Illegal mobile hairdressing trade

Hair dyeing by mobile hairdresser

The official line is that no one should be getting their hair done by a professional hairdresser or barber during lockdown. As mandated by the government in its ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic, individuals providing hairdressing services are currently forbidden to do so on anyone other than a family member.

These rules first came into force on 23rd March. The hair sector is set to reopen for business on 4th July. Between these dates, however, although illegal, there have been news reports of underground hairdressing backed up by statistics relating to purchases of mobile services products. Suppliers of salon-professional products have reported bulk buying of bleaches and dyes these past weeks. Apparently, sales ‘fell off a cliff’ to begin with and have ‘rocketed’ thereafter. Read more on this subject on The Sun’s website.

A related article on The Guardian’s website attributes the soaring demand for illicit hairdressing on people wanting to appear well groomed at work-related virtual meetings as well as keyworkers who continue to operate on a face-to-face basis from physical premises. The other driving force for clandestine hairdressing is financial pressure; some hairdressers not being eligible for government support yet still having bills to pay.

According to individuals cited in the same piece on The Guardian’s website, ‘probably 80% of hairdressers are at it’ including ‘barber shops with newspapered windows’, ‘alfresco barbering’ underneath garden gazebos and ‘mobile hairdressing vans’ touring neighbourhoods. All of the hairdressers and barbers concerned are contravening social distancing rules despite the risks to both themselves and their clients. The risk, ultimately, being a second wave of COVID-19.

Looking ahead to next week, it’s anticipated that the backlog of missed appointments runs into the thousands for some salons so it may be a while before the majority of us can enjoy a proper haircut. When the time eventually comes, heed our earlier warning about choosing a reputable hairdresser in order to avoid unwelcome hair disasters which, at the extreme, comprise hair breakage, hair damage, scalp burns and scalp blisters.


To speak with our expert legal claims team about making a claim for compensation against your hairdresser, please get in touch by emailing enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, calling 0800 970 9102 from a landline for free, phoning 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or completing our online enquiry form.

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