Early in September, we wrote about Japanese social giant Mixi and its suddenly aggressive mobile strategy. One app in its growing portfolio is Minimo, an application used to match hairdresses-in-training and models. But recently I stumbled across a similar service called Cuttaloca, produced by Japanese internet service provider Side Tail.
Cuttaloca wants to shorten the time novice hairdressers spend to cut 100 models from 3 years just to half a year.
Cuttaloca was initially launched in October of last year as a service that provides haircuts for only 500 yen (about $5). Many hairdressers from across 18 Japanese prefectures registered on the site and there were over 2,000 haircut requests within a year.
The site was recently overhauled and it now provides features that let users view hairdressers’ work schedule, thus making the request process easier. Cuttaloca can be used without a credit card, as payment processing is possible at local convenience stores. The site uses Facebook authentication to registrated, providing a secure environment for both hair professionals and users looking for a cheap hair cut.
Hair professionals used to spend much time looking for haircut models in the streets. Interestingly, this is an important part of becoming a skilled hairdresser since it requires communication skill and the ability to make judgements about people. Cuttaloca hopes that these professionals can leverage the service on top of their offline activities, so that they can shorten the time spent to cut 100 models from three years just to half a year.
If users wish for additional services like hair coloring or a perm, they can schedule that as well by paying an extra fee at the time of their haircut. Since all haircuts are for training purposes, they will start after 7pm when the store is actually closed.
Cuttaloca is a direct competitor to Mixi’s Minimo, but is presented as a website service in contrast to the Minimo app. It will be exciting to see which community fares better in reaching the masses.