• Jack Ward

Long days to get Ararat looking sharp

Published in The Ararat Advocate, Ararat's weekly newspaper published by West Vic News Pty Ltd.


HAIRDRESSERS have been working day and night to catch-up missed lockdown bookings, testing the limits for many already at capacity.

PHOTO: Poppy Hair Queen owner, Hannah Miller, is one of many hairdressers working around the clock after lockdown. (Jack Ward/Ararat Advocate)

Hair appointments have become hard to come by with five local hairdressers now on maternity leave and a lack of interest in apprenticeships.


Hannah Miller operates her business, Poppy Queen Hair, from her home salon, and is yet to put down the scissors since lockdown ended last Friday.


She has accommodated over 100 rebooked appointments which were missed during the lockdown.

“Friday, I worked 8:30am to 8pm without a break - I don't take lunch breaks. Saturday, I worked from 6am to 8pm. Sunday, I worked 8:30am till 8pm. Monday, I worked 6am till 9pm,” she said.


“Long, big days and I'll do those sorts of days up until (this) Sunday when I'll take a break.”

Marti Osborne-Bell, who also owns a home salon, described each week after lockdown as “Christmas week on steroids.”


“It’s stuff that we would never have done before. You start in the salon at six o'clock in the morning, and you might finish at nine o'clock at night. And you might do that for eight days in a row,” she said.


Norma Jean’s Hair Studio owner, Kira Stapleton, is the latest hairdresser to take maternity leave which will cause her Barkly Street salon to close in a matter of weeks.


Employee, Samantha Pevitt, will continue to service the salon’s customers for the next three weeks before she moves to a new location of her own from October 12.


“So, at the moment, my business will unfortunately close until I come back from maternity leave,” Ms Stapleton said.


“It's a tricky one because all the girls that are still working can't physically take on everybody when I would normally do over 40 hours a week, every week, for the last three years.”


Ms Pevitt was going to try and take on some of Ms Stapleton’s clientele but with this most recent lockdown, she’s struggling to see her own loyal customers, let alone another hairdresser’s.


Norma Jean’s has been looking for qualified hairdressers to no avail, like many salons for some time.

“The industry, it's sad, but it seems like it's slowly sort of dying,” Ms Stapleton said.


“There's actually a couple [of hairdressers] that have come out of the woodwork a little bit more that are going to do some more hours which will help.”


Hannah Miller said she is booked out until the end of October but has just welcomed a part-time qualified hairdresser to her business who is taking on new clients until she is able to catch-up.


For locals wanting to book in with Marti Osborne-Bell, they can expect about a week’s wait.

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