The phased release of lockdown reached farcical levels last night after it emerged that men can have their eyebrows styled – but women can’t.
Although barbers are offering to trim beards and eyebrows, there is still a ban on beauty salons offering facial treatments when they reopen tomorrow.
Critics have seized on the ‘horrendous double standards’ and say it highlights that the Cabinet is overwhelmingly made up of men.
Beauty experts say that while the loophole remains, brow bars and salons offering mainly facials will be forced to stay shut, putting livelihoods at risk.
Critics have seized on the ‘horrendous double standards’ and say it highlights that the Cabinet is overwhelmingly made up of men
Tory MP Caroline Nokes, Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, said she plans to challenge Ministers over the ‘galling’ decision.
‘It’s definitely not a level playing field for female beauty versus male grooming,’ she added. ‘We’ve seen barbers trimming brows and trimming beards.
‘Even if it looks like I could get my eyebrows done at a barbers this weekend, I’ll wait until it’s deemed OK to go to a salon.’
A critic of the policy, Chloe Stanhope, told of the difference between how she and her boyfriend were being treated.
‘He went to get a haircut and they trimmed his beard and did his eyebrows using an electric shaver,’ she said. ‘Neither had a mask on.
‘I’m really frustrated this is able to happen and that women aren’t able to go to a hygienic salon where the beauticians are wearing full PPE. This shows nothing but sexism.’
One industry source said it was possible to pluck or thread eyebrows from above a customer who is lying backwards, similar to the way a hairdresser would wash a client’s hair.
Pictured: Stock photo of a beautician applying permanent makeup to a woman’s eyebrows. One industry source said it was possible to pluck or thread eyebrows from above a customer who is lying backwards, similar to the way a hairdresser would wash a client’s hair
Pictured: Stock photo of a barber threading a man’s eyebrows. They added it was safer than a beard trim because both participants could wear masks
They added it was safer than a beard trim because both participants could wear masks.
Experts say the restrictions on offering work to the face could devastate the beauty sector, which employs largely women and is worth £30 billion a year to the economy.
Lesley Blair, Chair at the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology, said: ‘There’s no doubt that it will have a devastating effect. We can’t underestimate what this will do to brow bars and facialists.’
The row comes as nail bars, tanning salons and tattoo parlours were yesterday making final preparations to reopen after 112 days.
Tattooist Scott Mclaren, who has inked the likes of David Beckham and Ed Sheeran, said: ‘I’m so excited. I’ve been in the studio since 5am on Friday to get it ready in time.’
Pint with a mask on…how does that work?
By Michael Powell
Boris Johnson was facing a backlash last night for mixed messages over whether the Government will force people to wear a mask when they are out shopping or in pubs.
The Prime Minister warned on Friday that a ‘stricter’ approach was needed in England to cut infection rates after he wore a mask for the first time on a tour of businesses in his Uxbridge constituency.
However, his comments came 24 hours after the Government published official advice to pubs, restaurants and takeaways, which said that ‘the evidence of the benefit of using a face covering to protect others is weak and the effect is likely to be small’.
Pictured: Boris Johnson visiting his constituency in Uxbridge as he wears a mask while pulling a pint
Last night, Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, called for ‘clarity and detailed evidence’ to explain why consumers need to wear masks, adding: ‘There needs to remain a degree of individual choice, especially when you are in a restaurant or a pub and you are actually eating and drinking so it becomes much more challenging to wear a mask.’
Although masks have become the norm in many countries, particularly in South-East Asia, the UK Government has claimed for months that there is not enough evidence that wearing one halts the spread of Covid-19.
However, last month rules requiring people to wear masks on public transport in England came into effect after studies in Hong Kong and Germany suggested they may, in fact, reduce infection rates.
Pictured: A staff member pulling a pint at the a bar bistro in Old Portsmouth on Super Saturday
But Tory MP Philip Davies questioned the volte-face, saying: ‘For months all the scientific experts said wearing masks was neither here nor there in terms of transmission of the virus and now it is the best thing since sliced bread?
‘It seems to me that as the number of cases goes down, the Government is getting stricter and stricter – it doesn’t make any sense. How are you going to drink your pint through a face mask? How is that going to work?’
Professor Robert Dingwall, a sociologist who advises the Government’s Sage committee, has suggested masks are a stunt, adding: ‘Masks are something the Government can do which is cheap, which is symbolic but which is probably not particularly effective.’
A Government spokesman said the issue remained under review.