boboGood news for local fashionists and hairstylists, we have a nice hairstyling platform to recommend: Hairbobo.

Background information first: according to China’s Beauty Salon Industry Association, there are about 1.23million hair salons, 5.2million employees and the market scale reaches RMB 200billion annually in China.

Hairbobo launched its mobile version in late 2011 and currently has 100,000 registered hairstylist users including some well-known fashion experts. “The whole hair salon industry now still lacks standards. Most hairstylists spend too much time selling the membership cards to their customers rather than on their styling techniques. We want to change this situation by providing an open platform where customers can rate and review the hairstyling service. We believe in this way we can also help the industry,” said Shi Langrui, founder of Hairbobo (source in Chinese).

For hairstylists, they can check the feed of well-known experts’ masterpiece, share their new works with peers and discuss with customers with pictures over the app.  Accordingly, the mobile version now still focuses on the hairstylists, another app targeting at customers who want hairstyling service will be released soon. “Before us there are some hairstyling apps focusing on connecting hair salons and customers, while what we aim at is a platform for person to person,” explained Shi.

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As to the business model, Hairbobo’s plan was to provide free service to hairstylists first and add some paid premium services later. A commission from each successful deal over the platform might also be the future income. The revenue breakdown would roughly go like this: 50% from membership fee, 25% from training service, 25% from ads for hair product brands.