Salons, Spas, and Barbershops At the Center of COVID-19 Charitable Giving

Salons and barbershops have adapted to operating during the pandemic, stepping up sanitation efforts and requiring masks of all staff and patrons. However, the need to limit the number of clients has disrupted an unofficial function of these small businesses: serving as a community center. In addition to doling out fresh cuts and tidy brows, salons and barbershops often provide a gathering place for neighbors to chat, ways to organize fundraisers for local charities and more. Yet the beauty industry has continued finding ways to give back to local communities — from a safe distance.

Donating Services

Some salons and barbershops have teamed up with other businesses to give back to their local communities. In Delaware, Ohio, Sandusky Street Barber Shop and nursing care facility Arbors at Delaware started a program to provide free haircuts to veterans. Despite the potential loss of income for a decision to give away free business, the local barber recognized there was a never wrong time to be generous and give.

A similar campaign was offered in Sarasota, Florida, thanks to Derek the Salon. While they were closed for nine weeks during COVID-19 shutdowns, owner Derek Donovan decided to support out-of-work restaurant employees. He distributed 300 vouchers for free haircuts — about $4,000 in services. Donovan wanted to make people’s lives a bit easier during a difficult and demoralizing time, hoping other businesses would catch on and do the same.

Charitable Donations

Beauty brands have also lent a helping hand to support struggling businesses and professionals who were laid off due to shutdowns. In April, Zenoti, a cloud-based salon and spa management software, launched a campaign called Zenoti Gives Back COVID-19 Relief Fund. The company’s employees donated $100,000 from their salaries to support more than 500 beauty professionals hit hard by shutdowns and the pandemic.

Other beauty and wellness companies focused their giving on healthcare workers and non-profits. The Estee Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation (ELCCF) had donated $2 million dollars to Doctors Without Borders, which is a medical organization responding to the coronavirus in under-resourced countries. In America, Grande Cosmetics, specializing in haircare and makeup products, pledged to donate a significant portion of their sales and 15 percent of all order revenue to Feeding America. They successfully raised over $200,000 this past spring for the organization. After the overwhelming success of their first campaign, Grande Cosmetics decided to continue donating 10 percent of all purchases to Feeding America through the fall.

While these are just a few examples, there is so much work being done by the beauty and wellness industry to give back to communities across the world during this pandemic. Is your business giving back to your community? Tell us about it on Twitter @SASSI_brownyard.

Kathy Lopez, Account Manager for SASSI, the Salon and Spa Specialty Insurance program at Brownyard Group. She can be reached at

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