With the advance of technology, this trend is destined to continue. Jumping forward to 2013, we are likely to see salons offering an entire range of not just medi-aesthetic treatments but full blown aesthetic surgery. Using the latest web camera technology, a beauty therapist will be able to conduct an initial consultation with a potential surgical client. She will then email the pictures and information about the client to a surgeon who can make the decision whether to proceed with a full consultation in person for major surgery or carry out a minor procedure. As incredible as it may seem, this technology is already being developed by at least one company in the UK. The Web Camera Technology High definition web cameras have come down dramatically in price and within the next 5 years are likely to be less than €200 a piece. Using these high definition cameras, therapists will be trained to take pictures and video of a client's skin and body in incredible detail. In fact probably in better detail than the naked eye. These pictures will then be uploaded securely to the surgeons website where he or she will be able to assess cases from his office or home. This basically allows salons offer much higher end treatments than just medi-aesthetic treatments as they do now. The therapist can conduct a number of consultations - send these off to the surgeon who is able to whittle down the number of patients to those that look the most viable. This way he or she can whittle down the list of potentials to the most likely and this makes it much more economical to fly over for a day of consultations with very likely cases rather than 2 days where it would be a waste of time to meet half the people.
The benefits to the consumer
It can be intimidating or embarrassing for people to know where to go to find out about aesthetic and plastic surgery procedures. However, often they will already have a good relationship with their beauty therapist particularly in regards discussing their face or body so they will likely feel comfortable discussing the potential of such procedures with them.
This technology will also dramatically reduce the cost of having such procedures because it reduces the amount of time wasted by surgeons in consultations.
The benefits to the salon owner
These type of procedures are a natural extension in the direction that the industry is going anyway and they are much more lucrative financially than regular beauty treatments. There is not enough surgeons and clinics in Ireland to satisfy the Irish market but with this technology, surgeons can assess cases at home and only travel to the salon once a month so they could come from the UK, Europe or even the United States in certain circumstances. Beauty salons offering such services will bring these plastic surgery procedures into the mainstream and make them local.
The benefits to the surgeon
This system will open up a whole new range of customers for surgeons. They will be able to service much larger numbers of people by spending their time doing procedures rather than basic consultations. It will also open up the market to surgeons from different countries.
The other trend that will help this become reality is the increasing prevalance and acceptance of surgical procedures. The growth in the number of these procedures in Ireland and the UK has been astronomical - at least 50% increase every year since 2000. It is only a matter of time until your salon is offering them.
Ronan Perceval is the CEO of Phorest.com, a leading salon software company in the UK and Ireland.