Barbershop Community, Barbershops, Key Topics, Opinions, Wellness / Self-Care

Is Amazon Hair Salon taking business away from the small man?

Would you go?

words by: Natasha Marsh
Jul 12, 2022

FYI: In case Amazon needed any more money and clout, they have opened up hair salons. In a pandemic and recession world, where so many people have lost their jobs, small business owners — like most hair salons — have had to sell their businesses and close shop. Yet Amazon has done the opposite.


Purchasing goods skyrocketed in the pandemic as a means to escape reality, and because people wanted them fast, they opted for Amazon’s inventory. A lot of people have and had an issue with this, believing Amazon to be a bully and taking money out of homes that really need/needed it. What do you think? Was it selfish for the mega company to open up hair salons? Or are they truly satisfying a need by offering their menu of services?


Amazon opened its first in-person hair salon in London; in a beautiful two-story space in Spitafileds, a bustling neighborhood in London. According to their website, the salon was inspired by the lack of physical visibility of hair products from their platform and would be used as a space to test new technologies, like hair color and virtual tools. “We want this unique venue to bring us one step closer to customers, and it will be a place where we can collaborate with the industry and test new technologies,” a UK Amazon manager said in a statement to the press.


The full-service salon offers highlights, balayage, cut and blow dry, treatments, permanent straightening, and braids via Elena Lavagni, a famous English hairstylist and salon owner. Lavagni has a team of experts with her who can assist clients in services or help them browse the shelves with a QR code to make a purchase if they wish. In interviews, the giant retailer claims they won’t open salons outside of London, but because of typical Amazon fashion, we really can’t be too sure.


It’s believed Amazon has entered the in-person hair salon industry for sales, as the market is set to reach $217.25 billion by 2026. This new venture could have a great impact on small independent salons in the UK and abroad. But what independent and smaller salons can bank on is customer service.


Amazon, being an online retailer, doesn’t have much experience with in-person customer service. The hope for small businesses is that their expertise in this area will outshine Amazon. Many believe Amazon will act like an Ulta or Sephora, in that they are mainly focused on retail sales of products, and their salon services will be more of a subtle afterthought. Still important, but not the primary focus.


This seems to track with Lavagni’s vision for the new business, “When we use digital technology, we want it to be complementary to our stylists’ expertise and for it to sit naturally within the customer experience,” she recently stated in a press interview. “As an example, if a client wants to undergo a big transformation, the augmented reality color bar provides clients with a chance to experiment and explore different looks. The technology helps build confidence, but ultimately each client will still need to seek the advice and expertise of the stylist.”


With all that said, it’s not likely people will leave their long-time stylists for the mega giant. These stylists know their hair and how to treat it. It would be difficult starting over with someone else again. But knowing Amazon, only time will tell.


You can check out the Instagram page for Amazon Salon here.


In related Amazon news, they’ve expanded into cryptocurrency.


Photo via Amazon