Updated: Oct 13
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a hot topic in various industries, and the salon industry is no exception. As technology continues to advance, professionals within this field are understandably curious about the impact AI will have on their businesses. To address their most pressing concerns, we reached out to salon industry professionals through different channels such as Facebook groups, forums, and our network. The response was overwhelming, with numerous thought-provoking questions pouring in.
The biggest thing we noticed, though? Many salon pros said they needed basic information and answers about AI before they could even come up with an informed question! In this blog post, we aim to provide comprehensive answers to these top FAQs, shedding light on how AI will shape the future of the salon industry.
We talk more about how you can unlock the power of AI as a salon professional in a recent blog, click HERE to give it a read!
So, WTF is AI?!
Artificial Intelligence, aka AI, refers to the development of computer systems that can perform tasks which typically require human intelligence. It involves creating machines or software capable of replicating certain aspects of human thinking, such as learning, problem-solving, and decision-making.
AI enables computers to understand, analyze, and interpret information from various sources like text, images, or voice inputs. By processing this data using algorithms and advanced techniques, AI systems can recognize patterns, make predictions, and take actions accordingly.
Overall, AI represents the development of intelligent computer systems that can mimic human cognitive processes to solve complex problems and perform tasks efficiently and when utilized correctly, can save a ton of time and brain power for salon professionals.
This is a very simplified version of what AI is, and there are so many different platforms you can utilize to take advantage of all that AI has to offer. There are Artificial Intelligence platforms like ChatGBT, Cramly, as well as AI apps within programs like Canva, but these platforms are not to be confused with AI, they simply use AI technology to help you create a finished digital product!
We asked, and you, the salon professionals, answered! Here is a round up of some of the top questions we received about how to utilize AI in this industry!
We answer questions you never knew you had about digital marketing and the salon industry in general in our resource library! Whether you prefer to read blogs, watch YouTube, or listen to podcasts, there’s something for everyone. Click HERE to check it out!
AI will revolutionize various aspects of the salon industry, bringing a touch of technological magic to enhance our beauty experiences. As we speak, AI is already seamlessly integrated into many point-of-sale (POS) and booking systems in salons. However, its potential goes far beyond just these functions! One area where AI will truly shine is color formulations. Say goodbye to those moments of uncertainty when trying to find that perfect shade for your clients' hair! With AI, stylists can input specific details about their client's hair type, desired color, and even skin tone, allowing the system to generate precise recommendations and formulas. This not only saves time but also ensures consistently fabulous results.
It is imperative to remember to apply critical thinking to these situations, as you would if you asked another stylist’s color formulation and adjust as necessary to best suit your client’s hair wants and needs! Consultations are another aspect where AI's expertise can make a significant difference. Imagine having an intelligent virtual assistant alongside you during consultations, helping you ask all the right questions and providing personalized recommendations based on the client's preferences, lifestyle, and previous treatments. HR issues can be a real headache for salon owners, but fear not! AI can lend a digital hand here too. From managing staff schedules and appointments to implementing guest policies efficiently, AI-powered systems streamline operations while reducing human error. They can even analyze customer feedback data to identify trends and suggest improvements for better customer satisfaction. Let's not forget the importance of social media and websites in today's digital age. AI algorithms are becoming increasingly adept at analyzing consumer behavior patterns and crafting tailored marketing strategies. They can help salons optimize their online presence by suggesting engaging content ideas, identifying target audiences accurately, and automating certain tasks like scheduling posts or responding to inquiries.
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AI will undoubtedly have a significant impact on people's already unrealistic expectations for what can be achieved with their hair… however, this doesn't necessarily have to be a negative thing! With the right approach and mindset, AI can actually help manage these expectations in a positive manner. One of the ways AI can influence people's hair expectations is by acting as a tool to show clients how different styles and colors would look on their unique skin tone. Often, individuals make impulsive decisions based on trends they see online or on celebrities without considering whether those looks would suit them personally. By utilizing AI technology, hairstylists can now provide virtual simulations or try-on experiences that allow clients to visualize how certain hairstyles or colors would complement their individual features. This helps set more realistic expectations while still allowing clients to explore new possibilities. Furthermore, AI enables hairstylists to stay ahead of the curve and enhance consultations. With access to vast databases filled with information about various hair types, textures, and styles, professionals can leverage AI algorithms to analyze each client's specific needs and preferences. This not only saves time but also ensures that stylists are well-informed before starting any treatment or suggesting any changes. By using AI as an additional source of knowledge during consultations, stylists are better equipped to offer tailored advice and suggestions based on their client's hair profile. Of course, it's important for both hairstylists and clients to remember that AI should not be seen as a magical solution capable of transforming anyone into a completely different person overnight. While AI technology can assist in visualizing potential outcomes and providing expert guidance, it cannot change fundamental aspects such as natural hair texture or growth rate. It is vital for everyone involved to maintain open communication and understanding throughout the process to achieve the desired result while maintaining the integrity of the hair.
As a color specialist, the emergence of AI in the formulation and color industry may seem daunting at first. With formulas readily available at everyone's fingertips, it is crucial to stay ahead of the curve and maintain your value as a professional hairstylist. One way to achieve this is through continuing education. Continuing education is vital for salon professionals to remain relevant and distinguish themselves from others in the field. By actively seeking out new trends, techniques, and advancements in both hair coloring and digital marketing (such as AI), you can position yourself as an individual hairstylist who stays on top of current developments. This ongoing learning process ensures that you are always up to date with the latest industry practices, giving you a competitive edge. To illustrate the importance of expertise gained through continuing education, consider the analogy of finding a recipe on Pinterest. Just because someone has access to numerous recipes doesn't automatically make them a skilled chef. Similarly, while anyone can access hair color formulas through AI or other online platforms, there is much more to being a great color specialist than simply following instructions. The personal connection between you and your clients is irreplaceable. Your knowledge and understanding of their unique needs and preferences cannot be replicated by AI algorithms. Clients seek out professionals who can provide personalized recommendations based on their specific hair type, skin tone, lifestyle, and desired outcomes. This human touch is invaluable in creating exceptional results and enhancing the overall salon experience. By investing in continued education, you demonstrate your commitment to excellence and innovation within your craft. It allows you to adapt to evolving trends and technologies while maintaining your expertise as a trusted color specialist. Ultimately, staying ahead of the curve through ongoing learning will ensure that you continue to provide high-quality services that exceed client expectations.
Look, we get it, times are tough and your education budget may be tight. This is why we have created a super affordable AI training created specifically for salon professionals! Stylists and salon owners should invest in education surrounding AI to stay current and competitive in the industry and with Salon S.O.S.’ online video training course, you can learn all the basics and more that you need to get started without breaking the bank! This digital course is priced at $23 CAD and you’ll gain lifetime access to over 3 hours of step by step training to get you comfortable and successfully utilizing all the AI has to offer!
Additionally, professionals can explore other resources such as podcasts, articles, and personal research to further deepen their understanding of AI without spending a dime. Instead, consider learning about AI as an investment of your time and energy into growing your salon business!
We’ve covered A LOT of ground in this blog post, and the reality is… we’ve barely scratched the surface! AI is a powerful tool that we are continuing to learn more about, and the opportunities for salon professionals are truly endless. The more we learn about how AI works, the better questions we can ask, the better response we’ll receive. If you have any burning questions about AI, we’d love to hear them! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a direct message on social media @salon.s.o.s
‘Til next time,
Your Team At Salon S.O.S