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Coronavirus: Hairdressers offer virtual appointments in lockdown

by ace
Coronavirus: Hairdressers offer virtual appointments in lockdown

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Paul Phillips / cut hair

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Paul Phillips offers consultations through FaceTime

Hairdressers offer virtual appointments to help people comb their hair at home.

Designers are using apps, including FaceTime, Zoom and YouTube, to provide customers with individual advice and tutorials.

Although salons have already reopened in France and Germany, UK hairdressers hope to remain closed until July.

An estimated industry report the hair and beauty sector contributed £ 6.6 billion to the country's economy last year.

Paul Phillips is the owner of the Chopp Hair salon in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, which closed in March when the coronavirus blockade began.

He provides a service called Chopp Drops, in which he delivers hair products to customers' doors and then demonstrates by video call how to apply the treatment.

"Most hairdressers say you should never dye your hair at home and, in normal times, I agree," he says.

"But the mental health of many customers has been affected by the current situation, so separating gray roots and split ends makes them feel better."

Paul says he serves up to 26 clients a day, but adds that he is cautious about offering only viable advice at home.

"It is very technical to dye blond hair, so these customers have to sit sadly and wait for the block to end," he explains.

"You don't want someone to screw it up and then have to live for another seven weeks."

& # 39; Time to focus & # 39;

Most of the hairdressers the BBC spoke to offer bespoke hair kits and virtual consultations priced between £ 30 and £ 150.

Ebuni Ajiduah is a specialist in hair loss. She also changed her online appointments, offering clients home treatments and, when necessary, referring them to dermatologists for more advice.

"People now have time to focus on things they may have overlooked," she says, adding that she has seen an increasing demand for her services.

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Ebuni Ajiduah / Beautystack

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Ebuni Ajiduah performs a weekly washing day online

Ebuni also launched a virtual wash day every Sunday, when she invites people to join her at Zoom to wash, treat and comb hair together.

"We talked about the products we use and how to twist hair," she says. "It is very good, some people wear shower caps and others try to keep their children quiet.

"It gives people a sense of normalcy when the world is on fire – you can still have a routine and focus your time on yourself."

Some hairdressers advise against cutting your own hair, but still offer other tips online.

"I trimmed mine in the front, but neither would I try to [cut] mine in the back," says Michael Van Clarke in a video on Instagram. Instead, he goes on to show the public how to comb short hair that has grown over a few weeks.

Hand holding

Since the closing of its doors, the staff of its salon publishes videos on social media and reserves virtual consultations in color, serving more than 3,000 customers online.

"We have new customers who have never been to our salon, the demand is huge," says Van Clarke.

"It’s much easier to do video consultations if we’ve seen them in person before, but we can still give advice to new customers."

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Michael Van Clarke

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Michael Van Clarke is trying to continue serving the customers he normally sees in his salon

Senior technicians perform a hair evaluation in an initial video call, advise on treatments and products, send them and offer a follow-up consultation to observe and guide the client.

"Some people like to hold hands, so that our technicians can show you how to hold the brush and how long to leave the color," adds Van Clarke.

Gina Conway, who runs three salons in London, thinks this could become the "new normal".

"Even when the blockade ends, it will be chaos," she explains. "Some people may not be able to go to the salon, they can work from home or take care of children yet, so I hope that we can alleviate this stress through technology."

Ginny says she is now focusing on the internet.

"At first, I hesitated about wanting to keep my business as professional as possible, but this is our way of giving proper advice and helping people to feel good about themselves."

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