As hairdressers sharpen their scissors and spruce up their salons ready to welcome us back on July 4, it’s not only the stylists in full PPE that we’ll have to get used to.
In fact, the future of hairdressing is set to look quite different from pre-coronavirus life.
Yet with pubs reopening on the same day, meaning you can get your locks done prior to that first foray back down your local, does it really matter?
Here, we run through the main changes to prep yourself for.
Firstly, if you’re not much of a chatterbox, then the idea of less small-talk will please you.
Not only will hairdressers be kitted out in masks and gloves, but the British Beauty Council have proposed that salons also introduce Perspex screens above the basins too.
This will mean a barrier between the customer and hairdresser, to avoid cross contamination of the virus generated by respiratory droplets, coughing and sneezing.
In a similar vein, you may not have to spend too much time at the till being asked about your holiday plans, as salons are set to implement a no cash rule – which will include tips – whereby customers will pay with a card instead to reduce contact.
Some salons may also check temperatures with a scanner before allowing client access, and should they get the all-clear and be invited in, antibacterial gel will be offered along with face masks. Similarly, staff will have temperature checks up to five times per day.
It is believed waiting lists will be introduced to avoid customers wandering in for a walk-in appointment, to limit the number of people in the salon at any one time.
Even with the current social distancing rule of 2m set to drop to 1m as of next Saturday, waiting lists will be required to avoid the influx of people wanting appointments following three months of DIY efforts over the bathroom basin.
To align with these rules, people will be expected to book appointments over the phone or online and avoid going into the salon unnecessarily.
On the plus, waiting areas might be a thing of the past as it’s expected customers will be taken straight to their chair for their appointment and straight back out again, in a one-way system to reduce interaction between people.
Regrettably though, this will signal the end of your guilty pleasure as reading the gossip mags with a brew will be axed to avoid spreading germs via magazines and crockery.
For those working 9-5 who usually struggle to get an appointment, you’ll be pleased to know that hairdressers may extend opening hours to not only minimise contact between customers but amongst the staff also.
And if you thought paperwork was just for the office, think again. It’s likely customers will be asked to fill out a lengthy questionnaire about their health, including their interactions over the last seven days to raise any red flags if they have put themselves at risk.
Other changes include the possibility of being asked to wash your hair before your appointment to cut down on how long you spend in the salon, and the likelihood that longer treatments – such as fitting extensions – will no longer be offered.
In fact, even simpler treatments face the chop, and if you’re a fan of the blow-dry, you might have to stick with your partner or kid’s help as hairdryers blast particles around the room which could compromise the entire salon and therefore could be culled.
It has also been reported that ‘tint and go’ options will be launched, with hairdressers applying the product in the salon and customers removing it themselves at home.
There is a risk that prices may be affected, taking into account hairdressers will not only need to make up for lost time of being AWOL since March, but also the increased costs of sterilising equipment and having to wear new PPE and provide for customers too.
Still, better than the lopsided homespun cut, ey?