We’ve all laughed and joked about missing our hairdresser over the lockdown period, delighting in the hair transformations of our favourite celebrities returning to the salon. As Phoebe Waller Bridge’s fleabag states, ‘hair is everything’.
But joking aside, the relationship between personal grooming and mental health has become even more apparent during the lockdown period – a concept which has been captured perfectly with this open letter to a hairdresser during the pandemic.
‘Dear Sara,’ the writer starts. ‘I’ve waited a really long time to pass this on to you. My wife and I came in for a haircuts shortly before Christmas of last year.
‘My wife was suffering with dementia, and you treated her as if you’ve been working with dementia patients all your life.’
He then went on to say, ‘Sadly she died in March. And that haircut was one of the last, best moments of her life. She felt so pretty. She visited the mirror in her bathroom several times during the day and would come out beaming.
‘To see her so happy, was priceless.
‘Looking back I realise that it was one of the dozens of haircuts you gave that day. But one that revitalised a woman’s sense of self worth and her singular beauty.
‘I hope you always realise the power of your profession. It’s so easy to take things like that for granted.’
The post has amassed over 9K likes and nearly 200 comments, with social media users moved by the writer’s emotional words.
Last month, woman&home spoke Keith Conniford, CEO of the Hair and Barber Council about this topic.
He told us that while the hair industry is not considered to be a vital service, it has a serious impact on people’s mental wellbeing. “The effect of people not being able to get their hair done has been quite big in terms of people’s mental health,” he told woman&home.
“The ‘feel good factor’ because the industry does a good job in terms of what they’re paid to do – a haircut etcetera – but what we do beyond that has come into real, heavy focus recently in terms of people coming in, it’s a good atmosphere. People like being there.
“We’ve also got some barbers doing great work in terms of loneliness, mental health and suicide prevention because people do talk to hairdressers and barbers and for some people, in some places, it’s their only point of contact in the week.