Hairdressers and barbershops across England reopen tomorrow but visiting your stylist won’t look or feel the same as it did before.

hairdressers and barbershops
Dr Zoe Williams

For the past three months, we’ve adopted a DIY mindset to the max – caring for our own hair, swapping style and maintenance tips online, and even taking part in virtual wash days with the professionals. Now, we can finally sit back in our stylist’s comforting chair for some pampering and a much-needed catch-up – what changes should we expect post-lockdown?

Keeping both clients and staff safe is the top priority for salons and barbers as ITV This Morning’s resident doctor, Zoe Williams, shared during a public awareness video released by the Government. She visited venues to learn what changes they’re making in the wake of COVID-19 and what customers should do to ensure their own safety.

“I’ve made my appointments longer now because there’s so much more going into the haircut now, with preparing, cleaning. And also, with this lockdown, everybody’s coming back with their Jackson 5 Afros.”

Popular barbershop SliderCuts is one of the thousands of businesses ready to welcome customers back. Owner, Mark Maciver, told Dr Zoe: “I’ve made my appointments longer now because there’s so much more going into the haircut now, with preparing, cleaning. And also, with this lockdown, everybody’s coming back with their Jackson 5 Afros [laughs].”

©Jeff Moore

The social aspect of going to the barbershop will also now change as Mark explained: “That is the unfortunate thing. People have to come, get their haircut and then leave, but before, it used to be community. Before your haircut, talk, after your hair cut, two hours, now, it’s more of a conveyor belt, which is messing with the culture of the barbershop.”

Earlier this year Dr Zoe was forced to self-isolate with her boyfriend after showing signs of coronavirus.

New safety measures for hairdressers and barbershops include:

  • Seating rearranged to maintain social distancing between clients, as well as barriers or screens installed between workstations and clients to help reduce the risk of transmission
  • Staff will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) in the form of a visor when they are in close contact (when social distancing is not possible).
  • Services of magazines and snacks, as well as hot and cold drinks, may not be available.
  • A ‘one-in-one-out’ policy may be in operation, as there may not be a waiting area. Customers may be required to wait or queue outside and for bigger salons, they may need to follow a one-way entry and exit route.
  • Screens or floor markings may be in place to facilitate social distancing.
  • Regularly sanitising any reusable equipment such as client chairs, scissors and clippers, and you may be asked to wear a disposable gown.
  • Frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly including door handles and toilets to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • Measures taken by each establishment will differ so all venues are encouraging customers to check online or to call venues prior to attending.

In the video, Dr Zoe said: “[It’s] really important to remember to wash your hands when you enter new premises with soap and water if it’s available, or otherwise with hand sanitiser…If anyone does develop any symptoms of coronavirus, you must stay at home, and order a test either online [via the NHS] or by dialling 119. You’ll get your test and results in a matter of just days.”

The advice from stylists is, if you’re unsure or concerned, ask the salon about their new rules. If you’re on a mailing list of some kind, it’s likely your regular salon will have contacted you already to book an appointment or discuss your hair needs.

Most importantly, if you feel unwell, don’t chance it – cancel your booking and stay at home.

How are you feeling about visiting the hairdressers or barbershops post-lockdown? Desperate to go or happy to wait a few more weeks? Share your thoughts with us on social media.

Written by Vicky Gayle  – Follow her: @vi_gayle

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