After months of struggling with DIY haircuts and box dyes during the coronavirus pandemic, Brits have finally been able to leave their hair in the hands of the professionals after salons and barbershops reopened on 4 July.
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But as health remains a top priority, the experience of thumbing your way through a magazine in the waiting room, sipping on a cappuccino and catching up with fellow customers may not be possible going forwards. Celebrity hairdresser Daniel Galvin Jr M.B.E. sat down with HELLO! to discuss how hair appointments will look following the COVID-19 crisis…
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Stylists and customers to wear masks
Daniel reiterated that the health of both his customers and staff remains a top priority, which is why both will be required to wear masks at all times.
"All of our clients will be given a sealed pack when they arrive at the salon behind the screens which will include face masks, gloves and disinfectant as well as hand sanitiser," he said. Meanwhile, the website explains that "if any member of staff has to leave you during a service they will dispose of their gloves and apply new ones upon return. Staff members will wash and disinfect their hands before and after each service."
Daniel went on to explain that although there are no government guidelines that dictate you need to wear a mask to a hair appointment, they are requesting that customers do so while they queue up outside the Belgravia salon.
Temperatures will be checked
A high temperature - over 38°C - is one of the key symptoms of COVID-19, so it comes as no surprise that many employers across the UK will be implementing temperature screenings, including hairdressers. "Every client who comes in will have their temperature taken, as will every member of my staff. And if they are literally one point above the government guideline then they will not be allowed entry to the salon and they will be asked to make another appointment," Daniel said.
Daniel Galvin Jr M.B.E revealed hair appointments may look very different going forward
Once inside, the strict safety measures will continue: "Even though the rules say one-metre distance, we’ve put screens up. We’re giving our clients that reassurance that we’re going beyond with every measure."
Daniel's celebrity clients such as Amanda Holden, Kelly Brook and any other customer who may be concerned about safety measures following the COVID-19 crisis will also have the opportunity to forego any interaction with others by pre-booking a private room.
Minimal waiting areas
Relaxing with friends or family members in the waiting area while you prepare to have your hair done may be a thing of the past. "There will be limited waiting times, if any client is running late they’ll be required to notify the salon beforehand and no one is allowed to come early. We’re also not allowing clients to bring in any family members," Daniel said.
And say goodbye to entertainment, too! As well as maintaining a two-metre distance from fellow customers, he also said there will be no magazines or newspapers in the waiting area or the salon itself.
Longer opening times
"Our roster has completely changed," Daniel said. "We’re open from eight in the morning until eight at night - half of my team will work from eight in the morning until two in the afternoon and the other half from two in the afternoon until eight at night."
The Daniel Galvin Jr Belgravia salon requires customers to wear a mask to hair appointments
The time slots for appointments also factor in a mandatory new cleaning regime. "There will be a 15-minute wait in between clients where every chair will be disinfected with barbicide spray," he told HELLO!. The longer opening hours are set to benefit full-time workers, but Daniel joked, "I think it’s going to be a long summer!"
Priority slots for vulnerable people
While the lockdown is beginning to ease for many people across the UK, it remains a scary time for vulnerable people, including the elderly and those with certain medical conditions. Just as supermarkets have worked to accommodate vulnerable people, salons will likely be offering priority booking and early or late time slots to minimise their interaction with others.
"Like the supermarkets, we’re encouraging vulnerable clients to come in at the beginning and at the end of the day. We open at eight and I’m sure a lot of my staff will be accommodating to those 7.30 am appointments," the fourth-generation colourist told us.
He continued: "They will have a priority option on early appointments. They're the first coming in the front door and on their way out, their payment will be made and they can leave through the fire exit. They will pass a minimal amount of people going out of that exit and straight onto the street."
Contactless payments will depend on the salon
Although contactless has been the preferred payment method following the coronavirus outbreak, this is not necessarily going to work for hairdressers due to the cost of certain treatments and services. "There’s only a certain limit that you can do, so if you’re paying £500 for a head of highlights with me, I don’t think the contactless will work very well," he said.
Drinks will likely be served in disposable cups, if they're served
However, there will likely be other safety measures introduced if contactless payment is not an option. Daniel explained, "Clients will be given the opportunity to either pre-pay or they can request the receptionist to come to their chair so they can pay there. There won't be any congestion in the reception area."
Food and drink precautions
Part of the experience at Daniel Galvin Jr is the ability to order food and drinks from neighbouring shop The Good Life Eatery, and that benefit is set to continue post-lockdown. As well as offering disposable cups for customers to get themselves water, he said, "We have a relationship with The Good Life and they have a special menu that our clients are being made aware of when completing their booking so they can pre-order their lunch."
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