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April 03, 2020
How has the coronavirus affected you personally?
First of all, work, not working is hard. It’s something I love doing, yet it keeps me distracted from other things that may be going on. I genuinely love being with my clients, my girls in my shop, it’s just a lot of routines have flipped upside down. Secondly, I have struggled in the past with agoraphobia. I feel like it’s affecting my journey in doing more because being restricted of when I can go out or where I can go is challenging. However, positive pants are on and it’s not forever.
What have you found comforting throughout everything that’s going on?
The support networks through other hairdressers, beauticians, nail techs and so on, that are going through the exact same thing, you aren’t alone, and there are so many questions to be asked and so many people willing to answer them!
Where do you see things from a salon owner’s perspective in three months’ time?
Busy! Busy! busy! I cannot wait for all of our industry to be so high in demand again, to be valued and to have normality back.
Are clients staying in touch?
Yep! I receive messages every single day from clients telling me how much I am missed which is so lovely, it’s nice to be appreciated as a person not just as a hairdresser.
What sort of questions are clients asking?
What box dye can I use? How are you feeling? Some clients are offering to pay up front payments to keep me going.
When do you see the salon back open?
What extra measures will you put in place once you are back in the salon to make sure you can cope with the volume of clients?
I will be working longer days; I will give up my days off for the time being and be back in the place I love the most.
What advice can you give to stay positive in these extremely tough times?
As hard as it is, try to enjoy it, we never get a large amount of time off without guilt creeping in, spend more time with your family, connect through FaceTime, Money comes and goes but memories will last forever.
Within my job yes, as I have to work my hours from home, which if I am being honest is extremely hard because my 16-month-old child is very needy, and her nursery has shut. So, doing my hours at home really is hard.
What have you found comforting throughout everything that’s going on?
I have found comfort in knowing that there are dedicated and hardworking individuals who are supporting us and looking after us.
Where do you see things from a college lecturer’s perspective in three months’ time?
I do not see the 2019/2020 students returning to college before September, which is a shame and a dilemma. This is because if you are a level 2 trainee hairdresser who wishes to progress into level 3 in September, how can it be possible when you aren't being shown practical skills to progress your knowledge. However, I am sure the awarding bodies are putting things in place for the students to be able to possibly fast tract through the rest of the assessments to progress seamlessly onto the higher-level qualification.
Are students staying in touch?
I am finding it slightly different hearing from my learners as I am sure they see this time as a holiday. We are putting things in place such as Microsoft teams to have virtual lessons with the learners and recording ourselves and uploading it to a restricted YouTube channel made for learners.
What sort of questions are students asking?
Students are concerned about finishing the course and taking their exams.
When do you see the College back open?
I believe the college will be back open in September 2020 for the new influx of learners.
What extra measures will you put in place once you are back in college to make sure you can cope with the volume of students?
I think extra lessons and classes will be in place to ensure the current level students can finish and achieve their qualifications in time to progress onto their next qualifications.
I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason and one day this will all come to pass. I would recommend picking up a new hobby or learning something new. Learn a new language, read a new book or learn how to knit. Above all keep yourself in a routine, don’t spend all your time in your room. Fresh air is needed.
I've literally been in tears. Being confined to a one bed flat with no outdoor space is taking its toll on me emotionally and mentally. I love my job and it gives me a place to express myself, forget all my worries or at least not think about them and allow perspective on them later. But without that I'm lost, no definition to my days, no clarity to when I can get back to doing what I love. Everything is so uncertain.
My family and friends have been the best source of comfort for me and of course my fiancé who is just an amazing man. From a work/career perspective many educators and big brands are offering free or heavily discounted education from basic colour, to hair up styling and fashion colours. It's all been a great opportunity to increase knowledge and further our skills as professionals.
Where do you see things from an employee perspective in three months’ time?
I am fortunate enough to have an amazing boss who I know is doing everything he can to help us, keep the salon there for when this all dies down and check we're ok too. I am glad that I stopped working for myself a few months ago as I would be financially destitute. My income would not have permitted me to survive this. But 3 months is hopefully enough time to see this virus off for the most part and life can start to get back to some degree of normality. We as hairdressers are going to be so busy, doing all those roots that haven't been done in a long time or fixing those that decided box dye was a viable option with no worries about the fact they aren't professional colours. I can only hope and try to stay positive that by then we will be back to work as that is one of the brightest lights I have in this dark time.
