“At least in the first lockdown, we feel that there was almost 20% that ended up closing. For various reasons, some because they were not interested in continuing and others because the issue of lockdown and starting to go to people's houses led here to a part that is a bit ambiguous to talk about, because sometimes people start working from home and this leads to situations of non-legalisation. But there are some people who stopped working because they started working at home, I don’t know to what extent this will have a future or not, because this is not legal in Portugal”, the president of APBCIB, Miguel Garcia, told Lusa.
The sector was considered non-essential and obliged to close in two periods of combating the pandemic, first between mid-March and the end of April 2020 and then from mid-January to mid-March 2021.
As for this second phase of lockdown, there is still no concrete data, but Miguel Garcia has the feeling that some hairdressers have opened smaller ones, with “much smaller” teams, which can both indicate “a cleaning that is sometimes also beneficial in the sector” as a future “deterioration in terms of the quality of the professionals who stay”.
According to the official, the profession was deregulated in 2011 due to a European directive and currently there are technical committees analysing the possibility and terms to re-regulate the sector.
Two years after the start of the pandemic, Miguel Garcia, a hairdresser for almost 40 years and with two salons in Lisbon, Saldanha and Benfica, takes a very positive view of the sector's rapid adaptation to new rules and regrets that the recovery after the second confinement is slow.
The gatherings and lunches of friends have decreased, many weekend parties too, and this has led clients to go to the hairdresser just to have their roots retouched or cut, so that those who went almost every week are now two months or more without going back, he explained.
Miguel Garcia believes that the situation will return to normal now with the end of telework, as long as people go back to having a normal life, as long as they have money in their pockets.
“Here the big question is whether the State can ensure the recovery of the economy”, he said.