If there's a term to describe 2015, it has to be "on-demand."
Mobile phones have made a huge impact in customer expectations across the board. Netflix first gave us movies and shows in our mailboxes, and now Roku and Fire TV options made it so that we didn't even have to walk that far. Chains such as Chipotle, Blaze Pizza, Roti and more allow you to build and personalize your meal as they make it in front of you.
The beauty industry has started to listen. Vênsette and Glamsquad are NY-based apps that allow clients to order hair and makeup services to their homes, and more recently, Chicago-based Blohaute has popped up.
Founder Amanda Diedrich (pictured right) is still relatively new to this; she just started developing the idea in summer 2014. But already the beauty on-demand app is taking off, and it's not hard to see why in the current cultural climate.
"I started to realize how big of an inconvenience it was just to go get a simple, quick salon service," Diedrich says. She was working at a salon in the Chicago suburbs but had built up clientele in the city—and when the commute is longer than the salon service, the woe is understandable.
"Not many things in a big city are convenient," Diedrich says. "With Blohaute, you book on the app, have the ability to cancel right on the app, and you don't even have to make one single phone call. Not only that, but you don't have to even leave the comfort of your own home."
Diedrich points out that staying home is a major perk for many women. Moms no longer have to find a sitter, businesswomen can stay on their laptops through services, and girls' nights are easy to facilitate.
My first time
With city commutes come city accidents, and the weekend before America's Beauty Show in Chicago, a driver opened her car door immediately in front of me while I was cycling home in a bike lane. A trip to the ER later, I was generally okay but without the use of my hand for more than a month after—my right, dominant hand.
As odd as it sounds, I didn't anticipate how difficult everyday activities would be without being able to use my now-mangled right hand. Showering was a nightmare; with one hand, I never got all the soap out, and I missed spots. I could hold a blowdryer with my left hand, but I didn't have a hand with which to hold a brush. Painting my nails? Liquid eyeliner? Yeah, right.
Trade shows are extremely important as an editor in the beauty industry. I have non-stop meetings and events to cover, and I need to look and feel my best. I have enough to focus on without the distraction of realizing halfway through the day that I missed a chunk of hair when I was rinsing out my conditioner.
I set up a Blohaute appointment and met Amanda the morning of the trade show to have my hair done. I told her how excited I was to have my hair properly washed for the first time in a week (two hands > one hand) and that I was hoping the style would last all three days of the show. We had a brief consultation, and I told her I liked a little wave in my ends; I have naturally wavy-curly hair, and stick-straight hair just doesn't feel right to me.
All in all, the process took less than an hour, and a lot of that time was likely due to how chatty Amanda and I were. She used Fave4 Texture Takeover to give me lift at the root and hold. I went straight to the show after, and the style lasted all weekend, thank goodness. I didn't even have to think twice about whether my hair looked good.
Blohaute has a solid team of five stylists now, but Diedrich says they're growing every day.
"I'm a firm believer in not just hiring to have a big team, but rather waiting until we have the demand and absolutely have to bring on more stylists," she says. "I want every stylist to always have a full schedule and constantly be building her name as well. Plus, the busier the Blohaute team is, the more we learn and continue to perfect our skills."
And they are busy; in addition to contributing to desireehartsock.com and a partnership with Fave4, Diedrich is manning a blossoming Instagram account and following. Blohaute currently has 35,800 followers, and Diedrich is a big advocate of the platform as a business-builder.
"I truly believe social media is a hairstylist's/beauty brand's best friend," she says. "Especially Pinterest and Instagram. Being a beauty brand, I strive to really showcase the work that Blohaute does, and nothing says it better than a picture."