Hairdressers Share their Tips for Coping During Lockdown
With hair salons remaining closed during the coronavirus, hairdressers have shared their tips, experiences and advice on how they are navigating their businesses and coping during the lockdown.
TONI&GUY international artistic director, Cos Sakkas
“Use your team Whatsapp group to set a question of the week and start a conversation about customer care, retail services, trends and techniques,” says Cos. “When you’re away from the pressures of work it can be amazing what you come up with.”
“Head to ted.com for inspirational talks and soundbites from all industries that will keep you motivated. Just because we are on lockdown doesn’t mean you have to put a stop to your business and creative knowledge,” he says. “But above all don’t worry, don’t panic, your hair family will be there for you when we get through this.”
Sally Brooks, co-owner, Brooks & Brooks
“As well as staying in touch with your colleagues and your team, make sure you stay in touch with other business owners, stylists and the industry as a whole. Everyone feels like they are alone, but this is such an amazing industry and we are all going through this together,” says Sally.
“Stay updated – check out digital magazines and websites to find out what is happening in the industry. As well as Coronavirus, people are talking about rebuilding businesses, offering their expertise and reassuring messages,” she says.
“Turn down the negativity – if you belong to a social page or group, and the negativity is getting you down, then turn it off and step away. Life is a challenge for everyone right now, and while we have to be realistic, we also need to be positive,” she adds.
Joe Hemmings, owner, Bloggs Salons
“I’ve really thought about what kind of business I want to operate after lockdown and having broken down the client experience, I will be moving more into wellbeing for the salon,” says Joe.
“I’ve spent a lot of time researching other salons in different countries to get more ideas, as well as looking at other industries to pick things up on how Bloggs can develop our own culture and brand,” he says.
“In terms of hobbies, I’ve been in the garden loads and redesigned it to make it more modern, and I’ve been listening to audio books and podcasts. I really recommend Simon Sinek’s ‘Start With Why’ – it’s well worth a listen,” he adds. “I’ve also started learning sign language as my toddler daughter has issues with her hearing and I know it’s going to be something we need to do for her.”
Jason Hall, BHA Scottish Hairdresser of the Year
“One of the projects I’m currently working on will take place post lockdown; a day spent working with myself at my Creative Hub, an independent studio location that’s kitted out with a photographic studio including hair and makeup areas in central Edinburgh,” says Jason.
“I often get people requesting to work with me on shoots or on one of the advertising campaigns I’m working on, so I thought, to give us all something to look forward to, I’m going to invite a group to come and do that with me in the studio,” he says.
Dawn Lawrence, managing director Q Hair and Beauty Group
“At first, like many, the unknown days and weeks ahead of the lockdown created lots of work to navigate the situation, the salon teams and the physical salons to a place that was manageable,” says Lawrence. “Going forward, this time has allowed me space and an opportunity to assess all areas of the business, including launching our no-contact retail delivery service,” she says.
“In today’s world, our social channels’ messaging needs to speak to our audience, but we’ve taken the opportunity to additionally reflect on our rich heritage in Chichester, engaging with and growing our audience. Next step, getting ready with our ‘comeback’ plan,” she adds.
Great Lengths certified stylist, James Henderson from M Hair
“Initially, it was very surreal when we closed the doors, not knowing for how long, or how we could stay productive whilst we were closed,” says James. “What helps is that everyone is in the same boat and instinctively people turn to the internet and social media. This prompted me to look at our own website and social media to look where things could be improved.”
“Lots of our clients have become good friends over the years and we see them on a weekly basis, so closing the salon is like losing a friend and that’s why it’s so important me for to stay positive and check in on them on a regular basis,” he says.
“Prior to this lockdown I was meant to be taking part in the London to Paris bike ride in July in support of the charity, The Little Princess Trust along with Great Lengths UK & Ireland brand director Chris King and commercial director, Julian Murray,” he says. “Sadly though, due to the current restrictions, it has been postponed until next July. This has not stopped my training though and certainly on the positive side, I have the advantage of extra free time and unusually quiet roads!”
Siobhan Jones, director of Rose and Wild Salon for L’Oréal Professionnel
“From the beginning I’ve tried to introduce some sort of structure to my days and have also offered optional activities for the team at Rose & Wild to join in on also. One of our team members Anna is a Pilates instructor so she has been running weekly sessions with the Rose & Wild team on Zoom,” says Siobhan.
“I then pencil in time each week to do work admin such as salon emails, planning for reopening and I’m also putting together my new Balayage and Cut & Colour Education Sessions for early 2021 (may as well get started). I’ve also started an online graphics design and marketing course by Coursera. I’ve always wanted to do one and now is the perfect time to gain some new insights and skills,” she says.
“As hairdressers we are used to the constant communication and it has quite a negative impact on me when I’m not staying in touch with people, so regular chats on house party, spending a lot of time just generally speaking with friends, family and my team is great,” she says.
“I now run a weekly quiz on Mondays at 8pm on my Instagram Live with one of my team members, Sam, which I think has provided just as much entertainment for those doing it as it has Sam and I when coming up with the questions, ‘Who Is That Barnet?’ round is proving a real hit.”
