Reimagining the beauty and hair industry post-COVID

A rollercoaster of a year for the beauty and hair industry

Well, here we are in 2021. It has been over a year of lockdowns, curfews and business closures. COVID-19 has undoubtedly changed the landscape of the beauty and hair industry and the future of the beauty industry post-COVID remains uncertain. We at iluk are doing all that we can to not only ride the wave of change, but help salons, barbershop and beauty professionals come out the other end unscathed. Reimagining the beauty and hair industry post-COVID is something we are doing every day!

COVID-19 has been devastating for small business owners, particularly in the beauty and hair industry. In addition to having to invest in new safety measures, sanitation procedures and PPE in order to make their businesses safe during this Pandemic, beauty and hair professionals across the industry have had their livelihoods shaken with unpredictable lockdown measures and enforced closures.

Toronto salons have had their doors closed since November 2020. Pictured above: Untitled by Flaunt Boutique, one of iluk’s Toronto partners in Leslieville.

How we at iluk have responded

For us at iluk, it has been devastating to witness the impact COVID-19 has had on the beauty industry and how our partners have been struggling to remain afloat. We have some incredible salon partners and are committed to doing what we can to bring them new business as well as bring them value.

We have also noticed an undeniable shift in the industry from both consumers and professionals alike. Many consumers are now looking to avoid larger crowds and feel more reluctant going into a salon. We have therefore seen a large increase in clients wanting to receive beauty treatments from the safety and comfort of their own homes by hiring mobile beauty professionals, as well as getting their hair and beauty treatments from self-employed individuals they trust.

This demand is being matched by a shift in how beauty and hair professionals think about their work. Since the start of the pandemic, many women have set their sights on entrepreneurship: the volatile job market has pushed more and more people to become their own boss, pursue their own passions and choose a livelihood that is able to provide more flexible working hours. Beauty professionals are increasingly going mobile and becoming self-employed.

So how do we think about these trends?

We at iluk believe the industry is resilient enough for everyone to play and we are making it our mission to empower both salon and barbershop owners as well as self-employed beauty professionals.

How we are helping salons bounce back

At iluk we only partner with and feature the most trustworthy salons: both in terms of service quality and safety. We are a last-minute booking app that helps salons fill in their calendar with last-minute appointments that otherwise would not have been booked. By featuring salons on the iluk app, we aim to bring salons and barbershops new clients while bringing them incremental appointments and revenue.

We have built COVID-19 safety procedures into our booking experience and users must agree to certain safety measures before they are able to book, such as wearing a mask in the salon and ensuring they do not have any symptoms.

We also offer contactless payment and tipping.

We know it’s a turbulent time for our salon partners and we are committed to bringing them incremental business as the industry regains its footing.

How we are helping rethink entrepreneurship in the beauty industry

In parallel, there has never been a better time for individuals who have been considering starting or growing a hair and beauty business to either finally take the plunge or to take their businesse to the next level.

We launched iluk PRO for self-employed and individual beauty professionals with the goal of empowering the next generation of beauty and hair entrepreneurs.

Our philosophy: anyone beauty and hair professional can become a successful entrepreneur. iluk PRO helps people elevate and run their business as seamlessly and professionally as the best salon in town.

Managing one’s beauty business on iluk PRO allows self-employed beauty professionals to manage everything all in one place, without managing scores of DMs and texts and without the back-and-forth. iluk PRO allows beauty and hair entrepreneurs to receive online bookings through a personalized booking page, accept card payments, request deposits, enforce a cancellation policy and go mobile by setting a service area (among many other features!).

Source: Instagram @radiantan, one of our iluk PRO customers

Going Forward

These are some of the ways in which we are thinking about the future of the beauty, barber and hair industry: both in terms of how clients book appointments in-salon, as well as how the next generation of entrepreneurs should be managing their businesses.

The future of the beauty industry post-COVID remains uncertain. While we don’t know what the next few months will bring, reimagining the beauty and hair industry post-COVID is something we are committed to at iluk. More than that, we are committed to being an instrument of positive change for the industry. One appointment at a time.

Thanks for reading!

– Stacey

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