Getting to Grips with Low Touch Economy — How Hairdressers Are Adapting to a New Normal in a Post-Loc

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Durham - Durham - England

DURHAM, U.K. - Sept. 17, 2020 - PRLog -- What is the Low Touch Economy though, and what measures have businesses had to bring in to prevent reclosure? In this article, we use a case study of Tom William Maddison Hair in County Durham to explore the challenges faced in reopening his hairstyling business and adapting to new protocols.

What is the 'Low Touch Economy'?

Low Touch Economy, a concept introduced by the Board of Innovation (, provides retailers with a business model to follow for health and safety purposes following lockdown.

For hairdressers like Tom Maddison, who work in close proximity to their clientele, this means plenty of PPE protocols, contactless payments, and numerous hygiene requirements that all allow him to operate safely.

The measures mean that less clients are seen on a daily basis, but the low touch economy is growing in popularity and it is vital for retailers to take note.  While searches for 'non-contact' rose 91% between February and April 2020, 'low touch' also saw a 75% spike in the same period, and a 133% hike when exploring the year-on-year results.

Sparkling floors rebuild confidence
At Tom William Maddison Hair (, industry-approved anti-bacterial sprays and disinfectant in a barbicide solution are being used to clean tools and surfaces between every customer. Owing to the space available to him, Mr Maddison has also enforced a one-in, one-out system for customers to minimise risks.

He said: "Throughout lockdown I started to buy the amount of PPE that I thought I would require to safely complete my job without putting anyone at risk. I have seen other salons charge a standard or premium PPE package, which isn't optional and must be bought even if the client has their own PPE."

Remaining operational in PPE equipment
Social distancing measures and cleaning routines have been fairly straightforward to implement according to Maddison, who has a range of posters and floor stickers in his salon to remind customers of the Covid-19 protocols, but he claims PPE has thrown up a few operational difficulties.

He said: "PPE at first was unusual to work with, as I have never had to wear a visor when cutting hair. It does obscure your vision; however, you learn to adapt, and you adjust your working style to include PPE into it. I'm just lucky that I don't have to wear glasses, I see so many of my clients and others steaming up when they wear masks — I think it would be good to see an invention that prevents this, especially for stylists who do wear glasses."

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Jenny Adair
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Location:Durham - Durham - England
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