The coronavirus outbreak has affected possibly every business and industry in the world in just a short space of time. Just before the virus took hold of the world, models were walking catwalks, spring fashion collections were being released and numerous weddings were taking place – all requiring the use of the beauty industry – and cosmetic and beauty stores were bustling. Now, just a few months later, stores are closed and the industry is on hold.
A beauty professional’s job includes sitting close to clients and even holding hands or making general physical contact, so it is no surprise that nail artists, hair stylists, makeup artists and other beauty professionals are facing a difficult time with a threat to their livelihood and careers. The beauty world is being impacted by COVID-19, but just what challenges are professionals facing in these unprecedented times?
A makeup artist’s job typically includes many of the behaviors we have been told to refrain from doing, such as touching the face and being in close contact, and with so many events having been cancelled, a lot of them are worrying about their clients and jobs once this is over.
Although professional makeup artists are having to adapt and overcome these challenges, their protocols are generally very hygienic anyway. Good makeup artists will wash their makeup brushes every day and then sanitize using an alcohol spray, whilse also wiping down cosmetic products and surfaces with sanitizing wipes.
A lot of hair stylists and salons have closed entirely until further notice, but in the weeks before this decision was made, a lot of stylists were struggling to work around government regulations and guidelines. Hairstyling relies on close contact, so it was inevitable that once social distancing regulations were put into place, salons would close.
However, in the weeks before, a lot of salons took on increased hygiene measures, including asking clients to wash their hands as soon as they walked into the salon, disinfecting tools more regularly and placing hand sanitizer around salons. A lot of stylists and salons found that, because people were being asked to work from home, they had more free time, meaning that salon business picked up slightly in the weeks before a lockdown was implemented.
But, for the safety of stylists and clients, this was quickly stopped. Salons and stylists see dozens of people a day at close range and if one person who visited the salon was sick, this would likely spread rapidly, so coronavirus has impacted the hair salon industry greatly.
Hygiene practices in nail salons are usually pretty strict, with technicians typically sterilizing equipment in between clients, disinfecting surfaces, washing hands and other safety precautions. Due to the close proximity between technicians and clients, this was always going to cause an issue. A lot of nail technicians are self-employed and work for themselves, whether from a salon or shop or from a home-based salon, so closures are likely to have a huge effect on their livelihood and income. As nail artists and technicians work on people’s hands, this is likely to result in a huge transfer of germs, but if a client washes their hands too much before and in between their appointment, this can impact on the way products attach to the nail. Many people are doing their best right now with at-home nail care and manicures.
Similar to makeup artists, aestheticians typically spend hours of their day just inches away from a clients’ face. Due to the intimate nature of their jobs, a lot of aestheticians already implement strict and intense hygiene practices, such as hand washing and sterilizing equipment.
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, a lot of aestheticians had a flexible appointment schedule, so that if a client was sick, then the service could be cancelled at no extra charge, due to the close nature of their job. Aestheticians also wore face masks regularly – for hygiene reasons – and used medical-grade equipment and linen. Due to this close proximity service, aestheticians have also found their jobs and salons affected by the outbreak and are closed until further notice.
Although a lot of our favorite beauty services have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, this doesn’t mean that we can’t carry on with our daily routines. Now is a great time to focus on your skincare regimen, so that you have clear and glowing skin, and spend time you wouldn’t usually have for multiple-step routines. With free time, you can practice your makeup application skills, give your hair a heat-break or even try your hand at applying your own gels.
Jennifer Ranking is currently a student and freelance writer whose primary interests revolve around science and biology. When not writing, Jennifer likes to read in her spare time and shop.