Salons are set to reopen on 4 July under new government guidelines, with major chains like Toni and Guy and Regis announcing changes to the way they serve customers.
While salons currently remain closed, eager customers across the country are pre-booking their appointments in anticipation for long overdue cuts and colours.
While bookings roll in, large hairdressing chains have told customers to expect big changes in place when they reopen, in order to maintain proper safety measures for both stylists and customers.
What safety measures could be introduced for customers?
Such changes might involve the removal of salon magazine racks, due to their inability to be sufficiently sanitised.
Customers may also be asked to queue outside the salon prior to their appointment - a measure implemented by supermarkets, in order to reduce the number of customers in close proximity.
Complimentary drinks are also expected to be temporarily stopped, as salons aim to reduce non-essential interactions between staff and customers.
Regis has announced plans to launch a message-based system. Customers will be sent a text permitting them to enter the salon, in an attempt to do away with waiting areas.
As expected, cleaning will be increased, and masks will be handed out to customers and staff alike, in alignment with the government advice to protect others from catching the virus.
Additionally, appointments are expected to operate on a staggered system to prevent overcrowding, as part of the many changes expected to be implemented for the next six to nine months.
Speaking to The Sun, chief executive of Toni & Guy, Nigel Darwin, said, “For staff, it’s all been about communication whilst being transparent and honest about our plans, and relaying what we do know and don’t.
“Also trying to think ahead as to the stresses and strains – in particular emotional and mental health and to ensure we have good networks and communication set up.
“In this initial period, we will look to remove some of the non-essential interaction between clients and our team.
“We will have a period where magazines are removed from salons, and we will be offering a less extensive selection of refreshments.
“Our professional standards were of course already high – but we have revisited all our protocols to ensure they are ready and appropriate for this new time.”
What safety measures will be in place for staff?
Speaking about the effect of the changes on her staff, Jackie Lang, CEO of Regis Salons said, “It’s going to be very difficult for a number of hairdressers who are naturally gregarious people mostly.
“Salons are usually sociable environments.”
However, in order to protect its staff salon staff, the chain has announced that it will introduce plastic screens around reception desks, as seen at supermarket checkouts.
It could also bring in daily temperature checks for staff, in a bid to clarify whether they have the virus or and are safe to continue working.