I have a few clients checking in with me and I check in on them. Even ones that are no longer clients, mostly due to relocation are still in contact occasionally. It's nice to feel that I was enough of a presence in their lives to feel they want to check in on me.
Mostly just asking after my health and how I am doing. My clients are all well aware of what they should not be doing to their hair whilst this is going on, thankfully.
I pray to whoever is up there that it is soon. I hope in 2 months, that's the earliest I see this being a possibility. But the reality is that it could be 3 months or more. For everyone's sanity I hope it's only a short time.
I'm planning to work extra days if needs be to accommodate clients. I think for me this will be easier and safer than working longer days. But also keeping clients informed that it is busy on certain days or at certain times to keep things clear and enable them to book in at the most suitable time for them.
Oh my god, talk to people because even the most ridiculous conversation keeps your mind busy. Also do something you love like crafting or reading a book, for me its hair. Styling my mannequin head is a part of my daily routine at the moment to try and make it feel like I've got a purpose.
Personally, at the start it didn’t really affect me, I was in a little bubble. Out of all the girls who work in the salon I was the mellow one floating around. I don’t like to watch the news in general anyway so up until a few weeks ago I was fine but obviously then the diary was getting quieter the food shops busier and so on. The whole reality kind of set in but I feel like I’m still doing ok, just trying to stay positive. I’m very lucky to still live with my amazing mum and dad. I feel sorry for so many people, it’s such a difficult time but as long as we all support each other. The only thing that bothers me really, that a lot of my clients already know, I suffer with agoraphobia which I’ve had under control now for a while so as long as everyone’s healthy and happy, I just wouldn’t like any setbacks in that department.
That we are all in this together, if I have a worry or anything, I stop and think well so does everyone else. I have found Instagram to help as well with the amount of tutorials, tips, Instagram lives keeping in touch with clients and friends. The support everyone is giving each other is amazing; I spend most of my days on there.
Where do you see things from a self-employed perspective in the three months’ time?
I see us hopefully all getting back to some kind of normality. I feel really lucky to love what I do and I genuinely can’t wait to just get back to it in our salon. There are 3 of us and we are all spaced out really well so social distancing shouldn’t be a problem. I am just hoping in 3 months’ time we can get back to it.
Yes I have a lot on social media and we all talk and comment on things daily anyway. I’ve had some text messages from clients who are not on social media with lovely support and people offering to buy vouchers. Some clients also let me know when the news was out about the 80% of wages. It’s really comforting to know how much everyone cares.
What sorts of questions are client’s asking?
Apart from the ‘how are you doing?’ messages, I am also receiving tape removal questions, weft removal questions, how to sew clips onto wefts, good treatment recommendations and the odd roots question.
In an ideal word I would love to be open at the beginning of May but who knows. I’m putting it out to the universe that I want it to be May.
What extra measures will you put into place once you are back in the salon to make sure you can cope with the volume of clients?
I am lucky that I have 24-hour access to where I work so I can start earlier and finish later. Obviously no crazy late appointments but I can do nice long days, work a few Sundays and Mondays which are days I usually have off.
To just try to remember this is temporary. You are not in this alone, everyone is feeling exactly the same. Give yourself a job each day, no matter how little, to pass some time. For example, I have set myself the job to clean my makeup brushes. There is always support out there, don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Give someone on social media some positive comments, they might need it and one day they might return the favour when you need it. Remember better days are coming!!
From a professional point of view, it’s caused me to temporarily shut down my business. From a personal point of view like many others I feel scared, a bit confused, and a bit bored. I have a daughter with some additional needs who is finding the uncertainty very difficult. My husband is working from home which on a positive note does enable us to spend more time together as a family.
Just how supportive other members of my industry are. Also being able to speak to friends regularly online throughout the day.
Where do you see things from a salon owner perspective in three months’ time?
I truly believe that we will be pretty much business as usual in three months’ time, albeit with more attention to social distancing and incorporating that into our daily salon life. Our salon is on two levels and we are able to space our clients 2m apart.
Yes, I have received a steady stream of messages from clients and I have also made sure I have messaged our elder and more vulnerable clients to see if they are ok and/or need anything. I think it’s really important to keep the contact going. I have also been able to send a group message out to all my clients.
