Following the government’s recently revised lockdown strategy, businesses nationwide were waiting anxiously to find out when if ever, they would be able to return to work and how they would have to adapt their premises according to the social distancing guidelines. There was widespread disappointment from the beauty and grooming industry who expected to fall under the ‘unable to work from home’ category but were told they didn’t meet the criteria. Concerns around the close proximity stylists have to customers whilst working meant that salons and barbers had to remain closed as there would be difficulty in ensuring safe social distancing.
The National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF) said their members are unhappy with the government’s latest advice and have sent an open letter to the business secretary asking for further clarity. Despite the (NHBF) advising hairdressers and barbers not to provide services until the government gives permission, they said their members have been ‘inundated with requests from clients to deliver at-home services,’ which the (NHBF) strongly advised against.
Wrenew founder Richard Dawes has his own insights about the current state of affairs and shared his thoughts on how businesses can adapt to this ‘new normal’.
“The fact is that businesses will have to either ride on the wings of the current situation or face possible closure. It’s a simple case of evolve or be left behind. In these times of isolation, quarantine and social distancing, it’s understandable that business owners and employees in the grooming and beauty industry are having conversations about when businesses should be allowed to reopen in the UK. Even though many hair salons have taken advantage of the situation to strengthen their digital and online capacities, the clamour for hair salons to reopen as soon as possible has risen significantly.”
He has also been hearing from hairdressers and barbers who are concerned about their livelihoods during the pandemic.
“Many aggrieved hairdressers have written to their local MP’s and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, asking them to take a cue from countries like France, Italy and Spain and begin to relax the lockdown and reopen hair salons ahead of the proposed July 4th date. There is also a concern that many business owners will flout restriction orders when salons are reopened. I am not in favour of anybody flouting the rules, but I know that human nature will push the boundaries, which demonstrates the bond between clients and professionals. Humanity seeks to find a way of expression, and some customers look to hair and beauty services for mental health reasons, even during the lockdown.”
Echoing concerns made by the NHBF around safety, Dawes agreed that “the government should step in to provide disposable PPE equipment into the supply chains,” as business owners prepare to return to work in less than two months.