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4 beauty industry trends to note for 2024

By Rebecca Hitchon | 06 January 2024 | Feature

4 2024 Beauty Industry Trends

Scratch explores trends set to dominate this year and how to incorporate them into your business…

1. Wellness as a priority

The definition of beauty is changing, from a focus on products and services designed to help consumers conform to physical standards, to an emphasis on looking healthy. This is thanks to younger generations, details The Future of Beauty and Wellness Report 2024 by beauty booking platform, Fresha, and trend forecasting authority, WGSN. It notes that 37% of boomers see beauty services as a necessity, compared to over half of Gen Z, millennials and Gen X, and these younger consumers are dedicating more time to moments of physical and mental self-care.

Fresha reveals that on average, customers spend the most time at off-peak appointments on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, with spend per appointment higher than on peak days: Thursdays and Fridays, and on par with Saturdays. The report suggests that salons can capitalise on this by rebranding off-peak days as ‘maintenance days’ in 2024.

It predicts that in future, businesses will offer packages for essential treatments in one wellbeing-focused appointment. Emotional training for staff will allow for professional client support, and counsellors will become part of the treatment experience. The report also forecasts that sensory services, such as temperature-stimulating treatments, and spiritual therapy, like reiki, will become integral to the beauty experience.

This trend aligns with market analysis company, Mintel’s 2024 Global Beauty and Personal Care Trends, which include ‘Neuro-Glow’ – defined as ‘mind-body beauty, where mental wellbeing and physical appearance are interconnected.’ In 2024, Mintel predicts that mental wellbeing will become a fundamental and mainstream part of brands’ customer strategies

2. Advantageous add-ons

According to The Future of Beauty and Wellness Report 2024, add-ons are getting a makeover for 2024. The report notes that while additional services have not evolved much over time, they increase footfall, encourage long-term loyalty and inject a business with more personality. The focus is on making clients feel as comfortable as possible, from offering them Wi-Fi, to elevating their emotional responses with added treatments, and catering to their tastes with refreshments. For example, what are current food and drink trends among your client base? Can you incorporate bubble tea, low/no-alcohol drinks or gut-friendly refreshments into your services, or partner with local cafés or grocers?

Fresha and WGSN’s report explains that not all add-ons need to be complimentary, and they can be used to increase revenue. Its consumer survey in February 2023 found that the majority of respondents would pay for one or two add-ons, with millennials and Gen Z most likely to spend money on this.

3. Transformative technology

Technology’s increased impact on the beauty sector is not a surprising trend. While many are wary of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), they can help businesses offer more personalised experiences, including by leveraging online feedback to identify gaps and desires, notes Mintel. The company reveals that 77% of UK adults believe technology is having a positive effect on accessing information, and 49% of Chinese adults agree that AI-generated suggestions are more authentic than those presented by humans. It also shares that technology is accelerating product developments and promoting inclusivity, but governance and transparency are key for ensuring digital tools are a positive force.

Sally Hansen’s online try-on nail colour experience, using Perfect Corp.’s AgileHand Technology.

Fresha and WGSN’s The Future of Beauty and Wellness Report 2024 adds that virtual try-on technologies are set to further influence creative beauty experimentation in 2024. It cites research from global insights provider, NielsenIQ, which discovered that 56% of shoppers have more confidence about a product that offers an augmented reality (AR) experience, and 62% of shoppers prefer to shop with a retailer that offers AR. This technology use is predominately influenced by millennials and Gen Z, and they are driving the industry to soon adopt innovative tools, such as AR apps and smart mirrors that allow clients to trial a treatment by virtually showcasing its personalised results.

4. Pet pampering

If you made a fur-ever friend during the pandemic, you’re not alone – as lockdown sparked a pandemic pet boom. The connection between pet and human has long been recognised as a special bond, with pets seen as family members, and the pandemic only enhanced this, reveals The Future of Beauty and Wellness Report 2024. Time spent together during this period has left many pets with separation anxiety, prompting a rise in pet-friendly locations to alleviate their stress. And just as humans expect high-quality, effective beauty products, often with natural and vegan properties, they want the same for their pets. This has resulted in the creation of products that are safe for owners and pets, helping consumers to place trust in products, save money and have shared beauty and emotional experiences.

Kasia Kate Nails, Scotland, allows pets in the salon, believing that they bring a positive energy to the space.

Expect to see beauty businesses making pets a priority in 2024 and beyond, notes the report, via pet-friendly times and refreshments, dedicated zones and eventually pet treatments, as well as shared owner and pet services.