With the doors closed on hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons across the country, the hair and beauty industry said it has not forgotten about its clients.

HABIC, the newly-formed Hair and Beauty Industry Confederation, has partnered with Age Action Ireland, for a campaign called Reach Out and Connect.

Their aim is to get salon owners and barbers to contact older clients who may feel isolated right now and so far the response has been fantastic, it said.

For many of Ireland's older generation, hair salons and barber shops play a vital community role and provide a weekly social outlet.

Kay Wilkinson, 81, from Drogheda says she misses getting her hair done and the social outing to the hairdresser every week.

"My colour is dreadful now," she laughs. "It’s hidden by an unexplained fringe!"

"It may seem trivial but I like to get my hair done, everyone assumes that it doesn’t matter, it matters more because you have time on your hands that you didn’t have when you were rearing children, now I have time and I like to get my hair done".

Ms Wilkinson is cocooning so she has not left home since Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced over 70s should stay at home.

She admits it is difficult but she believes it is important to stay safe. She was delighted to receive a phonecall from her hairdresser, David Murray.

"I couldn't believe it, he just asked me how I was and how was my hair," she said. "He knows exactly how my hair is," she added.

Mr Murray is the owner of David Murray at 21 on Fair Street in Drogheda.

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He said this initiative has been hugely successful, given the special bond that hairdressers and their clients have.

"It's true what they say, you tell your hairdresser everything. You go through every major family event with your hairdresser, whether it be a wedding, a funeral, a christening, a 21st, you are going to go through that with your hairdresser, it's a really special bond," he said.

Mr Murray is enjoying phoning clients but he is hoping he will soon be able to welcome them back at the salon.

"I really miss work and I really miss the clients. I can't wait to see them all again," he said.