What's the true cost of Covid-19 to the hair, barber and beauty industry?

Published 14th Apr 2021 by Charlotte Grant-West
What's the true cost of Covid-19 to the hair, barber and beauty industry? Covid-19 has cost hair, barber beauty professionals £11,603 on average and expect losses to rise beyond £12,800, new research from small business insurer Simply Business reveals – but despite this, they’re predicting a strong bounce back.

Key stats from the research

  • All hairdressers, beauticians and salon owners that temporarily stopped trading during the pandemic (85%) expect to continue or restart their current business. The same number that permanently ceased trading (9%) have started a new business

  • Two thirds (66%) say the vaccine rollout has made them more confident about business recovery and over one in three (36%) remain confident about life after lockdown

  • Despite the challenges, hairdressers, beauticians and salon owners are optimistic about recovery with over 99% expecting their business to survive past 2021

Resilience and optimism for the future

However, despite the challenges, there are reasons to be encouraged. Over 99% of hair, barber and beauty professionals expect their business to survive past 2021, while 100% of businesses who have had to temporarily stop trading during Covid-19 plan to continue with their current venture.

Meanwhile, there are just as many hair and beauty professionals planning to start a new business as there are who said they’ve permanently ceased trading (9%).

Furthermore, the vaccine rollout has boosted confidence among hairdressers, beauticians and salon owners. Two thirds (66%) say the rollout has made them more confident about the recovery of their business, and over one in three (36%) remain confident about life after lockdown.

Hair and beauty professionals have also used the pandemic to spend more time with family where they can (62%), focus on themselves (35%), rest (34%) and learn new skills (20%).

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business comments: “The hair and beauty industry has been hit particularly hard in this last year, and the scale of the impact on small businesses and the self-employed is abundantly clear in our latest research. Covid-19 has cost hairdressers, salons, and beauticians over £11,000 each on average, which is a huge collective loss to the economy.

“More importantly beyond the economic hit, we should recognise that behind each of these small businesses is a small business owner – each with families, livelihoods and dreams. The impact of the pandemic on so many of these individuals and their communities has been devastating, both financially and emotionally.

“Against such a tough backdrop it’s inspiring to see small business owners display such resilience and this is especially true for the hair and beauty sector where almost every professional, whether mobile or in a salon, believes they’ll operate beyond this year. So as hair and beauty professionals prepare to safely reopen their doors, there are reasons to be hopeful - including the end of lockdown DIY hair and nail treatments!”


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Charlotte Grant-West

Charlotte Grant-West

Published 14th Apr 2021

Charlotte oversees the print magazine, website and social media channels at HJ. With over a decade of experience as a journalist, Charlotte was formerly Editor of Modern Barber and HJ Men, Social Editor at Netmums and Features Writer at Boots Health & Beauty magazine. She loves any products that make her hair bigger and more voluminous, and loves a behind-the-scenes peek at anything hair-related – whether it's a factory tour, BTS on a shoot or backstage at fashion week.


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