Hairdressers and barbers must follow strict new rules, according to the government. Having finally been allowed to reopen after an enforced 14-week closure, guidelines in place have altered the salon experience in a dramatic way.
In last week’s blog, titled ‘Hairdressing without the small talk’, we described the first of these restrictions – a talking ban. To remind you, consultations are to be given virtually, chat in the salon kept to a minimum, and essential discussions undertaken with hairdresser and client standing side by side.
But this silence rule is just one of many changes. If you’re not yet one of the lucky people who has visited the hairdresser’s post lockdown, here’s more of what you can expect next time you attend an appointment…
PPE equipment: All staff will be wearing some combination of face masks, visors, disposable aprons and gloves. Clientele may be asked to wear disposable gowns and gloves too.
Advance pre-payment: To minimise interaction in the salon, payment will either be taken upfront at the time of booking or made by contactless card on the day. A slotted container for tips could be in use on the premises.
No bags, jackets or coats: It’s advisable to take bags and outdoor clothing only if absolutely necessary on the basis that the virus can stay on fabrics for days.
Longer opening hours: To balance demand with the need for social distancing, salons may offer earlier opening and later closing with staggered shift patterns and special slots for vulnerable individuals. Be flexible about your appointment time.
No refreshments or reading material: Forget having a brew and flicking through magazines while you wait as it’s likely you’ll be required to arrive only when texted to notify your stylist is ready for you.
Reduced services: To clear the backlog of missed appointments built up these past weeks, limited options could be on offer in order to accommodate everyone with dry cuts and other treatments not available for hygiene reasons.
Spacing and screening: Alternate styling stations might be left empty to meet one metre apart obligations, and screens between stations and at the back-wash area fitted for extra sneeze-proof safety.
Extreme cleanliness: Optimised levels of cleanliness will become the norm such as sterilising hand gel on reception; sanitised and regularly disinfected workstations, chairs, mirrors and tools; and routine disposal of single-use equipment.
Salons will adopt their own unique mix of some or all of these COVID-19 safety measures. There could be more too; infrared thermometers being a possibility. Hopefully you’ll be briefed by your salon ahead of your given slot.
Amidst this sea of change, make sure one thing at your hairdresser’s remains constant – high standards of care and quality hairdressing. After a lengthy period of absence, you don’t want your first trip back to the salon (or, indeed, any salon visit!) to end in disaster. By which we mean hair breakage, hair damage, scalp burns and scalp blisters; the consequences of negligent hairdressing.
If this happens to you, contact us to ask about claiming compensation from your hairdresser.