Turkey, hairdresser amidst pandemic

Turkish hairdressers struggle to survive the pandemic

Hairdressers have only 25% of clients they had before the coronavirus pandemic, and many have trouble paying rent and employee wages.

Hairdressers that reopened in mid-May in Turkey after almost two months of hiatus (from March 21 to May 11) due to the coronavirus pandemic, are now facing a difficult situation, struggling to survive and get ahead despite the drastic drop in the number of customers.

According to Sezai Apaydın, president of the association of hairdressers in the Turkish province of İzmir, many women still fear to remain in closed areas such as shops or hairdressers for fear of contracting the virus, so they resort to making themselves at home treatments they used to do in hairdressers. “People buy hair dyes online to give themselves the dye at home, which hurts our business,” he says.

This is something that the clients themselves recognise, such as Cansu Tur, a woman who although she now goes to the hairdresser from time to time, admits that she now dyes at home. “I dyed my hair at home for three months because of the coronavirus outbreak; I still continue to dye myself, and I come here to the salon only to cut my hair,” she said.

“We continue to work at 25% of our capacity. Some businesses are having a hard time paying rent and wages for their employees,” Apaydın admitted. Another blow to these businesses is that as a preventive measure they are also not authorised to apply makeup to their clients, something that harms them -for example- in the face of the money they could earn from weddings.

Apaydın however insisted that hairdressers and beauty centres in Turkey are taking all necessary measures to protect their clients against the COVID-19 pandemic, and recalled that a hairdresser is no less safe than a cafe, a restaurant or a shopping centre.