The whole world has been affected by COVID-19 and whether that means you’re in or out of the salon, working with reduced hours, managing new problems or taking some forced time to slow down, it’s safe to say that times have changed. We spoke to legendary British hairdresser and multi-award winning global industry icon Sally Brooks about how she’s using this moment of pause build on her skills as a hairdresser and still develop her career.

“Working in a salon is busy, with constant client demands, a booming column and training eating into your free time,” says Sally Brooks, co-owner, Brooks & Brooks, London. “Now, if you have as much free time as you want, use it wisely. Take some time to reflect on the type of hairdresser you are – and who you want to be. Utilise what’s available to you so when you return to work, you are stronger than ever!”

Sally has five top tips on how to use any added free time for the better and stay motivated in a difficult global period.

1. Online classes

“Thanks to social media there is an abundance of free online classes,” Sally said. “Whether it balayage or bridal wear, haircuts or hairstyling, some of the industry’s most talented educators are offering their advice and expertise in regular online sessions.”

2. Keep in touch

“As well as staying in touch with your colleagues and your team, make sure you stay in touch with other business owners, stylists and the industry as a whole. Everyone feels like they are alone, but this is such an amazing industry and we are all going through this together,” Sally added.

3. Stay updated

“Check out digital magazines and websites to find out what is happening in the industry. As well as Coronavirus, people are talking about rebuilding businesses, offering their expertise and reassuring messages.”

4. Podcasts

“There are some great podcasts to listen to, from hairdressing to wellbeing, to fashion and music and life in general. Build up a list to regularly listen to, so you stay motivated and excited about what the future could bring,” Sally advised.

5. Turn down the negativity

“If you belong to a social page or group, and the negativity is getting you down, then turn it off and step away. Life is a challenge for everyone right now, and while we have to be realistic, we also need to be positive.”