Since the concept of the “experience economy” first entered our vernacular, there has been no looking back. The pandemic may have briefly stalled in-person experiences, but experts predict that this shift from valuing commodities to experiences is not only here to stay, but will be stronger than ever. In response, salons are dialling up the experiential factor, designing ultra-unique spaces to transport guests away from their everyday.
It comes back to creating a destination. Because when your salon is a destination, rather than just the place they go for their hair and beauty services, clients think differently. Consider your own mood and spending behaviour when you are on holiday. Upgrading your in-salon experience not only deepens your clients’ connection with your salon, it creates an environment where they feel they have permission to treat themselves.
Here’s a sample of some salons pushing the envelope to get you feeling inspired:
1. Comfortable & Aspirational: The Manifest Club, Washington DC, USA
Barbershop, speakeasy and upscale community space for sophisticated self care. As they call it, “your local barbershop and then some.”
2. Immersive Indulgence: Harrods Beauty Hall, London, UK
Designed to pay homage to the store’s 1982 original opening, it’s a full day-out with lots of options to choose from.
3. Tech Wow-Factor: Amazon Salon, London, UK
Amazon showcases the latest industry technology such as from augmented reality (AR) hair consultations.
4. A Verdant Escape: What the Flower, Paris, France
Plant shop meets laidback, green hair salon.
5. Modern Wellness: Chill House, NYC, USA
Self-described as “a destination for modern self-care,” Chill House offers an infrared sauna, nail and spa services and a cafe serving up adaptogenic lattes.
6. Lush Luxury: Linnaean, London, UK
Hair, beauty, nails and plant-led restaurant in one, Linnaen is an inviting garden-inspired, happy place.
7. Royal Treatment: Duchess on Duke Street, Dublin, Ireland
Unapologetic feminine joy, nearly every inch of this nail and beauty salon is a photogenic baby-pink.
8. Endless Summer: Tropical Popical, Dublin, Ireland
Tropical Popical describes themselves best as a “ soundtrack of pop via a love affair with Dublin; flashy fashion; colourful nails & and more than a dash of kitsch.” Nothing understated, the salon is packed full of glitter, neon and bold tropical prints.
9. Bright & Serene: THIC Studio, Toronto, Canada
The founder Morgan Tully’s vision was to create an atmosphere which would be totally different from the typical hectic environment of a salon.
10. Natural Healing: 8 The Experience, Curaçao
This salon, of course has the benefits of stunning landscape on their front door. Still they bring the outside world into the space with large windows and natural materials in their design.
11. Artistic Sanctuary: Twiggy Salon, Tokyo
Home studio of world famous hairstylist Miho Matsuura, the salon has an art-gallery minimalism which opens directly onto a garden. Twiggy has become a multipurpose space, offering everything from a head spa to a juice bar, and often hosts pop up collaborations with small creative businesses.
12. Classic & Eclectic: GUM Salon, Milan, Italy
Antique meets industrial, GUM has old world charm and attention to detail–every salon chair is a unique piece.
13. Instagram Appeal: Boho Blonde, Perth, Australia
With a neon staircase and round boucle lounges, this blonde specialist salon is a hip space with Instagrammable moments of Barbie pink including an entirely pink-tiled bathroom which never falls to draw in the selfie-takers.
14. A Visual Experience: Bedashing Beauty, Dubai, UAE
Bedashing emphasise aesthetics in all their 21 locations but with a ceiling display of wisteria, a neon hallway, chair swing, and plenty of photo-worthy design moments, there is a lot to take in at the Al Barsha branch in particular.
15. Vibrant Gallery: DKUK, London, UK
“Haircuts in front of art” is how DKUK would put it. This Peckham spot is a salon and contemporary art show in one.
16. Playful & Refined: House of Maria Nilla, Stockholm, Sweden
Sustainable haircare brand Maria Nilla created an architect’s playground with their headquarters and salon space. Pastels and soft shapes all around, plus a plexiglass feature designed to resemble shampoo dripping from the ceiling.
17. Retro Glam: BlosRoses, Florida, United States
Complete with retro-style hooded dryers and an unmissable “God is a woman” mural, this salon serves up plenty of that Miami colour and personality.
Embrace a Digital Experience
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