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With safety measures, technology up-gradation, salon visits might not be the same in the Post-COVID-19 world but the need for beauty and wellness therapy will always remain.

Post-Lockdown With Spas And Salons - The New Dawn In Beauty And Wellness Industry

Image Credits: Green Trends Salon

Change is inevitable and probably, necessary in order to incur a permanent spot. The current changes which are sweeping through the world, industries, communities have let all of us take a halt, adapt and reprocess. While some sectors have been quick in managing the crisis, the beauty and wellness industry had to certainly hit a different chord. Deepak Praveen, COO of Green Trends – Unisex Hair and Style Salon enlightens, “In the wake of current COVID-19 outbreak, the Salon Industry is facing heavy financial burden day by day to meet ends, with almost 40% of fixed expenses being salary, staff welfare cost and rental expenses which had to be paid in spite of lockdown. It has impacted the financials of all stakeholders.” A renowned house like Green Trends from the house of CavinKare that has been in business since 2002 with more than 375 salons in operation spread across urban and rural areas of India also had to face the heavy wrath of the pandemic which has almost shaken great industries too.

The Adaptation

Parlours, spas, salons ease your stress and make you ‘feel good’. From our first highlights to a rejuvenating spa session, they have been our friends who haven’t judged us when we arrived with some uneven bangs or a heartbreak. Habits like working from home might have initially “liberated” people from grooming and dressing up but now, the unattainable pleasure to go out, have a good massage and sip on some good wine is inexplicable. For me, these places were more than just a physical makeover. It has been a means to become more confident, feel better about oneself, and get empowered to take on the world. In situations like this, where physical space intrusion is a crime, how would parlours survive

Post-Lockdown With Spas And Salons - The New Dawn In Beauty And Wellness Industry

Image Credits: Blown Salon and Wine Bar

Most salons that are gearing up to be open or have already, included methods to put their customers’ minds at ease. Menaka Bhandary, Founder of Blown – India’s 1st Salon & Wine Bar tells, “As an organisation, Blown has made some structural/organisational changes to their salons by using reception and bar acrylic sneeze proof dividers, ensuring distancing by reducing the number of chairs in the hair section and wash section, use foot stands for sanitizers ensuring no touchpoints, menu cards will be made available digitally”. Green Trends has also updated its safety precautions to ensure a safer salon experience. Deepak Praveen says, “SOP for services like eyebrow and upper lip threading has been completely updated for safe service delivery. Instead of traditional threading for upper lip, we have shifted to stripless waxing and for eyebrows, a completely contactless process has been developed. Shift to a QR code-based Digital rate card for contactless viewing, use of disposable tools such as scrapper, filer, cuticle pusher.etc. for complete safety. Every salon employee would undergo a temperature check every day, strict social distancing norms would be followed.”

Post lockdown consumer habits would also see a change. The virus might have been able to make us slow and absorb in a more holistic approach to living. With services that are personal and touch-based, would salons see the soaring sales as before? Mr Praveen tells, “We did research among our customer base, almost 60% said they will be coming back once salons open because they do trust the brand and its processes, another 20 % wanted assurance on safety which we are sure they would be confident once we start operations, 20% said it’s a wait and watch, they are unsure – we will put efforts to establish our safety protocols by regular communications from the brand. Re-imagination of business has definitely happened, all our processes had to be either modified or updated to ensure safety for both our staff and our clients.”

Post-Lockdown With Spas And Salons - The New Dawn In Beauty And Wellness Industry

Image Credits: Green Trends Salon

Technology and Salons?

Every industry has to bounce back so does the beauty and wellness sector. This industry too has been gradually migrating to digital platforms. However, the current crisis may be the catalyst to let all salons adopt this tactic. For an industry dwelling on the personal touch, how can technology change the base, without comprising on the customers’ needs? Mr Praveen guides, “Some areas of Green Trends salon processes are already digitized like online audit process, value cards details on services consumed and balance, billing POS having details of client history and preferences. We have further digitized our rate cards and removed physical rate cards for a contactless experience, all services can now be availed only through appointment booking for which our entire billing POS has been updated. We can also exactly tell a client waiting time or next to free slot instead of any approximation, we are also evaluating a ticketing system where a client from outside can view free slots on their own, book appointment to avoid coming to the salon and waiting.”Although the fundamental service of a haircut or a massage will still involve touch, the very efficiency of all the other processes – from queues to booking becoming digitalized will reassure the customer on the safety and hygiene of the outlet. The implementation of cutting-edge technology mixed with a personal touch will, therefore, open up new space for advancements, letting a traditional industry become a stronger and fitter one. Who knows maybe the next time you visit a salon to cut your hair, there might be a robot offering services!

Post-Lockdown With Spas And Salons - The New Dawn In Beauty And Wellness Industry

Image Credits: Green Trends Salon

Hour of Support

The Salon industry plays a very integral part in developing skilled labour for our country by imparting technical education to young talents. The industry also helps in creating job opportunities and further providing a secure future for these talents by implementing government recommended personnel benefits. This industry also encourages and supports the development of many entrepreneurs, especially women entrepreneurs who make up almost 50% of the salon owner base. Mr Praveen tells, “Women talent in this industry form almost 40% of the overall talent base, thus making it an industry that extends integrally to our country’s dream of women empowerment.”

Unprecedented events lead to new fears, which, in turn, lead to alterations in habits. These new habits then remain – blending slowly and steadily. Big disasters always lead to significant changes and who knows, this change might be for the better!

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