As we battle our way through “Lockdown 2” we revisit Robyn as part of our ‘Keeping Creative’ series to see how she is coping with the ongoing pandemic and if things are different this time around:
Did the 2nd lockdown come as a surprise and how do you feel about it?
So here we are again. Lockdown 2.0. It definitely came as a surprise to me, I honestly didn’t think we would be locked down as a country again after the government seemed so adamant they didn’t want to do it again. With hairdressing staying open in every tier in the tier system I just kept my head down and carried on with all the necessary measures in place to keep myself and everyone else safe. I even managed to fit in 6 weddings between lockdowns which I was absolutely over the moon about! One of those included an ‘emergency’ wedding pulled forward from the Saturday to the day before lockdown so they could just be married! Very worthy of the lovewins hashtag! When it was announced I didn’t really feel anything, I think I am just kind of numb to it all now which is sad in itself. I just thought let’s just get on with it, we’ve been here before, we can get through it. The mad rush to then fit as many clients, plus one wedding party, into 4 days was absolutely exhausting, but also proves that people very much still view hairdressing as a necessity. It was infuriating to learn that SAGE research shows that hairdressing and non-essential retail services only contribute ‘up to 0.05’ of the ‘R’ rate. I feel like they have shut down our industry for the sake of it seemingly without any evidence to suggest we need shutting down!
Will the hindsight of experience from the 1st lockdown enable you to cope better with the new lockdown in any way?
This time around, knowing what to expect, I have learnt not to put too much pressure on yourself to be productive constantly. With the weather being very different this time round I think people will react differently anyway. I know even only a week and a bit in, I’m am struggling with getting motivated, but I think that goes hand in hand with feeling fed up with it all. Everyone is just so bored of it all now! Having said that, I signed up to some new online education to keep my mind focused and hands busy creating content for social media. Making sure you don’t disappear into the depths of the Instagram algorithm and staying visible to potential clients can seem like a full time job in itself! I’m also planning a shoot for next year so it’s given me added time to do that and giving me something to look forward to. I think it’s so important to plan ahead, even if those plans have to change, just to remind yourself there is light at the end of the tunnel! I also have a virtual awards ceremony to look forward to at the end of November, after being named a regional finalist for the East Midlands for Wedding Hairstylist of the Year! I am beyond excited just to have got this far and be recognised this way within the industry so even if I don’t win it’ll be lovely to be a part of it and get dressed up and drink fizz for an evening! Great at any time but much needed at the moment!
How do you think the coronavirus pandemic will affect the hair /beauty /holistic sectors?
Pre lockdown I think was tough enough for the industry with added costs and lower income, some that just work in weddings and events have lost an entire years income, with some weddings now being postponed from next year to 2022 as they fear they still won’t be allowed the number of guests they want. I do fear that this 2nd lockdown will be a nail in the coffin for a lot of businesses. I have heard some awful stories of how some bridal hair and makeup artists have been treated and spoken to for keeping deposits (and well within their rights to do so) and increasing the cost to fall inline with the next years prices. We’re all just trying to stay afloat and it’s difficult where money is concerned but people need to realise this isn’t out of greed. It’s out of the need to survive and still be able to provide the services when we are able to and needed. But couples are still booking weddings and still want to get married so there is light at the end of the tunnel when we reach it. I have noticed some cut and colour clients going longer between appointments at the moment, firstly because they can and secondly to save some money. Everyone is being very cautious at the moment. The be kind movement is definitely applicable at the moment, we’re all in the same storm but different boats and need to be mindful of that.
What advice or suggestions would you offer to anyone running a business like yours?
Advice I would give to anyone in the hairdressing industry, specifically weddings, would be not to put any pressure on yourself to be doing a certain thing right now just because you think you should. You have to do what’s right for you financially and mentally just to focus on getting through. And plan ahead! Book a shoot, plan some training, book a wedding fair, organise a portfolio day, anything that can keep your mind occupied, give yourself something to look forward to and remind yourself better days are coming!
My website is https://www.perfectsilhouettehairdressing.com/
And Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/perfectsilhouettehairdressing/