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Settle in ... women are spending more time at the hairdresser's than ever.

Settle in ... women are spending more time at the hairdresser's than ever.

There is a reason beauty treatments were for decades considered the preserve of the idle rich. Salons were open only nine to five, or even 10 till three, so the majority of women who worked and looked after children did not have the time free for facials even if they had the ready cash. Now, like banks, and some government agencies, beauty parlours and hair salons are keeping their doors open at weekends and after hours, sometimes late into the evening. And we're the beneficiaries. Not only can we schedule waxing and colouring so they don't impede on our work and home lives (or lead to unwanted exposure of our roots) but we can head home and tuck into bed straight afterwards without reapplying makeup or even necessarily redressing properly.

''If you have to rush off back to work you lose a bit of the magic,'' says Lyndall Mitchell of Aurora Spa Retreat, which since it opened in St Kilda 15 years ago has operates past 8 o'clock most nights of the week. ''That's what it's all about. We need to be able to switch off our minds and enter another world - not just mothers with children but men and women with stressful jobs. If you can go home afterwards you can take that relaxation with you.'' It is also a practical move by Aurora. ''We need to be available to our clients after work,'' says Mitchell. ''Males are an important part of our business.''

Even Mondays, which used to be universal closing day for hairdressers as well as for museums and fish'n'chip shops, are now just another working day for any good salon. 

Mobile beauty therapists, such as ''the travelling peelsman'' James Vivian are also meeting the need. Vivian, who has recently opened a laser clinic in Melbourne, visits a good majority of his customers in their homes in the evenings. ''I can fit in with them,'' he says. ''Most of my clients lead very busy lives and the only opportunity they have to pamper themselves is after their husbands get home. It's easier. And I come to them.''

Saturdays and Sundays are now the busiest days of the week for hair salons. Even Mondays, which used to be universal closing day for hairdressers as well as for museums and fish'n'chip shops, are now just another working day for any good salon. ''We've got to be open when clients want us,'' says Jo Smith of Toni&Guy Georges in Melbourne's Collins Street. ''For many people the only time they can get in is at the weekend.''

What ever did we do before the ''24/7'' culture extended to beauty professionals? However did anyone manage to have a hair cut? Did people rely more on home treatments - home hair dyeing, DIY waxing, plucking in front of the shaving mirror and pedicuring in front of the TV? As the salons and spas remain open for longer and at more convenient times, are we outsourcing more grooming tasks? Maybe you're sending your mum for a beauty treat for Mother's Day. Everyone's doing it.

How have your beauty appointments changed over the past few years? I remember when leg waxing was considered indulgent and hair cuts were strictly before 5pm. Now I seem to be in salons for hours ...

2 comments so far

  • Yes I agree - I seem to be spending more and more time on personal grooming but I think that's also party due to getting older - there just seems to be more that needs doing than when I was 20!

    Commenter
    Sam
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    May 10, 2012, 1:03PM
    • I take care of my own beauty needs - I don't go anywhere for facials or any of that stuff. So I'm not sitting in a chair somewhere for hours on end being attended to.

      As I have long thick curly hair, it would cost a fortune for me to get streaks/colour done professionally so I usually colour my own hair. As I'm getting older, I think it would be a good idea to save up the money and get my hair done properly, then just spend a little money each time to maintain it. I would probably end up spending less time with my hair than I do now too.

      My beauty routine is as short as I can make it and still look good. The longest time I spend is in the shower every day (again because of my hair) but if I shave legs/armpits each time I shower and exfoliate my face, body and heels there too, I have less to do when I get out.

      A little coconut oil goes a long way to quickly moisturising post shower as well. I suppose as I get older I'll have to spend more time on myself, but I'll jump off that bridge when I come to it!

      Commenter
      Audra Blue
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      May 15, 2012, 4:43PM

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