It’s been more than two years since COVID-19 began its stranglehold on the world. And no doubt, it would be adding massive insult to injury if skin care industry leaders failed to learn lessons from a pandemic that has wreaked havoc across the globe. Our lives shifted and no one really knew what would happen next. Who could have imagined that we would be closing our businesses or rethinking the way we do everything, from grocery shopping and our social lives to being able to see family members and our clients.
The pandemic disrupted and challenged our concepts of what we think is normal, comfortable, and possible. We need to use this example as a constant reminder to be pushing our boundaries. It requires an intention and willingness to learn new skills, technologies, and concepts, unlearn outdated patterns, and relearn new ways of doing things. This can allow us to better innovate strategically in the good times and be more resilient in the face of challenges.
When hair salons and barber shops were able to reopen, some businesses set up shop outside performing hair services under tents and umbrellas. Businesses started thinking outside of the box and came up with new and intuitive ways to bring business back rather than accepting the new norm of the “COVID hair, don’t care” attitude. We quickly realized we were essential in so many ways, but that we also had to be unique in the way we conducted business in the hair industry. Our customers came to expect more personalized care and a cleaner environment. However, we may have had to say goodbye to that complimentary coffee and professional blowout that make beauty appointments feel like a luxury. But perhaps the luxuries we once provided our clients is now a luxury of our clients knowing they are in a safe and clean environment.
Salons and barber shops became sharp in their approach to continue with business, such as offering virtual consultations. This also meant new technology to accommodate the ever-changing world of COVID-19. We utilized going touchless—forgoing magazines in waiting areas, clients were encouraged to bring in their own refreshments and reading materials or come with a charged smart device that contained entertaining apps and games. Some salons were even sending their clients links to curated articles to read upon their arrival. In place of waiting rooms, many businesses asked that clients wait outside or in the comfort of their vehicle for a call or text to let them know their beauty professional was ready to see them. Electronic payment and cashless systems were also made available to our clients.
Post-pandemic sanitation practices are much more detailed and will most likely continue to be in the foreseeable future, which includes disinfecting surfaces, products, and tools thoroughly after each client, washing hands before and after services, limiting the number of shared materials such as pens and clipboards, implementing sanitation stations throughout the salons or barber shops.
Another pandemic trend that will continue to be an industry standard is PPE, like masks, gloves, and face shields that will keep both staff and clients safe and reduce any potential spread. Some businesses may also choose to continue requesting clients to do their part by wearing masks, but only time will tell.
Another shift in the beauty industry is the post-COVID trends we are embarking on as businesses begin to open back up and regulations are lifted. As we know, this is an ever-changing industry. We are starting to see minimalistic hairstyles and bolder eye make-up. Even shopping trends have changed as many salons and spas are now offering their professional products for sale on their websites.
While we can’t say for sure if these changes will be permanent, one thing is for certain: the beauty industry is seeing a huge surge in sales following the pandemic. This “post-pandemic beauty boom” is the result of thousands of consumers spending big bucks on self-care and grooming products, and we can anticipate this continuing for the foreseeable future.
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