Nails bars and beauty salons reopening: close-contact treatments cannot reopen until after 15 August

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Hanna Ibraheem
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Beauticians were set to reopen on 1 August, but that has now been postponed.

UPDATE 31/07.20: Boris Johnson has now pushed back the reopening of close-contact beauty treatments by another two weeks.

In a briefing delivered today (31 July), the Prime Minister announced that along with casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks, close-contact beauty services will continue to remain closed for at least another two weeks.

These services will not be able to reopen until 15 August at the earliest.

This includes eyebrow threading, facial treatments, eyelash treatments, microblading, dermarolling, dermaplaning, face waxing/sugar/threading, make-up application and electrolysis on the face.

The news comes as a blow for those that work in the beauty industry as many businesses were set to reopen tomorrow (1 August).

UPDATE 17/07/20: The beauty industry can fully reopen from 1 August, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced.

During a Downing Street briefing, the Prime Minister revealed that close-contact beauty services can resume. This includes eyebrow threading, facial treatments, eyelash treatments, microblading, dermarolling, dermaplaning, face waxing/sugar/threading, make-up application and electrolysis on the face.

The announcement comes after protests from the beauty industry after many beauticians were unable to return to work despite ensuring their salons were Covid-secure.

Originally published 10/07/20: Last week, the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced that nails bars and beauty salons could reopen their doors on 13 July.

Not long after, though, details emerged stating that some close contact treatments will not be permitted. This includes eyebrow threading, facial treatments, eyelash treatments, microblading, make-up application, dermarolling, dermaplaning, face waxing/sugaring/threading and electrolysis on the face.

What initially seemed like cautionary measures, reeked of sexism after it was discovered that beard trimming is allowed.

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What does beauty mean to women in the UK?

“What they represent is a male-ocracy and not a democracy,” Sharmadean Reid MBE, founder of Beautystack, told

“Beauty and hair have been categorised together for all guidelines up until [the reopening of hair salons was announced on 3 July] and it was a bit baffling because if you don’t provide separate guidelines, it’s strange to treat them separately when it comes to reopening,” Reid told

In response to the actions of the government, Reid and Beautystack have created the #BringBeautyBack campaign, a movement focused on bringing back the industry in its entirety.

As part of the campaign, Beauty Stack has also created a film, highlighting the effects Covid-19 has had on beauty professionals over the last few months and their hopes for the future coming out of the pandemic. 

Despite the government’s statements about the importance of kickstarting the economy, the UK beauty industry – which makes a total contribution of £28 billion annually – will continue to suffer until further advice is given.

“You simply cannot have a conversation about reinvigorating the beauty economy without involving the beauty pro’s who operate within it,” says Reid. “Beauty therapists are not just in the business of making people look pretty. They are essential in supporting their clients mental health.

“Combating loneliness and supporting clients’ mental health is an informal role that we will continue to play forever and, for that, I would really like to see people understand and honour this more.”

How can we help?

“Publicly share your sentiment on salons vs. pubs,” says Reid. “We’ve had some really great reactions from great women like Scarlett Curtis and Candice Brathwaite, who have said ‘pedicures, not pints’. Write to MPs and support your local beauty pros, either by reaching out or booking a virtual appointment, if you can.”

“The most important thing we want is to not have people redundant and not have a high street that’s completely empty,” she adds. “The very first people to go back to work was construction. Why construction? It’s all male-dominated industries that have been allowed to get back to normal.”

As for female entrepreneurs that are currently struggling, Reid advises putting pressure on your local MPs. “Also, stay strong and share information. Show clients that you’ve prepared and you’re Covid-secure.”

You can register for Sunday’s Beauty March here.

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