Square Shares the Fastest Growing Beauty & Self-Care Trends
Out of millions of appointments, brow specials and vacuum therapy were the fastest growing trends among consumers
Over the past few years, self-care in its many forms — from hair care to massage — has taken center stage in how we stay centered in modern times. Square’s Future of Beauty Report uncovered that 78% of consumers say going back for regular personal care services is important for a sense of normalcy. Square Appointments saw more than 60M completed reservations with beauty and personal care sellers in 2021 alone, matching this sentiment from consumers.
But what are the most sought after services? Specific styles, new techniques, and holistic influences are both changing the approach to familiar treatments and giving rise to entirely new ones throughout the United States.
From the millions of appointments booked on Square’s platform, we take a deep dive into the fastest growing personal care trends over the past 12 months to find out what they are and where they’re most popular.
Coming in at the number one slot, brow specials were the fastest growing beauty trend. Consumers loved brow specials for their ability to shape, control, and manage their eyebrows, with salons using a variety of techniques like waxing, threading, and tweezing.
According to beauty experts, vacuum therapy helps stimulate blood flow to encourage lymphatic drainage and eliminate toxins, resulting in improved tone, elasticity, and texture of the treated area.
DiamondGlow Facials are a three-in-one treatment that performs exfoliation, extractions, and serum infusion, promoting healthier skin and improving the appearance of lines and dark spots. Before tip and tax, consumers can expect to pay $180 for this treatment, an increase of 30% in price since 2020.
To help add strength to nails, consumers leaned on structured gel manicures to reinforce, enhance, and repair their nails. This treatment currently has an average sticker price of $53, rising 22%.
“Our salon has seen an increased demand for structured gel manicures,” said Alvaro Hernandes-Pelayo, Owner of Slain Nail Art Studios, which uses Square Online for omnichannel booking. “When you get a structured gel manicure, you get that added strength to your nails which in turn allows for a better chance at growth. Quite a few of our clients like the idea of being able to say that the length they have is entirely their own nail and not an extension.”
Consumers in Atlus, OK gravitated towards butterfly locs, a variant of faux locs that are done using a crochet method. This treatment takes wavy hair and loops it into a braid using a crochet needle, then is loosely wrapped for a distressed and unraveled look. Butterfly locs are typically worn for four to six weeks and cost around $75.
For consumers looking for an even blonde shade throughout their hair, global beach was the route they took. This service includes applying the same blonde from root to tip for an intense, even shade throughout. Global bleach treatments have remained stable in price, typically costing $165.
Stitch braids are a type of braided style where the hair is sectioned into thin or thick horizontal lines, and then braided into a cornrow using braiding hair. Customers can expect to pay an average of $53 for this service.
“I’ve definitely seen more and more clients asking for stitch braids,” said Amanda Long, Master Cosmetologist and Salon Owner of Shear Artistry Collections in Detroit, MI. “This is largely because of social media since I can showcase my creativity directly with clients who now get to see a different type of braided style.” Shear Artistry Collections uses Instagram and Facebook to not only share their work, but communicate with new and prospective clients.
Lymphatic massages include a series of gliding, compressing, stretching, and cupping techniques, all with the aim to relieve swelling of affected areas. This service will typically run $127.
While consumers bought gua shas for at-home use, many still turned to receiving gua sha facials in-person at salons. This service will likely cost $89.
“My clients love Facial Gua Sha because it’s a very relaxing service,” said Jamie McGillian, Aesthetician and Facial Artisan at Genesis Studio Spa in Waterloo, IA.” I use different stones to massage every nook and cranny of the face. With each stroke of the Gua Sha stone they sink deeper and deeper into the table. When the facial is over my clients feel refreshed, relaxed and renewed.” Genesis Studio Spa leverages Square Online and Square Loyalty to reach clients across different channels.
Consumers used the past year to level up their fitness, with personal training sessions gaining traction. Sessions might include a mix of cardio, aerobics, and strength and endurance exercises, all while being structured around each person’s needs and goals.
Retail Selling Takes Off
Businesses also leaned into selling retail items in order to maximize revenue and give customers the products they love, all from the comfort of their homes. When looking at popular items sold in 2021 compared to 2020, top trending items were:
- Silkening shampoo, 14X growth
- Hair relaxers, 8X growth
- Sugar scrubs, 7X growth
- Melanotech drops, 6X growth
- Phyto molecular oil, 5X growth
Top Beauty and Wellness Appointments by City
In 2021, certain personal care and wellness verticals also saw a large lift in sales volume as clients continued to return for services. When comparing sales in 2021 to 2020, personal trainers saw a 135% increase and therapists had a 97% increase. Other businesses also benefited from the great return of clients, like alternative medicine with a 82% increase and tanning salons experiencing a 78% increase in sales.
Beyond the fastest growing trends, clients across the US remained loyal to their regular treatments. In order, the top booked appointments were:
- Hair color treatments
- Nail services
- Waxing services
Clients also continued to make appointments work for their schedules. Haircuts and nail bookings were heavily favored on Thursdays and Fridays. Waxing appointments were preferred on Thursdays, while color treatments were reserved for Wednesdays and Thursday. Across all appointments, Thursday, quickly followed by Friday and Wednesday were the top days to book.
When looking at where each treatment was favored, Ferndale, MI was the reigning leader for haircuts, and color treatments were most popular in Lone Tree, CO. Consumers in Bend, OR loved nail appointments more than any other city and residents of Owasso, OK preferred waxing services. Overall, the cities who prioritized beauty and personal care appointments the most were:
- Lone Tree, CO
- Hermosa Beach, CA
- Jacksonville Beach, FL
- Southlake, TX
- Midvale, UT
Data compares 2021 and 2020 completed appointment bookings from beauty and personal care sellers in the US.