2021 Salon Trends: From Eco-Beauty to Inclusivity

Whether you’re in a salon or working from home, as a hair or beauty professional you may have noticed a change in the air. Consumer buying habits are changing as a result of environmental and social issues. In this article, we’ll discuss how these current social issues have caused a trend shift in the industry, and ways you can easily stay relevant to your clients so your business can thrive. 

A study done in 2017 showed that: 

  • 92% of consumers will have a more positive image of a company that supports social or environmental issues

  • 88% will be more loyal to a company that supports social or environmental issues

  • 87% would buy a product with a social and environmental benefit if given the opportunity

  • 87% will be more likely to trust a company that supports social or environmental issues

So it’s safe to say that consumers have some pretty high expectations when it comes to the businesses they support, and where they spend their hard-earned cash. That’s why  it’s important for businesses like salons to think about these trends when building and managing a business. 

Ask yourself: What do you stand for? Who do you support? What do your clients care about? Make sure you always have a finger on the pulse by following news; listening to industry experts and influencers; staying up-to-date with social trends; and even just listening to your clients.

Trends are historically influenced by social issues. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that humans are incredibly resilient to change. Salons were hit hard during the pandemic, but the industry has come out stronger with some incredible new trends as a result.

Here are the four of the top predicted salon trends for 2021:

1. Inclusivity

For a long time, salons were praised for their exclusivity, but this is quickly becoming unpopular. Creating a completely inclusive salon, even if you’re a one-person show, can take some work, but here are some simple ways you can implement more inclusive practices:

  • Having diversity in your marketing ad campaigns. Take inspiration from Revolution’s advertisement for their Conceal & Define Foundation.

  • Pricing your treatments based on time, technique, and length, rather than following a gender-based pricing system;

  • Preparing your menu in various languages by using website integrations like Elementor and WPML. 

  • Stocking retail products from brands owned by people of color and LGBTQI+. Good examples include Briogeo and Noto

  • Celebrate diversity on social media and on your website. Get inspiration from brands like Milk Makeup and Olaplex

  • Intentionally hire a range of diversity within your staff.  

2. Minimalist Regimes

With the climate crisis and people financially affected by the pandemic, it’s no wonder our priorities changed when it came to spending. Consumers are now looking to minimalist regimes to save money and the planet. As a salon owner, this means making your retail offerings more minimal, and more accessible. While it would be an expensive feat to swap all of your retail products for new ones, it could be worthwhile to add a minimalist regime to your menu for those clients who are on a tighter budget, or who are more conscious of waste. 

3. Waterless Skincare

The beauty industry is one of the worst industries for water waste. By 2025, two thirds of the world’s population is predicted to face water shortages. Most hair and beauty products are formulated with water as the main ingredient, and manufacturing these products uses millions of gallons of water annually. 

So what can you, as a salon owner, do to create a more thoughtful and environmentally-friendly business? Look for brands that are now creating waterless products in formulation and in production. As a fairly new concept, it may take some digging to find a full range of waterless products to stock in your salon. But to stay relevant to this ever-changing market, it might be worthwhile to explore.

4. Beauty Technology

When we think about technology, we want it to make our lives, and our clients' lives, easier. The wonderful part about owning a business in 2021 is that technology is moving at an incredible rate. We have endless, innovative tech solutions right at our fingertips. 

Here are some trending ways you can leverage technology for your salon:

  • “Tinder for Stylists”. Apps like Meet Your Stylist are making it super convenient for consumers to find a stylist that they like. As a professional, it’s never been easier to get clients;

  • Apps that make payments incredibly efficient. Remember not so long ago, when the only way we could get card payments from clients was to sign a lock-in contract with your bank, and use their bulky card machine that wasn’t portable or wireless? At SumUp, we created  portable, contactless, versatile card readers that business owners can use in-person or on the go. Our card readers are quick to set up, simple to use, and have no hidden fees. 

  • Using tech to save money. Vish is the latest technology being used in hair salons. It automatically records all formulas utilizing a premium bluetooth scale, by weighing your product and recording it all digitally. This will save you time and money by reducing product wastage, which is also better for the environment, long term.

These are just a few of the trends to look out for in 2021. At SumUp, we love to bring our community the latest trending topics and industry news to help your business thrive. So if you’re looking for a more efficient way to take payments for your small business in your salon, try one of our affordable card readers today.

Emma Jade