So long, lockdown roots
When the government announced their tentative exit strategy out of lockdown on Monday, one question was foremost in our minds: when will hairdressers and beauty salons be able to open again?
The beauty industry has been among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with salons forced to keep their doors shut even longer than pubs, restaurants and gyms over the past year.
Nearly 5,000 salons have been forced to close their doors for good as a result of lockdown, and following Boris's latest announcement, hairdressers and salons across the country will have to wait another seven weeks minimum before they can even consider opening for business again.
When will hairdressers and beauty salons open again in the UK?
12 April 2021 currently serves as the provisional date for hairdressers and beauty salons to open again in England. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said salons and non-essential retail are likely to reopen in the country in the last week of April, while Wales and Northern Ireland are yet to give a provisional opening date for beauty services.
But with England's date still seven weeks in the future, some of our best salons are under threat after almost a year of little financial help in the wake of repeated closure.
Ahead of the next government budget announcement on 3 March, the beauty industry is calling on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to introduce a temporary VAT cut for salons from 20% to 5% (in line with that which the hospitality industries were granted), and provide emergency supplementary funding for businesses that fall under the Personal Care sector.
In support of salons, the British Beauty Council have launched Beauty on the Brink, a campaign backed by professionals across the industry – including Marie Claire's Editor-in-Chief Andrea Thompson, and Beauty and Style Director Lisa Oxenham – urging the government to act now to save salons.
How will social distancing work in salons?
What the future of the hair and beauty industry will look like is still largely unknown. But if salons are given the go-ahead to open at the end of April, similar social distancing measures to those put in place when salons reopened back in July are likely to be implemented.
Think: PPE, protective plastic screens between chairs, treatments on an appointment only basis, and having your temperature checked before entering the salon.
For beauty salons, not all treatments were immediately back on the menu when the last lockdown lifted. Those that require close contact – such as eyebrow treatments, LVL lashes and facials – weren't offered until August, meaning that while salons might be able to open their doors come April, it's unknown whether they'll be able to offer all services.
How to support your salon
This gives salons an idea of their expected income, and let's be honest, after a year of on and off lockdowns, we could all use a restorative turn in the chair.
If you book an appointment, ensure to turn up for it. Or if you absolutely can't make it, try to let your salon know well ahead of time.
While the past year has made for, um, interesting ventures in dying hair at home, we can't wait to leave it up to the experts again.
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Kate McCusker is a freelance writer at Marie Claire UK, having joined the team in 2019. She studied fashion journalism at Central Saint Martins, and her byline has also appeared in Dezeen, British Vogue, The Times and woman&home. In no particular order, her big loves are: design, good fiction, bad reality shows and the risible interiors of celebrity houses.
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