With the coronavirus lockdown closing the doors to our favourite hairdressers and salons, many of us have been left to contend with growing roots and DIY haircuts. Back in May, Boris Johnson unveiled the government's roadmap for recovery, which confirmed that the reopening of businesses such as hairdressers would fall under phase three of the government's current strategy, and would, therefore, remain closed until 4 July. Counting down the days? Us too.
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Outlining phase three, the plan states that: "The ambition at this step is to open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close, including personal care (such as hairdressers and beauty salons) hospitality (such as food service providers, pubs and accommodation), public places (such as places of worship) and leisure facilities (like cinemas). They should also meet the COVID-19 Secure guidelines."
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In the meantime, however, L'Oréal has produced a Back to Business Salon Support Guide to help salons to prepare for their safe reopening in the coming months. Offering detailed hygiene and safety guideline recommendations, as well as team and salon organisation advice, L'Oréal's definitive guide can be downloaded on the brand's Access education platform.
Addressing the current challenges faced by hairdressers, session Stylist and CEO of Hershesons Salons, Luke Hersheson has also outlined his plan of action. He said: "As a salon owner, it is my job to be organised, to look after my team and my clients and cater for their health and safety - so in the new context we are facing, it is no different. We have been working on plans for weeks now to ensure that we are ready to open safely – our clients can't wait and neither can we!"
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What will hair salons be like when they reopen?
Paul Edmonds has described some of the new measures being put in place across his London salons:
"We are currently aiming for 50% of the chairs to be removed and there will be screens put up where possible. At present, all clients will kindly be asked to wear masks during their visits to the salon. Magazines will, unfortunately, be removed for now and we won't be able to serve tea, coffee or food, at least not initially. Salon hours and opening days will be extended to meet the demand for appointments versus the decrease in chairs. To reflect the additional cost of the huge measures we are having to put in place to keep everyone safe (our staff and our customers), the prices will increase somewhat."
Award-winning hairstylist, owner and artistic director of the Hair Lounge salon, Charlotte Mensah has also implemented new measures:
"Our salon is naturally designed to be quite spacious and give all of our customers enough space whilst they're in the chair. As an additional precaution, we will likely limit the amount of customers in chairs to 4, as opposed to the usual 6. There is no waiting area. I don't think we'll need screens; the extra space should create enough space and act as a barrier. We're putting in guidelines around using takeaway cups as a means of serving hot drinks should customers want to use them. Alternatively, there are a lot of local cafes that are open which would also be available to our customers. Yes, the clients will have to wear their own mask and gloves in line with government expectations. As for our own team, we'll also be wearing masks and disposable aprons. Hand Sanitizer will also be available."
As for Daniel Galvin salons, the brand has revealed that staff will be measuring the temperatures of their clients and staff upon reopening:
"On arrival at the salons, both client and staff temperatures will be taken with a contact free temperature gun. If anyone shows any sign of fever (38°or above) they will be asked to leave and not return for 14 days."
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As for the rest of the world, hair salons across Europe have begun to reopen, subject to a number of strict rules. In France, salons are not permitted to accept walk-in clients and everyone will be asked to wear masks, gowns, and disposable gloves as well as using disinfectants. Meanwhile in Germany hairdressers are only allowed to dry cut hair and must leave every other salon chair empty in accordance with social distancing measures.
After he delivered his speech, the Prime Minister came under fire for his plan of action, namely because phase one permits that "all workers who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open." Dubbed confusing and ambiguous, many have taken to Twitter to vent their frustrations. One user wrote: "Boris says if you can't work from home you should return to work... so do hairdressers, gyms, etc open? They can't work from home - the nation needs more clarification from the UK government." "I guarantee some Hairdressers and barbers will chance their arms tomorrow and open up. No clarity for UK government on this sector again," tweeted another.
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