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The Effects of Covid-19 on Hair and Make Up Artists

Hair and Make-up Artist Kate Fletcher discusses the latest government guidelines and the effects on the industry.

New working practices and guidelines after COVID-19 for Hair and make up artists have got us in a bit of a spin!

On the 10th July BABTAC announced on social media that the punishment for ‘facial’ treatments could be a hefty fine or two years imprisonment dished out by the government.  Although it’s not actually classed as illegal imagine being asked what you’re incarcerated for; murder? Armed robbery? No, just a smoky eye!

Barbers were allowed to trim beards – now correct me if I’m wrong but last time I checked beards grew on the face? I’m not surprised many hair and make up artists were going a bit crazy on social media about the technicalities. People were calling out for clearer and more consistent rules.

We were still not permitted to work. After following advice from the British Beauty CouncilBABTAC and the Government finally on Thursday 17th July we heard the fantastic news that we can now start working again. There were happy tears and screams across the Make Up Artist world and some taking to Live streaming their excitement to the world and their clients to say “we are back!”.

Hair styling isn’t classed as a ‘high risk zone’ so this area of work can be safely carried out with PPE. It’s the make-up part where the problem lays.


Here is a brief rundown of the precautions I think we will have to take going forward:

  1. Complete a sanitation course
  2. Complete risk assessments of working spaces
  3. Wear masks and facial shields
  4. Wash hands before each person
  5. Clean surfaces before opening kit
  6. Anything that can be disposable should be – wands, spatulas, towels, sponges
  7. Brushes cannot touch powder products; instead they should be decanted or wiped onto a cotton pad
  8. Use metal palettes and spatulas – no back of the hand mixing
  9. One set of brushes (face and hair) in a sealed container per person, no cleaning between people
  10. All dropper or wet products to be decanted into airless pumps
  11. Disinfect chairs etc with aerosol based cleaner
  12. Wait 15 minutes between people
  13. Keep doors and windows open
  14. Taking names and phone numbers for track and trace
  15. Congratulations for getting to the bottom of the list

Most of the guidelines are pure common sense and any HMUA worth their salt should have good hygiene standards anyway. This I feel will become the norm and I’m ready to get going now.

I felt incredibly sad for all the brides who have not had the confidence that professionally applied make up brings on their special day and delighted that now those having small weddings can.

Being back doing what I love makes a huge difference and I wish all HMUA’s the best too.

The NHBF have been a constant support system for so many during Lockdown with regular updates. With the announcement that face coverings are mandatory from 24th July in retail, supermarkets and public transport the latest advice from NHBF is “Government officials have confirmed that face coverings do not need to be worn by the pubic in beauty salons, hairdressers or other close contact services. These settings already have extensive protective measures in place including handwashing, screens, visors and social distancing. Clients may wear face covering if they wish. Workers MUST wear visors but can wear face coverings as well (not instead)”

Correct at time of publishing. As guidelines and regulations are constantly changing please do check the official websites for regular updates.

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Further reading

Tracy Butterfield

Latest Government Guidance on Face Coverings

Welcome to a new way of working – the new ‘normal’. The latest Government guidance regarding face coverings has now been announced. From 24th July, in England, it will be mandatory to wear a face covering in shops, supermarkets and public transport.

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