Save Our Salons: How YOU Can Help Fight For The Future Of Our Favourite Salons

'We're worth betting on' - Luke Hersheson

Save Our Salons

by Annie Vischer |
Updated on

Save Our Salonswas the next stage in the #ChopTheVAT campaign launched in 2020 in collaboration with the British Beauty Council. It provided an opportunity for salon owners industry-wide to write a letter to their local MP and collectively unite behind one cause. Since the nation's first lockdown was instigated almost a year ago hairdressing salons, beauty salons, nail salons and the beauty services industry at large has suffered badly and yet received the bare minimum in support from the government, despite industries like the hospitality sector - many of which have still been able to trade in some way during the pandemic - benefitting from a considerable reduction in VAT.

On Wednesday 3 March the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the March Budget 2021. Whilst his £65bn three-point plan set out to lend support the businesses across the UK as they emerge out of lockdown there was no VAT chop in sight for hairdressers or the beauty services industry at large. Barbers, hair salons and beauty salons across the country are allowed to open their doors once more from 12 April this year and there are new grants available up to £18,000 as part of the new Restart Grant initiative but its that crucial VAT cut that would make the difference to so many salons across the country. The onus is on the industry and us, the clients, to lend our support to the beauty services industry.

It's time the beauty services industry got taken seriously

It's time the beauty services industry got taken seriously. The beauty industry contributes £28bn annually to the UK economy - twice that of car manufacturing, just to put things into context - and has a workforce that is 88% female. Yet this same industry has not received enough support from the government during the pandemic. Is this sexism at work? Is the government guilty of undervaluing the beauty industry at large? Yes to all of the above? Whatever your personal opinion it's likely you have a hairdresser, nail artist, beauty therapist, salon - you name it - who you've been loyal to for years and it's time to make that loyalty count. Read on to find out how you can help...

READ MORE: When Will Hairdressers Reopen After Lockdown 3.0?

The Beauty Backed Trust And The 'Back To Work' Campaign

Renowned skincare expert, bestselling author and qualified aesthetician Caroline Hirons is a force to be reckoned with. In August 2020 Caroline launched the Beauty Backed fundraising initiative to support those in the industry who had been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and every lockdown it involved. The initiative raised over £600,000 and the petition garnered just under 30,000 signatures that accompanied a letter to Boris Johnson, a letter that implored him to put the beauty services industry back in business. Ahead of salons reopening nationwide on 12 April Caroline has created a trust for the money raised. Caroline has also brought together a board of some of the most well-known people in the beauty industry and together with the 'Back To Work' campaign and the British Beauty Council they will lend support to independent beauty businesses in the UK as they try to get back on their feet financially. The funds raised will provide vital supplies including PPE, tools, kit and financial support to makeup artists, nail professionals, facialists, aestheticians or beauty entrepreneurs across England, Scotland, Wales and northern Ireland. The trust is inviting any such professional who is in need of support to contact them via the form on the website

Caroline Hirons
©Nicky Johnston

The Reality Of Lockdown For Hairdressers

For Luke Hersheson, globally renowned hairstylist and Creative Director and CEO of family-run salon name Hershesons, the priority at present is raising awareness of the unique plight that faces the beauty services industry and getting the issue heard in the House of Commons. Luke's own experience of navigating the pandemic as the owner of a hairdressing business is typical of countless others. 'In March this year my salons will have been closed for 260 days out of 365,' Luke states, 'running a business for more than two thirds of a year with no income at all is incredibly challenging. When the tap is turned off salon businesses are still paying landlords, they're still paying utility bills, insurance costs and subsidising furlough pay. It's a huge strain on the entire industry.'

56% of salon owners are now having to consider closing their business

Together with the Save Our Salons campaign Luke was able to gather a number of troubling statistics. '56% of salon owners are now having to consider closing their business,' says Luke, '79% of salons owners say they are unlikely to take on any apprentices due to COVID-19 and 71% of salon owners said they had no support from their landlords by way of rent reduction, which is enormous.'

As for the longterm impact? 'It depends on what support the government offers going forward,' Luke explains. 'We want to see our VAT reduced from 20% to 5%,' this is the cry sounded by the #ChopTheVAT campaign. 'A move like this looks likely to cut down the number of businesses that will be forced to close from 25% to 4%. It will enable most of those salons that foresee themselves having to close instead surviving. Over the next three years that reduction in tax will pay for itself as the industry recovers. There also needs to be a fund set up by the government to help small businesses reopen too.' The beauty industry continues to fight for that crucial cut to VAT for salons.

How Can We, As Clients, Help Our Salons?

