2020 was the year of going without – holidays, nights out and even gyms were closed off to us as the world came together to try to slow the spread of COVID-19. One of the biggest sacrifices that we were forced to make was a visit to our favorite hair salon or barbershop. As barbers were barred and the pandemic put a stop to stylists, many of us had no choice but to tackle our unruly barnets ourselves in order to remain presentable. During the lockdowns, it wasn’t just us ordinary folk that had to resort to the home cut – legendary rocker, Bruce Springsteen revealed that his wife, Patty Scialfa, not only dyed her own hair but also cut Bruce’s with the help of celebrity stylist, Chris McMillan, who supplied her with instructions.
Back in your arms
Now that our barbershops and salons are bursting back into life, people have, en masse, been paying homage to their ordinary heroes who keep our roots colored and our ends un-split, however, it won’t quite be the return to normal that many expect. As we continue to try to navigate our way out of the pandemic, we’ll be seeing some significant changes in our salons for some time to come and, some of these are:
Although restrictions have been lifted in a number of territories, salons and barbershops are erring on the side of caution by keeping some safety measures in place to reassure their customers. These include:
Distancing – At your next hair appointment, you can expect distancing measures to remain in place, including chairs and sinks.
The numbers game – Lots of salons are keeping their customers safe by limiting the number of people on the premises at any given time. Many are using the innovative scheduling app, Booksy, to help make this happen as well as to send alerts to customers to let them know that their stylist is ready for them. This latter point is extremely important as many owners have chosen to remove waiting areas and, so, the app allows customers to wait in the car for their appointment.
Contact-free payment – Needless to say, most salons shy away from cash these days and, an increasing number are now using Booksy’s online and app payment and pre-payment solutions to reduce contact within the salon.
Parting ways with the past
As well as these health and safety measures, we can expect to see some other radical changes as salon and barbershop owners work to move their businesses forward and, these may include:
Expansion – During the pandemic, a huge number of owners realized just how precarious their business is when it relies solely on hair cutting and treatments. Some of these owners, therefore, perfected the pivot by adding more to their business, such as the selling of personalized products and the adding of professional treatments such as eyebrow threading, hair removal and tanning – and this is set to continue long after Covid becomes a distant memory.
Out in the street – Having struggled with high rents and little income over the last year and a half, savvy salon owners are looking into other options, such as concessions within supermarkets and shopping centers. This tends to be a win-win as it involves lower rents and higher footfall and we can certainly expect to see more of this in the next few years.
Innovation for the environment – With a huge focus on environmental issues these days, the onus is on salon owners to do their part to help the planet. As such, we can expect to see some changes during our visits such as smart hair dryers and water-saving measures. Salons will also be sourcing more sustainable and planet-friendly products and treatments to help them stay on track.
Hair and beauty establishments have had it pretty tough since last March and, the focus now is on making some smart changes that will help to ensure their survival, whatever else the world throws at them. If you’re thinking that all of these changes will make your hairdressing experience unrecognizable, don’t worry – the one thing that will never change is the warm welcome and a short escape from the world as you enjoy a bit of pampering and emerge refreshed with your new ‘do.