‘Everyone’s starting to panic’: Hairdresser offers advice as lockdown locks get longer

news, local-news, news, Dubbo, hairdresser, Jenny Hunt, lockdown

Five weeks of lockdown has Dubbo’s men, women and children looking much more “woolly” than normal and in some cases weighing up whether to take matters into their own hands. Dubbo hairdresser Jenny Hunt reports fielding calls from clients asking “what can I do” and with regrowth getting longer she’s predicting the next few weeks are “going to be harder”. “The regrowths are creeping in, and everyone’s starting to panic now, because they’ve got white at the roots, and their dark colours, and their blondes are starting to be like grown out balayages,” she said. Hairdressers were forced to close their doors immediately when COVID cases were confirmed at Dubbo and the city went into lockdown on August 11. Miss Hunt, owner of Fine Lines Hairdressing, said clients, especially men, were soon due for their next haircut and they were making contact. “So they were kind of like ‘Argh, I’m getting woolly, what am I going to do?’,” she said. Anecdotal evidence suggests community members may be entertaining home haircut ideas, and Miss Hunt has been addressing this topic on social media. “I’m hoping they’re hanging on,” she said. But the salon owner of 21 years is also realistic. “At the end of the day, I’ve now resigned myself five weeks in, that what will be, will be, because people can’t go that long,” Miss Hunt said. “People who have got to go to work have still got to look presentable. “So there’s been a couple of phone calls of ‘If I’m going to clipper my hair, how do I do it?’ “I’m probably not supposed to, but at the end of the day, I’m happy to guide them through a haircut and know that it’s been done properly, rather than let them bugger it up.” The professional repeated her plea for people to hang out and resist do-it-yourself dos. “What people have got to realise is, if they start playing with their hair at home, it does make it harder for us when we go back, because we’re not going to have a lot of time on our hands,” Miss Hunt said. “And with the restrictions only allowing us five people in the salon, it’s not going to give us time to be colour correcting, all those sorts of things. “So if they can just put scarves on, or bandanas, or pin back, or put up with the grey, it will make life easier – and cheaper – for them, when we do actually get to go back.” Colleagues in Sydney and Wollongong have told Miss Hunt to brace for a jump in activity when lockdown lifts. “I’ve been warned for the past few weeks that returning to work after lockdown is like Christmas week on steroids, so I can’t wait for that, it sounds fun,” she said with a wry laugh. “So that’s why we want people to leave their hair alone so as it can be as smooth a transition back into the salon as possible.” For Fine Lines Hairdressing temporary closure came hours earlier than the rest of the city on August 11. Located near a COVID-testing location, the salon was in the thick of the action as thousands of people turned out for swabs. “We actually didn’t open on the Wednesday morning that we locked down at one o’clock, because they’d moved the COVID testing clinic from the hospital up to work,” Miss Hunt said. “I woke up that morning and went, ‘it’s going to be chaotic up there today’. “So I made the heart-wrenching decision after a few tears… to say ‘no, we’re not working today’, because I knew it would be chaotic, because we’d already worked Tuesday up there and the line was fairly constant, all day Tuesday… “The poor clients who were booked in on Wednesday, they had to get cancelled.” Lockdown is tough for the hairdresser who loves her work and who regards her clients as family. “It’s hard,” Miss Hunt said. “It’s hard to sit at home and twiddle your thumbs when you love doing that, and also, the financial side of it, you’re not getting an income.” The business owner reports her employees have accessed the COVID disaster payment, but she had to be closed for 14 days before “we could apply for anything”. Last year the salon had continued to operate, so it didn’t get grants or anything then, Miss Hunt said. “So this was a whole new ball game for me,” she said. “It was a bit stressful. When you’re used to having a regular income and all of a sudden, for the first time in, I don’t know – I think I was 13 when I started my first job, so for the first time since I was 13 I didn’t have any money. “It was kind of like – wow. “You’ve got your savings there, but that’s not going to keep paying rent and everything else you accumulate for a week-to-week budget and payment and those sorts of things. “Once you start using that and there’s nothing going back into it.”

