In the past, the professional beauty industry relied on trends for profitability. But these days, with the Millennial focus on individuality driven by the diversity of social media, consumers aremuch less concerned about beauty trends. Andrew Carruthers, education director for Sam Villa, shares his thoughts on the topic and how stylists can still stay profitable and keep their guests looking hip.

“Now that social media is king, everyone has a voice and most people will trust a social media influencer with a million followers over a fashion magazine,” says Carruthers. Instead of bringing in tear sheets from a relatively small number of magazines highlighting a finite number of looks to a very large number of people, there are now far more influencers sharing many more looks with a much larger audience. This is why beauty trends are currently so mixed and don’t have such dramatic changes from one year to the next.

“I wouldn’t say trends are becoming obsolete, but the way they shape our industry is very different. What happens in salons is no longer dictated by hardcore trends that change from year to year, but guests still want what is cool. And that is where the expertise of a licensed salon professional comes in!” he adds.

What’s a stylist to do?

  1. Stay active on social media – both posting work and following influential hairdressers for inspiration.
  2. Encourage guests to dig into Pinterest/Instagram to find looks that excite them and fit their personaltaste.
  3. Curate your social pages to feature the kinds of looks you want to create and ask guests to follow.
  4. Make it a point to offer something new to each guest on a regular basis… even if it’s as subtle as adding fringe or a different layering pattern. This makes you their personal resource for inspiration.
  5. Learn the techniques necessary to create the looks! Go to shows, bring hands-on classes into the salon, and take advantage of online education.

“There is no way to predict where this all will head, but for now, it’s fun to be a hairdresser in a world where your hands are untied from super specific trends and you’re free to create beautiful looks to suit each individual guest that sits in your chair,” says Carruthers.


Hair: Team Sam Villa Art

Director: Geneva Cowen

Photography: Shalem Mathew

Makeup: Lorina Alailefaleula

Styling: Rachel Droege