The Unstoppable Impact of AR on the Hair and Beauty Industry

April 24, 2024

In the midst of this current Social Media minefield, Founder of Content Kweens and Hairdressing Social Media Consultant, Ben Lifton, is a seasoned business coach with a passion for digital marketing and content creation. Continuing his exclusive series, Ben’s mission is to equip hair pros with the tools, support and knowledge necessary to market oneself professionally online.

In the ever-evolving world of technology, Augmented Reality (AR) is emerging as a game-changer for the hair and beauty industry. Seamlessly blending digital elements like images, videos and 3D objects with our real-world surroundings, AR delivers interactive and immersive experiences through devices such as smartphones and smart glasses.

As we step into 2024, AR is set to continue revolutionising social media marketing. In particular, platforms like TikTok and Instagram are leading the charge by integrating AR filters and effects, offering users experiences that bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds.

TikTok’s AR filters have been making waves, allowing users to experiment with different hair colours and providing a virtual mirror for users to gauge which shades complement their unique skin tones.

A notable example is the Bold Glamour filter, an AR makeup filter that has taken the platform by storm. This filter seamlessly enhances its users’ features, creating contoured cheekbones, plumper lips and eyebrows reminiscent of Cara Delevingne. Since its launch, it has been used in over 19 million videos, showcasing the immense popularity of AR-enhanced hair and beauty experiences.

While AR filters are not entirely new, the accessibility and realism they offer are ground-breaking. As technology continues to advance, these filters will become even more realistic, blurring the lines between the virtual and the real. This trend is set to redefine how consumers interact with hair and beauty products, allowing them to experiment with new looks before making any commitments.

While it may seem daunting to compete with cutting-edge AR technology, hair and beauty professionals have a unique role to play through actively contributing to and questioning the growing AR landscape. With their credibility, specialised skillsets and personal stories, they are well-positioned to engage in meaningful discussions about the impact of AR filters on the beauty industry.

For instance, professionals can create ‘explainer videos’ that provide insights into the real-world costs, processes and potential risks associated with achieving the filtered and AR-enhanced results that clients often desire. These videos can serve as educational tools, helping clients make informed decisions about beauty transformations.

As we venture into the AR-driven future of beauty, it’s essential to strike a balance between the allure of digital enhancements and the authenticity of real-world beauty. AR filters and effects are undoubtedly transforming the way we experiment with makeup and hair colours, but they should be seen as tools that enhance our creativity rather than replace it.

Hair and beauty professionals have the opportunity to guide clients through this new landscape, offering expertise, knowledge and a human touch that technology alone cannot replicate. By embracing AR and actively participating in discussions about its impact, professionals can ensure that beauty remains a celebration of individuality and self-expression, whether in the real world or the metaverse.

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