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LOCK DOWN: Hair Professionals' ‘How To’ Guide to Self-Isolation

Tuesday, 24 March 2020 11:38

There is a light at the end of the tunnel; how long that tunnel might be, we do not as yet know. By uniting our resources and experiences, Estetica has devised this invaluable guide to Staying In, Staying Strong and Staying Solid.

Through a combination of either legal implementation or strict protocol on self-imposed social distancing, all hair and beauty professionals across the Western World are now moving into a scenario where their businesses are either already in a state of total lock-down, or one in which that prospect is looming just over the horizon. Despite a somewhat more flippant attitude amongst certain groups in wider society, the message is, at last, finally getting through - by keeping our distance, we’re protecting the elderly and the most vulnerable from unspeakable consequences. 

National Red-Lines

In Italy, Spain, France and many other European countries the lockdown is total. Some other European countries, such as the United Kingdom, have been slower in joining them, but even here the lockdown is now draconian and in line with most of the rest of Europe. In the United States, however, there is a distinct lack of widespread federal guidelines, meaning that individual States have to make decisions in keeping with their own numbers and needs.

Staying Home, Staying Solid

The concept of isolating the entire professional hair industry from its clients for an indeterminate period of time is very hard for us to get our heads around. Apart from the physical, emotional and psychological implications for hair professionals themselves, many clients are also really struggling – only now are we beginning to understand what a vital and indispensable service our hair professionals provide, one which invariably goes far beyond hair creativity: friend, ally, confidante, psychologist...

We can support each other and our clients by sharing our experiences, anecdotes and advice on the MUST HAVES and HOW TOS of getting through these tough times. This guide is a joint-effort by our international editorial teams, who have asked hairdressers around the world to send in their advice and ideas. 

IF YOU’D LIKE TO TAKE PART BY SUBMITTING YOUR OWN SUGGESTIONS, PLEASE SEND YOUR IDEAS TO: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



- Make space for your hobbies, especially if they involve inspiring your creative side - this way you can stay both grounded and mentally active. Remember also to make space for others by showing kindness and generosity in a spirit of mutual support and solidarity.  Also, give space to your imagination, which is free to expand beyond the confines of the home.

- More family-time is always a good thing, but it can also help you take stock of the wider issues that really matter to you. Re-think the ethical behaviours and practises that can really enrich our lives, transforming our path every day. Rediscover new personal values and beauty and take advantage of the opportunity to rethink your philosophy of life and work, while having the courage for the new choices and decisions that we will have to make in the not too distant future.  

- Although these days patriotism isn't always seen a popular pastime, take a leaf out of the Italians' book – show that it's fine to feel national pride in being part a community that, at the moment, is setting an amazing example to colleagues from other countries.

- When it comes to keeping your technical skills up to speed, remember that as a hairdresser you've developed your manual dexterity to an extraordinary level. Make rules and stick to them as regards 'keeping your hand in' – train on dummy heads or invent new techniques that you can introduce when you to the salon.

- Rules pertaining to self-isolation apply to everyone – they're not optional and nobody is exempt. We must all be ethically responsible and aware – nobody wants to be reporting their neighbours to the authorities for setting up shop in their kitchens.  

- Take responsibility for feeling good about yourself and maintain the personal standards that are, in normal times, so important to you. Pyjamas and slippers are not a great look for video conferencing – in any case you'll feel better if you look better.



- The Coronavirus will bite deep into our psyche, so long after it has left us, it's likely that a certain degree paranoia will remain, particularly in terms on enhanced hygiene practices. Revise your sanitation protocols in good time for your salon reopening, so you can meet your clients' fears head on.

- Do a checklist of ways you can reduce unnecessary costs, as it's likely you'll need to make cuts for a while after you're up-and-running again. Ask yourself: “Where should I cut and where should I invest?”

- When you do re-open be prepared for an onslaught of bookings! If you're opening up it means people will be socialising again, so after weeks of neglect the need to look one's best is going to be massive. Think about how you can increase your opening hours to accommodate such a large number of client requests. Will you need to reorganise your interior salon space to ensure personalisation and privacy?

- Opportunities arise in difficult times, so always try and think positively, especially about new campaigns, initiatives and events that you can carry out after re-opening. 

- Remember your supply chains: manufacturers have been continuing to research and develop new products and launches are still going to happen. Ensure you’re still first to have them available in your salon. 

- Your salon premises also have one great ‘window of opportunity’ – their windows! Make sure yours still look their best, despite the there are much fewer passers-by these days. 



- A WhatsApp group may be a great vehicle for staying in touch with lots of contacts at once, but beware of issues surrounding client confidentiality, as you will be providing everyone with each other's mobile numbers.  It's better perhaps to use social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to notify them of plans for re-opening.

- The salon re-opening will be a celebration for both you and your clients. Offer them 'nice price' or special treatment to celebrate their return to the world of hair and beauty, thanking them for waiting so long for you.

- You don't need to be a great film director to put together a video tutorial. Do-it-yourself tips and recommendations to make the most of their style. They can even send to an 'after' shot for you to verify. It's a great bespoke way to keep the personal connection you have built up with your clients.

- Remember the heroes and angels in the NHS who have been working flat out in our hospitals. You can pay special homage on social networks to nurses, doctors and care-workers who have been at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus and who live near your salon. 

- Make sure your channels of communication stay continually open - telephone, messenger or email – so you’re always ready and able to give advice, encouragement…  or even just a virtual hug!



- Do not hesitate to implement the safety nets and support packages on offer by the government to ensure worker's financial liquidity and to protect their jobs. Coronavirus is temporary; safeguarding and protecting jobs is not.   

- Take advantage of this opportunity to teach staff new techniques and don't be afraid to ask them for their own contributions. As a leader, you can create training video tutorials and also consider planning one-to-one sessions on Skype of Face-time to support them psychologically and to motivate them with thoughts of when the salon will reopen. 

- Encourage your staff and contributors to do as we do, by taking the opportunity to enrich their cultural experiences during their free time



- This is a 21st Century crisis which gives us a huge advantage in that we can socialise online. Embrace this gift by continually posting information about constructive, positive ideas and initiatives on social media. Share ideas, techniques and projects with colleagues by forming 'online work groups'

- As never before, this crisis is seeing us come together as a global hairdressing community, hold discussions with colleagues from other countries. We're all in this together and as such we can help each-other in ways we perhaps never imagined.

- As we all know, the web is very susceptible to virus, but it's totally immune to this one! Use the internet to do new research and launch yourself into new creative and technical challenges.

- If you have a chain of salons in partnership or your part of a franchising group, why not establish daily training routines, motivational talks and mini-management seminars live on Facebook. It's also a great way to get Q&A feedback on any current situation you're facing.

- Take a more in-depth look at in the lives of some celebrity colleagues and influencer. See what they're up to and watch out for any blogs, vlogs or webinars they might be engaging in. Have a closer look at video streaming from previous shows and seminars that they've participated in and take creative inspiration from them.

- Your re-opening will be a new beginning, so take this opportunity to give your website and digital platforms a bit of a facelift – it's not only your clients who'll want to be looking their best on that happy day! 

- If you have someone who’s digitally savvy, or a whizz-kid on social media, involve them more proactively in your online activities.  If you don't, choose someone you feel would be up for it and offer them a quick online training.

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