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Hairdressers being offered 'three or four times' normal prices to cut hair while salons are closed

The Irish Hairdressers Federation said people aren’t prepared to wait until mid-July for salons to reopen.
May 6th 2020, 12:43 PM 55,896 82

HAIRDRESSERS HAVE BEEN offered ‘three or four times’ the normal price of a salon haircut by clients desperate to have their hair done during the current lockdown, according to industry representatives. 

President of the Irish Hairdressers Federation, Danielle Kennedy said people aren’t prepared to wait until mid-July to have their hair cut or treated and are willing to pay treble the price they normally pay to have hairdressers come to their homes. 

“It has just erupted, and it has erupted even further since the announcement came that we’re not currently opening until the 20 July because people aren’t prepared to wait that long to get their hair done,” she said speaking on RTÉ Radio 1′s Sean O’Rourke programme

“[They're offered] roughly €150 to €200 for a haircut… compared to €40 or €50, which is the normal price – so three or four times the normal price, people are prepared to pay.”

“It’s putting salon owners and it’s putting stylists under an awful lot of pressure. Not every salon owner is prepared for months, to just be ‘no, no, no, no’. At some point there is the fear that the salon stylists and the owners are going to crumble and just try and look after their clients.

“There’s a friendship there, salons are a very happy place to be, people come in and they leave happy, they’re a very happy, positive, environment, so people like that feeling and obviously getting your hair done is very important to how people feel, especially at the moment when we’ve all been on lockdown.”

Pictures across social media in recent weeks have shown people dying their hair using off-the-shelf products – some of which have turned out horribly – but Kennedy said the majority of requests at present are for people looking for a trim. 

“They cutting actually strangely seems to be the bigger issue over the colour from what I’m hearing,” she said, adding that clients want to return to a salon but are prepared to have their hair cut at home, if possible. 

Kim Roberts, virologist at Trinity College Dublin, however, cautioned that “to cut someone’s hair, you need to get up close and personal and so you’re breaking that two metre social distancing rule, so there are risks involved and people need to be aware of those risks.”

Roberts added that “wearing a mask for a time when somebody’s hair is getting cut might be of benefit but those masks need to be worn properly in order to be effective and people need to realise that masks don’t give you 100% protection so there is a risk taking place.”

Kennedy said hairdressers are looking at measures to protect clients and staff in order to reopen sooner than July. 

“We have come up with a set of structured Covid protection guidelines that we would be prepared to go to if needed to get salons opened sooner,” she said.

“A salon is a much more sterile environment, salons are well-equipped to cope with this kind of stuff because we’re used to working in sterile environments anyway.

“We’re quite happy to reduce the numbers on the premises, to reduce the interaction from clients to clients, to keep that segregated. We will temporarily lose the kind of hospitality side of the industry but we’re prepared to do that.”

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Conor McCrave

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