Embracing industry trends is crucial to navigating 2024

Staying ahead of the curve is not just an advantage – it’s a necessity in today’s highly competitive beauty salon environment. As the beauty industry continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace, salons find themselves navigating through a whirlwind of technological advancements, shifting consumer preferences, and global market dynamics. 

In this era of constant change, the ability to identify, understand, and quickly adapt to emerging trends has become a vital element of business success. 

Through their daily business dealings and networking with beauty salon owners and operators across the GCC, our founder and CEO, Valerie Reynaert, and her team at VRBC, have a front row seat to these industry conversations and are well positioned to share insights from them. Here are the business trends that they say salons should focus on in 2024!

Training and Skills Development 

By Chante Jacobs, VRBC Training and Development Manager

Trend 1: Multi-functional staff

We are seeing an increased prominence of multi-functional staff within salons, who are able to easily switch between multiple roles within the salon as demands change during the day, week or month. 

These staff members have expertise across various beauty services rather than specialising in just one, making them more versatile and productive. This shift reflects a broader consumer preference for convenience and efficiency in their beauty routines.

Having staff members who can offer a comprehensive array of treatments, positions salons to meet the evolving preferences of their clientele and this approach is fast becoming a cornerstone of success in the beauty industry. 

This trend has even impacted our offering at VRBC, with the development of training programs we now deliver to clients in the GCC,  such as Face Fitness, Maderotherapy and Soft Skills. These play a crucial role in equipping beauty professionals with the diverse skill sets needed to cater to the dynamic preferences of today’s clients.

Trend 2: Every member of staff impacts the brand experience

In 2024, there is a heightened awareness among salon owners regarding the impact of every staff member on the overall brand experience. Salon owners are becoming more aware about the messages conveyed by their staff, recognising that each interaction contributes significantly to the overall perception of the brand.

Salon owners must be mindful of how staff members represent the brand, ensuring that every interaction, whether in-person or online, aligns with the values and image they want to project. This strategic approach not only enhances the customer experience but also contributes to building a positive and consistent brand identity which contributes to the overall success and reputation of the salon.

Marketing & Branding

By Carol Holdsworth, VRBC Marketing Specialist and Preshky Perera, VRBC Branding Specialist

Trend 3: Social Media is dead (unless you do this)

Social media has become the equivalent of a digital magazine. We scroll by posts on automatic mode, and only stop for those that catch our attention in some way. So how do we make sure that our posts get the attention we are looking for?

  • Diversify your content: There are so many different formats of content, from videos to gifs, images to timelapses etc, which can drive interest and stop people scrolling past. Brands who dedicate time and effort to creating the best content they can for social media, will create the ability to stop people scrolling, and engage with their brand. 
  • Quality content does matter: We would zone out if we saw fashion brands all using the same approach to photographing their new collections, so why do we do it in the beauty industry? Take a look for yourself. The images all look pretty much the same!  Have you considered new ways to capture what you do as a salon in a way that feels fresh and new, and most importantly, edited correctly? You can destroy a great piece of content simply by not editing it correctly. 
  • Rethink social media channels: The old favourites of Facebook and Instagram may have worked for you in the past, however, have you considered if your target audience is still there? We see significant adoption and engagement on channels such as Snapchat and Tik Tok, with channels like Instagram showing a decline in year on year growth in 2023, in favour of Snapchat and Tik Tok. Ignoring this trend, could mean you are talking to a slowly emptying auditorium. 
  • Stylists’ own social profiles can boost your salon brand visibility: We have seen across the industry that beauty professionals, stylists and therapists who focus on their own social media presence, will actually give the salon they work with a bump in reach and engagement. This is achieved either by tagging their page in a post, or through collaborative posts, which are shared between profiles. They are free to create the style of content that resonates with their own personal approach, which feels authentic, and the salon leverages this across their own socials by creating visibility for their staff. It’s a win-win. 

Trend 4: A Branding Refresh Can Revitalise your Salon

Consumer tastes evolve, and this is as applicable to branding as it is to our favourite hairstyles or items of clothing. Is your brand evolving with your consumer? Here are some key trends identified by VRBC’s branding expert Preshky Perera. 

