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Do blondes have more likes? How Instagram is changing the hair industry

Just how much power does Instagram have in driving trends across the hair industry? Get the lowdown from colour experts across the nation

Where do you turn to when you’re looking for fresh hair inspiration? For colourists and clients alike, Instagram continues to be a hive of activity as stylists and salons take to the ‘gram to share transformations and colour creations.

With so many hashtags to choose from, it can seem like new trends are emerging on the daily, but what is considered the most ‘Instagrammable’? The team at SalonsDirect have scoured the social platform and discovered that #blonde comes out on top with over 60,000,000 mentions, followed by #balayage with over 19,000,000 tags. While these colour hashtags may reign supreme on social media, what does this really mean for the future of trends? Here’s what some of the leading names in the industry have to say…

“I think Instagram is incredibly important. We need to know what clients are going to be bringing in before they do,” says Heather Mackenzie of The Style Bar in Sheffield. “We need to be ready and up-to-date with techniques so we can give clients these amazing colours without being put on the spot behind the chair.”

Similarly, Jaymz Marsters, owner of The Watt salon, says “clients are no longer looking in magazines for their next hair colour or style. In fact, one of the first places they are now looking is on social media.” He adds: “these platforms are not only having an impact on hair trends, they are in fact creating these trends.”

With a greater use of social media comes a shift in the way trends develop, as colourists react to what is popular online rather than relying on visionary collections which have to be interpreted in a commercial way. Samantha Cusick, founder of Samantha Cusick London, suggests that social media is “an accelerated version of word of mouth advertising.” She adds, “it has also given the younger generation of hairstylists a platform to get ahead and showcase what they can do.”

Unfortunately Instagram does have its downsides for the industry too, as Laura May Stevens explains. “Over-edited and enhanced photos give clients unrealistic expectations which we have to battle each day. We are constantly being shown transformations of hair colours that have probably taken eight or more hours to create, while we as a commercial stylist usually have about three hours!”

Above all else, social media remains a place for self-expression. “We’re becoming a generation of expression and people want to express their personalities, not only in their clothes but their hair also,” Laura May concludes.