A DUNFERMLINE family-run hair salon will close this month after its owners didn't "have the heart" to raise their prices for already struggling customers.

McOuan, on Carnegie Drive, managed by husband-and-wife team Graeme and Natasha McOuan for the past seven years but in the family for even longer, had seen tripled energy bills and increased stock prices.

"I am glad to be out of the pressure of everything going up, bills, rates, even stock," Natasha told the Press.

"Foil alone has had a £14 jump but how can I put my prices up knowing my clients are struggling as it is?

"It would be different if it was one thing but there have been five or six things, even my staff, I can't put wages up to meet the cost-of-living. I have two rented chairs, how can I ask to put their rent up if they haven't got the same number of clients coming in?"

Just last year the team – which includes Graeme's mum, Veronica Mcole, who owned the business previously – had overhauled the premises in a bid to bring it back to life after a year of pandemic-related closures.

"What's breaking my heart the most is I did the salon up last year, exactly a year later we are shutting down," Natasha explained.

"I am walking away with nothing."

But the mum, whose daughter would help at the weekend cleaning up, is looking forward to being able to spend more time with her clients while renting space at Sheds Hairdressing on Guildhall Street – alongside other staff members from McOuan, while Graeme and Veronica move to Morgan Hairdressing on Carnegie Drive – and only worrying about her own stock as a self-employed stylist while keeping her prices down.

"Even hearing what Sheds is going through, we will be helping him as their bills have gone to £1,900 a month, small businesses need to work together," she added.

"Clients are turning around and saying they are thinking about box dye because they can't afford to come every six weeks.

"It's bills, it's mortgages, it's interest on debt, it's everything.

"I've been shocked by the amount of tears – our clientele are so loyal, that's what I'm doing it for, I couldn't put prices up."

She says that the electricity bill for the salon alone had skyrocketed from £300 to more than £1,000, while their five-year mortgage rate had also run out, leaving her paying an extra £6,000.

And recently, the salon met the threshold for VAT payments – which has cost them £3,500 each month.

"Money is just your ruler if you are in a hairdresser's chair," Natasha continued.

"Some ladies have been coming half of my life – they tell me everything – you are going to be at a loss putting up your prices.

"Hearing from my friends who have their own salons, there are people who are thinking of closing certain days to not have the heating on – on the hairdressing forums people are saying they might buy blankets for clients so that they don't have to have the heating on.

"My husband's dad owns a salon too – he would get a third of the price now for it as he would have a few years ago.

"There is a lot of worry in the community right now."

The building is now for sale and McOuan will close for the last time on November 30 before Graeme, Natasha and the rest of their staff start in their new roles on December 6.