HAIR salons are gearing to open on Saturday after months of closure because of the coronavirus lockdown.
While many desperate for a haircut have been snapping up appointments in anticipation of hairdressers opening their doors again, the experience will undoubtedly be a very different one as salons ramp up safety measures.
C&H Hair and Nails in Wibsey has introduced a whole suite of new regulations, giving a taste of what the ‘new normal’ will look like when the hair-cutting side is back open for business.
Owner Craig Chapman-Blackwell said while he was glad to be opening back up from a financial point, of view, he was nervous due to being diabetic.
And it’s all the more personal for Mr Chapman-Blackwell, who lost his 81-year-old mum, Pauline, to Covid.
Announcing the new measures in a message on Facebook, the salon said: “Please bear in mind, your salon experience unfortunately it is not going to be the same as it was prior to the lockdown.
“There has been many changes that have had to be put in place due to government guidelines, so everything we ask of you as clients you MUST comply with to enter the salon.
“We are taking every precaution needed to ensure the salon is clean and safe for both us as staff and you as clients.
“All our chairs, tools, scissors, clippers, brushes, combs etc will be disinfected between clients.
“We will be using disposable gowns and towels.
“All surfaces will be disinfected hourly.
“Hands will be washed after every client. All staff will be carrying out daily temperature checks.
“We will be wearing masks, visors, gloves, aprons and any other necessary PPE.”
Other measures include changes to opening hours and working on a rota basis to ensure the salon isn’t crowded with staff and all clients will be asked to complete a Covid-19 client declaration form.
This is to ensure that if a client tests positive for Covid-19 after attending an appointment, the salon can then inform everyone else who was in the salon at the same time.
Other measures include working on an appointment-only basis, not using the waiting room, asking people to wear a mask in the salon and attending the appointment on their own, no dry cuts, no trips outside the salon during the appointment and keeping conversation to a minimum.
Protective curtains have also been put up between each hair-cutting chair and the salon won’t be able to see as many people, which ultimately means a drop in income.
“We will manage and we will survive. We’ve just got to get on with it and do what we can do and hope for the best.”
Dressed in the extensive PPE he and his staff will be wearing, Mr Chapman-Blackwell said: “It feels a bit strange, a bit alien to me. I can see it being very tiring and very warm. I think it’s something we’re just going to have to accept and I think most people will do.
“We’ve had lots of messages on Facebook and things like that, saying ‘do what you’ve got to do and we’ll work around it’.
“Obviously there’s a lot to put in place to keep each other safe.
“I’m diabetic, so I’m in the at risk, and I am a bit worried about coming back to work to be honest, but it’s got to be done.”
He added: “My clients have been amazing, they all know I’m diabetic, they’ve all said ‘we’ll do whatever makes you happy’ – they’ve been fantastic.”