Beauty on the go; The salon comes home
By Annie Awuor
4 months ago | 7 min read
A few years back the idea of doing one’s hair, nails or even spa treatments from the comfort of one’s home seemed as foreign as wearing a mask when leaving the house. Just as the mask has become a norm so has home based beauty services become the latest fad.
Today’s modern woman is either more financial disposed and looking for convenience or quite busy working, and looking after the family with no time to travel or pass by the saloon. In today’s fast paced life, a woman finds very little time for maintaining herself. Mobile beauticians who offer home based beauty services solve these problems. With their fast and convenient services, the salon experience we once knew is no more.
Naomi and her moving salon
Naomi Wairimu, 32, who runs Naomi Mobile Salon for the last two years, says she saw a gap in the sector.
“The modern woman is so busy with not enough time to go to a physical salon. That’s why I decided to bring my salon to my client’s home to save them time, plus the expenses of going to a salon. Many services plus goods are delivered to home, why not salon services?”
Naomi offers a variety of services that include: home waxing, pedicure and manicure, professional massage, and micro ring hair extension fixing. However, she says that the most popular home-based services demanded by clients are pedicure, manicure and home massage.
Naomi believes that home-based beauty services have become popular for a number of reasons.
“With home massage, many women and men get to relax after a hard day at work. Some want relief from back pain, leg and body pain. Professional massage help with all this. Also, both men and women love pedicures and manicures since these days everybody wants to look good.”
What does she love about doing house calls: “I save on rent, plus I love going where my clients are most comfortable. Many clients today are used to requesting salon services to their homes because it is the trend, plus they also love the full attention they get from the beautician.”
Evelyne’s homebased waxing
Evelyne Nyakoa, 34, who runs her business, Homebased Waxing, got into providing home-based beauty services as a result of Covid-19.
“This profession runs in my family. My aunt would do home based waxing way back in the day and she taught me how wax my armpits as a teenager. I would then do it for my friends, but I never really thought anything much about it. After high school I studied community healthcare and up to 2021 when the pandemic hit, I was a dentist assistant full time, and I would wax as my part time to make some extra money,” she explains.
“After Covid hit the dentist office was closed, and my side hustle grew so much that I left my job as a dentist assistant to do this full time.”
She admits that the services she offers are intimate, and as a result clients often want to feel comfortable in their own environment.
“I have been waxing now for over seven years and things have really changed since I began. Back in the day 80 per cent of my clients were Asian and white, but in the last three years my African clients have are now up to 50 per cent. Further, while back in the day most of my clients were women, I now also have a lot of men,” she says.
What services are most on demand?
“I do full body wax, Brazilian waxing, Manzilian waxing, eye lash installations and body scrubs. The most popular service is Brazilian waxing, and even for men the Manzilian has become a very popular service. Men too remove hair on their bodies.”
She, however, says that sometimes she encounters male clients who think that when someone advertises spa or beauty services that it is a code word for prostitution services.
“While I never screen female clients when they first call, I always make sure that I screen any potential male clients to find out what they are really looking for and to make it clear the type of services I offer.”
Nyakoa says home-based services are good for clients who benefit from personalised services at their own convenience, and entrepreneurs who benefit from low overheads. “I do not have to pay rent. The only expenses are my products and transport. I also get to meet so many different and wonderful people from very different culture, jobs and social status.”
What should you look for when looking for waxing services.
“Look for someone who will follow health protocols... Make sure your service provider uses instruments that are cleaned and sanitised, and that the wax is a fresh batch. And ask many questions.”
Ann’s beauty nail and beyond
Ann Mugure Njoroge, 34, who runs Annlys Beauty Nail and Beyond, provides both on site salon and homebased services depending on a client’s needs.
“Homebased services particularly became very popular after Covid hit, now 40 percent of our clients ask for home based services. Our clients are mostly women working from home, and men who are bachelors,” states Ann.
She adds that it is not just women who love home based services. The most popular services for both men and female clients are manicures and pedicures and massages.
“I believe the reason home based services have become so popular today is because it offers privacy, comfort, and saves client from the hassle of having to travel to a saloon which is often time consuming. So, clients are willing to pay extra for all these,” she explains.
She says providing both on site and homebased services allow her to leverage on both opportunities and to serve her customers best.
Grace and her moving spa
Grace Njau, 33, who works at Emme Spa on the go - founded by Maria Otiso Kemunto, says they bring the spa experience to their clients at home.
“It is bringing the whole spa experience to our clients door step. We do massages, manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing, eyebrows, eye lashes tinting, body treatment, body scrabs, and body wraps. We move into the home and turn it into a spa and all we need is a space to work with. If we create any mess, we ensure that we clean it before we leave.”
She says when they began, their target market were young working mothers who only have time for work and home and no time to go to the saloon. Over time, their target market has grown and evolved.
“At first, we would be invited to a home by the mother, and then the husband and kids would also decide to join. So now we end up getting orders for a family spa experience,” explains Njau.
Njau says the beauty and spa industry has changed so much because the requests vary with different clients’ needs and wants.
“Clients sometimes have pedicure parties. This is where they invite friends on a Saturday afternoon and call us to provide pedicures, manicures and massages. Other times our clients will order massages as a gift for their parents who are visiting and may not be comfortable with going to a spa. Another time it is a gift for a bride or even someone who is grieving, or companies will book spa treatment for their female employees on days like women’s day.”
Further, according to Njau home-based beauty services are not just popular with women alone, but men are also regular customers.
Men now are also grooming and taking care of themselves more than ever. “These are men who were introduced to manicures and pedicures when they were younger by their mothers. So, they have grown up exposed to the benefits of good grooming.”
Are home-based beauty and spa services a passing trend?
“I do not think so. Although we are a mobile spa, we had planned to add an onsite location, but it did not make sense as most of our clients were home based.”
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