Hair Salons And Stylists Across the UK Celebrate Reopening
Many hair salons and freelance stylists in Wales, Scotland and England celebrated reopening after lockdown last month. HJ spoke to salon owners and stylists to discover how it felt to be back with clients again and what’s in store for the coming months…
Q HAIR AND BEAUTY, ENGLAND
Dawn Lawrence, director at Q Hair and Beauty, and her team celebrated reopening by decorating the entrance with balloons to create a fun welcome for clients and give them the perfect Instagram opportunity. She said:
“The main difference this time is that we’ve gained more experience and confidence in preparing and operating. The relief of being open finally was incredible. It’s also encouraging to see the first day’s takings, re-bookings at 83% and clients going home with retail products. No-one can say if this is the last lockdown so we need to keep our focus and constantly re-evaluate our progress.”
KEN PICTON SALON, WALES
For Ken Picton, salon owner at Ken Picton Salon and Fellowship President, the short three-day notice Wales was given to reopen was a challenge. He told HJ: “Whilst we are delighted to be back and feel extremely fortunate to be open, the extremely short notice didn’t help us out really. Of course, there were rumblings we would reopen soon but we couldn’t do anything until we had the final go ahead.” He added: “I would say we were all a bit anxious about getting back into the salon but nothing like last time. Once you’re all in and get started you are soon back in the flow and then it feels like you never stopped!”
RAINBOW ROOM INTERNATIONAL, SCOTLAND
Dylan Brittain, owner of Rainbow Room International’s George Square salon in Glasgow, said the team were ready to get back into the salon and make clients look and feel amazing again. He explained: “After the last lockdown we were fully booked for 12 weeks when we reopened with further demand for rebooking and most clients booking three appointments in advance. Many clients haven’t had their hair done since before Christmas. To ensure a fair process we contacted those with a cancelled appointment due to lockdown first before opening our online booking system.”
Alongside salons reopening across the UK, the Haircuts4Homeless charity was also able to help the homeless again by providing them with free haircuts. Founder Stewart Roberts spent the past six years building up the charity from a single session in Essex to 65 projects across the UK and Ireland.
The charity now has over 600 volunteers and over 40,000 haircuts have been given so far.
Stewart was delighted to be cutting people’s hair again. He said: “I can’t wait to get out there. Big love to everyone in the hairdressing industry and getting back to what we love is going to be so special.”
74% OF CLIENTS REMAIN LOYAL
A report from Treatwell prior to England’s salons reopening on 12 April, found 74% of clients would return to their usual salon after lockdown.
The survey of 500 hair and beauty clients also revealed the 26% of clients who would prefer to find a new salon would decide by reading online customer reviews (32%), carrying out an online search (30%), using friends and family recommendations (29%), using social media (22%) or a hair and beauty platform (21%).
The report also found client communications have remained consistent. Phone bookings remain the most popular way to book appointments and text messaging comes in second as a popular method for clients who have been contacted by their usual salon.
LIVE UNBREAKABLE BONDS EVENT
GOLDWELL, which is part of the KAO Salon Division family, hosted a virtual event last month called Unbreakable Bonds to spread positivity and motivate stylists ahead of salons reopening.
The virtual event was filled with education, discussion and expert tips and advice.
The KAO Salon Division team said: “We’ve all been in it together. The closures, the anxiety and the uncertainty. The bonds between clients, stylists, salon owners and KAO Salon Division are unique. We continue to support one another through it all.”
Salon owners were interviewed about their successes and challenges over the past 12 months. All of the salon owners revealed they were delighted with the opportunities to network ‘virtually’ throughout the pandemic with fellow salon owners and brainstorm business ideas. The consensus was the relationships made virtually during lockdown will continue and it is hoped hair businesses sharing insights and wisdom with one another will become the norm.
The event also highlighted the biggest innovations from GOLDWELL, which can be used in salons over the coming months. The NuWave service, which is designed to give clients beautiful wavy hair, was demonstrated by GOLDWELL artists Saffron Burton and Adrian Paoluccio. While, the GOLDWELL LightDimensions service, which lightens hair with an integrated bonding technology, was demonstrated by Nicola Smyth.
