“We are excited to launch the third iteration of our #HairTheLove2021 campaign – especially during a period where spotlighting and celebrating the essential role of our industry has never been more important,” explains Béatrice Dautzenberg, L’Oréal Professional Products Division UK & Ireland managing director.
She adds: “#HairTheLove2021 is about bringing to life the unique role that hairdressers play in people’s lives and within our wider society. You are also a vital power player in the British economy with hairdressing services being the largest contributor within the beauty economy at over £6 billion.”
Case Study: Josh Miller, Charlie Miller Hairdressing
Josh Miller is the joint managing director at Charlie Miller Hairdressing, which is a hair salon business that has been running for over 50 years in Edinburgh. Josh and his family business is a prime example of how hairdressing sits at the heart of the high street.
He says: “We’re a family business with five salons in the heart of the high street in Edinburgh. For us, it’s about our wider family – our team, many of whom have been with us for 20 or 30 years and our loyal clients who have grown up with us over the years. We have grown together.”
What does being at the heart of the high street mean to you?
“Many salons are now the longest serving businesses on their streets, which means they are a massive constant for their local community, but also for the clients coming to the same place year after year. Our communities are as important as ever. The trade we’ll bring to the other businesses around, big and small, is also as important as ever.
After the first lockdown, the public missed hairdressers almost as much as they missed their family and friends.
The psychology of hairdressing is often dismissed and it’s not shouted about enough. Brushing our hair is a habit that’s subconscious, but lockdown has taught a lot of people how important their own mental health and wellbeing is, and they’ve realised the value of having their hair done from a mental point of view as well as from a physical point of view.
During the first lockdown hair salons really showed how they were at the heart of the high street. We were part of a WhatsApp group in Edinburgh that included many salon owners and suppliers. It was a wonderful collective where we could share information on new guidelines and love and support – that was a real moment of ‘we’re all in this together’.”
How does being at the heart of the high street transform people’s lives?
“I believe it’s the familiarity it gives people, and there-in lies the emotional comfort. When we visit places we know, we do so with expectations and desires to be filled. It’s a bit like going to your favourite restaurant. The difference for us is our regular clients only go to one salon, so when they return to us time and again it is truly something to cherish. Clients have their hair done to change how they feel. It’s a psychological process, so the impact we can have on client’s wellbeing is huge. I believe that’s why our industry is so satisfying to work within and why we all love it so much.”
What message would you like to share with other hairdressers?
“Think back to lockdowns last year and what you might have done differently to manage your physical and mental health. Make a plan to make it better this time. We know how to reopen now, we’ve done the learning for the restrictions required. But be ready and have a plan for when we’re told to reopen as it’s going to be busy again!”
Case Study: Stewart Roberts, Haircuts4Homeless
Stewart uses his skills as a hairdresser to cut hair for the homeless. He says there is no ulterior motive – it is just about making someone look and feel better and he quickly realised other hairdressers wanted to help in other parts of the UK. “As soon as I started sharing images of my work with the homeless, others wanted to join and we built up a team really quickly.”
What does being a community champion mean to you?
“Hairdressing is invaluable – we’ve never known more than we do now. Human beings never appreciate what they have until something is taken away and we’ve found this out since COVID-19. Members of the public have learned it’s more than just a haircut – it’s about boosting self-esteem and it’s about touch. More than any other profession the hair and beauty industry physically ‘touches’ people. You’ve got that instant connection with others which means they trust you regardless of whether your clients are in Mayfair or part of a homeless
project with me – hairdressing breaks down all borders.”
How does hairdressing transform people’s lives in the community?
“I see people who are completely down and low and the minute you show them the mirror with the final result, you can see the lift in their smile. It’s a wonderful thing and it’s filled me with gratitude for the industry we’re in.”
“I believe we should use this time to help others – even if it’s just talking to someone. Loneliness is a terrible thing at the moment. We must keep in touch with family, clients and friends so we all come out stronger at the other end.”
Case Study: Sally Brooks, Brooks & Brooks, London
Sally educates and inspires colleagues and clients to be the best versions of themselves. She is a creative mind and developing fashion shoots and shows is what keeps her alive. She loves making her clients' identities shine through. She says: “If I can cut hair for a client, their lifestyle and their personality and give them a style they can manage everyday, I'm happy.”
What does being an identity maker mean to you?
“We create and guide our clients with their own individuality throughout different times in their lives. Hairdressing allows us through the different avenues it holds to be ourselves. I guide my team to find their own fingerprint and identity in their craft and themselves.”
How does being an identity maker transform people’s lives?
“You can create an amazing hairstyle but most importantly if you put it on the right person at the right time you can transform how they feel about themselves.”
“We are unique individuals and we will create again. For now enjoy the rest, keep motivated, keep safe and see you all on the other side. We will be gagging to do things and push forward so enjoy the rest whilst you have it!”