Shaggy-haired Boris Johnson revealed hairdressers ‘wearing visors’ WILL reopen from July 4
A shaggy-haired Boris Johnson has revealed hairdressers will be allowed to reopen from July 4.
The Prime Minister told the House of Commons stylists can take customers providing they use appropriate precautions such as wearing visors.
But clients could face a three-month waiting list for a trim and some businesses said they will reopen at midnight to help clear the huge backlog.
Appointments are already full for the first two weeks of July, with one London hairdresser preparing to work through a 2,000-strong queue.
Mr Johnson said: ‘Almost as eagerly awaited as a pint will be a haircut, particularly by me, Mr Speaker.
‘And so we will reopen hairdressers with appropriate precautions including the use of visors.’
Northern Ireland salons will be able to reopen on July 6, the Welsh Government will review an official opening date on July 9, but Scotland has not announced its plans.
It will come as a relief to the public, who have either had a crack at their own barnets or left them to grow uncontrollably for three months.
It will also bring joy to the 33,000 employees – mostly freelancers – across the country who have been off work.
But hairdressers will not look the same after lockdown, with some of the proposed changes being:
What can re-open on July 4 and what will have to remain closed?
Reopening from July 4
Remaining closed after July 4
Hairdressers welcomed today’s announcement as they look to clear their growing backlog of customers.
Salon owners said the changes from a 2m social distancing rule to ‘1m plus’ will ensure the viability of their business.
Belle Cannan, 53, co-founder of Salon Sloane, in Chelsea, London, said: ‘It will help because we are a small salon and only have eight positions.
‘Going from two metres to one metre makes it much more of a viable business because you can accommodate more clients, and of course everyone is desperate to come in, especially in the first week to get their hair done.’
Ms Cannan, whose clients include Victoria’s Secret models and former Spice Girl Melanie C, said the changes would allow her salon to increase its capacity from 50 per cent to 75 per cent.
She said staff will wear protective visors and will be required to wipe down chairs and equipment before and after every customer.
Hellen Ward, co-founder of Richard Ward Hair and Metrospa in Chelsea, London, whose celebrity clients include the Duchess of Cambridge, said there were 2,500 people on the salon’s waiting list.
She said her team was expecting to see a ‘few bad haircuts’ from customers who attempted to trim their own hair during lockdown.
Speaking about the new distancing measures, she said: ‘It means we can have 46 chairs instead of 23 and therefore we can have twice as many staff on site.
‘But salons as a whole, the people I know in the industry, are saying the same thing, that for the first two weeks we are going to stick to the rules as though it is still two-metre distancing.
‘The worst thing we could do is release all the (appointment) time slots and then we find we are back in lockdown or the one metre has been upped back to two.’
She said her salon would be opening from 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday to clear the back-log of customers.
Toni&Guy, which has 485 salons in 48 countries, said on Twitter: ‘We can’t wait to see you!
‘In line with latest government announcement, we’re planning to reopen our salons in England on Saturday 4th July.’
Ms Ward said before they start cutting they need to assess the damage clients have done to themselves.
She said there were already 2,000 people on the waiting list, making it a three-month wait for some customers.
She told the Telegraph: ‘It will take a while, partly because we have to work out what they have done to their hair during lockdown to work out how long a booking will take.’
The Chair in Canterbury, Kent, revealed it will open from midnight to 4pm on July 4 to get a head start on the backlog.
Owner Katie Hancock and another hairdresser are readying for the night shift before other workers start in the morning.
The move will only be for the first day, but the salon’s normal opening hours will be extended like many across the country.
Ms Hancock said: ‘Obviously the health and safety of our clients and stylists is the priority. All of our services will take a bit longer than usual.’
Leeds-based Louise Howard-Long, who owns Architect Hair Salon, flogged £7,000 in priority booking vouchers but had to bring the scheme to a halt due to spiralling demand.
She said: ‘We have been receiving so many emails. I have been trying to reply to them all individually to keep it feeling personal.’
The hairdressing experience will be vastly different than before lockdown, with stylists required to take steps to limit the spread of coronavirus.
The National Hair and Beauty Federation released a set of guidelines last month to help businesses prepare themselves for reopening.
It suggested walk-in salons switch to an appointment-only system, or offer timed tickets to allow customers to ‘reserve’ their slot and return at the designated time.
To reduce the amount of time a customer spends in the chair, salons have been advised to trial online consultations where they will be able to discuss treatments.
The document says: ‘This could be done before your salon or barbershop is fully open for business.
‘This also gives you an opportunity to talk to clients about safety measures you’re taking to protect them and your team and to establish if an allergy alert test is needed.’
Any discussions that take place in person should be kept ‘to a minimum’ and be conducted via the mirror while standing behind the client.
The document adds: ‘You can lower the risk of infection by standing side-by-side rather than facing people.’
Stylist James Johnson from Kent said yesterday it was going to be ‘so busy for us’ with the backlog and that it would be ‘first come first served’.
He told Sky News: ‘Our main priority is making sure our clients are safe, as long as we are safe as well.
‘I think it’s overdue and I think financially we are all ready to go back, there has got to be a point where we’ve got to get the money coming in and paying our bills.’
On keeping clean in the coronavirus era, he added: ‘As a member of the beauty industry our standards of cleanliness are already very high.
‘It’s just reinforcing that we are keeping it super clean, super disinfected. Obviously we will have to wear gloves and masks, maybe even aprons, and keep things in terms of contact to a minimal.’
Gatsby & Miller in Amersham, Buckinghamshire – one of the 25,000 UK salon partners of beauty giant L’Oreal created a blueprint for the sector last month.
It includes a digital screen in the window to display important reminders about social distancing.
Clients are welcomed by one mask-wearing stylist who will stay with them for their visit via a one-way system.
All staff will be wearing gloves and masks which will be changed throughout the day, while customers will be also asked to wear a mask during the appointment and hand sanitiser dispensers will be provided.