11th Jun 2020
With the news that hairdressers will open earlier than expected, here’s everything that we know about what our first appointment back will be like.
It’s the news that many of us have been desperate to hear: hairdressers and barbers will be allowed to open on June 29, almost a month earlier than originally planned.
Grown-out roots and dodgy DIY fringe cuts will finally be salvaged by our beloved stylists, and we might even be tempted to go for a more daring cut than usual, such will be the rush when we finally get to sit in that swivel chair again.
However, our next hair appointment will look a little different than our last, as the Irish Hairdresser’s Federation has outlined over 100 measures that salons will take to minimise the risk of infection to customers and staff. These guidelines reassured the government that it would be safe for hairdressers to open.
The federation says that its members are looking forward to recommencing “a service that is highly valued and important, not only from a physical grooming perspective but for the valued additional benefits of the confidence, mental health and wellbeing our services deliver”.
Here’s what we know so far about how reopened hairdressers will operate.
Many salons will be appointment-only
In order to maintain physical distancing as much as possible, salons have been encouraged to keep clients to appointments only. Where a salon has space to accommodate walk-ins, they should have a clear procedure outlined for how to deal with them, and details of customers should be logged in case there is a need for contact tracing.
You’ll have to answer some questions before your appointment
Clients will have to complete a form before arriving at the salon, answering questions including whether they have been outside of Ireland in the last 14 days (excluding Northern Ireland), have experienced any flu-like symptoms, or have been in contact with any known Covid-19 cases.
There will be extra measures for elderly or vulnerable clients
Salons are asked to make provisions for more vulnerable clients. It is not specified what these are, but could include staff wearing increased protective equipment when dealing with these customers, or having fewer people in the salon during their appointments.
Physical distancing will be implemented
Clients and staff should be kept two metres apart from each other, which may mean having to reduce the number of chairs and sinks used at a time. Hairdressers obviously cannot stay two metres away from their client, but they are advised to stay at the back of their head as much as possible, and to position their body to stay as far away from their client as possible.
Your stylist will wear protective equipment
Because they can’t stay two metres away from you, your hairdresser will wear appropriate protective equipment, including a mask. Gloves will not usually be necessary, but they will be required to wash their hands frequently.
Hygiene will be stepped up
Hand sanitiser will be available for clients upon entering the salon. All styling chairs and sinks will be disinfected after every use, as well as any equipment used and the workstation nearby.
Gowns will only be used once
Gowns used on customers must be washed at 60 degrees after every use, or alternatively disposable gowns can be used. All other laundry, including towels, must also be washed at 60 degrees.
There won’t be any magazines to read
All communal reading material must be removed from salons as it cannot be sanitised after customers touch it.
It might take longer than usual to get an appointment
Even once the initial rush to get back to the hairdressers has passed, physical distancing measures mean that fewer staff and clients will be allowed in salons at once. This may mean that they are not able to accommodate as many appointments in a day as usual, so you could have to wait longer for a free slot while these measures are in place.
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