According to a study by The University of South Florida in 2021, the flexibility of finding salons online and booking appointments makes it easier on guests. Women with disabilities, little social support or busy schedules also find it difficult to fit haircare into their busy lives. It is crucial to explore a much innovative way for them to achieve their desired hairstyles without the limitations of traditional salon visits.
The problem that this product will address is that black women need an effective way to find and book appointments with salons and independent home hair experts because they are looking to save time on the search and to have more flexibility when they are in need of a hair service.
User Pain Points
I conducted a survey with 15 participants and a follow up user interview with 7 of them.
Based on my survey research and user interviews, 100% of participants I interviewed that identified as black women experienced significant challenges when searching for hair professionals and also booking hair appointments in advance; this is usually a long process for them. 71.43% of black women interviewed had a lifestyle of searching online and booking on the salon’s website, most of these women avoided calling the salons. It was interesting to see that most black women today will rather book online than over the phone. Despite their willingness to book appointments, they explained finding a stylist or salon a long process.
90% of black women surveyed and interviewed embraced the idea of home hair professionals especially when they are running on busy schedules, in case of an emergency or with their personal hairdresser being unavailable. 3 out of the 7 participants explained they will pay extra if this was the case.
Work from home mothers, women with disabilities and other women who run on busy schedules will also benefit from having an app that allows them to find home hair experts and book ahead of time.
My research let me know the main pain points of users which were identified to come up with a solution. The two main pain points were the long process of finding salons that specialise in making black hair and customers not being able to easily find professionals to make their hair in case of emergencies or busy schedules.
Landing on the Solution
Based on our target users’ pain points, we knew we wanted to work on the following features:
- The app’s ability to find customer’s current location
- The app’s ability to view all Hair Salons and Home Hair Professionals specialising in black hair near customers
- The app’s ability to view the profiles and services the Hair Salons and Home Hair Professionals specialise in.
- The app’s ability to allow you view the schedule of the hair salons or home hair professionals
- The app’s ability to allow you book with hair salons or home hair professionals
- The app’s ability to recommend hair salons or home hair professionals while customers are on a trip away from their home location.
Explanation of Solution
HairFlex offers a comprehensive solution, leveraging location services, detailed profiles for hair salons and hair professionals, scheduling features, and personalised recommendations to streamline the process of discovering and booking hair care services for black women.
Possible problems to address are security and safety. These might be concerns for customers interested in connecting with Home Hair Professionals. A form of verification/security check will be required before the black professional stylists and salons are officially uploaded on our app.
My Further thoughts are that the HairFlex app will be better implemented in Nigeria, Africa, as there are less competitors for HairFlex within that geography area. Also users will have a variety of salons and home-hair professionals willing to showcase their talent and connect with potential customers.
My future steps are as follows:
- Gather developers, designers and other cross functional team members to work on the app deployment.
- Finalise mockups and prototype of the HairFlex app
- Finalise Salon and Hair Professionals database from Lagos, Nigeria
- Quality Assurance
- HairFlex Advertisements
- Expansion to other countries
Product Manager Learnings:
Co.Lab was a very interesting experience for me because I was able to learn from others and get feedback from an experienced product manager. It was also somewhat self paced. A truly amazing learning experience.