We could see a rise in the "hygienic" bob cut as a result of the coronavirus crisis, say hair industry leaders.
The short, sharp style, which is quick to blow-dry, is believed by some hairdressers to offer a "safer" alternative to the lengthy blow-drys which longer dos require, which could increase the spread of the virus through air-flow.
Tim Hartley, a former director at Vidal Sassoon, believes that the blow-dry times required for longer locks will be impractical and unsafe under new salon safety measures, which may call for reduced air-flow and shorter appointment times.
Tim said: "We have to think about maximising hygiene. The sooner the long tresses of yesterday are dispensed with, the more hygienic it will be for us all.
"The hour-long blow-drys in the salon are no longer safe for the stylist or the client. Research suggests the Covid-19 virus is transmitted much easier through a swift airflow."
The acclaimed hairdresser believes that shorter cuts which are easy to wash and style from home offer a practical solution during the Covid-19 crisis.
"With the bob cut you can wash your hair everyday and not worry about it," said Tim. "It becomes part of your routine. It's the glamour without the fuss."
Tim believes that the precision cut - which was born in the 20s and re-emerged in the 1960s, rocked by icons like Mary Quant - is "in vogue again", popularised by stars like Tilda Swinton and Rosamund Pike.
Other industry leaders supporting the bob cut revival include former vice president at the Fellowship For British Hairdressing, John Carne.
John is scrapping hour-long blow-drys at his Guildford salon when he reopens on 6th July, as he believes the "high speed air flow streams" of blow-drys have the potential to increase the spread of the virus.
He said: "My view is simple. I cannot expose my stylists or clients to a possible increased risk of Covid-19 transmission by undertaking lengthy blow drys in the salon. So for the foreseeable future they are off our service menu."
Salons are expected to reopen on 4th July. Full government safety guidelines are yet to be announced, but hairdressers are required to wear personal protective equipment and maintain social distancing.
While the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) has not issued any advice on the use of hairdryers, the organisation has urged salons to limit treatment times to control the spread of Covid-19.
An NHBF spokesperson said: "In line with the current two-metre social distancing regulation we are recommending that hair and beauty salons and barbershops alter their lay-out to meet these to protect staff and clients. This will mean that most salons will not be able to accommodate as many clients as they normally would.
They added: "Treatment times should be kept to a minimum and so we are encouraging consultations to take place online before a client visits."
Given time limitations, "wash and go" may see a surge in popularity.
John, a L'Oreal Colour Trophy winner, said: "In our salon we will only be able to operate eight of our usual 20 stylists chairs at any given time.
"Shorter cuts are much quicker than lengthy blow drys, so they will allow us to keep a high turnover and make a profit. Otherwise reopening just won't be worthwhile."
Tim believes the bob cut will give his clients greater "freedom" with their hair and do away with the damage caused by heat-intensive blow-drys.
He said: "Shorter cuts allow people to air or finger dry their hair. It's much sexier because there's a sense of freedom."
He added: "Great British hairdressing is about celebrating the natural flow of the hair, not blow drying the smithereens out of it. Blow drys can sometimes make hair look healthy, but ultimately, it's very damaging."
The veteran hairdresser thinks the coronavirus will be a catalyst for change in the world of hairdressing - not only in salon management, but in the type of cuts we choose.
The 66-year-old said: "The fashion circle needs something to nudge it on. In this case, Covid is the catalyst. People are looking for change. It makes sense that hair natures' finest complement follows suit."
Could we see woman doing away with the long, wavy styles that have dominated the salon world in recent years?
Tim said: "It's already happening, and not just in high-fashion circles. A lot of the rock chick mums have this long Kardashian type hair, and their daughters want to be different from their mothers. Hair is a symbol of rebellion and individuality.
"Many girls have started cropping their hair, but short crops haven't been promoted by the manufacturers in any shape or form. As far as they are concerned, the more products they can sell to people with damaged hair the better. The torturous blow dry generates big money."
*Searches Pinterest for bob cut styles.*
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