Backed by the best journalists in the industry
Now reaching the point where you’re desperately missing your hairdresser and dreaming about your manicurist? Yeah, us too.
Nearly a year on from the first UK lockdown, it’s indisputable that the beauty industry has been one of those hit hardest. Salons have stayed shut longer than pubs, restaurants and even gyms, making upholding rental fees particularly difficult, shares Millie Kendall MBE, CEO of the British Beauty Council.
“We’ve been the poor relation in terms of government help and support, compared to say the hospitality industry,” she says. Using the government-led Eat Out To Help Out scheme to get the hospitality industry back on its feet in August as an example, she highlights the support the hospitality industry, in particular, seems to have garnered.
Beauty salons, on the other hand, have been told to stay closed for longer and can’t swivel their business models to takeaway overnight, either. “Beauty has had no such help or options, suffering the longest business closures. When they have been allowed to open, many businesses have only managed to run at 70% pre pandemic capacity,” she explains.
Beauty and Style Director of Marie Claire Lisa Oxenham agrees, sharing some sobering stats. “Almost 5,000 salons have closed their doors for good. Despite the industry’s large economic contribution, there’s been no emergency funding made available,” she explains. November stats indicated that 40% of spas and 62% of salons weren’t sure their businesses would survive the financial year.
So, what is the Beauty on the Brink campaign?
This is where the Beauty on the Brink campaign comes in, urging the government to help save our salons. On Friday morning, a letter signed by a roster of respected beauty journalists was sent to Rishi Sunak. Publications like Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Elle, Stylist, and, of course, Marie Claire, are asking the government for a temporary VAT cut in line with the VAT cut hospitality industries were granted, and an emergency supplementary fund for hair and beauty businesses, too.
“I’m so proud to stand united with my media and beauty journalist peers to support the amazing hair and beauty services industry,” shares Oxenham. “We’re asking for the support that this valuable industry needs and deserves.”
How can you help?
Want to know how to help yourself? Every little helps. When salons do open – it’s just been announced that they’ll be opening on 12th April – you could make a habit of booking appointments ahead of time. Simple actions like this give salon owners a clearer idea of income.
Make sure to attend appointments, if you book them, and don’t cancel at the last minute. Plus, you could opt to buy your beauty products from your favourite salon’s online store.
Even sharing the campaign online helps make some noise about the cause and start conversation. The beauty industry deserves better.