Lockdown blues: Waiting for your salon appointment, aren’t you?
A joke’s going around - once the lockdown ends, we’ll know everyone’s real hair colour! Even as several men and women have made do the au naturel look, they’re also pining to avail salon services to take care of bushy eyebrows, fuzzy facial hair, brittle nails and unruly hair.
So, will there be a boom in the grooming business? Maybe. Will there be finicky clients? Perhaps yes, but rightly so, say industry experts who believe the industry standards in hygiene and safety will go higher.
Be it by way of single-use products, increased sanitation or disposable tools, salons are likely to take multiple measures post-lockdown to ensure hassle-free experiences for customers.
Beauty expert Dr. Blossom Kochhar believes it is a “reality check” for Indians and Indian salons both, “that they need to maintain hygiene”. “From now, even the customers will be more aware and cautious about what and how the services have been provided,” says Kochhar, adding that masks and sanitisers will become a staple at parlours.
“In the longer run, a boom, especially in hair care services is expected. Beauty and spa services however, are expected to face a decline. Especially services like facials and threading are expected to reduce because these are provided in close proximity to the client. Makeup on the other hand, is expected to decline too as people would prefer using their own products keeping in mind their personal hygiene,” Kochhar adds.
While for multiple salon chains and even standalone parlours, the strategy will be put in place once there’s clarity about the period of lockdown, there are others who’ve been virtually training the staff in new methods, practices, and also maintaining health records.
Rachna Shah, Head of Sales, Strategy and Trainings, Geetanjali Salons, says they’re expecting a boom in footfalls once the facility opens, but understands since this is an “industry that involves touch, there’ll definitely be a fear in people’s mind, and we’ll need to boost their overall confidence in terms of the health and safety guidelines”.
A surge in services such as colour touch-ups, hair cuts, beard trimming, waxing, threading, manicure, pedicure, and nail grooming services is expected, Shah says, adding that they’re moving away from big product bottles to small and simple mono-dose kits, use-and-throw spatulas and disposable gowns, slippers, headbands and facial wipes. Besides this, they hope to promote the use of digital money to reduce use of currency notes.
What about companies providing at-home services?
Abhiraj Singh of Urban Company, believes people will be cautious for sometime, but after the lockdown, he expects a behaviour change in favour of at-home services. “All said and done, you’re still getting the service in the safety of your home, which has a significantly safer and controlled environment than stepping out and going to a salon,” says Singh, adding that they’re working hard to up the game across “safety, hygiene and trustworthiness” in the post-lockdown world by providing protective personal equipment, temperature check facilities and a unique sick leave programme for its gig workers.