Guest Writer 300

Reopening: Maddie Regan reflects on lockdown

By Guest Writer | 29 April 2021 | Expert Advice, Feature, Salon & Spas

Maddie Regan

Scratch columnist & top tech at 81 Rose Garden, Maddie Regan, reflects on her experience of lockdown & her return to work…

With hair and beauty salons officially open again, I thought I would take some time to reflect on some of my highs and lows during the past 12 months and the ways I believe Covid-19 has helped change the world of beauty.

Like so many industries, the beauty industry has had to be resilient, and I believe there have been some fundamental changes to salon businesses; one of the most important being how the industry has pulled together.

Many of our local salons collaborated via the Don’t Rush Challenge; a social media trend which dominated TikTok and Instagram. We used it to showcase our day jobs. The videos would feature various individuals in casual clothing, messy hair, no makeup, dancing while facing the camera. When the beat dropped, we transitioned into a glamorous outfit with full hair and makeup before handing, in my case a nail file, to the ‘next person’ to perform. Click here to watch it!

It was a lot of fun. We were able to socialise online with other local salons, many of whom we had not spoken to in the past, making new friends and generating new supporters within the local community! This led to new social media challenges, not just with other salons but with my peers within the nail industry.

I came together with several nail artists, initiating a group chat and video calls. We are an incredibly supportive group, which has been invaluable during these difficult times. Discussing ideas and techniques, we are constantly cheering each other on which has been refreshing within an industry that has had a reputation for being competitive and, at times, catty!

The pandemic and social media has helped facilitate a new generation of beauticians.

Ten years ago, when I was an apprentice, I didn’t feel I had a voice in the salon.  Social media has given people a voice, helping them to reach out and connect.

Like so many people, for me the initial lockdown began with so many lows. I had a rush of uncertainty for the first time in my life. Will I lose my clients? When will I get paid? Will the salon have to close? What will the girls do? Will the clients feel safe to ever return? Will the world be normal again?

Little did I know that I and many of my peers would thrive – we had time to focus and create! I started ordering full nail tips and offering press on orders for my clients. I created new content for my Instagram page and my following boomed!

This led me to offering live online master classes and interacting with people across the world sharing ideas, tips and products. I felt empowered by the conversations I was having.

Other nail technicians wanted to learn my skills and I learnt so much from others. Lockdown pushed me to do and be more! It encouraged my industry to connect with and support one another.

From creating new and improved social media content to launching my own live masterclasses I started to get noticed by clothing brands who wanted to collaborate; asking me to provide them with video content demonstrating my nail art and providing tutorials. I became an ambassador for Glossify and of course Scratch magazine asked me to become a 2021 columnist!

Fast forward 9 months and I am working with the most amazing team of people, many that I met during lockdown via social media. I admire the dedication of these people and I hope that the support that we have all shown one another is carried forward.

I am happy to embrace these new trends and changes to the beauty industry. For me, I hope we never ever go back to how we were once portrayed to be. The pandemic has taught me that I will continue to stand with and support my peers going forward!