HAIR SALONS tend to be recession-proof. People always need haircuts. During the financial crisis of 2007-09, the number of hairdressers in America even rose. For Sylvia, who owns a small salon in Amsterdam, that crisis was very different from today’s. “Lockdown came out of nowhere and I had no buffer. It was terrifying.” She is relieved that her business has survived, and heartened that regulars phoned in as soon as she reopened. “If it had lasted any longer,” she says, fighting back tears while disinfecting the previous customer’s seat, “I would have gone under.”

Women have borne the brunt of the economic disruption caused by lockdowns. In America, despite making up less than half of the workforce, they accounted for 55% of jobs lost in

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