Back with a bang!

From around-the-clock reopenings to National Hair Sunday initiatives, hairdressers in England and Northern Ireland are back and better than ever…

Forget the excitement of a new series dropping on Netflix, a trip to get coffee from your favourite cafe or the first taste of a restaurant meal after months of the same three recipes… THIS is the moment many of us have been waiting for. After months of anticipation, hairdressers and barber shops in England and Northern Ireland are finally reopen and ready to do battle with box dye disasters and lockdown haircuts. Wales and Scotland? Your time is coming, too!

While the treasured salon experience may not be quite what you knew and loved before lockdown, hairdressers have been going above and beyond to make clients feel great again, as well as giving back to those who’ve worked tirelessly on the frontline throughout the pandemic. We’ve rounded up just some of the ways hairdressers are back and better than ever…

Midnight magic

As the clock struck midnight on 4 July, hairdressers across the land began casting their own spells to transform tresses for the better, just without the carriage or coachman. Over at Josh Wood Atelier in London, the team welcomed back loyal clients, influencers and press to celebrate the reopening at the very earliest opportunity on the 4 July – the perfect excuse to continue the loungewear look outside the house! With the likes of beauty expert Caroline Hirons and journalist Hannah Betts on the guest list, us (and thousands of followers) got a sneak peek into the event on social media… and then the hair envy mixed with FOMO set in.

@melaniesmithcolour

Over at SJ FORBES in Egham, the doors also reopened at 12:01AM with serious cause for celebration on the day of the salon’s fifth anniversary. Running on adrenaline and excitement as the split teams worked from midnight to 9PM, they even went live on Instagram to flex their performing talents with a musical medley of Rocky III and The Greatest Showman. That’s one way to welcome back eager customers!

Open all hours

Meanwhile in Newcastle, the newly refurbished Tom Baxter Hair salon also welcomed back customers at just one minute past minute, with Aaron Chalmers from Geordie Shore making a special appearance as Tom’s first haircut since reopening. Tom and his team also took this opportunity to support the NHS – donating the £2,500 made from all beard and haircuts during 12.01am to 06.00am to the Royal Victory Infirmary, to thank them for all their hard work and dedication. After 06.00AM, the team continued to cut hair until the very last snip at midnight Saturday.

@sjforbesegham
@tombaxter_hair

A day of firsts…

For one salon in Leamington, the 4 July was an opportunity to open its doors for the very first time. Ever. Hairdresser Charlotte Williams has launched The Vanity Box, after deciding to make the jump of creating her own salon space. On the day, Leamington mayoress Cllr Susan Rasmussen came to officially cut the ribbon before Charlotte spent the day taking good care of her clients’ tresses.

National Hair Sunday

@roystonblytheofficial

During their time spent in lockdown, many hairdressers have used the opportunity to brainstorm ways to give back to frontline staff who have been at the forefront of the pandemic. Created by hairdressing duo Royston Blythe, National Hair Sunday is a UK-wide initiative put forward at the start of lockdown to deliver front line workers with complimentary hairdressing services once salons are back open.

In order to thank as many as possible for their unwavering support to the nation during the Coronavirus pandemic, Nick and Royston have also encouraged other salons nationwide to join them and open their doors to do the same. So far, Josh Wood Atelier, Toni&Guy salons, F&M Hairdressing and many others have joined the initiative, with more expected in the coming weeks. The team at Neville Hair & Beauty are also hosting an open day on 26 July to give complimentary haircuts and blowdries to as many frontline workers as possible. This includes NHS, TFL and Royal Mail workers, who they wish to thank for their selfless courage in support of us all. So far, they have 30 cut and blowdries booked in – head to their Instagram to find out more.

If you’re an NHS staff member, click here to find your nearest salon participating.

PPE on point – always!

As well as all the excitement, staff have been under enormous pressure while wearing visors and working to see as many clients as possible… all while regularly cleaning and keeping a safe distance. For many, it’s proving to be their busiest time of the year as waiting lists continue to grow, but hairdressers have proven just how dedicated they are to making clients feel good again. Social media feeds have been full of great advice shared by salons, who have documented their procedures, shown examples of new salon layouts and all their new PPE.

In addition to perspex screens and PPE, 81 Rose Garden in Staffordshire is taking extraordinary measures to keep customers safe – introducing a state of the art sanitisation booth, outside the salon. The booth, which resembles a telephone box, is fitted with a camera and a computer for facial recognition to scan the customer’s face and takes their temperature. If a client’s temperature is normal, the door automatically admits them into the booth. When inside the booth, the customer is sprayed with a sanitising agent in the form of a light mist to kill bacteria and germs within just a few seconds with no risk to the skin, breathing or clothes. After this, clients will be allowed entry into the salon to let the transformation commence!

Though the new salon experience may take a little getting used to, hairdressers across the land are thinking on their feet to keep us all happy. While we may miss the usual coffee and sweet treats, salons such as Salon 64 and Paul Edmonds London are offering new ways to enjoy a beverage, thanks to disposable cups featuring some very chic salon branding. Best of all, Salon 64 is also a great coffee spot in Soho – currently giving customers the option to enjoy a takeaway caffeine fix.

@salon64london

With one week having passed since hair salons have officially been able to open in England and Northern Ireland, it’s clear that their return has been much appreciated – it’s a morale boost many have needed and a slice of normality as we continue to adjust to ‘the new normal.’ We can’t wait to see what other UK salons get up to once they’re able to open again soon!

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