As salons shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, hairstylists and beauty therapists are grappling with what it means for their future. Here's how you can help.
Social distancing is our new normal.
Attempts to slow the spread of the disease COVID-19, and the novel coronavirus that causes it, have led many salon and spa owners to close shop until April (at the very least) — a decision not taken lightly.
While you may not regard cancelling your hair appointment as a particular problem in the context of greater issues at the moment, it's worth noting that, in Ireland, the beauty sector's contribution to overall GDP is a staggering €2 billion. Given that it could be one of the hardest-hit industries as the impact of Covid-19 develops, it's worth us all doing what we can to support our local salons.
Ahead are just a few things we can all do to help these workers, who spend their time and money taking care of us.
buy a voucher
If you can't get to the spa/hairdresser's/salon as usual, ask if you can purchase a voucher to ensure they still have money coming in. You might not be able to attend your monthly waxing appointment, but the vouchers should last long enough for you to use them for future appointments.
leave a good review
If you're worried about your local salon, why not find the time to leave a glowing review on Google, Facebook or TripAdvisor to ensure that when people are once again searching for places which provide treatments, your local is the one they want to book. For many small businesses, these online reviews can be crucial and can really mean the difference between a full diary and no bookings at all.
Don’t Cancel, Just Reschedule
Once everything has settled and life as we once knew it goes back to normal, we're all going to have roots that need dying, nails that need mending, legs that need shaving which will result in a surge of customers needing appointments. By simply rescheduling your appointment or booking in for a future date, you're not just helping your local salon out – you're helping your roots too.
If your service provider has their own line or makes a commission from sales on their site, purchasing products is an easy way to help. Products can still be sent in the post or picked up through contactless delivery or collection.
That said, it is important to ask your local salon if it's preferred – many shop owners have expressed they have encountered issues getting to their products in order to ship.
LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE
The easiest—and most surprising—way to support your local business is by heading to Instagram or Facebook. By liking, commenting and sharing your salon's posts, you help keep their engagement up. By ensuring your salon stays visible throughout the lifespan of this emergency could help mitigate long-term customer drop-off. Another option? If you've had a great experience, share it. You're sure to have tonnes of unused selfies where your hair looks great, manicure pictures and more just sitting in your gallery, share them on your social media and be sure to tag your salon and/or technician/stylist to show your appreciation. Throwback to times when your nails 'were on point'.
don't do it yourself
Put down the scissors.
It can be tempting to cut your own hair during self-isolation, especially when a glass of wine is involved. But please, don't. Nobody knows how long this is all going to go on for and if you're continuing to cut away at your hair, it's going to be a lot harder for your hairdresser to fix your self-isolation cuts than it will be to cut overgrown hair.
Step away from the box dye.
Whether it's visible roots or sheer boredom that's tempting you to pick up a box of dye the next time you're stocking up on pasta, please don't. There's so much involved and so much at stake when you take the colour process into your own hands — you have to consider the steps to prep your hair, the actual process (and the mess that comes with it), and the integrity of your hair. And god forbid the colour doesn't turn out how you want it to — then what? Not to mention, dyeing your own hair is one thing, but bleaching your own hair at home? Forget about it.
Leave that razor alone.
When you go for regular wax appointments, what's the first thing your beauty therapist says to you before you leave? "Don't shave." This is because the detriments of shaving are countless, especially if you're trying to reap the benefits of waxing. With regular waxing and no shaving, the hair will eventually become finer and grow more slowly, increasing your time between waxes and reducing the appearance of hair. If you shave now, you are, in fact, stimulating its growth, encouraging the hair to grow back faster, thicker, coarser, and fuller, resulting in more hair growing from each pore aka undoing all your and your therapist's hard work.
Main image by @aimeesong on Instagram