Bring Back Beauty

Marie Claire and the British Beauty Council are calling on you to help our beloved industry bounce back

Bring Back Beauty
Bring Back Beauty

Marie Claire and the British Beauty Council are calling on you to help our beloved industry bounce back

A partnership fostered in beauty heaven, Marie Claire and the British Beauty Council are delighted to present Bring Back Beauty, a 6-part short film series highlighting the impact the pandemic has had on hair and beauty salon businesses across the UK, plus how the closures have affected their clients.

The pandemic has brought huge anxiety, fear and vulnerability to salon owners, they told us. Most have experienced financial hardship and for many the past year has resulted in closures. The future is still uncertain for those who remain open.

Watch the film below:

Millie Kendall MBE, chief executive of The British Beauty Council says:

"These biographical films showcase what the beauty industry really does for its clients and how essential they are to British communities up and down the country. Whether it's your sexual orientation and fitting in, or whether it's being supported through cancer treatment or the loss of a loved one, the benefits of salons go above and beyond simply having a haircut or a facial."

It isn’t just the devastating financial blow that lockdown has dealt the industry, but the impact social distancing has had on mental health of clients who miss the treatments, and the interaction with hairdressers and therapists. Salon closures have meant less of a routine, along with a lack of human touch and physical contact with a confidante. The space is safe, judgement-free and an anonymous opportunity for a client to speak more freely.

Whether it’s a facial treatment or blow-dry, for many people a beauty treatment is a regular part of their life and it plays a major part in their identity and confidence.

The UK's beauty industry is valued at £30 billion, contributing more to the economy than pubs (£23billion), yet it is still the most severely affected by coronavirus restrictions. Salons were the last businesses to resume trading after more than 200 days of closure due to lockdown, while the hospitality industry was granted an earlier reopen date and a VAT reduction.

What’s even more frustrating is that the sector with minimum help is the sector dominated by women who account for more than 80% of the total 600,000+ employees. The British Beauty Council reports that full-time equivalent employment numbers are down 21% in 2019 due to hours cut and redundancies made - and that’s despite the furlough scheme.

"The beauty sector is so crucial to our recovery from Covid," says Paul Scully, Small Business Minister. "Not only for boosting jobs and local high streets but also for the career opportunities it provides to so many young people, particularly women, and the uplift beauty treatments can give to people’s mental health and wellbeing."

The impact of the pandemic has been truly devastating for some, with 7300 salons already closed. Those that survived and reopened on 12 April 2021 are now operating at around 30% less capacity due to constraints, losing out on approximately three million appointments. The British Beauty Council estimates that a further 30% of the sector will close if business doesn’t pick up following the removal of the financial support packages.

"We need to bring the joy back to beauty and encourage clients to come back to experience the array of services we offer – most of these require immense skill and can't always be replicated at home,” says Millie.

Bring Back Beauty was created as part of the British Beauty Council's #OhHelloBeauty campaign, a poster and social media initiative encouraging clients and customers to return to salons. Get involved by spreading the word about your favourite therapists and hairdressers and download the campaign posters and social media assets here. Don't forget to tag @marieclaireuk, @britishbeautycouncil and #OhHelloBeauty.

Want to lend a hand now? Help us to bring beauty back into people's lives ASAP. Book an appointment in advance, bring a friend with you and make a day of it or buy gift vouchers for your favourite salons. Buy your products from your local salon or via their online shop rather than from a conglomerate. Tip where you can. Or simply repost your favourite hairdresser's latest posts on social media.

To further encourage you, L'Oréal Professionnel Paris is offering £10 off your next colour at one of their salons if booked between 1 July and September 2021.

So, what are you waiting for? Get that mop chopped and coloured and make up for lost time. The beauty industry supports us when we need them - now it's time to show some love back.

With thanks to:

Authentic Beauty Concept, Schwarzkopf, L'Oréal Professionnel, Kérastase, Redken, Matrix, Phil Smith Be Gorgeous, Smith England Professional, Herbal Essences, Hair by Sam McKnight and Dermalogica.


Director: Simon Emmett @simonemmettstudio 

Content Director: Lisa Oxenham @lisaoxenham

Producer: Torey Cassidy @toreycassidy

Director of Photography: Martin Roach @martinjroach_dop

Digital Technician: Tom Frimley @tom_frimley

Edit: Ant Shurmer 

Post Production: Spring69 @spring69london

Lisa Oxenham

An award-winning health and beauty writer, stylist and creative director, Lisa Oxenham is one of the UK’s top beauty editors and the Beauty and Style Director at Marie Claire UK. With 20 years of editorial experience Lisa is a brand partnership expert, and a popular speaker, panelist and interviewer on a range of topics from sustainability to the future of beauty in the digital world. She recently spoke at Cognition X and Beauty Tech Live and is on the Advisory Board for the British Beauty Council’s Sustainable Beauty Coalition.

A well-respected creative director she works on celebrity, model and influencer shoots with the highest calibre of photographers, filmmakers, make-up artists and hairstylists to create timeless images, attention-grabbing videos, digital events and masterclasses. Most recently Lisa has directed covers such as Lily Cole and Jameela Jamil, films such as Save The Arts featuring Francesca Hayward and sustainable fashion shoots such as Be The Change. Supporting the beauty industry over the pandemic has been a top focus, directing the British Beauty Council’s six inspirational short biographical films for their Bring Back Beauty campaign.

Lisa is a wellbeing and beauty influencer with a focus on mental health and a large and engaged audience on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.