With Covid-19 lockdown measures across the country starting to ease, more and more of our favourite beauty services are reopening, meaning you can finally get rid of those hideous split ends and grown-out roots at the hairdressers, book in for a much-needed mani pedi and get a massage to ease those tight shoulders after being hunched over a laptop for months. But until today there was one thing that remained firmly off the table – facial beauty treatments.
Luckily, that’s all about to change, with the government announcing this morning that beauty services can finally resume in full from Saturday 1 August. Yes, that means you can now get someone to tackle those overgrown eyebrows, lacklustre eyelashes and troublesome lockdown skin.
The move can’t come soon enough – beauty professionals across the country have been calling for this ever since the first wave of lockdown-easing measures were announced on 4 July, with hairdressers and barber shops being given the green light first. Many were quick to point out the apparent sexism involved in the fact that while women couldn’t go to get their eyebrows threaded, men were able to pop into their local barber to get their beards trimmed.
“Many dismiss us as trivial but the [beauty] industry employs 600,000 people, mostly women, who need to put food on the table and pay their bills,” says award-winning beauty journalist Dr Ateh Jewel. “The advice from the government in my opinion has been confused and misogynistic. Safety comes first but it makes no sense you can get your beard trimmed and have a pint but not beauty services?”
In the run up to the announcement several prominent figures in the industry had decided to take matters into their own hands, including Sharmadean Reid, the founder of innovative beauty booking app Beauty Stack, who had organised a peaceful protest in London this weekend as part of her #BringBeautyBack campaign, in order to raise awareness for financial support for the yet to open beauty sector.
On hearing the news earlier today, she shared an emotional statement on her Instagram account: “WE DID IT!! Thank you to EVERYONE who played a part and supported our #bringbeautyback campaign! Every single one of us was instrumental in making our voices heard. Now let’s get back to work.”
Several other leading industry organisations, including the British Beauty Council, NHBF and the UK Spa Association, also lent their support to the rallying cry to get beauty back to work, with Lesley Blair, Chair of BABTAC (British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology), commenting:
“Finally, we have been given the green light that everyone has been so desperately waiting for. We know that this announcement has not come a moment too soon for many, and we are incredibly grateful that this means that all our members may now return to work and return to offering a full treatment menu. The government have listened to the countless calls to allow our industry to prove they are safe, responsible and professional. The onus now very much lies on us to prove that we are and we know that our members will ensure they follow all protocols set out in the government guidelines.”