Jo Geering is a salon owner who went back to college to study for her level four hairdressing qualifications. As part of her research project, Jo's chosen subject was the positive outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this guest blog, Jo writes about her findings.

I took on the massive challenge of taking over my salon during the pandemic, which was a big test made even more challenging through all the closures and restrictions of COVID-19. I decided to return to college, over 22 years after I left, to do my level four hairdressing qualification.


One of our assignments was to complete a research project on the effects of COVID-19 on our industry. There has been a lot of focus on the negatives surrounding COVID-19. I chose to base my study on the positive effects. I wanted to highlight that with every negativity, there are positives too.

I used various methods to conduct my research, from speaking with other professionals within the industry to internet research and using questionnaires and surveys. These methods allowed me to use as many resources as possible and gain viewpoints and knowledge from different age groups and backgrounds.

Resilient and valued

My findings were very interesting, and everyone I spoke with was very keen to help me with my project. I discovered from my research that the pandemic has shown how resilient and valued we are as an industry from how much we were in demand once we were allowed to reopen again, recovering losses quickly. Businesses that stood firm survived three different full lockdowns with zero trade during these periods, and new businesses have started up too.

The wake of the 2008 recession and global financial crisis proved how resilient the industry is and how it grew afterwards. The future will also show the same resilience from the COVID-19 pandemic and post-economic recovery, putting us in a relatively stronger position than other industries.
Barber laptop
Mental health and wellbeing

Each lockdown proved just how much we were missed as an industry. With clients forced to grow their hair and turn to DIY, the lockdowns showed what a unique skill set we have, bringing whole new respect for our services. The closure of hair salons made people reflect on the importance of our industry and how the industry is vital for people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Many people felt low in confidence, and self-esteem levels were also at an all-time low, which fuelled more anxiety and depression by not having hair and beauty services and not having a good old chat with their stylist.

Embracing technology

Industry leaders and professionals found new and innovative ways to showcase their skills and talents during lockdowns. Many adapted and diversified their businesses and working practices to keep communication channels open with their clients, regular and new. For example, they used social media for updates and special offers, offering online or phone consultations and tutorials, enabling them to advise and tutor clients at home. These novel approaches helped clients maintained their hair and beauty regimes and updated them on new procedures and protocols once salons reopened. Even after lockdowns were lifted, many continued using these methods to free up more salon availability and helping those that are perhaps self-isolating and unable to attend the salon in person.
Client reception

One of the biggest positives is the number of salons that have moved to e-commerce and online selling, enabling them to boost sales and generate revenue during low periods. This has continued and will grow bigger and more prominent in the coming years as people's purchasing habits have changed during the pandemic. This is a massive step for the future, enabling salons to reach a wider and even bigger market with a more targeted audience, potentially even globally. It will also be a positive step in helping the environment by moving marketing online. This will reduce the need for paper and printing in sales literature. The pandemic has undoubtedly speeded up the digital move, but it has shown that as a creative industry, we can adapt and change with the times when required and evolve for the future.

Refurbishment opportunity

Many salon owners have used the lockdown time to upgrade and redecorate their salons, ensuring they look great when welcoming back clients.

Advance bookings

There has been a huge increase in client rebooking for future appointments, which initially was driven by customers wanting to secure a place on a waiting list if we were put into further lockdowns. Now they have created this rebooking habit, and we have noticed it's something customers are carrying on doing, ensuring future work for us. The average spend per client has increased. Clients are delving into other services and are having more add-on treatments.
“Blitz spirit”

Another thing that shone out, especially during the early stages of the pandemic, is the increased sense of community and wanting to help one another. This sense of civic duty and "blitz spirit" has created stronger relationships with both clients and staff.

Stronger future

COVID-19 has affected every life around the world. Perhaps we can take some comfort in knowing we can work together, not only as an entire industry, but as an entire population, to move forward for a better, stronger future, more united to live with or without Covid in our lives. We can use our experiences and knowledge to prepare and protect ourselves, our businesses and our industry if other viruses and pandemics threaten them again.