Anne Veck and Keith Mellen, co-directors of Anne Veck Oxford
“Anne loves cycling and she delivered a hair dryer to client last week – a round trip of 50K by bike,” says Keith.
“We are eating more sensibly and more healthily. Both of us are more relaxed and it’s like a sort of holiday at home,” he says. “Anne is doing hairdressing videos and has just done one for Fellowship’s The Knowledge and doing twice a week two hour training with the team on zoom. This is going very well.”
John Vial, Revlon Professional global influencer
“Lockdown has given me a chance to really reflect. I rarely look back and always find myself moving onto the next thing but having a chance to go into my attic, find my archive of work and remind myself of what I’ve achieved has been so cathartic,” says John.
“Looking at my graduation certificate, I was completely transported back to how I felt on the day I qualified. Being able to look over my 37-year career at old fashion shoots and some of my early fashion week references, celeb shoots has been really uplifting,” he says. “I’ve been so lucky in my career to be surrounded by such inspirational people it’s been so beneficial to reflect and take a pause. I really feel in order to move forward it’s good to take references from the past.”
“This time to reflect has reminded me that it’s good to take a moment to feel inspired and look outside of the box – sometimes the answer is under your nose and in the most unexpected places.”
Heffy Wheeler, owner of HX Hair and OSMO ambassador
“There are alternatives to helping clients with colour fade that don’t involve reaching for the box dyes,” says Wheeler. “I’ve been creating colour care packages for use at home where I mix their usual colours with conditioner and post to them, people can also use a colour enhance shampoo and conditioner too, or opt for a root touch up product.” says Heffy.
Caroline Sanderson, owner, Ego Hair Design and founder, Salon Jedi Coaching Academy
“I’ve been ensuring we’re back to business quickly by devising a solid marketing plan and continuing to put an ad spend into social media, allowing us to build lists for when we re-open,” says Caroline. “We’ve set up a VIP inner circle Whatsapp group where people in there get first notice on re-opening, and I used it to promote a one-day voucher sale for our biggest and most loyal spenders. This group loves getting offers and first notice of things, so will be great for last minute space filling in future,” she says.
“We launched a Facebook messenger client quiz using a messenger bot, which was engaging, fun and we offered prizes that bring the clients to the salon when we reopen.
We’ve been working on ideas of what we will give the NHS and front-line workers when we return, earmarking stuff for goody bags for them, and we’re still giving to charity; however small. Now we have our grant we will still donate a percentage to our local food bank,” she says.
Robert Eaton, creative director at Russell Eaton Salons in Leeds and Barnsley, British Hairdresser of the Year and UK and Ireland technical director for Wella Professionals
“I am spending lots of time with wife and daughter. I normally work six days a week, so I feel lucky to have this period of time with my family, enjoying the really simple things,” says Robert. “My daughter, Pearl, is four years old and it is such a fun age! We have spent lots of time together baking, playing in the garden and watching Frozen one and two – I think I know both movies word for word!”
“From a business point of view we have already started to prepare for re-opening both salons. This has involved lots discussions with the management team regarding the various scenarios we could be facing in terms of the logistics of this, including the possibility of working in shift patterns and social distancing in the salons,” he says.
“Clients are the other key care and we are calling them and checking in with them regularly. They each have their own concerns and we are offering help and advice for those who want it. Whether it may be how to disguise regrowth or how to resist the temptation of cutting their own hair in lockdown, it is our job as hair professionals to help them the best way we can to get through this,” says Eaton.
“We have also been busy working on our #HealthCareHeros and #LocalLegends competitions, which we have just launched with the support of Wella Professionals, Great Lengths and OPI. Inspired by my wife, Libby, who is a frontline NHS nurse, and her colleagues, we are asking for nominations from the public for their own #HealthCareHero and #LocalLegend. Winners will receive a bespoke makeover at one of our salons when they re-open. It is our way of showing our support and appreciation for those people in our community working tirelessly during this pandemic,” he says.
Kerry Mather, KJM Salons
“Lockdown has been a really productive time for me. As a salon owner, my two main priorities are my staff and clients. I have been keeping in touch with staff on an almost daily basis, just checking in on them and seeing how they are coping. This is an unprecedented situation we are all in, and even though they are away from my salon, staff welfare during this period of lockdown is incredibly important to me,” says Kerry.
“I have also been in contact with clients on a regular basis, checking in on them and even taking orders for and creating bespoke home hair care packages, which I have been delivering to their doorsteps. These include gloss mousse, root touch up, shampoo, treatments, hair styling essentials and even sweeties – because everybody deserves a treat right now,” she adds.
“Social media is an area I have been getting creative with. I have been posting tutorials and educational content, which is something I have always wanted to do but I never seemed to find the time for before now. The response has been great and I hope to continue with this when the salon is open again,” she says.
“Of course it’s not all work! I have been working out with Joe Wicks each morning – it’s a great way to start the day! And the silver lining with all this is I am getting more time at home with my family, which I am grateful for.”