Beauty And The Beast – The Salon Trends Borne Of A Pandemic

Spring 2021 has seen a welcome return to our hair and beauty salons – just in time for those long awaited staycations.  While salons have been busy with the expected haircuts, colours and eyebrow threading, the pandemic has left a surprising legacy in terms of beauty treatments.

Life – but not as we know it

It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that something as atypical as a pandemic might bring with it some unique beauty issues and challenges and, as salons sharpen their scissors and dust off their dryers, some unexpected trends have begun to emerge:

Blue light protection

Over the past 13 months or so, a huge number of people have been working, socialising and exercising at home.  Not only does this kind of confinement lead to a deficit of the vitamin D naturally acquired through sunlight but, it also means that people are exposed to blue light from devices for longer periods of time.  Many women have reported that these factors have had a negative impact on their skin and have complained of a dull, tired complexion following a lot of time at home.  For this reason, a lot of salons are now tweaking their products to combat this and are using innovative ingredients such as turmeric and algae which are thought to contain properties which are able to minimise the damage caused by exposure to blue light.

On the face of it

Before March 2020, most of us couldn’t even have imagined having to wear a face mask every time we get on a bus or pop to the shop for a pint of milk but, face coverings have become – for the time being anyway – an ordinary part of life.  As well as discomfort and a strange kind of deafness, these much-hated pieces of cloth also, for many people, come with another unwelcome side effect – breakouts.  A lot of people – particularly key workers who have to wear masks for long periods of time – have been suffering from breakouts which are now known as ‘Maskne’ and which can range from small pimple clusters to acne-style facial rashes.  As a result, more and more beauty salons are receiving requests for specialist treatments to provide relief from these unsightly and uncomfortable skin conditions.  

Sonya Cross from the YOU Clinic, says, ‘‘Maskne is the new term on everyone’s mouth (literally) since we all started wearing face coverings more consistently.  What it really refers to is several skin conditions that can occur from wearing a mask. The most common complaint is acne categorised by pimples, whiteheads and blackheads which happen when sweat, oil, and dead skin cells are trapped on your skin whilst wearing a mask, creating a perfect breeding ground for breakouts.’’

A lot of salons in 2021 are focusing on exfoliating and other treatments to help their clients to battle Maskne and regain their clear complexion.

The eyes have it

Figures show that those who are now working from home have been working, on average, two more hours per day compared to being in the office – which adds up to more screen time.  When it comes to our working lives, long periods spent staring at a screen is a necessary evil but it’s not great for our health – or our looks.  Increased time in front of the laptop can have an adverse effect on the delicate skin around the eye area, causing fine lines, dark shadows and fat spots to appear under the eyes.  As we emerge from the pandemic, blinking into the June sunlight, a significant number of people are heading straight to their favourite salon in search of rejuvenating eye treatments created to reverse the damage done by those devious devices.

The 2021 transformation

These pandemic pampering problems mean that a lot of salons are facing the challenge of having to add additional treatments to their existing offerings – as well as having to pay close attention to health, safety and distancing guidelines – often with a reduced staff.  Salon scheduling app, Booksy, has seen a significant surge in uptake for its app which allows salons to manage bookings efficiently as well as keeping on top of inventory and treatments.

As we roll into summer, many of us won’t be leaving lockdown life behind completely.  Studies show that we’ve now become accustomed to a lower maintenance way of life and, as such, salons will be focusing on wellbeing treatments, minimalist make-up accessories and, solutions to combat the effects of those dratted face coverings!

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