How to support beauty professionals during the coronavirus pandemic

Alyssa Newcomb

Many people are missing their hairstylists, nail technicians and waxing specialists, longing for the day they can get their eyebrows professionally shaped, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

And while some salons are starting to reopen across the United States, many beauty professionals are still struggling to bring back their businesses to prepandemic levels. But there are plenty of ways people can help support their favorite technicians, whether or not the salon is reopen.

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John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems, is helping salons across the United States with a $4 million stimulus package that includes shampoo, conditioner and top-of-the-line hair color.

“We started with nothing. They supported us. We thought this is a time to give back," DeJoria told TODAY Style. The donation is intended to ease the financial strain of COVID-19 and "gets them up and running immediately without that bill," he said.

1. Wait for your stylist

DeJoria said people can support their stylists by waiting for them to reopen instead of attempting to cut and color their hair at home using drugstore products.

"A lot of people at home see their regrowth coming out and they immediately want to go to a drugstore and get something temporary, but it can be twice the job to redo their mess-up" he said. “If you are quarantined at home, no one is going to see your regrowth. Wait until your hairdresser can do it right."

2. Buy products and gift cards from the salon

Many salons are offering curbside pickup, where people can call ahead, order their favorite products and receive them without having to get out of their vehicles.

Melanie Marris, a brow stylist who owns salons in Los Angeles and Australia, said purchases from online shops can make a big difference.

"Continuing to purchase from our online shops will help support us right now. I know of other service-based industries offering gift cards that are available to purchase now to be used when the salons are back open, I think that’s another great alternative and a way to support the beauty professionals you usually see every couple weeks or months," she said. "We’re so grateful for the support of our customers and we’re eager to see them again soon once it’s safe to do so."

Tracey Moss, a former salon owner who now works as a hairstylist on film sets, said purchasing gift cards or donations to a stylist can make a big difference.

"In some cases, the client's support is the only income stylist is receiving, and I recommend clients to purchase gift cards that could be used later on," she said. "Many stylists have come up with creative ideas to sell products or gift bags to help clients to maintain healthy hair. Another way is for clients to give donations if they can to their hairstylist."

3. Virtual consultations

Erica Randlett, a holistic esthetician working at Sacre Peau and Treatment by Lanshin in Brooklyn, New York, said she's been staying connected to clients through virtual consultations.

"As many wellness workers, I myself have reached out to my clients to let them know that I miss them, and please if they any questions regarding their skin, skin care regimes and products I am here for them. I am not charging for these virtual consultation," she said. "I am however only seeing my clients, people I have a relationship with and who’s skin I know and understand. I am grateful for the response I’ve received. For me staying connected has made all the difference."

Amy Lin, founder of Sundays, a nail care brand with three studios in New York City, launched virtual manicure classes to support her team of 50 employees. Classes are private ($45 for 3 people) or public ($15 per person). The at-home nail tutorials can be booked online and are run through Zoom.

4. Be patient as stylists navigate "the new normal"

Jessica Heckman, owner The Beautiful Co., a salon in Greenville, South Carolina, is planning to reopen on May 18. She said clients can help support her team by being patient with the extra precautions that are now in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"Even if you don’t agree with all the rules that might be taking place, try to adopt an attitude of gratefulness as we are going to be here for you," she said. "By honoring a small business and what they are asking of you, it helps relieve stress for all of us with these current changes. We are trying to do the best we can and our clients can play a major role in this. We are happy our clients look forward to coming back!"