Shreyas Kulkarni

When hairdressers from 19 countries did a 24-hour live stream...

... to educate people about various hairstyles and also offer tips. It was an attempt to show solidarity with the hairdressers, who're facing hardships as salons are shut due to the lockdown.

We can't step outside these days, unless it's absolutely necessary, and work is now being done from home. It's safe to say that personal grooming has, therefore, taken a backseat for many of us. After all, why dress up or style your hair when you’re unable to step out.

Unfortunately, this has severely impacted the hairdressing industry and with the reopening of salons looking bleak, they're under tremendous financial pressure.

So, to show solidarity with the hairdressing industry, Henkel Beauty Care Professional recently presented Hairdressers United – the first 24-hour global online hair festival.

The live stream event saw 36 hair professionals from 19 countries – that's 13 different time zones – present educational and creatively inspiring content.

Shama Dalal
Shama Dalal

Shama Dalal, head-marketing, Schwarzkopf Professional India (a part of Henkel), says, "Initiatives like these were always on the horizon, and the present time pushed everyone to make it happen."

Talking about the event, she told us that its most unique aspect was related to the time zones, "... We had a hands-on team that was planning and prepping our ambassadors to have the right level of readiness."

When hairdressers from 19 countries did a 24-hour live stream...

Florian Hurel was Schwarzkopf Professional India's representative for the event, and Dalal was all praise for him. "As a Bollywood styling guru, what better topic than red carpet looks. Hurel quickly put together 3-4 different looks during the live stream on an actual model, which was extremely well received by the salon community."

Going back to the planning, Dalal said that before the live stream, there was a 24-hour rehearsal to ensure all potential issues and roadblocks were eliminated. One had to also ensure aesthetics, despite the event being live-streamed from people's homes.

On the DIY styles and techniques gaining momentum during the lockdown, and how it is going to play out, Dalal remarked, "DIY culture has always been on the uptick and is something we can't ignore. But, the idea is how do we reassert the role of the hairdresser when it comes to DIY."

She continued, "In the west, they're already doing digital and there are virtual consultations, and the idea is that in the end, the expert will always be the expert. When it comes to hair, it is difficult to get the same result when you do things at home, as compared to what you'd get at the salon."

"That's because there are certain codes and values of beauty which people expect out of a salon. You expect a nice finished result that lets you be ready for any occasion and that level of expertise takes years of training and specialised skillset..."

So, with lockdown extension on the horizon, what happens to salons? Dalal says that it going to be a transformative time for salons because people are going to be worried. But in the green zones, a lot of salons have already taken the right steps in terms of of hygiene. "... have launched a series of informative webinars on how to keep a salon hygienic post lockdown," revealed Dalal.

On the way forward for Schwarzkopf Professional India, she says that digital will be at the centre of it all. The brand has already worked on different digital initiatives to reach the netizens.