Original Research

Digitalisation of the professional hairdressing industry and the impact on value chain stakeholders

Lefa N. Kokong, Sugandren Naidoo
South African Journal of Information Management | Vol 24, No 1 | a1554 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v24i1.1554 | © 2022 Lefa N. Kokong, Sugandren Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 April 2022 | Published: 16 November 2022

About the author(s)

Lefa N. Kokong, Department of Management Science, Graduate School of Business Leadership, University of South Africa, Tshwane, South Africa
Sugandren Naidoo, Department of Operations Management, College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Tshwane, South Africa


Background: Pandemic fears during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have caused hairdressers, beauty salons and distributors, as well as the producers of professional haircare and colouring products, to come together to adapt the value chain of professional services. Aesthetic beauty and physical image have gained personal and economic value amongst all age groups and genders, making the South African hairdressing industry a key player as a socio-economic contributor.

Objectives: The main objective of this study was to identify which factors influence digitalisation in the hairdressing industry, and to explain the impact on key stakeholders within the products and services value chain.

Method: The methodological approach taken in this study is a mixed methodology, categorised in two phases: phase 1 presented a quantitative approach and phase 2 presented a qualitative approach based on the dynamic nature of the professional hairdressing industry. One hundred responses were collected via an online survey and analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Thereafter, six virtual online interviews were conducted with purposively selected industry participants. The data were then triangulated to infer recommendations for the hairdressing industry.

Results: The findings, which were triangulated, showed that digitalisation has influenced and transformed businesses and the way in which they interact and transact with consumers. Furthermore, digitalisation has created a convenient and enhanced consumer experience in terms of how consumers interact and transact with businesses.

Conclusion: This research provides a unique perspective on how digitalisation has influenced and transformed the professional haircare industry. The study also identified what influence digitalisation has had on key stakeholders in the professional products and services value chain.


COVID-19; professional services; digitalisation; hairdressing industry; mixed method approach; value chain stakeholder; factor analysis


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