“Hairdressers help children”: doing well in difficult times

The German hairdressing industry has certainly seen lighter days. Nevertheless, hairdressers all over Germany want to grab their scissors for a good cause on World Children’s Day. This is what customers expect.

By Tim Butler

“Hairdressers Help Children” aims to enable children in Manila, Philippines to live a dignified life. – © Konstiantyn Zapylaie – stock.adobe.com

Oliver Schmidt has been involved in fundraising campaigns for children for more than 20 years. An example is his annual “Nikolaus-Cuts”, where children can be pampered and have their hair done for little money. The master hairdresser from Düsseldorf donates the profits to needy children and young people. The “Hairdressers help children” campaign for this year’s World Children’s Day is very similar. Schmidt took the initiative together with the aid organization “Anak tnk”, the magazine “Top Hair” and the agency “Addways”.

More than a hundred hair salons throughout Germany have announced that they will participate. On September 20, they will offer discounted haircuts to children and donate the proceeds to a charity that benefits street children in Manila, Philippines. In addition, donations are collected on the website.

“Hairdressers help children”: children’s music, sweets and discounted haircuts

Oliver Schmidt has planned a tight program for the day. The stylist would like to accompany the campaign personally in all its five participating branches. He will close his salons to the little visitors every hour and welcome them with children’s music and sweets. In this way, the little ones will also get rid of the tension. “Kids often don’t enjoy getting their hair cut, but they’re very happy to get through the program,” says Schmidt.

For him and his team, working for hours on small clients is also demanding. However, this does not reduce motivation. “It’s important to me to raise awareness that not every child in the world is lucky enough to be healthy and have something to eat or a toy,” says Schmidt. He has therefore extended his campaign to the whole week. If you can’t make it on World Children’s Day, you can get a child’s haircut until Saturday at a special price of 15 euros, which goes entirely into the donation pool.

Energy prices and minimum wage increases burden the hairdressing industry

The campaign also receives support from the Central Association for the German Hairdressing Trade. President Manuela Härtelt-Dören is proud that the industry is showing its helpful side even in the current difficult situation. “We hairdressers are people with a lot of passion,” says the master hairdresser. She also wants to take an active part in the campaign herself.

Looking at the current situation in the industry, Härtelt-Dören makes it clear that campaigns like “Hairdressers help children” are not a given at the moment. The increased energy prices are currently making it difficult for companies. She describes it as a “disaster” that the statutory minimum wage will be raised to twelve euros in October. As a result, employees above the lower salary limit would also have to be paid more, as otherwise an appropriate salary differential would not be maintained. “Because of these two factors, we have to raise our prices by 15 to 20 percent from October,” says the master hairdresser. She fears that given the current rate of inflation, some customers will no longer be able to afford or be willing to pay for the haircut. “As a result, there will again be migration to the gray and black work zones.” Hartelt-Dören therefore hopes for support from politicians. “Reducing the VAT rate on hairdressing services to seven per cent will help mitigate the extra costs.”

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