the biggest role in this industry in the near future, and your salon needs to extract all the benefits of the digital sphere to win over your client base. Identify what digital enhancements shall be best for your activities and start utilizing them to the best use.
Using a salon booking software with inbuilt features to amp up customer convenience can help you cut down on business management, get back hours, and focus on providing excellent client experiences. You can utilize intake forms to ask and store questions prior to an appointment, maintain detailed client notes, send automated reminders at preset times, provide a reschedule or cancel option, and do much more!
2. Social & Environmental Trends
Every generation witnesses certain cultural changes which influence the way humans think, and this change affects everything a human being interacts with. As a result, it changes the way various businesses and industries operate. The salon industry is no other. It has also undergone many changes as a response to the various cultural shifts.
Let’s take a look at the recent cultural trends in the salon industry that have impacted the buyer’s choices and preferences.
A. Inclusive cosmetic products
“Inclusive ranges allowing for everyone to ‘find’ themselves are becoming more of the norm.”, said Jordan Rost, VP of consumer insights, Nielsen
The beauty industry has been severely underrepresenting the darker skin tones and undertones. But the trend has completely shifted, thanks to the Fenty Effect brought by Rihanna. Nothing has been the same ever since.
The industry is embracing and celebrating the beauty of all colors and not just one. Almost all the beauty brands are now coming up with not less than 40 shades of foundations, popular as the magic number “Fenty 40”.
You as a salon owner should actively look forward to having collaborations with such brands that care about the recognition and representation of undertone beauty. Here are a few simple ways in which you can build an all-inclusive brand:
- Stack up your shelf with such beauty products – catering to all types of skin tones.
- Expand your service catalog – have skincare and makeup services for the undertones, and not just the fair skin.
- Showcase models of color in your salon brochure and brandings. This will show that your brand celebrates beauty in all colors.
- If possible, try to have the staff in your salon from diverse ethnicities. This will speak volumes about your openness towards people of all colors and races.
B. Eco-friendly salons
Environment-friendly beauty practices are gaining both recognition and appreciation. New innovations in product composition and packaging are being continuously seen everywhere. With activists, politicians, and celebrities constantly talking about this, sustainability has become the word of the world and the need of the hour.
Consequently, your salon should also become an active proponent of sustainable practices. You should develop practices and follow the trends that are green and clean in nature. Below mentioned are some of these trends that you can implement for your business:
i.) Green, organic, and paraben-free products
Recent consumer behavior has shown that they will be more aligned towards buying your products if you are transparent about the composition of the product.
Consumers have grown more aware and skeptical about what they are using. If your brand gives off an inherent environment-friendly feel and vibe, your sales are bound to go up.
Let us look at some data to justify the same:
- According to Nielsen’s research study, paraben-free cosmetics that claim to be green have grown up to 12% in sales. Also, face, eye, and lip cosmetics have more than 50% of the sales share from paraben-free products.
- The use of Ayurvedic products is on a rise. People are becoming more and more educated about beauty ingredients like turmeric and Ashwagandha, and you can see in the graph below how there has been a spike in Ashwagandha searches in the Beauty and Fitness industry.
- Renowned cosmetic brand Kiehl’s reformulated their Ultra Facial Cream by cutting off the parabens and saw a huge sales increase of $5 million.
Looking at the figures above, it becomes imperative for your salon to adopt more natural and healthy practices.
Follow the 3E’s to achieve the green goal: Expand, Educate, and Encourage.
- Expand your catalog with more eco-friendly products and introduce your customers to these alternative and healthy remedies.
- Educate your customers about the benefits of natural products through blogs and email newsletters.
- Encourage them to buy greener and natural products whenever they visit you.
Continuing along the color spectrum from green, yet another trend has started taking shape and is becoming widely popular – blue beauty.
ii.) Blue beauty
Blue beauty talks about minimizing the pollution of the oceans and rivers and cutting down water wastage.
The packaging of all the salon products is primarily made of plastic, and all of it is dumped into the water bodies. 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the oceans every year. Also, 132.8 billion liters of water are used every year to make plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles.
Companies have adopted unique ways to tackle this problem, some of which are mentioned here.
- The Atlantic Kelp range of REN Clean Skincare uses plastic collected from oceans to make bottles. Although these “grey-plastic” bottles don’t look that pretty, their customers have aligned to their idea of “Grey is the new green”, and actively adopted their product.
