Hairdressers in their simplest device have been popping up on French and Belgian social networks for a week, accompanied by the hashtag # coiffureàpoil. One way to react to what they consider to be an injustice: the hairdressing sector is not considered non-essential, so salons are still closed. “Even if it means being stripped naked by the state, I prefer to do it myself“, says a hairdresser on Facebook.
Starting from Le Havre, the movement crossed the border, through Eric Polain, hairdresser in Juprelle in the Liège region. “It’s not gratuitous nudity, he explains. We appeal to colleagues who feel like us, a little shabby for the moment by not being able to work and being a little in this uncertainty. It is a little difficult to digest being taken as non-essential.“
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Same story with Tanina Dell’Utri, hairdresser in Seraing. “For a lot of clients, we are quasi-therapists, we are friends, very close, she says. We are really aware that the covid is there, but we are there to support these people as well.“And the hairdresser reminds that among the customers, there are people who have lost loved ones, or caregivers, who can find a little comfort in the salon.”They keep sending us messages like this: ‘you are essential to us’, abounds Eric Polain. It feels like a little more than just a hair cutter.“
In the case of Eric Polain, if his salon does not reopen its doors for the holiday season, it will simply be a disaster. He hopes to be able to reopen for the last two weeks of the year. The movement was launched in a particularly tragic context, after the suicide of Alysson Jadin, a young barber from Liège, who had lost everything because of the confinement.