Unlike bars and restaurants, hairdressers have been allowed to remain open throughout new lockdown policies. However, business has not just been bad because customers are afraid and because haircuts are associated with events and important moments in our lives. When our social lives diminish, so does our need to look important to the world. This is what really scares business owners.
The anticipation towards a haircut is an important one. Most of us have an image in our head as to what we'd like to see. The hairdresser, barber, or stylist challenge is to match this vision and make it a reality. That is why particularly in rural areas, customers choose to be loyal to their hairdressers, says Luc Olinger, Vice-president of the "Hair Beauty Tattoo Guild".
Created in 2018, his organisation rearranged the old hairdresser federation and included tattoo artists to widen its roughly 300 members' scope and influence. COVID-19 and the associated health restrictions have hit these business owners hard, explains Olinger: "On one hand, customers are afraid of getting infected, of course. But then there's the home office. With fewer people going to an office, fewer people think it is necessary for them to get a haircut." This underlines the social factor associated with our looks: as much as we have esthetic services done for ourselves, we operate as social beings, attempting to please. In the professional world, getting a haircut to go to a job interview is known preparation, but in a way, fighting for a promotion on a daily basis requires looking put together.
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A business affected by changing habits
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