According to Luke Hersheson the answer is simple: 'If you know your local MP write a letter to them outlining your support for salons and the need for a government support package and a reduction in VAT. Book and pre-pay for appointments and buy product from your local salon if they have an online of click-and-collect function. Anything like that puts cash in the till.'

Why Has The Beauty Services And Hairdressing Industry Suffered So Badly In The Last Year?

'We're a very undervalued industry.' Luke Hersheson states. 'The big problem we have as an industry is that we're not represented by a single body. Historically the beauty services industry hasn't been well-represented. It's a very fragmented industry made up of smaller businesses and self-employed professionals.'

We're worth betting on

'There's no union or one organisation that represents the entire industry. The beauty services and hairdressing industry isn't taken seriously. When you look at how many people the industry employs, and how many people it brings to the high street, that's when you see the value of these experience-led services. We're worth betting on.'

Everything You Need To Know About The #HairTheLove2021 Campaign

L’Oréal Professional Products Division have stepped up their support of hair salons in the wake of the pandemic with the #HairTheLove2021 campaign in collaboration with fashion designer Gareth Pugh. L’Oréal Professional recently showcased some brand new research, which revealed that 68% of British adults who get their hair done professionally agree that having their hair done supports their mental health and wellbeing. Gareth Pugh has designed a social media tile (see below) for anyone and everyone to use to show a bit of love to their go-to hairdresser. Post it and tag who your 'Hair Belongs To...' and shine a light on those beauty services businesses currently compromised by the pandemic.

Beauty Journalists Are Uniting To Make The Voice Of The Beauty Services Industry Heard

Earlier this year the British Beauty Council worked with beauty journalists nationwide to lobby the government to put together a comprehensive financial package to support the beauty industry including a cut in VAT and sector specific support. The letter sent to Rishi Sunak prior to his announcement of the March Budget 2021 has garnered widespread support (needless to say it has been signed by every member of the Grazia beauty team) and it was hoped that the beauty industry's cry would be heard. That said, it takes a village. To show your support write to your local MP with the same sentiment. It's an age-old adage but every little helps and every voice counts. Let's bring beauty back from the brink.

Shop: The Best New Beauty Launches Of February 2021


New Beauty Products - August 2021

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Elote, £191 of 21

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Elote, £19

Urban Decay's brand new Vice lipsticks have been given a makeover for 2021. There's new ultra-pigmented shades (we're obsessed with the popping coral 'Elote' and the rich berry 'No Parking'), a nourishing new lip-loving formula (think hyaluronic acid and aloe vera) plus they're 100% vegan-friendly, too. Win.

TRESemmu00e9 Pro Pure Shampoo & Conditioner, £5.99 (each)2 of 21

TRESemmé Pro Pure Shampoo & Conditioner, £5.99 (each)

TRESemmé's latest collection 'Pro Pure' is formulated entirely free from sulphates, silicones and dyes. Perfect for colour-treated hair, the new free-from range contains naturally derived plant-based ingredients and a pH-balanced formulation for visibly healthy and more nourished-looking hair.

Best New Beauty Products3 of 21

NEOM Super Shower Power Body Cleanser, £26

Start your day energised with NEOM's new luxe body cleanser. Super-powered by 100% natural spearmint, rosemary and eucalyptus essential oils, it hydrates as it gets you buzzing for the day ahead.

Best New Beauty Products4 of 21

Carbon Theory Day-Lite SPF50+, £18

Come rain or shine, we should all be wearing SPF every day. Which is where Carbon Theory's Day-Lite SPF50+ can help. It's an ultra-lightweight and hydrating SPF, specifically formulated for acne and breakout prone skin. Stay protected safe in the knowledge that your SPF won't cause you breakouts - winner.

Best New Beauty Products5 of 21

Fussy Deodrant, Refills from £15 for 3

Shopping for an ecological deodorant? no sweat. Fussy is an effective, sustainable, vegan and cruelty free anti perspirant that is as good to the planet as it is to your underarms. Sunflower wax, coconut oil and shea butter will soften and nourish skin while magnesium hydroxide and sodium bicarbonate eliminate odour. Subscribing gets you the (super cute) case, and plastic free refills in your choice of fragrance.

Best New Beauty Products6 of 21

OUAI x BYREDO Leave In Conditioner, £22

Be quick to snap this one up as it's sure to sell out - FAST. Byredo x Ouai is back and this time it's the leave-in conditioner that's had a fragrance makeover. Get ready to leave a trail of fragrance behind every time you swish those locks.

