Thiruvananthapuram: With Covid restrictions coming in the way of earning their livelihood, many hairstylists and beauticians are now exploring various new options.
Deepu, a former employee with a famous salon in the city, has now switched to freelance hairdressing. This 35-year-old man who has been a hairdresser for the last 15 years was in a dilemma on how to survive when the lockdown was imposed. He tapped his bank of regular customers and now visits their houses for hair grooming.
“I already had 10 to 15 permanent customers. But after I started providing home grooming, that rose to 100 customers. And I am quite content with my present life. As the customers feel that visiting parlours are not safe now, they call me home for services like hair cutting, facial, pedicure and head massaging. Mostly ladies above 50 seek my services,” said Deepu.
Much to his satisfaction, he gets a better income too. Also, he can spend more time with his family. “While I was in a salon, I had to work from 9.00am to 9.00pm. Now, work time is flexible and I managed to earn an average of Rs 1,000 daily which is much better than my previous salary. Being the sole breadwinner of my family, I have to take care of them and also pay off my loans,” he added.
The owner of a well-established beauty salon in the city has turned a room at her home into a bridal studio. Though a very popular name in the city, they too find it difficult to make the ends meet. Now, for survival, they totally rely on bridal customers. All other enquiries are avoided to ensure the safety of the bridal customers and staff. “We have to retain at least some of our employees and also pay the rent. Since it is not safe to visit homes, I thought of using a room in my house,” she added.
Suhaz, a parlour owner and hairdresser, also visits homes near his house for haircutting. But his services are mostly restricted to men. Considering the safety issues, he focuses only on hair cutting. With the lockdown, he had to shut down two of his shops.