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Stick with DIY or skip back to the salon? The future of beauty treatments post-pandemic

Lockdown seems to have split beauty buffs into two camps - those happy to stick with the DIY approach for good and those who couldn't get back into a salon fast enough - but both agree that grooming and pampering are vital to their mental health and well-being. Here, Orla Neligan asks what the future of beauty treatments will look like post-pandemic

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Julie Millen tried an at-home facial kit. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Julie Millen tried an at-home facial kit. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Domestic beauty: When salons closed, Aisling Kinsella used home lash and brow tints

Domestic beauty: When salons closed, Aisling Kinsella used home lash and brow tints

To dye for: Karen Jackson cut and coloured her own hair during lockdown

To dye for: Karen Jackson cut and coloured her own hair during lockdown

Orna Holland did her own manicures during lockdown

Orna Holland did her own manicures during lockdown

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Julie Millen tried an at-home facial kit. Photo: Steve Humphreys

While many of us prepared for lockdown by stocking up on food, others panicked about the state their locks would soon be in without professional haircare help. Our salon reprieve was supposed to be a "couple of weeks" but now, four months in, we've had to adapt to flying solo, with a whole new way of accessing beauty. But there's nothing like a period of isolation to make you appreciate what you had, with many of us realising the significance of the beauty industry for ourselves and the economy.

In the words of Joan Crawford, "The most important thing a woman can have - next to talent, of course - is her hairdresser." It may seem superficial but salons have proved important for our appearance and our happiness, especially for those sporting home-haircut botch jobs, with recent studies showing that nearly 50pc of people cited salon visits as top of their to-do list post-lockdown.

"We have a short memory," says Jennie Hingston, owner of Elysian Therapy in Sandyford, Dublin. "Everything will eventually go back to the way it was but in the few days that we have been open, we've been inundated with booking requests from people who really value the expertise of a professional. I think lockdown has made people realise the difference between doing it yourself and having a well-trained professional at the helm. It's not just about the treatments, it's a really personal business; we have some clients who come as much for the connection, the chats and the social aspect. They've really been missing that."