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Salons are facing an industry-wide shortage due to the pandemic-hit economy

The impact of the pandemic on hairdressers has been great and bottlenecks have been felt

In Southfield, Don Hale owns the Rich Roots Shampoo Bar. She says it is full but is still feeling the effects of the industry-wide shortage.

As the owner of Salon Universal in Wixom, Marlece White is not used to seeing her salon chairs empty.

“It’s very disheartening, but at the same time, I know that if you hold out for a while, things will always get better,” she said. “Covid had a really big impact when we got back from the closure. I’ve lost half of my employees.

“It obviously affected our bottom line, even my stylists aren’t making as much money as they used to be.”

Hair salons reopened more than a year ago. But even now, White is struggling with a staff shortage caused by the pandemic.

“I know a lot of stylists have decided to stop doing hair,” she said. “I think a lot of it had to do with people either being afraid to come back to work.”

In response, White had to make adjustments like reducing salon hours, adding extra shifts, and limiting walk-in appointments.

“We’ve had some customers who were a little angry because they couldn’t just come over and have their hair cut in 15 to 20 minutes,” she said. “Sometimes the waiting time is up to 45.”

Marlece White, owner of the Salon Universal in Wixom.

In Southfield, Don Hale owns the Rich Roots Shampoo Bar. She says it is full but is still feeling the effects of the industry-wide shortage.

“The new clients came because other stylists stopped working,” she said. “So now customers are looking for stylists.”

Hale says she’s working harder than ever to accommodate all of her customers.

“I had to go from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm, now it’s 6:00 am to 8:00 pm – I definitely had to respond to the audience,” she said.

Meanwhile at Salon Universal, White says she hopes the staff shortage – like the pandemic – will pass.

“Just have confidence, you just need to have a lot of confidence and a positive attitude and know that things are getting better and better,” she said.

White rents several available chairs in her salon to stylists. For more information, please visit the salon website https://salon-universal.com/

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