How coronavirus is crippling the beauty industry in Ghana

Business News of Friday, 8 May 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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Business owners in the beauty industry have been compelled to close down shops and lay off workers as people now visit their shops less frequently due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Barbers, hairstylists, nail technicians, as well as make-up artists, in Ghana, have been heavily hit by the virus resulting in a low turnout of clients. The once packed shops are now virtually empty as customers who used to require their services have failed to do so for fear of contracting the virus.

Ghana has recorded over 3000 cases with 303 recoveries, as at May 7, 2020. According to the Ghana Health Services, the death toll remains at 18.

GhanaWeb, in a tour to some beauty shops in Accra, observed that most beauty shops were opened despite the surge in recorded cases.

However, shops that were in operation were adhering to the safety protocols aimed at reducing the spread of the coronavirus. Veronica buckets, filled with water, and soaps were been made available at the entrances of their shops with some enforcing the “no mask, no entry” policy. Sanitizers and rubbing alcohol were also made readily available to customers.

Our team observed that workers also wore face masks and gloves. A hairstylist and owner of God is Great Beauty Salon, Madam Osei, revealed that all the seats in her shop are sanitized after a customer leaves the shop.

Again, nose masks made out of print material went for GH¢2 to customers who did not have masks. She explained that work has been slow as her clients no longer come in for their usual braids.

“Before you step foot into my shop, we ensure that you wash and sanitize your hand. You’re then made to entre with your nose mask on. We sanitize all our seats; we sanitize our hands before washing one’s hair and also blow-dry the hair before touching it. We also don’t engage our clients in conversations to prevent the spread of the virus,” Madam Osei outlined the safety measures being observed in her shop.

Barbers, on the other hand, insist they have put in place measures to prevent the spread of infections at their shops by constantly sterilizing their clippers and other tools used in shaving clients’ hair.

Explaining how other barbers can protect themselves from contracting the virus, the CEO of Andis Barber, Andrews Asare, stated that “after every hair cut you’ll have to wash your hand and face then move on to another haircut.”

He also recounted how he was forced to close down two of his branches as a result of the low customer turnout.

Speaking to GhanaWeb, Andrews mentioned that people are now afraid to visit the barbering shops in this coronavirus era. He records an average of three persons a day causing him to run at a loss.

“Business was running every day. You won’t find me sitting down, I will be working. Everything has just collapsed…in a day, two or three people come here and then you just go home to sleep,” Andrew Asare lamented.

Owners of nail parlours have not been left out in the struggle to maintain their business with clients who now rarely book appointments. Walk-ins have also declined causing nail technicians to come out with ready to go stick-on nails that can be fixed at the comfort of the individual’s home by just applying a glue.

Customized stick-on nails are now the preferable choice by women as it saves them from having direct contact with your nail technician. It is advisable to sanitize or properly wash your stick-on nails with soap before attaching it to your fingers.

Nonetheless, some persons are opting for home services in these times. The big question is as to whether it is necessary to take this risk without knowing the status of the hairstylist or barber.

“Most of our customers need home services because they are afraid to come to the shop. They call me to their homes but me too I am afraid, I don’t know the person’s status. If I go and get infected with COVID-19, I wouldn’t know how to solve it,” says Wasty, a barber at City Barbers and Spa in Dzorwulu.

These beauty enhancement professionals, although pledged to comply with safety measures, are hopeful that the situation will improve in the coming days.

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