Can Robotic Manicures and Conventional Nail Salons Coexist?

There are self-driving automobiles, laptop cashiers, and robotic supply autos, so it was solely a matter of time earlier than technology started to infiltrate the beauty industry. In a approach, it already has. Due to AI software program, you not need to go to a retailer to try on makeup or test-run a brand new hair coloration, and there are at-home machines out there to the typical client that permits you to do all the things from make your very own lipstick shade to present your self a facial with NASA-backed research.

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 benefit of its digital storefront to a brick-and-mortar location. However the nail trade will be the subsequent space of magnificence to see some massive modifications with robot manicurists, like Clockwork.

The Rise of Robotic Manicures

Clockwork launched in 2020 in San Francisco offering the primary robotic manicure. “Clockwork’s totally 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 sort to be deployed in public,” Renuka Apte, the corporate’s CEO, tells POPSUGAR.

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

This new know-how is not any shock to many nail technicians and salon house owners. “Expertise is taking up virtually each trade,” says Julie Kandalec, movie star manicurist and founding father of JK Nail Artelier in NYC. Michelle Saunders, a celeb manicurist and proprietor of Saunders & James in Oakland, CA, truly 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 concept of a ‘touchless’ manicure as a result of arms have been a conduit of transferring the virus on the time.”

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Will Robotic Manicures Substitute Nail Salons?

Many specialists 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. In the course of the pandemic, we skilled virtually a void of human contact altogether, which negatively impacted many individuals’s psychological well being. The person-to-person interaction you get during a beauty treatment might be therapeutic. Magnificence professionals are sometimes in a singular function the place they double as confidants, which is among the the reason why Tennessee is requiring hairstylists to undergo anti-domestic violence training to be a useful resource to purchasers.

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

“Expertise is an unbelievable factor — but it surely by no means replaces human interplay and connection — that are each so helpful 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 neighborhood, are only a few of the numerous providers a robotic may by no means change.”

Nonetheless, in accordance with Clockwork, that’s and by no means was their purpose — as an alternative of changing, they wish 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.” Sort 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 may carry in additional purchasers and earnings if it was positioned close to the entrance desk,” she says. Nonetheless, since robotic manicurists cannot do the upkeep that often comes with the service (a minimum of, not as of proper now), like submitting, shaping, and cuticle chopping, “their arms must be pre-manicured by an expert manicurist for a perfect end.”

Kandalec agrees there is a time and a spot for robotic manicures. “I went residence for Easter and arrived on the airport virtually two hours early,” she says. “The nail salon on the terminal did not have sufficient employees 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 occurring. Clockwork is not able to doing fancy designs and nail artwork, which may be very widespread proper now, so there’s nonetheless a robust want for extremely expert nail artists. “When folks need an elaborate, pampering service they may go to salons,” says Apte. “Our automation offers customers a brand new possibility for when they need the pace and high quality assure, or once they aren’t within the temper for the luxuries and expense of a salon expertise. There is a want for each sorts of providers, and we work harmoniously collectively to serve totally different events.”

Picture Supply: Courtesy of Clockwork

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