R+Co Global Educators Coping with the Pandemic

Jun / 22

R+Co Global Educators Coping with the Pandemic


When almost all countries went into lockdown due to the novel coronavirus, people quickly found themselves figuring out how to stay busy, sane, creative, entertained, educated, and, for the hair industry, in business. We reached out to R+Co global educators in Australia and Canada to see how they’ve been coping with the new normal.


Barney Martin, owner of Barney Martin Hair in Surry Hills, Australia

Quarantine started: March 23, 2020


How has the quarantine impacted your salon?

When full lockdown began in Sydney all non-essential services closed aside from hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, pharmacies, food stores, service stations, liquor stores and—bizarrely—hairdressers! We adapted to government health guidelines while the goal posts kept moving every day. I’m really proud of how the team handled it.


How are you doing mentally?

Mentally I’m doing well. During the early stages of lockdown it was tough, but I kept thinking of this as a war: Either lie there and get blown up or march on. 


Now that you have more time, are there any specific hair skills that you’re refining during quarantine?

I’ve been working on different ways of setting hair on mannequin heads. I chose this as it’s very time consuming and, until social distancing changes, I’ve got time! Also, as a salon team we’ve been researching and presenting a history of fashion decade by decade. This has been a great team-building exercise. I also applied for a government grant to create a photographic studio at the salon now that we have so much space.


Have you done anything unusual to hone your hair skills while in quarantine?

The artistic director at my salon came up with a creative and fun idea to create a hair photo collection using any objects or medium you have at home. His collection features hair art made from leaves and flowers from his garden—very creative. I’m mid-way through mine but it’s top secret.


How are you staying creative during quarantine that isn’t hair-specific?

I’ve been indulging myself in cooking, which I love but never had enough time for. It’s a real treat—maybe not for my waistline, though. I dare not start baking.


Have you picked up any new hobbies?

My new hobby is making pizzas, all from scratch. I got a pizza oven last Christmas and it sat gathering dust until Covid. I put it in the front yard and do free lockdown pizza for my neighbors.


Deanna Kane, education director at Lure Salon in Vancouver, Canada

Quarantine started: March 12, 2020


How has quarantine changed your everyday life?

Life seemed to stop all together. My mother had just had a stroke and my son was serving in Israel as a soldier. My family became my priority and took up most of my time.


How has the pandemic impacted your salon?
The salon closed down completely for a few weeks. Then we began curbside pickup, which sustained us during this time.


What do you do to lessen your stress and anxiety?

I stayed away from the news and stayed positive. I’ve also taken up meditation and find that really has slowed me down and helped me focus on what is important. 


How are you connecting with peers?

As a salon we had Zoom meetings that kept us connected … some Zoom meetings were the staff having happy hour with each other and some were business-focused as we brainstormed our salon’s comeback.


How are you staying creative during quarantine that isn’t hair-specific?

I found creative outlets in painting and coloring. Still a passion! I paint abstract on canvas with acrylic paint; I just put good music on and open the flow of creativity. My sister designs sacred geometry mandala that I color with paint pens; it’s very meditative.


How have you been focusing on your craft during quarantine?

I did mostly online cutting classes and was really inspired to watch the technical side of haircutting. The education that these amazing people shared was inspiring. 


What have you learned during the pandemic that you’re bringing back into the salon?

On my first week back [at the salon], I noticed that I’m approaching my clients with a fresher outlook. All of the influence from the online classes has inspired me.