In the past, the professional beauty industry relied on trends for profitability. Every February and September runways tout exaggerated themes for impact and then magazines either dilute the look for mainstream or exaggerate it in the name of art. Either way, there are always a few fresh styles salons could capitalize on. But these days, with a Millennial-driven focus on individuality, which is heavily driven by the diversity of social media, consumers are much less concerned about beauty trends and are more into movements. Andrew Carruthers, Education Director of Sam Villa, shares his thoughts on the topic and how stylists can still stay profitable and keep their guests looking hip.
“Now that social media is king, everyone has a voice and most people will trust a social media influencer with a million followers over a fashion magazine,” says Carruthers. Instead of bringing in tear sheets from a relatively small number of magazines highlighting a finite number of looks to a very large number of people, there are now far more influencers sharing many more looks with a much larger audience. This is why beauty trends are currently so mixed and don't have such dramatic changes from one year to the next.
“I wouldn't say trends are becoming obsolete, but the way they shape our industry is very different. What happens in salons is no longer dictated by hardcore trends that change from year to year, but guests still want what is cool. And that is where the expertise of a licensed salon professional comes in!” he adds.
What’s a stylist to do?
· Stay active on social media – both posting work and following influential hairdressers for inspiration.
· Encourage guests to dig into Pinterest/Instagram to find looks that excite them and fit their personal taste.
· Curate your social pages to feature the kinds of looks you want to create and ask guests to follow.
· Make it a point to offer something new to each guest on a regular basis… even if it’s as subtle as adding fringe or a different layering pattern. This makes you their personal resource for inspiration.
· Learn the techniques necessary to create the looks! Go to shows, bring hands-on classes into the salon, and take advantage of online education.
“There is no way to predict where this all will head, but for now, it's fun to be a hairdresser in a world where your hands are untied from super specific trends and you’re free to create beautiful looks to suit each individual guest that sits in your chair,” says Carruthers.
Credits: Hair/Sam Villa ArTeam; Photo/Katie Parker; Makeup/Nicole Schimel; Wardrobe/Brittany Hart.