25 April 2024

Hair Business Forum: the Grand Finale of Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna 2024

In the central spaces of BolognaFiere, at the Cosmo OnStage Arena, the Hair Business Forum 2024 debuted with great success.

The 2024 Hair Business Forum’s new format brought together leading figures and experts in management and business from the professional industry. Seats were sold out at the Cosmo OnStage Arena for the event that closed the 2024 edition of Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna and featured six major industry figures on stage: Afsoon Neginy, Senator Renato Ancorotti, Lele Canavero, Luca Picchio, Sergi Bancells, and Roby Pissimiglia. Moderated by Laura Castelli, editor-in-chief of EsteticaNetwork, this new format dedicated to the salon business gathers –on a traveling basis– the gurus and most important coaches of the industry.

Opening the event was Roberto Pissimiglia, publisher of EsteticaNetwork as well as the creator and director of the Hair Business Forum, who has for years dedicated his tireless passion to the industry. He started with an emblematic image of Cosmoprof, the Cosmo Flipper, explaining: “We have reached the 55th Hairstylist Day, and every time it’s like being inside a pinball machine, among events, pavilions, shows, celebrations. This morning we started with the Cosmetica Italia Conference and the Italian Chamber of Hairdressing which gave us numbers and statistics to consider, then there were shows, the five professional pavilions to visit, the Forum presented here, with the best final aperitif and the memory of the great Trevor Sorbie. And then there’s Wondhairland at pavilion 37 tonight, the HairLobby dinner, and the preparations for the event at the Palazzo dei Congressi, the parties and celebrations around Bologna and beyond… Total pinball!

Establishment of the Italian National Register of Hairdressers

Bringing a very important message for the entire category was Renato Ancorotti, founder and president of Ancorotti Cosmetics SpA and Senator of the Italian Republic in the 19th legislature, who spoke about the establishment of a National Register of Hairdressers. “Let’s start immediately with some numbers: the hairdressing sector is the second artisan category after the construction one, with more than 200,000 workers, about 90,000 establishments, and a salon for every 650 people. It is therefore a sector that deserves great attention!

Why establish a national register of hairdressers?The hairdresser plays a fundamental role in the health of clients and must possess adequate technical knowledge, ensured through a proper level of training,” explained Senator Ancorotti. “The Register guarantees the training and professional preparation of its members, allows customers an informed choice, represents a recognition element and reliability on which to base professional activity, and responds not only to the new evolutionary and operational needs of the sector but also to the demands of customers to have increasingly higher quality offerings available.

Leadership and self-leadership: where to start?

Coaching, personal growth, and leadership are fundamental themes for success in any profession, even more so for hairdressers. Speaking on this topic was a highly successful figure in the coiffure landscape, Afsoon Neginy, CEO and founder of 3B Consulting, who was selected –as Laura Castelli emphasized in her introduction– by Forbes among the 100 successful Italian female personalities.

Afsoon dedicated her speech to the concept of leadership, the ability to guide and be a source of inspiration for one’s team, but most importantly, to self-leadership, “because,” she explained, “we cannot be leaders for others if we do not first learn to effectively manage ourselves, make independent decisions, and guide our actions towards desired goals and outcomes. This concept also includes self-awareness, emotion management, adaptability, and personal responsibility for one’s own development and success.”

Marketing as an added value to talent

Often, marketing is discussed inappropriately, as is talent, but above all, the two concepts are almost never brought together,” began Lele Canavero, entrepreneur, trainer, and coach specializing in Hair&Beauty as a strategic partner for hairdressers.

Very often, I see talented hairdressers wasting their talent precisely because they do not master marketing,” explains Canavero. “We must learn to be entrepreneurs of beauty, stopping doing the wrong things –wrong displays, wrong price lists, wrong proposals– and we must instead put all our effort into doing the right things. We need to learn to be the craftsman, the artist, and the manager all at the same time. Being entrepreneurs of beauty means generating profits by exceeding the expectations of the ideal clientele.

The explosion of AI: a world of opportunities

Sergi Bancells, Global Editorial Ambassador of EsteticaNetwork, co-founder of The Hair MBA platform, and ambassador of the International Hairdressing Awards, focused on artificial intelligence, demonstrating how it is also a useful tool for the beauty sector business.

From content generation to the creation of actual fashion collections, Artificial Intelligence today represents a great opportunity for those operating in the beauty world. And there are many interesting – and free – tools available for those who want to make the most of this digital innovation. Among the successful examples brought by Sergi Bancells on the use of AI is also Llongueras, which has redefined the boundaries of traditional marketing by presenting the first restyling of the digital model Aitana López. This new “exploratory art” highlights the brand’s commitment to innovation in the fashion and beauty sector by blending the stylistic avant-garde of Llongueras experts with generative artificial intelligence techniques.

The 4 Engines of Experience

A child of the arts, digital creator, de-salonized hairdresser, hair coach for training and business, Luca Picchio entertained the audience talking about the 4 fundamental engines of experience: location, team, service, product.

Let’s start with the location that… must amaze!It’s not true that clothes don’t make the man, they very much do!” –Picchio explained– “If the storefront must amaze passersby, intriguing them and inviting them to enter, the interior environment must be top-notch, offering a certain type of furniture, atmosphere, and energy.” But the team is also important: “The staff welcoming the clients must be pleasant and welcoming, smile, and be professionally available. The mottoes: no sulking, no whining, no depression! Because if the welcome starts off poorly, the services will become secondary.”

The third engine of experience, the services. “It is necessary to offer services that the client can’t find anywhere else, because everything that is unique and attractive retains loyalty” –emphasizes Luca Picchio– “You need to ignite the spark by putting service before the receipt, tipping the relationship in your favor, signing your work with passion. In this way, there will be no competitors to fear.” Finally, the products. “Once the promise of the service is kept, the sale of the product will follow naturally – the hair-coach explains – 50% of the resale is display, but the remaining 50% is preparation. If you manage to satisfy the client, it will be easier to have her leave the salon with the shopping bag of products in hand…

Hair Business Forum: we look forward to seeing you in Turin!

As we mentioned, the Hair Business Forum is a traveling event. The next date will be at the Unione Industriali in Turin on May 27, 2024, with many talks on how to attract new clients and increase business, how to motivate collaborators, the must-haves for optimal financial and tax management, and much more… Save the date!


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