“Hairdressers and barbers see their future as very difficult” Hair and beauty sector in Birmingham hit hard by the second lockdown

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The hairdressing and barber industry is a sector, which has been hit hard by the second national lockdown in Birmingham.

On the 5th of November hair salons and barber shops in Birmingham had to close their doors again due to the second national lockdown. Following the governmental announcement, they can reopen in early December. 

The Chief Executive of the National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF), Richard Lambert, said:

“Hairdressers and barbers see their future as very difficult. They have reduced businesses at the moment. They are worried abut their future and businesses. “

Richard Lambert, admitted that the national lockdown had a huge impact on the confidence within the business, clients, hairdressers and barbers. 

Some hair salons and barbers have been shut for over 3 months, so after the first lockdown they had to adapt to the new requirements he added. 

On the 4th of July the Government allowed hairdressers and barbers to reopen their doors after the first lockdown, now customers have to wait for another month to get their hair done. 

How lockdown has affected hairdressers and barbers?

After the first lockdown, many hairdressers and barbers had to incorporate new safe ways of work to reopen their businesses.

Richard Lambert said: 

“Some hairdressing salons had to put quite a lot of money into reconfiguring this out to make sure that they can apply social distancing and protection for them and clients so they could reopen.” 

The Chief Executive of the NHBF added that some of them are worried about how they are going to repay their loans, which they took to stay afloat and pay their rent for December.  

As Christmas is approaching, one of the busiest months of the year, hairdressers and barbers are “concerned that they are not getting money in as they could be doing in November” added Lambert. 

Research conducted by the hair and beauty body shows that booking appointment in September was down 22% compared to what it was last year.

Birmingham hairdressers and barbers, hugely affected by the Government announcement did not want to share their experiences with our reporters. Richard Lambert explains that this is because they are worried about their future. 

While there are many people, who own either a barbershop or a hair salon, who may be feeling stressed out by the second lockdown, Sam Baylis agreed to talk to us. The owner of The Finery Barbers in Selly Oak explained how he coped during hard times and how he changed his businesses.

”During the first lockdown, I just didn’t t sit back and keep things as normal. I added a lot of things to the business. I created the Grooming range, we had some merchandise, I created the new website and did a bit of training in a shop with my staff, so I kept myself busy.”

Sam Baylis added that the closure of his barber shop benefited him and because people were mainly working from home their behaviour towards barbers have changed.

The owner of Damas Hair & Beauty Arabic Salon in Birmingham, shared her experience of working during the pandemic.

“Between the lockdowns, not a lot of customers came, we had no clients. Some of them were scared because of COVID-19.”

Let’s put this into context: 

Most up-to-date statistics on the hairdressing and beauty industry in the UK comes from the past year. 

In 2019, there were more than 40,000 hair and beauty businesses, according to a joint-report from the Hair and Barber Council and British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology. 

More than half of the people, who worked in barbering and hairdressing were self-employed, according to the National Health and Beauty Federation industry Statistics for 2019.

The Hair and Barbering Council reports that nearly 90% of hair and beauty businesses in England are female-owned. 

In comparison with male-owned businesses in hair and beauty, it is just over 10%, so it is skewed towards females than males when it comes to running a hair and beauty business. 

What is the future for the hair and beauty industry?

”Hairdressers and barbers are worried that clients would lose confidence in coming to their salons because of the COVID-19. They are concerned that people get used to not having their hair done as often as they might or they become more used to caring for their hair. Hairdressers and barbers are worried about their future and businesses,” said the Chief Executive of hair and beauty body. 

Full interview with Richard Lambert, The Chief Executive of the National Hair and Beauty Federation:

What is your opinion on closures of hair and beauty salons? Answer the question below👇

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Freelance journalist writing stories for Birmingham Eastside

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