PEOPLE: Go and get a haircut from April 12th! #OhHelloBeauty
Special Thanks to Nick Irwin + Stacy Irwin
Many of our high streets are looking pretty vacant with increasing numbers of barricaded shop fronts, a sign that businesses have moved out or – if possible – online. But digital can’t deliver on everything: “You can’t buy a haircut on Amazon,” says hairdresser and session stylist Nick Irwin, which means the UK’s £6 billion hair services industry was left particularly vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic. But relief is on the way and in less than two weeks from now, hair salons and barbershops will open their doors once again, welcoming in the British public, and taking back professional control of the nation’s lockdown manes.
Over the past year, we have watched and laughed as people around the world have taken up scissors and comb, attempting home haircuts, making a stab at fringe maintenance and layers; experimenting with buzzcuts and mullets, bleach and colour. Sure, while there were many – entertaining – viral fails, some makeovers turned out pretty damn decent. But what this has highlighted again and again is the value of hairdressers and salons, not just for vanity’s sake, but for our physical and mental wellbeing and maintaining self-esteem.
As of December 2020, the devastating economic effects of Covid-19 had forced 10% of all UK salons to permanently close and with the continuation of lockdown into this year, a shocking 1 in 5 remaining beauty businesses are predicted to disappear as well.
Our friends at the British Beauty Council have been working tirelessly, lobbying for government support for the personal care sector. Some of the successes the Council and other industry bodies have achieved include the extensions to the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme which positively affects the 60% of all hairdressing and barbering employees who are self-employed, as well as the industry being eligible for the maximum Restart Fund. To promote and celebrate the reopening of hair and beauty services on April 12th, the British Beauty Council has partnered with M&C Saatchi Group, creating the #OhHelloBeauty campaign which will run on social media channels and in mainstream print publications throughout the spring and summer to encourage customers back into salons.
On and off for more than a year now, certain close-contact services were not only against the law and subject to huge fines but more importably, a potential danger to human lives. With half the UK adult population now vaccinated and the other half expected to join them within the next few months, the much-anticipated return of ‘normalcy’ – or a degree of it – is in sight.
Salons and barbershops are the bustling wellbeing centres that are an important part of the social glue that holds our neighbourhoods together. Go and get your roots – or by now, dip dye – touched up; let a pro fix those blotchy box dye results. Connect and catch-up with your go-to coiffeur so they help you look and feel good. Get a haircut and invest not only in the industry but also in yourself.