- Ethique has started the #GiveUpTheBottle initiative. They are producing shampoo and moisturizers in the form of bars, thereby completely eliminating the use of plastic bottles.
- Kevin Murphy salons have partnered with ECOHEADS to install showerheads that consume 65% less water, thereby saving 1000s of liters of water every year.
So, clearly, this is a great time for your salon to advocate such products and practices. Establish yourself as the flagbearer of sustainable and environment-friendly beauty, because the clients are loving it.
Bring the essence of sustainability in your day-to-day activities too:
- Ban plastic. Use biodegradable and reusable products.
- Install LED lights and water-efficient showerheads.
- Place pot plants and flower vases to add some floral beauty.
- Recycle the waste products generated. Hand it over to organizations who take up salon discards, instead of throwing it away in the garbage.
- Encourage your customers to bring their conditioner bottles back again to get them refilled, instead of buying a fresh new bottle. Reward them with discounts if they do so.
Your salon’s aura should speak for itself. Furnish and transform it into a neat, clean, and minimalistic space, so that you start attracting customers inherently and organically.
3. Core-business Related Trends
The trends in this category include the beauty and wellness practices that are currently popular. Which celebrity’s hairstyle are people going crazy over lately or which influencer’s makeup routine is stirring the buzz – you should be aware of all of this even before the customer conveys this to you.
There are some activities that grow in popularity every year.. Some trends may come out from a particular celebrity or from a popular TV show character. Some of these may be fads, that is, short-living. But again, some of these fads live out long and eventually become a strong fashion statement.
Whatever be the nature of the trend, you must stay regularly updated with all kinds of trends.
If you’re wondering how to stay on top of these trends, we have a few ideas and tools for you which you should definitely check out:
Google Trends: This is an all-inclusive tool to know just about anything and everything that is trending. Play with this tool to know what is trending, where is it trending, and compare it with other trends of sorts. Here are a few trends that we observed:
- Manicure and Pedicure trend the most during summers (May-July) and the least during winters (November-January). Likewise, there are many other practices (spray tanning, waxing) that have a similar seasonal pattern.
- The keyword “hair fall” rises steeply in the month of September.
- Google searches for BOTOX, massage, microbiome, and microblading have seen a huge jump.
After drawing insights from the nature of trends, you can accordingly align your operations to capture these trends. For example, since “hair fall” searches rise steeply in September, you can offer some complimentary services to your clients this month, like scalp massage.
But Google Trends can only tell you so much. You can get a rough quantitative idea about activities that you have heard about. But what about the things that you haven’t heard about? For that you need to follow a host of things:
- Magazines and Blogs: Who can be a better source of information than the established thought leaders themselves? Read the blogs and magazines of the big names like Allure, Elle, and Vogue.
- Podcasts: They are perhaps the best way to get real insights into the beauty industry. There are hundreds of podcasts out there hosted by famous beauty specialists, that too with some of the biggest personalities like Selena Gomez and Miranda Kerr. For a start, listen to Gloss Angeles and Fat Mascara, and start expanding your beauty intellect.
- Influencers: Beauty influencers, as the name suggests, influence beauty standards a lot, especially amongst the youth who follow them actively on social media. Even big beauty experts have started following them, such is their impact. Look out for the big names like James Charles, Huda Kattan, and Kylie Jenner.
- Celebrities, Movies, & TV shows: Although the above will cover most of your beauty digest, following famous celebrities and TV shows may give you first-hand knowledge of the in-trend fashion.
As has been seen, people are now more informed than ever. They are also getting more aware of how their daily practices influence their health and the environment as a whole. Such customer behaviors determine the various salon trends that we discussed in this blog.
Your service has to be more and more efficient, sustainable, and tailor-made for the customers. Also, amidst the daily hustle and stress of work, salons are quickly growing as an escape for the customers, and they want this experience to be as healthy and enriching as possible.
Such changing customer demands have a notable impact on the salon industry, and therefore, you should always be up to date with all the trend shifts unfolding in this industry. Appeasing your customers by being relevant to their changing needs and preferences will earn a long-lasting reputation for your salon.
With that being said, revamp your strategies, diversify your services, and checkmark all the salon trends to make your clients fall in love with your salon.
We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day.
If you have any thoughts on this blog, or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below.
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