Member Login

Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association

An Open Letter on behalf of Hair and Beauty Salon Owners

Posted August 16, 2021

Written by Maureen Harding, Chair of Hair and Beauty Australia and owner of Hairdressing by Maureen Harding in Ingleburn.

Salons across most of Australia are closed. Sydney alone is facing the seventh week of shut doors. With staff wages, rent, and other business costs to cover, and the possibility of closures throughout Australia continuing, a feeling of abandonment and despair is settling in.

As the Chair of Hair and Beauty Australia, I have been inundated with calls and emails from the desperate salon and barbershop owners who are seeing their livelihoods decimated and frantic with worry about how to keep staff employed.

Our industry recognises that sacrifices must be made to keep our community safe during this pandemic. Last year, our businesses put in place social distancing measures, staff wore masks throughout the day, temperature checks for all entering the premises, QR codes as mandatory, and sanitizing each workstation were the norm.

We as an industry understand the new issues that the Delta variant of Covid-19 has brought, but we believe that by taking similar measures and health guidance that the construction industry or physiotherapy professionals are following, we could open safely on a limited basis.

As the peak body for the industry, Hair and Beauty Australia is here to work with Governments across Australia to help the industry return to work safely.

We want to highlight the measures we have raised with our members that would allow the Hair and Beauty Industry to return to work. Specifically:

  • A majority of our members support vaccination mandates and would abide by the same vaccination and testing rules as construction workers if it meant they could return to the salon.
  • We have worked under the 1 person per 4m2 rule and could return to these limits, as well as limiting the total number of individuals in a salon at any time or day.
  • We support, and had worked with, COVID-19 Safety Plans prior to the current lock-down and would continually improve and follow these plans in order to get our salons open again.
  • Finally, we would support limiting travel by customers to the current local movement limits (5km or 10km from place of residence, depending on the area) to ensure that we keep business local and stop the spread of people.

We would support federal and state governments in implementing the above-suggested measures in any lockdown situation (not just in NSW and not only in the current outbreak) to ensure that our industry can continue to operate in the future

I have been a hairdresser for over forty years and own a salon in Southwest Sydney. Many of my older clients would previously come in daily, with the visit to the shop sometimes their only social interaction.

We also have working Mums who bring in their laptops and get through reports while being able to spend a few hours doing something that is just for “them”. The local traders swing by and I would always fit them in, even when it’s busy because they are always a bit time-poor! Our salon isn’t just a place where ladies who lunch come to congregate, it’s a community.

Of course, we must strike a balance between the safety of our customers, staff, and the community with the damage of closed businesses. We are not asking for anything more than what the construction industry has already been granted in NSW, and we would look to work with the requisite State-level health departments to create a specific plan for our industry.

What we need is for the Government to understand the role our services play in the lives of everyday people. It is not about the vanity of our customers but keeping their sanity in these difficult times. The role that the hair and beauty industry play in the positive mental health of many should not be underestimated.

We need politicians to realise that there are a lot of people hurting in our community and there is a role for our industry to help. All we are asking for is our opportunity to do so safely.


For Media Enquiries, please contact:

Maureen Harding

National President

+61 408 619 594

Jan Gawel


+61 417 569 337


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Copyright © Hair and Beauty Australia | ABN 781 333 722 00