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Exclusive: CH survey reveals half of salon owners believe their business will fold

PPE

The latest Creative HEAD survey shows many hairdressers fear for the future of their business as undercover hairdressing activity rises

The industry is divided over the Government’s announcement that salons should remain closed until July 4 at the earliest, Creative HEAD can report.

In a snap survey of 100 hairdressers conducted on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 May, 49% said they were happy with the proposed date, although 14% said they feel it should be later. The remaining 37% want salons to be able to re-open earlier, citing the extensive measures they’re putting into place to ensure the safety of staff and clients.

“I have secured PPE, restructured the salon so that I can ensure social distancing between clients, and I have put a full lock door policy in place with information posters,” said one respondent. “Looking around at Morrison’s, B&M and other stores due to open on June 1, I’d rather sit in my sterilised salon than walk around shops where people I don’t know are not wearing PPE or social-distancing.”

“It’s not fair that we are being put in the same phase as pubs and restaurants,” said another. “We can operate with far fewer people in a much more controlled environment. Also, we can help with people’s mental health. I’ve had so many people say they’d feel much better even just getting a cut.”

Indeed, since the Government’s announcement, more than three-quarters of hairdressers (76%) say they have come under increased pressure from clients to do their hair, with 62% stating they know of hairdressers currently operating in their area. The majority of the clandestine activity consists of hairdressers visiting people in their homes (52%), with a further 11% reporting makeshift salons that clients are visiting; 37% of respondents said they were aware of both types of activity in their neighbourhood.

The delay to opening has left some salon owners feeling anxious, with 55% saying they are more worried now about losing clients, and 50% reporting they are more worried now about their business closing permanently than they were before the date was announced. Around a quarter of salon owners (24%) believe they will have to make redundancies, in order to survive.
“I hope we can operate in a way that will still see us making a profit,” said one. “What’s the point of opening and working for nothing?”