A Cork hairdresser who has refused to cut clients' hair during lockdown says the underground market is booming.
A number of professionals have expressed fears they'll lose clients for refusing to do haircuts during level five restrictions
There have been many reports of some barbers and hairdressers continuing to operate despite lockdown.
Caroline Bell is the owner of The Hair Salon in Cobh, and she's one of many hairdressers who've refused to cut hair while restrictions are in place.
She told Newstalk Breakfast the black market is a problem everywhere.
She said: “The shadow economy is booming at the moment.
“People are at their wits' end at the minute over their hair.
"As a non-essential business, people are realising how essential the hair and beauty industry actually is.
“I did have clients approach me to have their hair done, more so in the first lockdown. I think my answer has always been no - it’s not safe to do it outside a salon environment.”
She said she has seen people in her own small town who’ve clearly had their hair done.
However, she understands how they’re feeling - as many are spending a lot of time looking at themselves on computer screens and feeling low.
For now, Caroline believes hairdressers would be back in their salons if it was safe to do so.
She said: “I operate online, on Instagram at the moment… I get up every day, wash my hair, and give people hints and tips on how to manage their hair at home.
“There are ways people can look after their hair at home without using the shadow economy.”
She added that her online efforts have been doing great, and she’s confident her full business will bounce back once they’re allowed to reopen.