Here at Salons Direct we are continually keeping a close eye on the hairdressing and beauty scene to see which salons are innovating and trail blazing the industry in terms of ethos and design.
This month we caught up with The Chapel
to discover more about their ‘anti clinical’ ideology, as well as their future plans to continue to make waves within the industry.
How do you think The Chapel stands apart from its competitors?
The Chapel began by breaking the mould of hairdressing when we created a salon environment that, for the first time, brought the experience in the salon to the forefront of importance in line with the haircut or colour itself. A real conversation on a sofa, one-to-one with a stylist to discuss how you want to feel and not just the look you’ve spotted in a magazine, has been helping us stand out since we started.
We’ve always put rest as one of our top priorities for a guest – our salons are a place to escape to and enjoy some ‘you’ time. This is reflected by the open, spacious and private interior spaces. The education we provide around hair maintenance and how salon services actually work has been some of our guests’ strongest positive feedback as it allows them to make informed choices about their hair.
We’ve been passionate about inspiring our hairstylists and have created a strong community across all of our salons. They’re encouraged to look after themselves first, which then leads to them enjoying their job, leading to excellent customer satisfaction.
What inspired you to create salons with interiors as distinctive as The Chapel’s?
We wanted to remove the ‘clinical’ feel of what hairdressers used to be and what some still are, and make salons feel truly relaxing; turn them into a sanctuary for our clients.
In order to demonstrate what we teach, we’ve recently redesigned our colour studios to actually involve our client through interactive learning. We teach our clients how best to identify one’s own base colour, how to demonstrate the compatibility of skin tone with certain colours among other wall features and offer the opportunity to test out different colours.
How have you evolved the business?
The Chapel was born by listening to people and envisioning the hairdressing of the future, not the past. We have always stuck to our core values and the concepts that guests love most, but just like a James Bond film, we have stayed current with the times without compromising ‘the formula’.
We’ve stayed ahead with technology too. We have created an app which allows guests to see for themselves what availability there is in the coming fortnight, whilst having the ability to sign up for immediate notifications to their favourite stylist’s new appointments.
How does The Chapel keep up to date with new hair trends?
We’ve found that keeping up-to-date and leaping ahead of trends has come from a variety of factors. On a day-to-day basis, we use iPads to search through Pinterest with our guests for inspiration and visual references to what they are after. Our stylists are passionate, are constantly moving in the hair world and take their guests with them.
What do you think are the attributes that make a successful salon?
That’s simple – ‘put yourself first’. This year we took our entire team of over 50 stylists and Guest Relations teams for a three-day retreat to make sure that, from the ground up, everyone works hard to be happy, healthy and inspired.
If you look after yourself and your team, they’ll look after your customers. We’re so lucky that our stylists have been loyal which has the effect of many happy, loyal guests too – If you are genuine to your brand values, everything else tends to fall into place.
How do you see the business of hairdressing evolving over the next decade or so?
Looking back at the last ten years, there’s been a slow movement as salons have started realising that the standard format of hairdressing hasn’t necessarily been the best and that listening to customers comes first. I hope that this positive movement continues surging forward and we’ll look back in twenty years at ‘how different things used to be’.
From a woman’s perspective and what she’ll want from a haircut, I think women are fast becoming more comfortable in exploring and expressing their individuality, which I hope will see a culture movement away from wanting to often mimic celebrity trends.
What can we expect from The Chapel in 2017?
Let’s just say you might be seeing ‘The Chapel’ name pop up anywhere and everywhere.
What has been the driving force behind the success of The Chapel?
Our stylists and Guest Relations have been the heroes in my eyes. They’ve used their time to really flourish and chase their biggest strengths; be those creativity skills, technical skills or customer service skills. They are the faces of The Chapel and these visions, values and ideas are nothing without a loyal team to make them a reality.
How do you stay innovative and competitive within the London salon scene?
Well, regarding staying competitive – by taking our own approach to hairdressing and what we offer. We aren’t in the position to be threatened by undercuts on price or offers; we’re proud that we’re still offering something essentially unique that contrasts most other salons. We love challenging the status quo and perhaps our new products might do just that.
What will set The Chapel products aside from other salon products?
Their purpose, but I’ll leave you guessing until the reveal!