Hairdressers and barbers in England will be allowed to reopen from 4 July – and some don’t want to wait a moment longer.
Carole Rickaby, who owns Tusk Hair in Camden, north London, will be opening the doors of her salon at the stroke of midnight.
“It is just a fun thing to do [but] we’re busy anyway. We are completely booked up from 7:00 in the morning until about 8pm because we’re spreading our clients out as well, taking longer over each appointment.”
Four stylists will work socially-distanced in the salon and allow up to 15 minutes between each client for cleaning. Cuts will be booked in in the morning, with colour treatments that take longer in the afternoon.
Carole and all her staff will also wear visors, and will wash only one client’s hair at a time.
Sandra Jacobs has been going to Carole for haircuts and colour for about 30 years. But the last time that she managed to get a haircut was in early March – just before lockdown measures were introduced in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.
“I’ve been doing what I can with products and rollers, but it’s not looking great,” she says. “I’m wearing a lot of hats these days!”
She will be Carole’s first client once Tusk Hair is allowed to reopen at midnight on 4 July.
“She’s fully booked for weeks after reopening, and I’m just not a morning person. So I thought why not? It’ll be a fun experience.”
Most of Carole’s customers on Saturday will be coming with long hair needing a cut or roots that need re-dyeing. But she has heard of some DIY hair horror stories,
“I’ve got one client – it was horrific what she did. She had a really nice red bob and she thought she’d take the scissors to the hair… and she literally hacked it,” says Carole.
“So she won’t be coming back to see me just yet because it still needs to grow out.”
What are the new rules in salons and barbers?
- Social distancing must be observed, with 2m between clients, or 1m with additional protection, such as a plastic screen
- Clients must be seen by appointment only
- A clear visor should be worn by the hairdresser
- Clients should be given disposable gowns, or a separate one which is washed before and after each use
- Equipment such as scissors or chairs should be cleaned between each client
‘Demand was mad’
Carole isn’t alone in opening at midnight for clients desperate for a haircut.
“Demand was mad as soon as we posted on social media just to say the booking system was open,” says Matt Hughes, who owns Idris Barbering Company in Tottenham.
With appointments booked for the coming weeks, Matt decided to open exclusively for a few regulars at midnight on 4 July.
“It is a bit of fun and to be honest, we are all absolutely buzzing to get back in the shop. I never thought I’d want to get back to work so bad after three months off the tools,” he says.
His team will be offering a stripped back service though, amid the pandemic: “We’re not going to offer any service where we have to come fully in front of the customer.
“We will still trim down the sides of the beard – and we’ll do what we can because a lot of people will have pretty heavy growth on there.”
He adds: “I have no doubt that what will probably start happening is you’ll find that higher-end, premium barber shops will adhere to [social distancing guidelines] for a little bit longer.”
Twenty-nine-year-old Levi Robbins has been one of Matt’s regular customers over the last year and is looking forward to a trim on Saturday.
“Once you’ve got a hairdresser you know is amazing, you want to stick with them. When Matt said they’re offering midnight cuts, I thought, ‘Of course!’
“I definitely need a haircut, it’s terrible at the moment,” Levi says, adding that his girlfriend was also roped in to give him a “very quick cut, which has grown out again – so I’m desperate!”
Levi says that he will wear a face mask to attend his appointment, although he is “almost certain” that he got coronavirus around March.
“It’s more disconcerting knowing you may be passing it on to other people unwittingly. So my partner and I are treating it as though it’s full lockdown.
“Being safe at home has been enjoyable, but it will be nice to mark a break with lockdown.”