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Pop-up hair salons in pods

Fashion & Beauty

Hair salons on wheels aren’t particularly novel any more (to wit: Onsite HairCuts, which we covered last year), and most often they cater to office workers who spend their days in large industrial parks. Now UK-based HairPOD is picking up on that basic idea but bringing it out to the masses—wherever they happen to be—with quick, inexpensive haircuts on the go. HairPODs are transportable, free-standing styling booths that look like futuristic space capsules. Featuring extendable floor and side panels, they can be closed up and locked for the night, then unlocked and opened up again the next day. The compact design features tucked-away storage space for supplies, and a suction unit at the base of the pod even makes hair clippings disappear. Best of all, they can be strategically placed in locations such as airports or downtown crossings—and relocated, if necessary—without the high rents most salons must pay. HairPODs take 3 to 4 hours to put together, and require just an electricity supply–no shop fitting or site alteration are necessary. The first HairPOD launched in August at Heathrow Airport, which isn’t surprising given that that’s where founder and CEO Martin Warren came up with the idea. Warren was waiting for a flight to present a business pitch at the time, and had had too many things to do beforehand to make time for a haircut. “It’s one of those things you wish you had time for, because feeling smart really increases your confidence, but it usually takes a back seat due to time constraints,” he explains. Much like Japan’s QB (“Quick Barber”) House, which has hundreds of stores operating under the slogan, “1,000 yen for 10 minutes,” HairPOD offers quick, stylish haircuts in convenient locations where consumers are likely to have a small window of time. The company is currently looking for franchise partners to help expand the business, and will likely also sell its HairPODs for about GBP 20,000 each. Warren has already received inquiries from entrepreneurs interested in using HairPODs for nails instead; what other services could be offered up in a pod? Spotted by: Nea Barman



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