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Hair We Come: Customers Scramble To Get Back To Hair And Beauty Salons

How hairdressers are recovering from COVID lockdown. 

Beauty is an immortal business that adapts throughout time, even through the pandemic.

Beauty salons in Mexico are used to a high demand no matter how big or small they are. It is one of the most common businesses for entrepreneurs.

“Since I was a teenager I was interested in beauty and makeup. I liked makeup, hairstyles, dyes, haircuts, and whatever it takes to make people prettier,” said Cristina Sosa Murillo, a 33-year-old beauty therapist at the Reflejos academy, in the city of Veracruz.

For many students of beauty academies, one of their main goals is to start working in beauty salons or spas to gain experience or to start their own businesses.

“I studied two years in Veracruz,” said Sosa Murillo. “It is a tad difficult because we need internships, yet friends and family have helped me, as over the years I saved enough to open my own salon.”

Experience and practice are important as well as innovation in the many revolutionary skin or hair care treatments.

“It was a long road to travel,” said Sosa Murillo. “Once I left the academy. I spent 4 years working in a salon part of a chain. Once I saved enough money to invest in some furniture, accessories, supplies, and to pay a rent, I was able to start my own business.”

Beauty salons offer all types of services.

“The services that we offer at the Cris Sosa Salon are varied, ranging from haircuts, to styling and dying our clients’ hair,” said Sosa Murillo. “We apply Gelish, acrylic nails and application of rhinestones, as well as waxing any area of the body.”

Sosa Murillo needs to constantly update her knowledge to offer the latest in acrylic nails, hair treatments, facials, and more. She says that the demand for these new women’s fashions allows her to offer cutting-edge service.

Stylists have to constantly broaden their knowledge in the fashion industry. (Jamie Street / Unsplash)

“I let my work speak on my stead, as they leave satisfied with my work. Of course, I have not stopped studying, updating myself to be at the forefront of fashion,” she said.

Although the desire to enhance beauty is always present, the confinement due to the pandemic affected the salons, since there were no parties or gatherings.

Both chain and private beauty salons have lowered their work rates, as clients did not need their services during the first months of isolation.

“I can tell you that there was a time when I did not remember when my last appointment to the beauty salon was,” said Rosario Coba Oropeza, a 55 year-old-woman. “When isolation was enforced, we had to follow all health measures, and we tried to avoid leaving the house, so I temporarily had to close down my business.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has put many stylists in an economic crisis, as they stopped receiving a regular income, which caused many salons to close permanently.

Women are starting, little by little, to go once again to beauty salons, to fix their hair and nails, among other treatments. (Kris Atomic / Unsplash)

“I used to go to the beauty salon at least once a month, to take care of my nails, my hairstyle and even an occasional facial,” said Coba Oropeza.

People who break their isolation have found new, strict sanitary measures.

“Under the new health policies, I can only attend a client at a time, and if they want to come, they need to make an appointment,” said Sosa Murillo. “I will not lie; the first months were the most complicated for me. I had to pay my rent, my electrical bills, and personal expenses. Fortunately, I am used to saving my money.”

Despite the fact that many economic sectors have reopened, it still has been a challenge for salons to adapt to the new lifestyle.

“Times have changed,” said Sosa Murillo. “Though not as bad as before, it has not returned to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.”

She trusts the loyalty of her customers and the quality of the service she provides.

“We have made a substantial base of regular customers,” she said. “And we hope that it will increase in the following years.”

(Translated and edited by Mario Vázquez. Edited by Kristen Butler)