How L’Oréal is revolutionizing the hairdressing industry

For over a century, L’Oréal has challenged the status quo by creating cutting-edge cosmetic products. Now, we’re changing the traditional hair salon to suit the needs of the modern consumer. With the creation of a school and the first-ever L’Oréal Bachelor of Hairdressing and Entrepreneurship degree, we’re aiming to train 10,000 tech-savvy stylists over the next decade. But why are we spearheading such a dramatic change?

Hairdressing is one of France’s largest trades. In fact, the nation has one salon for every 720 citizens, and the sector made €6 billion in 2017 alone. Today, hairdressing is transforming faster than ever before. As always, aspiring stylists need a passion and an artistic eye to succeed. However, these qualities alone are no longer enough to promise success. These days, customers expect a personalized experience from a salon visit, while new technology demands stylists to be highly trained and adaptable.

This shift in consumer attitude has shown the limits of current training courses in preparing new stylists to succeed in a changing market. On top of that, a new generation of artists is redefining industry standards. If you want to succeed in today’s hairdressing world, you need to possess technical skills, creativity and business sense. These factors have prompted Nathalie Roos, President of the Professional Products Division at L’Oréal, to call for a profound change in the way we teach the artists of tomorrow.

“The future of hairdressing is totally linked with the hairdressers’ ability to create personalized and memorable experiences for their clients,” Nathalie Roos says.

To cater to the changing needs of the customer, the L’Oréal Professional Products Division is launching a school and the first Bachelor’s degree of Hairdressing and Entrepreneurship. A curriculum with customer experience at its core, the course offers a mix of academic and practical training to teach students key competencies to thrive in a modern salon. The project-based program answers the needs of every student, who will be trained in entrepreneurship and digital technology.

Teaching how to utilise digital technology is the second core value of the course’s curriculum. Also, as business becomes increasingly globalised, students will be offered courses in English, as well as opportunities to gain internship experience abroad. This new way of training will broaden professional horizons of the stylists of tomorrow.

This exciting course will be taught by recognised professionals, who will teach a range of skills in project management and give a real-world view of the industry. Students will also have access to a network of over 30 educational institutions of excellence.

But according to Nathalie Roos, “innovating education is not our only goal. Talent comes from all walks of life, and we want to celebrate diversity within our school”. That’s why we welcome students from an array of backgrounds.

“Apprentice hairdressers, professionals and even those wishing to retrain are all encouraged to apply,” Nathalie Roos says.

The school will be open to a diversity of students, from three main target populations: the hairdressers of today who wish to go further and acquire skills in digital, management; the students who have gone on to study general topics and wish to go back to a more professional training: and finally, the people who work other jobs but wish to retrain to become hairdressers.

The candidates with no prior hairdressing experience will have access to get a taste of the degree with the Bootcamp Hair Acceleration technical course. This taster helps them evaluate their motivation and readiness for the practical exam, and help them reach a satisfactory level in their hairdressing skills. During the course, the more experienced students will be paired with the others in a tutoring scheme to help even out everyone’s competencies.

This pioneering project is large and ambitious. At L’Oréal, we pride ourselves on being on the cutting edge of innovation. For the past 100 years, we’ve pushed the limits that stand before us. Now, we are doing the same for one of France’s most important trades.

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