The pandemic has undoubtedly shifted all facets of the beauty industry, and salon services are no exception. According to Nunzio Saviano, owner of his eponymous salon, for salon clients — and cross-category beauty consumers, as a whole — health and wellness have become a focus. Along with a desire for long-term treatment benefits, he explained that today salon client trends are generally more relaxed to the in-person experience; seeking low-maintenance color and cuts that can seamlessly evolve over time.

“Many people are still working from home so they want their hair to be less high maintenance than it was — the less they need to do the better,” said the CEW Beauty Creators Awards Ambassador. “In the 90s you got your highlights done every eight weeks, and now it’s every eight months, or even a year.”

To that end, the services that are resonating with today’s salon-goer are those that need minimal upkeep, like balayage. Popular during the recession of 2008 to offset the need for frequent touchups, the hair painting technique is more in-demand than ever. According to Nunzio, balayage allows women to go for much longer stretches without visiting the salon, as the color is not applied at the root, creating an ombre effect.

“Trends come and go but it’s been over 10 years and ombre and balayage are still very hot and very strong,” he said. “It looks beautiful and it’s low maintenance. People are not ever going to go back to high-maintenance haircuts, color or services.”

Hairstyles are also shifting too. Due to Covid-19 mandates, consumers have became more comfortable skipping haircuts, letting their hair grow out over longer periods of time. The result is an evolution from perfectly trimmed, angular styles to a longer, softer look.

“Before the pandemic, my clients were getting their hair cut every two months and now they’re stretching it out, so their cut is evolving into something different, but they like it,” said Nunzio. “I don’t see clients as much as I used to and that’s OK because they still have a great cut that grows out beautifully, and it’s the same thing with their color.”

Nunzio also reveals that that the overall salon vibe is much calmer due to workday schedules becoming more flexible. Gone are the days of women popping into the salon for a quick service or stopping by at 6 pm after a fast-paced workday. Nunzio says for many clients, the day has opened up, as they now have the flexibility to schedule appointments at more times. “Customers are a lot more relaxed and not so stressed out,” said Nunzio. “Since the pandemic I haven’t seen one client come in during their lunch hour or call to ask if I’m running on time because they [needed to stay on] schedule.”

Despite a calmer environment, Nunzio said addressing a serious issue — hair loss — has become increasingly commonplace. With a client base primarily comprised of professional women over 40 years old, he says many of his clients attribute their thinner strands to the pandemic, whether from stress, the vaccine or from contracting Covid.

“Clients are going through a shedding process and so they are looking for treatment — from vitamins or drops they can put on the scalp, anything that prevents or helps with hair loss,” said Nunzio. “Taking care of their scalp was never something people talked about, but now it’s essential and becoming part of their hair routines.”

And so, echoing the beauty industry’s “skinification” theme, salon visitors are clamoring for nourishing scalp and hair products packed with skincare ingredients that improve hair and scalp health over time. Nunzio reports that the products resonating most are those made with botanicals and natural ingredients, as customers are staying away from additives like silicone.

“When you read about certain ingredients in shampoos that can cause hair loss it’s eye-opening for a lot of people; and clients are realizing there are a lot of ingredients they don’t need,” said Nunzio. “The more natural the product is, the better and it doesn’t really take convincing.”

Nunzio — who offers oxygen facial-inspired scalp treatments within his salon, as well as a corresponding product line, packed with transformative botanicals like flower stem cells — said he’s always believed in treating the scalp much like you would the skin on your face with innovative ingredients that are as fresh and natural as possible. In fact, Nunzio said he’d love to see a day where fresh-batch shampoos with shorter shelf lives became the norm. “I think customers would be willing to pay more for a shampoo with an expiration date because the ingredients are healthier and more natural,” he said.

Apart from Nunzio’s in-salon Oxilogiga Hair & Scalp Treatment, the Nunzio Saviano product line offers additional at-home options for today’s hair health-seeking client. Two of his products, Oxilogica Hair Loss Drops and Scalp Nourishing Treatment directly address hair loss with ingredients like saw palmetto, gardenia stem cells, and extract from an alpine flower, Stella Alpina, said to help regenerate weak hair.

“The hair loss my clients are experiencing is what gave me the incentive to create a treatment, something they could do to take care of that issue but also prevent it,” said Nunzio, adding that he’s currently working on an innovative new formula that will work to further address hair loss. “I learn from my clients every day, see what’s going on and I target those real day to day needs.”

 

To attend this year’s Beauty Creators Awards various live events visit the CEW website to learn more about our September Beauty Bazaar which will feature the Award Finalists, and the Winner’s Luncheon in November.