Mainly, asking if they can go on a list to be contacted as soon as we are open. Some have asked for tips on how to best maintain their hair if having to go longer than usual between appointments or miss an appointment.
I see a phased return from the middle of May (currently 6 weeks away) moving to full occupancy in June. Our online booking is open from 1st June and many clients are now booking in for then.
I have a pool of school age part-time workers who I am able to call on to come in full time to support permanent staff as schools will be closed till September. I have also had offers of help from clients who are unable to work for the foreseeable future to come in and help with reception/general tidying when we open.
Plan your day as best you can, you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished things that way. It’s really important to replace the time you were working with something else. Perhaps do an online course.
Here is an example of a typical day for me:
8:00-9:00: Phone time/answering messages/social media
9:00-9:30: Get up, dress, breakfast
9:30-10:00: Joe Wicks
10:00-11:00: Outdoor exercise (walking the dogs)
12:00-1:00: Work (I have a doll head at home so often I practice hair ups or schedule posts or contact some clients with a personal message)
1:00-2:00: Lunch/Family Time
2:00-4:00: Household jobs (I have a big list that I am working through)
4:00-6:00: Personal Time (Crafts/Reading/TV)
6:00-7:00: Prep Dinner
7:00-8:00: Dinner/Family Time (on Friday’s we have a games night and on Saturday’s we have a movie night)
8:00-10:00: TV/Phone Time
Unfortunately, I am one of the high-risk cases as I have blood cancer. So as soon as the UK had the virus I was told to self-isolate. It is nearly 3 weeks for myself now and I'm going a bit stir crazy. Apart from being worried about my business I am also worried about my health. It was so upsetting for me to see my shop being closed and not being the one to close up. Something I never would have thought I would have to do.
It's so lovely to see all the hair dressing industry group together. We are all in this together and we will get through it. The industry has always been known to be quite bitchy and I'm sure we have all experienced it at some point. But through all forms of social media we are all coming together to give each other support.
I feel we will all be very busy when this is all over! But as a salon owner times are tough now with no business coming in. So, I feel it will be a struggle in the run up to Christmas to get the revenue back being a small business owner.
Our social media was flooded with so much support from our clients. I had a wee cry with all the lovely messages. We are still keeping up to date with our social media and chatting away to our clients.
The thing is, we will miss our work, creating those transformations, but it's the clients themselves we will truly miss. We love all our chats and hearing what everyone has been up to.
We have not had many questions as on the run up to lockdown we were getting in touch with clients that were due in and putting up announcements to either move appointments forward or have their hair extensions removed.
Hopefully we will be open again soon! As soon as it is safe to do so we will be opening up our doors. If it is earlier than expected I will still probably be in isolation due to my health, but the girls will be back in.
The staffs health and safety will come first as well as our clients. So again, if people are unwell, we will be asking them to come in at a later date. With regards to the volume of clients coming in I will have an extra member of staff helping with removals and reception also we will have extended opening hours.
Self-care is so important. So, pamper yourself. Take an extra-long bubble bath with lovely smelling candles. Keep your mind calm, meditate or read a book. Do all those things that you've wanted to do about the house that you've always been too busy to do. Health, love and solidarity will see us through this. Keep safe!
Personally, it’s affected my mental health. I really miss my daily routine and my clients. I feel a bit lost but I am enjoying family time, I’m sure I will feel better when I have settled in to not working I’m normally on the go non-stop!
The kindness of fellow hairdressers & beauticians I’ve had a lot of support which has been nice.
Where do you see things from a self-employed perspective in three months’ time?
Hopefully back open very busy & working overtime to welcome all of my wonderful clients back. We will be in recession so after the busy period things will be tough I’m sure, customer service will have to be 110%
Are clients staying in touch?
Yes, they are by text, but I’m keeping in touch with all of them individually by text or phone.
Are you ok? Can you keep in touch with me please? A few jokes about dodgy DIY haircuts.
Not for at least a month or two.
Extra hours as many as I can work to fit all those haircuts/wefts/colours in, I will even work Sundays.
What advice can you give to stay positive in these extremely tough times?
Avoid watching TV all day; get out for a walk, facetime a loved one.
We hope that reading this has brought you some comfort and has given you some ideas on how to fill your time
If you are finding it difficult or feeling alone, please don’t!
Get in touch with us, either through Facebook, Instagram or our website and we will connect you with one of our groups where you will find lots of positivity, lots of encouragement and support.
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