Coronavirus: Salon owners frustrated as rogue hairdressers break lockdown

People in the industry tell Sky News they’ve heard some stylists have been giving cuts in places like back gardens

Salon owners have expressed frustration at people in their industry giving illegal haircuts
Salon owners want the government to give them a date for when they get going again.

The continued closure of hairdressing salons and barber shops has led to people flouting lockdown rules by seeking out professional haircuts. 

The UK government hasn’t included hair salons, beauty parlours or tattoo studios in the list of businesses that can reopen on 15 June, leaving many small businesses in continued limbo, but in Scotland that opening could be delayed until July 4.

While many people have turned to DIY haircuts at home, there is growing anecdotal evidence that people are arranging appointments with professionals prepared to break coronavirus lockdown rules.

Salon owner Joana Hesse, who has been in the industry for 30 years in north Manchester, told Sky News she had seen barber shops with people waiting outside for a cut.

“It is so frustrating when we are all sticking to the rules,” she said.

“I said to the guy… ‘you are the people who are not making this thing go away’, and he said ‘yeah, well I told the barber’.

“I said ‘you are sitting there, you are going to have your haircut, and that is wrong’.”

Ms Hesse said the barber responded: “I want to open, I have been at home for too long… just like anyone else we all need money to survive.”

She implored the government to at least give the industry a date so that they can work towards reopening and start taking bookings again.“We need a specific date so we can get ourselves ready,” she added.

Like many businesses, she is ordering personal protective equipment, reworking a business plan based on fewer customers and will ask customers to wait in their cars rather than in the shop.

Another barber, who wished to remain anonymous, told Sky News he knew some self-employed stylists were making up to £50 a time arranging to meet customers at their homes or in their back gardens.

For those sticking by the rules, online appointments with a trained stylist giving instructions over a video call are becoming more popular during the lockdown.

New start up initiative Lockdown Haircut has been enabling a group of barbers around the UK to continue earning a wage by charging £15 for an appointment. The profits have been donated to the NHS.

Lockdown Haircut barber Ben May, who lives in central London, told Sky News: “I have heard rumours of barbers working and hairdressers working and people being in back gardens and doing haircuts, and it’s hard, isn’t it?”

“I think what people have realised from not having us available is that they really want haircuts. If people are doing that – they shouldn’t be doing it – but if they feel they need to be doing it, who am I to say otherwise?”

One comment

  1. Compliance with the law is optional. Indeed compliance with good public health practice is optional too.

    Call it the Dominic Cummings – Boris Johnson option. And all mandated by the police who will stand idly by.

    Me I was steaming last night after a big bevvy session and this morning, I’m off with the wife and grandchildren for a sixty mile drive to test if I’m sober and fit. No doubt Police Scotland will agree. The Northern English police did.

    And to all these people who lost loved ones, could not visit them in hospital at the last, could not attend their funerals, why on earth did you not just attend, it’s what any reasonable person would do.

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