Dear Prime Minister, bring back hair, beauty & wellness

5 mins read

This year has been a turbulent one for everyone in the hair and beauty community, with salons up and down the country (and across Europe) closing their doors not once, but twice.

At Treatwell, our partners’ wellbeing and stability has always been of utmost importance to us and continues to be, now more than ever. 

This lockdown, we’re asking for confirmation and commitment from Parliament that our industry will reopen on the 3rd of December. Together with Urban, we’ve been sharing #TheUglyTruth with local MPs, the press, and the Prime Minister.

Our hope is that they will finally acknowledge how crucial this industry is for the economy and appreciate the industry’s ability to keep people safe. 

How can you help?

Below we’ve shared the letter written by Treatwell & Urban to our Prime Minister, as well as some ways you can get involved.

If you are a partner:

  • Add your signature to our letter by filling in this short form.
  • Send a letter to your local MP — we have created a template for you here.

If you are a Treatwell customer:

  • Send a letter to your local MP — we’ve created a template for you here

Let’s bring back hair, beauty & wellness, together.

Letter to the Prime Minister 

The Prime Minister
10 Downing Street

19 November 2020

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing to urge you to allow hair, beauty and wellness services to reopen once the lockdown is lifted on 3rd December in all Tier 3 areas and below, given the low levels of COVID-19 transmission in these settings and the significant number of businesses and jobs at risk.

Treatwell, headquartered in the UK is Europe’s largest hair and beauty online booking platform and software player which is partnered with over 8,000 hair and beauty salons in the UK, and Urban, also headquartered in the UK, is a wellness on demand platform which partners with 4,000 independent professionals to offer their services to customers locally via the app or website. Together, our businesses are partners with over half of Britain’s hair, beauty and wellness service industry but we hope we can speak for and represent all of it.

Our industry has suffered more than almost any other during the pandemic. Time and time again we have found ourselves bottom of the pile as one of the last to be allowed to reopen, having been ignored and side-lined by Government. Beauty was the last sector to re open in the first wave which sadly meant up to 10% of the UK’s hair and beauty industry has already gone out of business.  

This crisis disproportionately impacts the high number of women working in the industry (85-94%) and business owners – many of whom are single-earners and rely on the ability to work flexibly to support their families. It is these hard-working women who will suffer the most.

This is the ugly truth. The evidence from the industry is stark:

  • Urban’s independent partners lost on average £4,429 over the first 16 week lockdown and each week they can’t work costs them a further £277. The estimated loss for the mobile beauty and wellness industry is £8m per week. 
  • Industry revenue when hair and beauty reopened was down >30% YOY in the UK. This compares to only 12% in France and 1% in Germany. Leaving beauty behind as the last sector of the economy to open seriously dampened consumer sentiment and meant that on top of being locked down twice in 2020, the opening months’ business was severely hampered.
  • Over 10% of the high street’s hair and beauty salons have already gone out of business and this number is at risk of jumping to 20% by the end of the year due to the second lockdown and to catastrophic 30% if it is extended into the Christmas season.

Yet we know it’s safe. PHE’s Week 44 COVID-19 surveillance reports proves that personal care settings, such as salons and mobile workers, account for very low levels of transmission, while transmission is higher in restaurants, pubs and bars. 

A health report from the Northern Ireland Government shows that closure of close-contact personal services (hairdressing, beauty therapy etc.) has very limited reduction in the R rate (<0.05), but has “high direct” social, economic and psychological impact on workers from loss of income which is “likely to disproportionately affect poorest (and women) given employment in personal services”.

These businesses and individuals have done remarkable work to ensure their businesses are COVID-secure, procuring PPE, reducing their capacity to allow for social distancing and ensure proper cleaning regimes between each appointment. The stringent levels of hygiene and cleanliness in the industry, coupled with the ability to track and trace through booking systems, make it safer than many other sectors. However this has come at a significant cost.

Salons are the cornerstone of London’s local streets and the industry is a significant player in our economy, having contributed over £30bn to the UK a year, employing over 370,000 people, across 49,371 businesses. The GDP multiplier of a hair and beauty business on the high street is the highest of any industry sector and thus the crisis in hair and beauty is going to have a profound broader economic impact. 

The run up to Christmas is a crucial period for the industry and the final lifeline for many which are on the brink of collapse.

I urge you to confirm that hair, beauty and wellness salons and mobile services can restart once the national lockdown is lifted alongside in all tier 3 areas and below to protect the thousands of businesses and jobs that are on the line.

Kind regards,

Giorgia Rossi
Chief Operating Officer

Jack Tang
CEO and Founder 

Again, we’d love for you to get involved.

If you are a partner:

  • Add your signature to our letter by filling in this short form.
  • Send a letter to your local MP — we have created a template for you here.

If you are a Treatwell customer:

  • Send a letter to your local MP — we’ve created a template for you here.