Business, Interviews

SPOTLIGHT: CHOP CHOP

Chop Chop salons are mini beauty pods across the city providing express hair services for all hair textures and genders in 20 minutes! The salon champions diversity, inclusivity and accessibility. Their handy app allows you to book your 20 minute hair appointment and join a virtual queue. Once you’re done, pay through the app and you can be on your way. Chop Chop offer 24 luxury hair styles in their service menu. We caught up with the founders Kaye and Laure to get the 411 on their disruptive new brand.

How did you come up with the concept?

Two and half years ago, the idea of Chop Chop London was borne out of a pain point my co-founder and I felt. As a group of friends with diverse backgrounds and mixed genders, we realised we couldn’t all walk into a high street salon for a prompt service, at a price point that was accessible to our varied budgets.  And if you did find one- you didn’t know what you were going to get (quality-wise).

Really realising this for the first time, we began carrying out lots of research. Research which revealed that much more than simple issues of confusing high price points and standards of quality; we discovered there were issues around diversity, where the mainstream hairstyling industry still unwittingly accepts segregation that is demonstrated via limited service offerings. The research also brought to light, the fact that certain aspect of the hair styling community was divorced from the digital age and how we transact these days (an app for everything). Further to this, the research exposed issues around gender price gaps, significantly reduced opportunities for stylist to own their own business, and a failed educational process that meant stylists rarely learn how to work with all types of hair – even at a rudimental level. So, what started as a simple research exercise pushed us to create an alternative and fresh approach to the current hair styling industry model.

What services can clients with Afro-textured hair expect to receive here?

We believe in empowering natural looks in the afro-textured community. Beautiful black women like Issa Rae, Lupita Nyong’o are championing natural hair so, the ladies can expect great cuts, lovely braids and styling. The men are involved too- we’ve got all types of fades for their hair type and head shapes 😊

 

 

Can you really blow-dry Afro hair (natural or relaxed) in 20 minutes?

We attempt to blow dry afro hair in 20 minutes but in reality, it takes closer to 30mins. The important thing is that, the customer will not pay extra. It is our promise to get our customers in and out, in 20 minutes and we if fail to do that; then we will absorb the cost.

What happens if the service takes longer than 20 minutes?

We hope to always meet the 20-minute promise. However, we will not compromise on quality for the sake of meeting the 20 minutes. Most importantly. No extra charge will be passed on to a client, if we go past 20 mins on any single service.

Can clients add more than one service to their appointment?

Yes, clients can add as many more services as they want to their appointment 

You style males as well as females, how are you handling competition from traditional barbers?

Competition is healthy, but also inevitable when you launch a business in a Cosmopolitan city like London. I’d like to think we are handling competition very well. Our business model was designed to bring efficiency, convenience and diversity to industry. I believe we have a unique angle and a point of difference, which is attracting a different type of customer base to us.

How would you summarise your experience in the hair industry so far?

There are two sides to the industry- the trade and consumer. The consumers have been very receptive and extremely excited to hear a service like ours exists. The main responses have been this so simple”, and I can’t believe no one thought about this before. The trade side has been a bit slow to embrace us and I’m sure they have their reasons. We are still a very young business in this sector, but we’ve come with a different prospective and are doing things differently. It is understandable that they wait and see what happens with the new kids on the block.

Where else can we find more Chop Chop salons?

We are very excited- to say we are in discussions with both Eurostar at St Pancras International Station and Westfield White City. We hope to launch in both locations by the end of Spring.

Gender-neutral, cost effective, quick – It sounds like the perfect salon already! What more can we expect to see from Chop Chop in the future?

We hope to create beautiful natural hair styles that go on to feature in high fashion magazines. Scaling is definitely on the cards- we hope to expand the business beyond London and the UK.

 

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