At the end of the event GOLDWELL invited HJ’s executive director Jayne Lewis-Orr and GOLDWELL artist Martin Crean to share their tips ahead of reopening as well as the importance of face-to-face education and live events for the hair industry moving forward.
BLUE TIT OPENS NEW GREENWICH SALON
The salon brand Blue Tit has opened a new salon in Greenwich, London, adding to its portfolio of nine salons in the capital. Blue Tit Greenwich salon co-owner Lee Beever told HJ: “The salon is an eight-minute walk from both Deptford and Greenwich stations making it a prime location for busy commuters, those working from home, students, tourists and the local community.” He added: “Blue Tit is intrinsically connected to its localities and we cannot wait to join our new community and bring our planetfriendly and entirely unique experience to the area.”
SAVE OUR SALONS ENCOURAGES VAT REFORM
The Save Our Salons campaign is keen to get long-term VAT reform to protect the hair and beauty industry for years to come. The founders attended a number of meetings last month to get the industry’s voice heard, including:
• Two All Party Parliamentary Meetings (APPGs) with MPs from all political spectrums talking about the crisis in the sector. The first was for Hairdressing, Barbering and Cosmetology and included speaking directly about the taxation challenges VAT-paying salon owners face. The second APPG was about Gaps in Support, which included speaking about the crisis within the industry.
• A meeting with Greg Hands and Paul Sculley – Ministers for Trade Policy and Small Business.
• Discussions with John McNally MP, Laura Trott MP and Emily Thornbury MP.
• Ongoing discussions with representatives from all of the main trade bodies representing our industries and in attendance on committees.
• Discussions with Caroline Noaks MP who is Chair of the Women & Equalities Committee.
• A meeting with the head of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Personal Care Sector team who are the chief UK Government advisors for the sector. Save Our Salons said: “We aren’t stopping there. VAT-paying salon owners need proper representation. We want to galvanise salon owners and create a united force for positive change. We will continue to fight until our industry is on a level playing field and has the respect it deserves. Have your voice heard by helping us.”
For the hair and beauty industry and the Save Our Salons campaign to achieve a long-term VAT reform it is important to understand and overcome the complex legislative obstacles surrounding the VAT paid by the sector.
Save Our Salons explained: “We’ve started the ball rolling on this process. It starts with us putting together a robust business case to the Treasury that accurately represents the turning point we are at as VAT-paying salon owners who collectively employ half of all people working in the sector.”
To support the campaign, complete the latest Save Our Salons survey at https://buff.ly/3uT6svu.
ELEVEN AUSTRALIA’S NEW UK COLLECTIVE
The newly launched ELEVEN Australia Collective is an exclusive team of 15 digitally-active stylists, specially selected to create fun, fresh and informative hair content for the brand.
As part of the 11-month programme, these social savvy stylists will enjoy exclusive opportunities and education to help establish themselves as the next generation of hairdressing influencers, while sharing the love for ELEVEN Australia online. The stylists include: Laura Robertson, Thom Robb, Jenny Cornish, Ben Nott, Sian Walker, Douglas Reid, Nina Band, Charlotte Knight, Adam Higginson, Lisa Carter, Maxine Watson, Lucie King, Shai Reames, Sophie Jones and Charlie Greene.
HAIR LOOKS FROM THE BAFTAS 2021
The BAFTAs 2021 took place last month and awarded the best films, actors and actresses. It was the hair looks, however, that really caught HJ’s eye...
Actress Vanessa Kirby, who is arguably best known for her role as Princess Margaret in Netflix series The Crown, sported a classy and timeless sleeked back chignon. The look was created by hairstylist Halley Brisker using the BaByliss PRO 9000 Cordless.
Halley Brisker told HJ exclusively: “This look for Vanessa was about having something that was timeless and elegant with quality execution. It’s always about elevation for me even within the finer details. In a way there are elements of this look that are very relevant right now. This look could easily be paired with an outfit for the pub garden and that’s where it transitions across to something clients and stylists can experiment with in the salon this summer!”
Bukky Bakray won the award for EE Rising Star at the BAFTAs 2021. She certainly shone like a star with her Prada custom strapless gown and top knot created by hairstylist Dionne Smith. Dionne told HJ exclusively: “I love the top knot because it’s one of those looks that can be dressed up or down to be casual or glamorous for an evening out. It’s a minimalistic look but very effective and it doesn’t take long for a stylist to do for a client either.”
