COVID-19 Precautions: The touch-me-not business of beauty

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COVID-19 has caused a drastic impact on business operations. Due to the highly communicable virus, the service providing businesses were paused. Habits and buying behavior have changed, and people started to consume essential products only.

The services like haircut, waxing, threading, or other beauty treatments are seen as non-essential, especially when compared to other services. Many of these service providers shut downed their businesses. But, brands like L’Oreal and Lakme are utilizing this opportunity for engaging with their potential customers.

L’Oreal for example, used its YouTube channel for publishing a series named ‘Lockdown Binge’ which includes beauty related contents and tutorials. This series has videos like ‘Learn to colour your hair’, ‘Liquid lipstick hacks’, ‘Learn makeup hacks’ and many more other interesting topics. Likewise, Lakme India has also leveled up its portfolio with similar tutorials.

As the lockdown rules begin to ease in specific regions across the country, ensuring the safety of employees and customers has become a big challenge for beauty salons. Some chains like Enrich Salons have prepared for this through surveys among their clients. The salon chain collected information about the preference of clients by sending them survey forms. This included questions on what would make customers feel safe while availing of the salon’s services and what they would expect in terms of safety measures.

L’Oreal has distributed a hygiene and safety guide named ‘Back to Business’ to its 45,000-strong salon network and over 170,000 hairdressers. This guide includes the measures and advice that ensures the safety of employees and customers in post lockdown; safer operating procedures; including hand cleansing, tool disinfecting, salon routing, pre-booking, reorganization of salons to space out appointments and electronic payment, all to ensure the social distancing requirements.

Amit Jain, Managing Director, L’Oréal India said: “The Hairdressing industry is a key source of employment and it is important that hair salons get back to business safely, once lockdown restrictions are lifted. The past few months have provided us with even greater awareness of the importance of our hairdressers and the demand from consumers for hair salons reopening is high.”

Also, the brand has taken measures for training and development through online sessions to upskill the professionals while their businesses are temporarily closed. Within this period, over 4,250 e-training sessions have been conducted for 50,000 beauticians

and hairdressers.

The teams at Lakme salons will also take safety measures like protective masks, gloves, visors, and will use single-use kits for 90% of services. The brands have also reengineered the processes for skin, hair and make-up services to reduce touch, and increased the use of biodegradable disposables. Also, the salons will ensure proper sterilization of tools and equipment between every use, contactless billing and payments, and contactless home delivery for post care products.

Pushkaraj Shenai, CEO, Lakme Salon said, “As a Unilever company, rigorous hygiene protocols and high-quality products have always been top priorities for us at Lakme Salon. In the new normal, the safety of our team and customers is the key focus area.”

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