The salon experience is a special experience. Consumers look forward to their salon visits, says the market leader.
In 2019, Fashion Network, the leading information website for fashion professionals, said that L’Oréal SA leads the urban hair colour market in India, after overtaking Godrej. The French personal care company now holds 25.80 per cent of the market share, as compared to Godrej's 24 per cent.
As the market leader, L’Oréal's moves will now reflect on the industry, and also make competing brands stop and reflect on their actions.
As the government is about to lift restrictions and salons across the country get ready to reopen, L’Oréal India has developed a support guide for salons.
Called the ‘Back to Business’ safety guidelines, L’Oréal India will distribute it to its 45,000-strong salon network and over 170,000 hairdressers across the country.
"The support guide includes post-lockdown advice around ensuring the safety and wellbeing of customers and employees; safer operating procedures, including hand cleansing, tool disinfecting, salon routing, pre-booking, reorganisation of salons to space out appointments and electronic payment, all to ensure the social distancing requirements. These guidelines are now available to all hairdressers, or salon partners, of L’Oréal Professional Product brands - L'Oréal Professionnel, Matrix, Kérastase and Cheryl’s Cosmeceuticals," says the brand.
D.P. Sharma, director, professional products division, L’Oréal India, says, "In order for people to overcome anxiety around personal safety concerning health, we have been closely working with salons and hairdressers to make the salons safe for consumers."
"This includes sharing guidelines for redesigning the salon environment. For example, social distancing between workstations, removing magazines and keeping sanitisers handy, to new behaviours and practices for the staff, like washing hands frequently, wearing masks, and more. Consumers need to know that salons are changing themselves to welcome them safely," added Sharma.
Talking about hairdressers and salons offering in-home services, as compared to salon appointments, something a brand like Urban Company offers, he said, "We don’t know yet how this will evolve. In-home services can see a change in demand, especially for basic services. That said, more expert services will need the kind of set up that a salon can provide. Further, the salon experience is a special experience, it is a time away from the home, or other usual surroundings, and consumers look forward to their visits to the salon."
On how L’Oréal developed these best practices, Sharma revealed, "The hygiene and safety guidelines have been brought together from various recognised sources, including global bodies like the WHO, as well as local sources like the Ministry and Health and Family Welfare, the Beauty and Wellness Sector Skill Council and internal experts at L’Oréal."
Will Do It Yourself (DIY) hair grooming, which has become popular during lockdown, pose a threat to salons?
"DIY was tempting for many people during lockdown, and in many cases, it is something that ended up showing people that hairdressing is not as easy as it looks. Hairdressing is a profession in which hairdressers go through extensive training to become professional experts and there’s a reason for this investment. There is a science and art to hairdressing, something that requires training, learning and experience," said Sharma.
"We believe salons will continue to do well as hairdressing services require professional expertise, and you can only get this at salons. Customised services, based on personal consultations, are increasingly going to define the new era, and salons are best set up to deliver this personalisation," he added.