Membership Salons: The Next Big Thing in Beauty?

Faith Xue

When I think of all the things I (begrudgingly) pay a monthly fee for, the list is long. Car payments, rent, Internet bills, phone charges… am I the only one getting depressed right now? Needless to say, most of the monthly services we’re chained to are out of necessity, not pleasure (ahem, gym memberships), but Society is about to change that. Los Angeles’ first membership-based salon, Society opened in September this year with a blatantly against-the-grain model—namely, a membership-based system. Instead of paying each time for a service, clients pay a set monthly fee and get unlimited options based on the level. Think of it like a Netflix membership with decidedly different results (instead of long periods of time when you don’t see the light of day, your hair looks really good).

For example, for $80 a month, a member receives unlimited blowouts, while for $120 a month, you receive unlimited haircuts, single-process colour, and blowouts. You get the idea (you can see all the membership options here). They even have an option called The Sophisticate for men, where $60 a month will get a dapper gentleman unlimited haircuts. Founded by Ashley De Azevedo and Sam DiVine, a Sally Hershberger alum, the salon is determined to change the way the hair salon model has been operating. “We felt that the existing salon model was broken in so many ways,” DiVine tells us. “There’s something wrong when a client spends a significant amount on their colour and then leaves the salon with wet hair to get their blowout somewhere less costly. Going to the salon should be an inclusive experience.”

When Society invited me to stop by the salon, I was more than happy to oblige. Frankly, I was blown away (quite literally—my blowout lasted a full five days). The previous Warren-Tricomi salon has been transformed into a sleek, airy space. DiVine was friendly and professional, and explained that she wanted to bring back the feeling of decades past, when women had standing dates with their trusted salon and hairdresser. Post-blowout, my steps were peppier and I beamed as hair compliments were lauded my way. It was easy to see how anyone would consider $80 a month a small fee to drop in a space like this, anytime, any day.

Skin Laundry is another beauty space that offers a membership-based option, though clients can still choose to pay per treatment. Founder Yen Reis saw a void in the market for accessible, time-efficient, professional, and affordable laser treatments—thus, Skin Laundry was born. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on laser treatments, clients can purchase a membership plan and drop in a set number of times a month for a quick 10-minute treatment. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with the clinic expanding to six locations and counting (five in L.A. and one in Scottsdale, Arizona). Reis says the membership plan came not out of a need to change the norm, but out of customer demand. “At Skin Laundry memberships are offered, but not required,” she says. “We simply created a membership option for our clients because there was a demand for it. Memberships give our clientele the flexibility and affordability for multiple treatments and we believe with frequency, significant skin improvements happen more quickly.”

We sense this trend gaining major traction, and won’t be surprised if other beauty treatments follow suit (monthly manicure memberships, anyone?).

 

Would you consider joining a membership salon? Tell us your thoughts below! 

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