I recently attended Hair Expo Australia in Melbourne and had an absolute blast meeting new people, chatting with existing customers, and showcasing our software.

With so many industry players in one city for the week, I was eager to get in a room with them to discuss the future of hairdressing. So, in partnership with InStyle, we gathered nine industry leaders around a table for lunch to open up on challenges they face in their growing businesses and how technology can take our industry to the next level.

The participants:

  • Adam Alamine, Royals Hair
  • Dawn Allmark, Madam Frou Frou
  • Clive Allwright, Piloroo/Artistic Director Muk/Our Place Salon
  • Dario Cotroneo, Dario Salon/DCI Education
  • Julie Jefferies, Pierrot’s Hair
  • Gary Latham, Wild Life Salons
  • Rocco Petrucci, Zucci Hairdressing
  • Glenn Ruddle, ANTI
  • Francesco Ruggerino, Prema

The aim of this roundtable was to share ideas, strategies, and opinions around the future of the hair industry. For Timely, it was an invaluable opportunity to gain insight into one of the main industries that we serve, to make sure we’re helping with the biggest challenges and opportunities. We talked through five different discussion topics over lunch.

Changes in communication

“Our salon has completely moved away from a front desk and uses Timely software on iPads to check in, check out, pay and rebook. As soon as you move the client off the chair to make payment, the service becomes less personal and more transactional. Relationships are the core of the salon industry and you could argue that companies like Uber and Airbnb took industries similar to ours and disrupted how transactions were made for the better.” – Dario Cotroneo

“The best way to communicate with clients is by looking at how younger generations communicate. We should adapt our reception to communicate their way.”

– Clive Allwright

Tech and the client experience

“Education and communication for clients are key. If you teach them what they will need to book in for and have the right software, this can solve all the problems and make it easy to book online or through an app without the guesswork.” – Glenn Ruddle

“The workforce is becoming flexible and we need to create spaces for our clients to get their hair done and work at the same time. Co-working salon spaces should be a consideration in the future.” – Julie Jefferies

Tech and an empowered hairdresser

“If we had a really strong consultation form that could give a detailed history of the client we could nail our services from the start.”

– Dario Cotroneo

“Staff should have the ability to look at their book and see their schedule. If you give staff – the trustworthy ones – independence, they will become empowered and promote gaps in their day through their social media. It is a win-win for everyone.” – Rocco Petrucci

instyle roundtable

Recruitment and its changes

“The traditional way of recruitment is archaic. These days looking at an Instagram account could tell you a lot more than a resume and cover letter. You obviously need to check their skills and qualifications which can be done through references and trials but why are we still using such an outdated system to hire?” – Adam Alamine

“The key to making a change is having a business with a good structure that can recognise and implement change quickly when needed.”

– Gary Latham

On the apprentice debacle

“We need to separate the assistant and cleaner roles and give the domestic role to someone who needs work experience. This allows the apprentices to be nurtured and to focus on doing hair rather than feel like they are a cleaner for three years. Currently, the drop-out rate of apprentices is 50 percent. Pillaroo does day training programs with struggling kids and gives them work experience. Doing this will nurture future hairdressers, the community and our industry.” – Clive Allwright

“When we first started out we were so tough and inflexible with staff. Once we became more flexible we started keeping staff longer and everyone was happier. People want to work flexibly these days and we need to accommodate that and not fight it.” – Adam Alamine

Talking with, and learning from these hairdressing superstars was truly inspirational. I believe that partnering with the hair industry is absolutely critical to the way that Timely delivers solutions for those that operate within it.

We have an opportunity to help hairdressers and salon owners to be more successful. As the landscape of the industry and client keeps changing, technology like Timely has an important role to play. Our vision is to help people make the best use of their time. To make the salon run more effortlessly, so the stylist can focus on their client. We’re looking forward to announcing more products and features that achieve this in the coming months. Stay tuned!