Redken is betting on social media-savvy young hairstylists as the next big beauty influencers.
The L’Oréal-owned salon-professional brand today revealed its new roster of brand ambassadors, a group of six young hairstylists and colorists with sizable social media followings. Redken refers to the assemblage of talent as the #RTeam, and said today in a statement that it assumes the group is “gearing up to be the next generation of industry leaders.”
Members of the #RTeam will promote Redken to their digital followers, offering inside access to product launches and campaigns. They will also be at Redken events, starting with the Redken Symposium — an annual educational forum featuring sessions with Redken’s top ambassadors, including Tracey Cunningham and Rodney Cutler — in Las Vegas on Jan. 15.
The group represents a variety of locations and talents. One member, Ryan Pearl, is an editorial colorist based out of the Cutler Salon in SoHo. He is represented by The Wall Group and has a little more than 15,000 followers on Instagram. Another, Elizabeth Faye, is a salon owner from Utah who specializes in balayage highlighting. Faye has over 25,000 followers on Instagram.
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The rest of the #RTeam includes Cassandra McGlaughlin co-owner and salon director in Platinum Salon in Tampa, Fl.; Gina Devine, a New Jersey stylist and colorist known for her “hand-painted” color technique; Lyndsey Palumbo, a Los Angeles stylist who often works a set stylist; and Jean Pierre Sosa, a colorist at the Alen M Femme Coiffure in Los Angeles. Sosa has close to 40,000 followers on Instagram.
Professional brands have been increasingly leaning on social media influencers with growing audiences to support new brand launches. In October, WWD reported that Oribe had tapped a group of digital influencers — with a collective following of almost 3.4 million — to demonstrate how the products worked on different hair types and textures.
Compared to Maybelline’s announcement last week that it was featuring makeup vlogger Manny Gutierrez — who has 3 million Instagram followers — the followings of these stylists don’t look so large. But that doesn’t mean they won’t get bigger and become stars in their own right — and the power of the social media-savvy Millennial stylist is a real threat for salon owners who rely on young stylists to keep business thriving. Consider stylist-to-the-stars Ted Gibson, who last month shuttered his self-named New York salon, noting that the loss of young stylists to the freelance work they’d gained via their social media prowess led to the need for closure.