Best New Beauty Products7 of 21

SCIENTIA Pure Clarity Deep Clean PHA Cleanser, £24

Where science meets nature, this potent Scientia cleanser targets breakout-prone and textured complexions, helping to decongest, replenish and refine with succinic acid, niacinamide and sacred lotus extract.

Best New Beauty Products8 of 21

Jones Road Beauty Miracle Balm, £34

Bobbi Brown's latest beauty company - Jones Road Beauty - is aaaall about those makeup multi-taskers. Say hello to Miracle Balm - the secret of no-makeup makeup. It gives a wash of soft-focus moisture to perfect and enhance skin. Wear alone or layer on top of foundation for an instant refresh.

Best New Beauty Products9 of 21

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum, £53

Instantly brighten and help defend skin against pollution with this powerhouse vitamin C. Hyaluronic acid helps to hydrate while banana powder-inspired pigments give you a glow like no other.

Best New Beauty Products10 of 21

Clé de Peau Beauté The Lip Serum, £68

In the market for a fancy lip balm? Say hello to Clé de Peau. Enriched with the brand's cutting-edge skin cell science, it's deeply hydrating and encourages strong, healthy, shapely lip contours for a youthful, plump, pillowy look. This is not your average lip balm.

Best New Beauty Products11 of 21

Selfless by Hyram Centella & Green Tea Hydrating Gel Cleanser, £18

Perfect for all skin types - even sensitive skins - this gentle daily gel cleanser effectively cleanses the skin without drying or stripping. Simples.

Best New Beauty Products12 of 21

SBTRCT Rejuvenating Night Balm, £32

A world-first, this retinol bar (yep, you heard that right) is the world's first solid retinoid. Enriched with 2% Granactive Retinoid + Squalane, it helps to even skin tone, improve texture and diminish the appearance of fine lines. All while being super sustainable. Win.

Best New Beauty Products13 of 21

Coola SPF30 Organic Scalp and Hair Mist, £26

If August is anything like July, we should get ready for heatwaves a-plenty. Protect your scalp with this cooling lightweight mist. It works to protect the scalp and hair without weighing hair down or leaving it looking greasy.

Best New Beauty Products14 of 21

DYCHPER Custom Foundation, £28

This seriously clever foundation uses AI to perfectly match your unique skin's shade - and custom-mixes a formula just for you. You can even pick the finish and coverage you want. It's an absolute game-changer in foundation.

Best New Beauty Products15 of 21

Vida Glow Natural Marine Collagen Original, £43

Vida Glow's Natural Marine Collagen aims to improve the health of your hair, skin and nails. Made from sustainably sourced fish skin, this gold-standard collagen peptide supplement is activated to boost absorption, meaning your body can quickly put it to use – soon revealing smoother, younger-looking skin, stronger nails and thicker hair. Clever.

Best New Beauty Products16 of 21

Glossier Solar Paint, £17

Instant summer skin in a tube, Glossier's Solar Paint is the next-generation of cream bronzers. The whipped gel crème sinks into skin, leaving you with an ultra-natural glow.

Best New Beauty Products17 of 21

The Inkey List Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Treatment, £14.99

Healthy hair starts with great scalp care. The Inkey List's new Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Treatment acts as a spring clean for your scalp, instantly sweeping away build-up, balancing your microbiome, balancing oils and fighting flakes to keep your hair follicles happy.

Best New Beauty Products18 of 21

Bon Parfumeur Eau de parfum 702, £74

With top notes of incense, elemi, lemon and pink pepper, this half-spicy, half-green fragrance blends floral hints and a touch of French lavender. It's warming, fresh and playful.

Best New Beauty Products19 of 21

Aesop Parsley Seed Serum, £55

Hydrate and soothe your skin every morning and night with this lightweight blend of anti-oxidant rich ingredients. Blended within a soothing Aloe Vera base, it nourishes skin from within.

Best New Beauty Products20 of 21

The Hair Lab by Mark Hill Bond Repair Internal Bond Repair Cream, £16.99

The high-street's answer to bond-building hair repair, The Hair Lab by Mark Hill repairs and strengthens internal Keratin bonds from inside of the hair. Eliminate frizz and leaves hair physically stronger, smoother and more hydrated.

Beauty Pie Triple Hyaluronic Acid Super Dewy Skin Mist21 of 21

Beauty Pie Triple Hyaluronic Acid Super Dewy Skin Mist, £50 (£16.58 for members)

This hydrating hero features 6% Hysilk™, HA BT, Fuse-HA, which is a cutting-edge, new-tech, uber moisture molecule that delivers a fusion of the same benefits as Hyaluronic Acid. All you need is a spritz of this lightweight, intensely hydrating skin innovation and you're good to glow.

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