Renée Zellweger who is best known for her role in Bridget Jones’ Diary is always one to watch at awards and events for her elegant style and stunning hair. Her BAFTAs 2021 hair look was no exception. The tousled bob with a side fringe looked effortless. It is an extremely wearable and versatile look for clients with shorter hair who might want to leave the salon looking glam for a visit to the shops – or for a prestigious and classy event such as an awards ceremony.
Actress Cynthia Erivo, who is known for roles in Bad Times at the El Royale and Widows, presented an award at the BAFTAs 2021 sporting an incredibly cool silver/grey buzz cut. The shade is bang on trend as one of Pantone’s Colors of the Year is grey this year.
The buzz cut is a low maintenance style for clients to wear on a day-to-day basis and will keep clients coming back to you regularly to maintain it, so it’s a win-win!
Jordanna Cobella writes book about mindful hairdressing
Cobella Salon owner and creative director Jordanna Cobella has written a book called ‘The Mindful Hairdresser’ to empower hairdressers, stylists and salon owners.
Jordanna said: “As creatives, we’re constantly investing in our technical skills. The emotional intelligence and psychology involved in the everyday life of serving the public, however, is often taken for granted.”
Jordanna put together a Mindful Hairdressing course and realised there is so much to cover on this topic. Her original take home document for attendees developed into this new book for hairdressers.
Go to publishizer.com/themindful-hairdresser to find out more.
HAIR BUSINESSES REMAIN POSITIVE
Almost all hair and beauty professionals (99%) expect their business to survive past 2021, according to a report by online insurance broker, Simply Business.
The report also found since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic hair and beauty professionals have lost an average of £11,603 in earnings.
Two thirds (66%) of respondents said the vaccine rollout has made them more confident about business recovery, while one in three (36%) feel positive in general about life after lockdown.
More than half (62%) of hair and beauty professionals used the pandemic to spend more time with family, while others focused on taking care of themselves (35%), resting (34%) and learning new skills (20%).
MEWIES & CO. LAUNCH MENTAL
Mewies & Co. has introduced a 12-week mental health and wellness programme to support employees returning to the salon as part of its greater focus on long-term employee wellbeing.
Mewies & Co. founder and Authentic Beauty Concept ambassador, Dan Mewies, said “I believe we will have a happier, motivated and more productive workforce and as a result the business will grow stronger.”
Mewies & Co. has a number of initiatives to help employees beyond reopening including:
• Each team member will have lunch booked out every day
• Appointments will be booked in one-hour slots
• Mewies & Co. has introduced its own bank holiday to reward staff and celebrate the business post COVID-19
• Provision for multiple yoga class vouchers
• Provision for dietician and nutrition coaching
• Fresh fruit will be provided in the team room along with a juicer and smoothie machine
• Better pay opportunities and a more transparent wage structure.
ANNE VECK SPEAKS TO PRIME MINISTER ON APPRENTICESHIPS
Salon owner Anne Veck took her seat at the (virtual) table with the Prime Minister for her first Cabinet Office Meeting to discuss the state of play in the world of hairdressing and apprenticeships.
The roundtable was led by Boris Johnson and included senior Cabinet Ministers and other business leaders. Each participant was invited to speak and the topic given was: “What can the UK Government learn from your experience in skills and training to help us build back better from the pandemic?”
Anne presented data to show there were just 7,000 entrants in 2020, which was down 30% on the previous year, and three quarters of employers were planning to cut back, according to the UK Government’s own report. Anne also shared ideas on how the UK Government can help the industry post-COVID-19.
She said: “I made the point strongly that hairdressing is an industry with huge career scope, yet it is suffering a skills shortage so there is an enormous recruitment and career opportunity. I even managed to squeeze in a pitch for the VAT to be reduced to 5% on services. The one thing I ran out of time to offer was a haircut for the PM once we are out of lockdown!”
THE BRITISH HAIR & BEAUTY COLLECTIVE LAUNCHES
The Hair and Barber Council and Salon Owners United have joined forces to create The British Hair & Beauty Collective. The new organisation plans to talk to the UK Government and give the hair and beauty industry a clear strategy for the future.
Applications to join The British Hair & Beauty Collective will open soon.
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