The salon industry has proven to provide vital services to communities across the country, which was particularly evident during the pandemic. However, the sector which has suffered from the consequences of the pandemic and is additionally facing a staff shortage.
At the same time, the industry has collectively earned a lot of respect during the crisis. To build on this and further enhance the reputation of the salon industry, consumer goods company Kao, the world's fourth largest full-range supplier of salon products, commissioned a YouGov survey as well as a film produced by BBC StoryWorks to highlight the social and psychological benefits of salon visits and underline the importance of the hairdressing profession.
The survey, polled women ages 18 and above in the United Kingdom, who visit the salon at least once a quarter. It reveals that nearly 70 percent of those resondents find salon visits a vital opportunity for self-care, and 51 percent deem the relationship they share with their hairdresser as close as that of a friend. Additionally, 51% of respondents appreciate their time visiting the salon the same way as before the pandemic, while 34 percent value the service even more than pre-pandemic. The results provide insights into the overall social relevance of an industry that offers more than just a simple haircut.
Other highlights of the study include:
- For a third of the respondents surveyed, visiting the hairdresser to feel confident about themselves is the main reason they go next to getting a new hairstyle, while 70 percent feel a boost of self-confidence immediately following a trip to the salon.
- Over half (52%) of respondents say they value relationship qualities with their hairdresser, such as trust, loyalty and empowerment.
- 57% of those surveyed say they want to maintain what they spend on a visit to the hairdresser, despite the current economic situation.
- The results show that a salon visit not only pays off on the outer appearance, it also fulfills important social and psychological functions and contributes to people’s inner wellbeing.
Sustaining a relationship with the hairdresser is a central factor when the consumer chooses a salon. Nearly 60 percent of respondents feel their hairdresser cares about them as a person and accepts them for who they are. More than 40 percent feel they share a pond with their hairdresser that surpasses providing a service.
“The hairdressing profession needs to be more appreciated," says Peter F. Pfister, President of the international trade association Intercoiffure Mondial. "One thing is clear: hairdressers are masters of their craft. At the same time, they bring a high level of passion, creativity and empathy to their clientele. When people go to the salon, they are not only paying for a good haircut, but also for ‘being pampered’ or for a time out from everyday life.”
Dominic Pratt, Global President Kao Salon Division comments, “The survey results confirm that hairdressing is about more than just craftsmanship: it is about relationships and giving people an offer that makes them feel good on the outside and the inside. The pandemic has severely affected the business, at the same time it has shown how much people value the services and trusting relationships they have with their hairdressing salons. We want to show that the industry not only has economic value, but also social value and how fulfilling working in this profession is.”
As part of their efforts to elevate the reputation of the salon industry, Kao has also released a mini-documentary produced for Kao by BBC StoryWorks. The film features two of Kao Salon Division's partners—id Salon in the United States and Jack and the Wolfe in the United Kingdom. The video interviews the owners who give powerful accounts of what drives them daily, how they perceive their own role, and why the profession is so fulfilling. At the same time, the film reveals how clients perceive their visit to the hair salon as an act of self-care that not only contributes to their outer appearance, but inner wellbeing.
The film “Confidence Through Craftsmanship” produced for Kao by BBC StoryWorks as part of the “In Pursuit of Wellness” series presented by the Global Wellness Institute can be viewed above.
"As a company that supplies more than 40,000 salons around the world, we made it our mission to provide education and inspiration for the hairdressing trade in addition to high-quality products and service concepts, thus enabling a first-class customer experience,” says Pratt. “We see ourselves as a partner to our salon clients and the industry as a whole. Our goal is to create public awareness for this great and important industry."
“This kind of customer loyalty must become more prominent in the future - the professional service must gain in appreciation, because the pandemic has also highlighted the economic hurdles of the industry,” Pfister adds. “To support salons, but also to attract young talent to the industry, Kao as a company is making an important contribution by providing first-class products and services on the one hand and focusing on the current needs of the hairdressing trade on the other, to drive the industry as a whole forward."
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.