Even if most customers have long since said goodbye to their “corona hairstyle” and go back to the salon to have their hair cut or dyed: the hairdressers are in a bad financial position – nationwide as well as in Berlin. The balance sheet of the central association of the German hairdressing trade on Monday. The closures lasted 16 weeks during the corona-related lockdowns.

“That has had a lasting impact on the hairdressing trade,” says Jan Kopatz, foreman of the Berlin hairdressers’ guild. The prices for head services have risen. In Berlin there are around 2,500 “business premises”, as the salons officially registered with the Chamber are called, plus the branches, “which is why we assume around 3,500 companies,” says Kopatz.

According to the central association, the almost 52,000 hairdressing companies nationwide had generated 6.21 billion euros in 2020 and had to cope with a 11.7 percent drop in sales compared to the previous year. For the past year, the minus is 5.6 percent compared to the previous year.

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“The losses can also be transferred to Berlin,” says Kopatz. It was not only the lockdown period that was difficult, but also the time afterwards, “because fewer customers were allowed to be in the store because of the Corona regulations.” In addition, many employees said goodbye to the hairdressing profession during this time: Not just because they were looking for other jobs would have retrained.

“Above all, undeclared work has grown,” says Kopatz. “Many have done black hair in the neighborhood during the lockdowns,” he says. These never returned to the shops and continued to earn their money with home visits. “This seriously endangers our profession,” says the head hairdresser.

At the moment, high inflation and “concerns about war and peace” were making business difficult for the hairdressers. “The regular customers come, but not as often as usual because most of them have to save at the moment,” says Kopatz. Then you reach for the color tint from the drugstore or come for a cut every eight weeks instead of every four. The emergency aid that all hairdressing salon operators received from the state of Berlin at the beginning of the pandemic would have helped that the stores can stay afloat, says Kopatz.

The subsequent bridging aid now made things difficult for many hairdressers, since the IBB development bank is demanding repayments, because the aid was tied to certain regulations – such as the payment of fixed costs, they were not allowed to be used for private expenses.

“Unfortunately, the entrepreneur was not taken into account,” says Kopatz. The hairdressing trade is therefore demanding relief, such as a reduction in VAT to seven percent and a long-term bonus for shops that train young people.