  • Bold and minimalist designs: We see an emerging trend of brand designs, as well as designs for customer touch points such as packaging, menus etc, that are bold, clear, striking and with fewer visual elements to distract the eye. Examples of extra elements are florals, script fonts and multiple colours. This minimalist design should not feel stark, but is focused on creating ‘ease of communication’ for the brand and removing the ‘noise’. 
  • Gradients of interest: Multiple colours and layers of elements may be out, but gradients bring the ‘vibe’ and interest to brands that will be considered ‘on trend’ in 2024. Using single colour gradients (think ombre), will maintain the fresh, clean approach of our first branding trend, with the ability to draw the eye to where it matters. Gradients are perfect for social media and digital use, as well as printed media such as menus. 
  • Branding that matters: Branding is not just about a logo or a colour palette. It is about using these elements to create a deep and authentic connection with your audience and to communicate what makes you unique.  Your branding is ‘experienced’ whether physically in a salon space, online on social media or a website, or at home with product packaging. Your branding tells a story and sets an expectation in the mind of the customer.


By Valerie Reynaert, Founder and CEO of VR Beauty Consulting

Many salons, brands and suppliers are taking on board the need to be more sustainable in all aspects of their business. Just this month we have seen salons supporting the international Veganuary campaign, for example. We are also seeing more and more salons focusing on being more sustainable by going plastic-free, using eco-shower heads or solar panels, recycling or buying salon furniture that has been sustainably produced.

Sustainability and its related practices cover an exceptionally broad spectrum and there are many ways to incorporate its principles. The trend that VRBC is highlighting as key for 2024, is the driver behind this topic – the consumer!

Trend 5: Consumers are driving the need for cleaner beauty

In today’s market, consumers are increasingly drawn to products that seamlessly blend sophistication with simplicity.  As individuals have become more conscious of the impact their choices have on the environment, there is a heightened emphasis on eco-friendly and sustainable practices. This extends beyond the product itself to include the entire lifecycle, from sourcing ingredients to packaging and disposal. 

Brands that align with these values and prioritise environmentally responsible practices are gaining favour among consumers seeking to make more ethical and sustainable choices in their beauty routines.

The intersection of sophistication and simplicity, paired with a commitment to cleaner and organic formulations, has given rise to a new era in the beauty industry. Consumers are not only looking for effective and high-quality products but also those that contribute positively to environmental and social well-being. 

Managing Talent

By Valerie Reynaert, Founder and CEO of VR Beauty Consulting

Trend 6: It is all about the team

Based on a comprehensive global survey involving 70,000 working adults, it was revealed that 75% of participants in the UAE actively seek new job opportunities while still employed. This highlights a pressing need for employers to establish robust employee retention strategies in order to cultivate a more stable and enduring workforce.

During and after Covid, everyone’s expectations and experiences were turned on their head and it has irrevocably changed the world of work. Employees have different priorities now and are looking for a positive and empowering culture in their workplace.

In response, businesses worldwide, and in the UAE, have implemented employee-centric HR solutions that are based on well-being, physical and mental wellness provisions, and work-life balance. Employee wellness is becoming a key focus of a happy and successful workforce. 

Besides transparency, benefits, and flexibility in their work styles, employees are also looking for training and skills development opportunities. In the beauty industry, change happens overnight and there is always something new for therapists to learn. Salons are uniquely placed and can benefit greatly by making an investment in skills development and offering growth and opportunity to their teams.  

A last point to cover involves workplace diversity. The pool of candidates, particularly in our industry, is not extensive. To be in a position to stimulate growth, salons must not be short-sighted when it comes to looking at talent from abroad. While foreign talent may need to transition to the very high standards of our local industry, with correct training and leadership, salons can build a diverse, formidable and innovative team that meets the needs of the diverse UAE clientele.

In our fast-paced world, where innovation is the currency of competitiveness, businesses that fail to keep a vigilant eye on industry trends risk becoming irrelevant. Don’t let this be you!