No products in the basket.
According to a ten-second Google search, it’s been a year this week since the first Coronavirus case in Northern Ireland was confirmed by the Public Health Agency.
Looking back…all of us have been affected in some way, shape or form by what feels like countless lockdowns and never-ending restrictions.
Given the nature of their work, close contact services such as hairdressers, barbers and beauticians have been hit hard. In 2020 alone, thousands report being out of work for some 37 weeks – receiving no form of government help but Universal Credit until seven / eight months after the first lockdown padlocked their shutters and as good as kept the keys. In every corner of the country, they remain closed and wait patiently for an official nod on when they can return to the world of work.
Which begs the question…What are barbers doing with their recently acquired spare time?
We’ve honed in on our experiences and dissected ‘The Barbering Brain’ into three (for the main part) mentalities…
“They’re all making a fortune cutting hair on the quiet!” General Assumption #1
People will always want their hair cut. It doesn’t stop growing when a global pandemic hits.
With barbershops out of action in recent times, some folk have had no choice but to call upon their muckers to hit them with a set of shears worth a tenner and zero barbering know-how. Parents all over the world have taken to social media to share their children’s kitchen chair mop-chops. Others have sat it out…hoping…praying…willing to pay anything…for someone who knows what they’re doing to attend to their untameable hair.
In a market where demand for barbering services is bursting at the seams and supply (i.e. the everyday barber) is locked down, there’s always going to be a select “IDGAF” mentality that sees many an individual in the game throw two fingers to laws and restrictions and name their price for cuts on the Q.T.
Many shout, “Shame on them!”. Others proclaim, “Sure you’re at more risk in the local shop!”.
Opinions, rooftop roaring and side-picking is irrelevant. We’re just telling you how it is.
The “What TF Am I Gonna Do?!”
Reports from the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) – the UK’s largest trade body for the hair, beauty and barbering industries – suggest that many salon and barbershop owners fear they won’t be able to stay open beyond the end of the financial year come April 2021.
With that in mind, “What TF Am I Gonna Do?!”, is a very fitting and understandable mentality.
Put yourself in the shoes of your barber for a second. You’ve been forced to close your business and turn off your only income tap with almost immediate effect. Expected to continue paying (in full) your business overheads – on top of rent or a mortgage, keeping a car on the road, and providing for your family. Things many of us find tight going at the best of times.
From time to time, life hits us all with unexpected stumbling blocks. Depending on the specifics and how a person manages themselves, stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol have the power to drown the human brain in a sea of what-ifs, negativity and doubt – and skew visions of personal and professional development like muck on a car windscreen.
These crazy times we live are temporary. While it’s easier said than done – try not to panic.
Whatever your walk of life, a calm mind and something of a ‘Post-COVID Plan’ is key to seeing success when the current craziness subsides.
The “Keep Her Lit”
Big Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Of the 250,000+ people working in hairdressing, beauty and barbering in the UK alone (NHBF Statistics), it’s refreshing to see that so many have adopted something of a “Keep Her Lit” mentality over the last twelve months.
With the greater good of their business and customers in mind, they’ve pushed on. Phased but not beaten by regulations and restrictions, some of those temporarily out of the barbering game are working hard behind closed shutters to develop on new projects. Some have up-skilled their barbering abilities online in preparation for reopening. Others have entered into new-found employment within other fields whilst their shops remain closed.
We’ve seen many a forward-thinker bring to fruition exciting business ventures that they wouldn’t have had time to commit effort to before. What’s more, every social platform on the Internet is filled daily with quality content from new and existing business minds who have upped their digital marketing game in the absence of employment.
It’s not too late to join them. There’s never been a better opportunity.
Everything Happens For A Reason…And All That Jazz.
Never in a month of Sundays (like millions of others in the industry) did we think we would need a contingency plan to guide us through the thick fog of uncertainty fog that walks hand-in-hand alongside a global pandemic.
But that’s okay. We’ve accepted these times for what they are and “kept her lit”.
Instead of not giving a f**k or panicking, we’ve remained positive, embraced change and went back to the drawing board. We quickly realised that while we can’t do anything to change the countless lockdowns and never-ending restrictions – we can rejig our plans to ensure we’re compliant with the law – and to protect our business from becoming just another ‘closed business because of COVID’ statistic.
We as barbers can’t cut hair at the moment, but we can (and are) developing new lotions and potions, creating regular blog content for our site, using social media to provide insight into how our business operates day-to-day, and continuing to sell with success our growing range of products.
Better Days Are Ahead. So They Are.
We hope this blog provides you with both some industry insight – and lots of inspiration.
Very soon we’ll return to life as we somewhat knew it in times gone by.
Will you throw two fingers to laws and restrictions? Let panic skew your dreams?
Or will you “keep her lit”?