Nowadays, technology and beauty salons go together like a blow-drier and a round-brush.
The rise of online booking platforms, on-demand service apps and new social media tools -- such as "livestreaming" haircare tips on Facebook Live and Snapchatting salon discounts to loyal followers -- has given the industry a myriad of new ways to reach customers seeking in-the-moment beauty transformations.
There's another transformation happening in the industry that is tethered to tech: the choice of a domain name, a.k.a. your “address” on the Internet. Starting in June 2016, salon businesses and individual stylists will have the opportunity to seize a ‘dot-salon’ (.salon) domain.
So instead of a MyFabulouslyFierceSalon.com, a salon could simply be MyFabulouslyFierce.salon.
It’s a pretty fierce, not to mention obvious, way to digitally distinguish a salon business for what it is: a salon.
See Related: The Best New Marketing Move for Your Salon Business
While this is a brand-new tool in a salon’s digital marketing kit, it isn’t the only unique domain extension available for trendsetting businesses looking for a bespoke online presence. Just as there are a variety of ways to cut, color and style hair -- there are now hundreds of new ways to design a salon URL.
Below are a handful of salons that have gotten creative with the newest not-com domain extensions available.
This adorably cute nail salon in Golden, Colo., opted to go with a 'dot-boutique' (.boutique) domain name to help punctuate its uniqueness. The website provides a flavor of what to expect once you're sitting at the nail artist's table and even offers an online booking option. Says owner Karen Kennedy: "I chose .boutique rather than .com because I was able to get our whole name in the web address without making it too long. It's fun, catchy and hard to forget! [Our site] shows you just a teensy glimpse of how fun, colorful and unique our salon atmosphere is before you have even been in to visit."
N16 Hair Salon
As a London-based hair salon, N16 is competing with a lot of trendsetting salons across the city. But it has a clear "vision" for its customers and its website, which features a blog and a sign-up for salon events and promotions. The 'dot-vision' (.vision) domain name sets this salon apart as forward-thinking, and it's a short URL that looks sharp in social media.
If you're in Malaysia and are seeking a Balayage or Ombré treatment, Fred could be your guy. This French hair stylist -- who goes only by his first name -- is based in Kuala Lumpur and is trained in the Vidal Sassoon technique. He's worked and taught across Paris before settling in Malaysia, where he now runs a small salon and takes on private clients. His short URL reflects mega-style with its memorable 'dot-style' (.style) domain.
The Lavender House
"Relax in luxury" at The Lavender House -- a day spa, beauty salon and hair salon. This UK-based salon and spa sanctuary has a website that allows guests to pre-book appointments (and pre-order food!) online. The domain name reflects the soothing nature of this place of respite: it's a 'dot-house" (.house) of lavender.
Trinity Skin Fitness by Karen
With more than 15 years in the business, aesthetician Karen Mediavilla provides skin analysis, peels, Diamond microdermabrasion and custom Trinity SkinFitness facials by appointment. Her website features video how-to's and before/after pictures of clients -- making it an effective digital introduction for prospective clients. She chose her business name because she "liked the way 'SkinFitness' works with skincare" and her 'fitness' (.fitness) domain because it's "catchy."
New Dawn Brighton Laser Treatment & Beauty Salon
New Dawn Beauty Boutique is a UK-based laser and beauty salon offering a wide range of services for men and women. Owner Dawn Plimmer "snapped up" her 'dot-boutique' (.boutique) domain name when the option first became available because it's "more edgy, clean and professional" than her previous URL, newdawnbrighton.co.uk. "For me my website is not only essential for providing information to current and potential clients, it also acts as a platform that enables me to market on social media," Plimmer says. "It is also offers the facility to target clients with newsletters, a fundamental part of client retention."
And when comes to attracting new clients, her business rises to the top, digitally speaking: It comes up first in a Google search when you type in "Brighton" + "salon" + "Dawn."