WITH NEWS THAT A SHOCKING 41% OF UK SALONS MAY NOT SURVIVE CHRISTMAS, IT’S TIME FOR US TO STEP UP. FROM INSTAGRAM POSTS TO BLOCK BOOKING, HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP
Who did you miss most during the first lockdown? Friends and family aside, we bet your hairdresser was top of your list. It didn’t go unnoticed just how quickly salons pivoted to help us, with online fringe cutting tutorials and lives and emergency root colour care packages. “Throughout lockdown, I realised that hair is so much more important to people than I ever realised,” says top salon owner George Northwood tells us.
“After restrictions were lifted and we were able to re-open, we invested heavily in keeping our salon a safe space for both our clients and our team. We have had to adapt to this new environment we find ourselves in.”
With salons so dear to us, it’s saddening news that 41 per cent of UK hair salons (that’s around 20,000) are unsure whether they’ll survive past Christmas, according to the National Hair and Beauty Federation. While the hospitality industry had its VAT cut from 20 per cent to five in July to help out pubs and restaurants, the hairdressing industry has received no such help.
“Some hairdressers are down up to 80 per cent in clients while still managing the huge overheads of running bricks and mortar stores. It’s estimated 10 per cent of salons have already closed following lockdown,” says journalist Sonia Haria, board member of The British Beauty Council.
“After restrictions were lifted and we were able to reopen we invested heavily in keeping our salon a safe space for both our clients and our team,” says stylist and salon owner George Northwood. Yet despite that more than a third of clients had not returned to salons in the UK following lockdown, according to a survey. “Salons have received no support from the government,” he says. “Salons are doing their bit to keep clients safe and it feels time for the government to do its bit to keep salons afloat by including us in the reduced VAT rate.”
The British Beauty Council’s ‘Chop the VAT’ campaign is calling on the government to cut salon taxes in line with the help that the hospitality industry has received. “We feel that the only solution to long term recovery [for hair salons] is to abolish or reduce the VAT that is a huge burden to these businesses,” says Millie Kendall, CEO of The British Beauty Council. “Salons traditionally run on quite low margins so the impact of having to reduce their clientele by half due to social distancing and the additional cost of PPE, coupled with the lockdowns has slashed this already slim margin.”
Our hairdressers are there to support us when we need them, so what can we do for them right now?