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Five weeks of lockdown has Dubbo’s men, women and children looking much more “woolly” than normal and in some cases weighing up whether to take matters into their own hands.

Dubbo hairdresser Jenny Hunt reports fielding calls from clients asking “what can I do” and with regrowth getting longer she’s predicting the next few weeks are “going to be harder”.

“The regrowths are creeping in, and everyone’s starting to panic now, because they’ve got white at the roots, and their dark colours, and their blondes are starting to be like grown out balayages,” she said.

Miss Hunt, owner of Fine Lines Hairdressing, said clients, especially men, were soon due for their next haircut and they were making contact.

So they were kind of like ‘Argh, I’m getting woolly, what am I going to do?’

Hairdresser Jenny Hunt

“So they were kind of like ‘Argh, I’m getting woolly, what am I going to do?’,” she said.

Anecdotal evidence suggests community members may be entertaining home haircut ideas, and Miss Hunt has been addressing this topic on social media.

“I’m hoping they’re hanging on,” she said.

But the salon owner of 21 years is also realistic.

“At the end of the day, I’ve now resigned myself five weeks in, that what will be, will be, because people can’t go that long,” Miss Hunt said.

“People who have got to go to work have still got to look presentable.

“So there’s been a couple of phone calls of ‘If I’m going to clipper my hair, how do I do it?’

“I’m probably not supposed to, but at the end of the day, I’m happy to guide them through a haircut and know that it’s been done properly, rather than let them bugger it up.”

I’ve been warned for the past few weeks that returning to work after lockdown is like Christmas week on steroids…

Hairdresser Jenny Hunt

The professional repeated her plea for people to hang out and resist do-it-yourself dos.

“What people have got to realise is, if they start playing with their hair at home, it does make it harder for us when we go back, because we’re not going to have a lot of time on our hands,” Miss Hunt said.

“And with the restrictions only allowing us five people in the salon, it’s not going to give us time to be colour correcting, all those sorts of things.

“So if they can just put scarves on, or bandanas, or pin back, or put up with the grey, it will make life easier – and cheaper – for them, when we do actually get to go back.”

Colleagues in Sydney and Wollongong have told Miss Hunt to brace for a jump in activity when lockdown lifts.

“I’ve been warned for the past few weeks that returning to work after lockdown is like Christmas week on steroids, so I can’t wait for that, it sounds fun,” she said with a wry laugh.

“So that’s why we want people to leave their hair alone so as it can be as smooth a transition back into the salon as possible.”

Stressful time for business

For Fine Lines Hairdressing temporary closure came hours earlier than the rest of the city on August 11.

Located near a COVID-testing location, the salon was in the thick of the action as thousands of people turned out for swabs.

“We actually didn’t open on the Wednesday morning that we locked down at one o’clock, because they’d moved the COVID testing clinic from the hospital up to work,” Miss Hunt said.

“I woke up that morning and went, ‘it’s going to be chaotic up there today’.

“So I made the heart-wrenching decision after a few tears… to say ‘no, we’re not working today’, because I knew it would be chaotic, because we’d already worked Tuesday up there and the line was fairly constant, all day Tuesday…

“The poor clients who were booked in on Wednesday, they had to get cancelled.”

Lockdown is tough for the hairdresser who loves her work and who regards her clients as family.

“It’s hard,” Miss Hunt said.

“It’s hard to sit at home and twiddle your thumbs when you love doing that, and also, the financial side of it, you’re not getting an income.”

The business owner reports her employees have accessed the COVID disaster payment, but she had to be closed for 14 days before “we could apply for anything”.

Last year the salon had continued to operate, so it didn’t get grants or anything then, Miss Hunt said.

“So this was a whole new ball game for me,” she said.

When you’re used to having a regular income and all of a sudden, for the first time in, I don’t know – I think I was 13 when I started my first job, so for the first time since I was 13 I didn’t have any money.

“It was kind of like – wow.

“You’ve got your savings there, but that’s not going to keep paying rent and everything else you accumulate for a week-to-week budget and payment and those sorts of things.

“Once you start using that and there’s nothing going back into it.”

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