In Exclusives, Insight, People, Professional

­­In a recent article on BeautyMatter entitled Is The End Of The High-End Salon Near?, the idea was proposed that the high-end salon is about to die, for the following reasons:

  • Deal Chasing: Services like Gilt, Groupon, and LifeBooker are giving smaller salons offering steep discounts a competitive edge, taking business from higher-end salons.
  • DIY: YouTube and Instagram how-to content are replacing the advice and guidance of high-end stylists.
  • Beauty Bars: Hyper-focused boutiques specializing in facials, brows, waxing, blowouts, and lashes for a fraction of the cost.
  • On Demand: Where-you-want-it, when-you-want-it services appeal to the Uber generation.
  • Salon Culture: Approximately 60% of hairstylists are freelance, and salons have a reputation for being mismanaged and run poorly. On the other side of the equation, startups like Drybar and Glamsquad continually invest in stylist education and technology.

As I am married to a man whose family is a distributor for Aveda and owns high-end salons (Paris Parker, multiple locations in Southern Louisiana), no sooner had he read this article that a fierce conversation ensued. It helped that just a few days ago we had cocktails with Suelyn and Julien Farel, of Julien Farel Salon, in NYC, discussing the pros and cons of $1,000 haircuts. Indeed, Julien had just told us that “In a well-done, high-end salon there will always be an elite clientele who will go there, who will not settle for a Number Two, Three or Four level experience, or a quick-stop type of store.”

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