TREATMENTS: Becky Fell from Serene Spa is hoping her business will survive                            TM pic
TREATMENTS: Becky Fell from Serene Spa is hoping her business will survive TM pic

BEAUTICIANS in Teesdale say local lockdown restrictions have had a dramatic effect on their businesses as customers, unable to socialise with friends, are not booking in for once regular treatments.
But some say they are seeing a switch from facials to massages as people try to sooth their anxiety.
There’s also a trend towards treatments that help people look better wearing a mask, as well as cope with the effect of wearing them.
Beauty salons were given the green light to reopen offering limited treatments after four months of closure in early July.Further restrictions on their businesses were lifted in mid-August, and many reported being busy initially with customers flocking back.
However, after local lockdown restrictions were imposed last month, bookings have taken a nose-dive.
Becky Fell, from Serene Spa in Barnard Castle, said: “We were just getting back on our feet and were busy.
“The first couple of weeks and months went really well after lockdown. We were really busy. Now, it is a bit of a different story.”
As part of restrictions the Government banned people from different households meeting up in their homes, at the pub or restaurant. The result has hit hospitality venues hard and had a knock-on effect on local beauticians.
She added: “I’m just trying to keep the business going, doing loads of special offers but it’s hard, very hard, at the moment.”
During lockdown therapists in Teesdale had their own messaging group, sharing information and giving each other support.
She said: “We have gone from one extreme to the other. As soon as we were put into local lockdown people started to cancel bookings, as there was no point if they couldn’t go out.”
However, although bookings for facials and nail treatments have dropped Ms Fell said interest in her massages has increased.
“They’re really calming and I think a lot of people are feeling very anxious at the moment and it does help people relax and it keeps me calm when I do them as well,” she added.
Gabrielle Haynes, who runs Beauty at Gabrielle’s in Galgate, Barnard Castle, said: “I do have a really good clientele that comes regularly for treatments, but I have had cancellations.
“People who’ve had treatments booked because of birthday parties and weddings. They can’t have them, so they didn’t see the point.”
During lockdown Ms Haynes introduced a new treatment, which has been popular since face masks have become a requirement.
She said: “I have started brow sculpting that accentuates your natural hair and that has really taken off. I only started doing that since lockdown and lash tints, which are also really popular, probably because that is all you can see when you’re wearing a mask.
“I’m getting a lot of questions about skin care regime because of wearing masks and a lot of people are booking in for facials because of this.”
Vikki Parkin, owner of Zhoo Hair and Beauty, is still counting the cost of the coronavirus lockdown at her salon in lower Galgate and is in the process of moving to smaller premises to reduce overheads.
She said: “We’ve been here 11 years but this has been one of the hardest and we are all the same situation.
“We are working about 50 per cent less than we would normally do and we were really apprehensive about coming back. When we did reopen, we’ve never felt so loved before and were really busy.”
After the initial surge of bookings from people desperate for haircuts and beauty treatments she said clients are returning less frequently than before.
She added: “During lockdown people did home hair dying, tried to be Vidal Sassoon and now they’re going longer between appointments. Normally they’d come in every six weeks, but it could be eight weeks or longer.
“We’re having to find an extra £200 or so a week to cover the cost of PPE and disposable towels.”
Capacity has been reduced with additional time spent cleaning down the salon between clients.
Bookings for in-house beautician Jordan Oliver have been dramatically affected since the introduction of local lockdown.
Ms Parkin added: “All the bookings we had for weddings are gone this year. People used to treat themselves and get their make up or facials to feel special but that’s gone too. It’s because people have nowhere to go.
“But we’re trying to be positive. We are fortunate we have got a good regular client base who are supporting us and we’re doing everything we can to adapt and remain safe.”