The future of the salon industry is still very much in the air. While salons have been able to reopen in the UK, with some strict new safety and hygiene measures in place, some customers and staff still don’t feel entirely confident with the measures in place.
If one thing is clear, it’s that the measures taken by salon owners to keep their staff and customers safe are working. In Northern Ireland, only 4% of salons had been contacted by track and trace. This demonstrates that salons are getting it right and the new hygiene measures are working.
As many parts of the country head into winter lockdowns, salons are right to wonder what the future holds for them. Christmas and New Year is typically a busy time for hairdressers and beauty salons as people prepare for Christmas parties and family gatherings. But with the prospect of a socially isolated winter ahead, it remains to be seen if salons will see the same surge in bookings.
Many are pinning their hopes on the arrival of a vaccine, but experts have warned that this won’t be a silver bullet. Even with a vaccine in circulation, we should expect to live with a certain level of restrictions, distancing and extra hygiene measures for some time. So how will salons adapt, which changes will they keep, and how will they pivot their businesses to restore profits?
The days of the busy and bustling salon might be behind us, at least for a while. One of the easiest ways to protect staff and customers is to limit the number of people in the salon. This might mean no more waiting area, and arriving promptly at the start of your appointment. It could also mean no more visits with friends and family members enjoying a coffee in the waiting area while you get pampered.
We can expect masks to be the norm for quite some time, with experts predicting that some could still be wearing them well into 2022. Once a vaccine is in circulation, perhaps masks for staff and customers will be relaxed, but visors will prevail. We can also expect salons to continue using single-use products, or using a new set of tools for each customer and then sterilising them at the end of the day.
The end of no show appointments
One thing that plagues the salon industry, even in healthier times, is no show appointments. With limited capacity, increased hygiene measures and lower profit margins, expect salons to get tough on no shows. This could mean an immediate ban on future appointments or asking for payment in advance to ensure compliance.
At the start of the pandemic, there was an outpouring of support for salons and the rise of lockdown haircuts and box dye-jobs made us all more aware of just how important they are. A trip to the salon was once thought to be a luxury, but being unable to access their expertise made us realise that many see this as more of a necessity.
More creative campaigns
If there is one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it’s that salon owners are not short on creativity. From finding ways to keep their salons making money during the lockdown, to ensuring that their customers were safe once they were able to open again.
The pandemic has been a test of the salon owners creativity and ingenuity. Expect to see this flourish as social distancing measures are eased and salon owners share their most innovative salon marketing ideas.