May 19, 2022



Can Robotic Manicures and Conventional Nail Salons Coexist?

There are self-driving vehicles, laptop cashiers, and robotic supply automobiles, so it was solely a matter of time earlier than expertise began to infiltrate the sweetness trade. In a approach, it already has. Because of AI software program, you now not must go to a retailer to attempt on make-up or test-run a brand new hair colour, and there are at-home machines out there to the typical client that permits you to do every part from make your very personal lipstick shade to provide your self a facial with NASA-backed analysis.

Expertise, particularly robots, is even beginning to change the service aspect of the sweetness trade. In California, you will get robotic eyelash extensions with Luum and in London, Amazon opened a hair salon that brings the convenience of its digital storefront to a brick-and-mortar location. However the nail trade stands out as the subsequent space of magnificence to see some massive adjustments with robotic manicurists, like Clockwork.

The Rise of Robotic Manicures

Clockwork launched in 2020 in San Francisco offering the primary robotic manicure. “Clockwork’s absolutely autonomous robotic makes use of proprietary AI, 3D cameras, and complex algorithms to color nails in underneath 10 minutes, and is the primary of its variety to be deployed in public,” Renuka Apte, the corporate’s CEO, tells POPSUGAR.

The price proper now for a single-color polish manicure is simply $8 and though they’re nonetheless solely in a restricted variety of places, the aim is to increase. “We hope to proceed increasing our retail footprint in order that extra individuals can get their nails painted whereas on the go, and to ultimately create robots for added magnificence companies past nails.” Clockwork is supposed to be extremely quick, simple, and requires no human interplay.

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This new expertise isn’t any shock to many nail technicians and salon homeowners. “Expertise is taking on virtually each trade,” says Julie Kandalec, celeb manicurist and founding father of JK Nail Artelier in NYC. Michelle Saunders, a celeb manicurist and proprietor of Saunders & James in Oakland, CA, really went to obtain a manicure from Clockwork when it first launched. “I hadn’t heard about the potential for a robotic manicure till the COVID pandemic started,” Saunders says. “I perceive the grand thought of a ‘touchless’ manicure as a result of arms had been a conduit of transferring the virus on the time.”

Will Robotic Manicures Exchange Nail Salons?

Many consultants we spoke with can see the worth of a machine like Clockwork, however they do not see it as a substitution for conventional nail salons. Throughout the pandemic, we skilled virtually a void of human contact altogether, which negatively impacted many individuals’s psychological well being. The person-to-person interplay you get throughout a magnificence remedy could be therapeutic. Magnificence professionals are sometimes in a novel function the place they double as confidants, which is likely one of the the reason why Tennessee is requiring hairstylists to bear anti-domestic violence coaching to be a useful resource to purchasers.

“Expertise is an unimaginable factor — but it surely by no means replaces human interplay and connection.”

“Expertise is an unimaginable factor — but it surely by no means replaces human interplay and connection — that are each so useful to our day-to-day lives,” says Kandalec. “Individuals go to the salon for a lot of causes past a polish change and are genuinely seeking to indulge within the final self-care. Small, however indulging touches, just like the hand therapeutic massage, lavender-scented scorching towels, and, in fact, the sense of group, are just some of the various companies a robotic might by no means substitute.”

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Nonetheless, based on Clockwork, that’s and by no means was their aim — as a substitute of changing, they need to work in tandem with magnificence professionals. “We do not consider ourselves as aggressive to conventional salons,” says Apte. “Consider Clockwork as ‘quick-serve’ magnificence.” Form of like carry-out or quick meals institutions are to eating places.

When to Get a Robotic Manicure vs. When to Go to the Salon

Saunders sees the perks of getting a fast and straightforward machine like this for these peak hours when each manicurist is spoken for. “Providing the polish change machine might convey in additional purchasers and earnings if it was positioned close to the entrance desk,” she says. Nevertheless, since robotic manicurists cannot do the upkeep that normally comes with the service (no less than, not as of proper now), like submitting, shaping, and cuticle reducing, “their arms must be pre-manicured by knowledgeable manicurist for a really perfect end.”

Kandalec agrees there is a time and a spot for robotic manicures. “I went dwelling for Easter and arrived on the airport virtually two hours early,” she says. “The nail salon on the terminal did not have sufficient workers and the wait time was too lengthy. However on this occasion, a robotic manicure would have been excellent for a fast 10-minute polish change.”

In a approach, this partnership is already taking place. Clockwork is not able to doing fancy designs and nail artwork, which could be very common proper now, so there’s nonetheless a robust want for extremely expert nail artists. “When individuals need an elaborate, pampering service they are going to go to salons,” says Apte. “Our automation offers customers a brand new possibility for when they need the pace and high quality assure, or after they aren’t within the temper for the luxuries and expense of a salon expertise. There is a want for each sorts of companies, and we work harmoniously collectively to serve totally different events.”

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Picture Supply: Courtesy of Clockwork