As salons have been closed due to the pandemic since before Christmas, as of April 5th 2021, the Scottish Government has announced slight easing of the restrictions, including allowing salons and barbershops to reopen.
With salons having been closed for nearly four months, both hairstylist and their clients are eager to get back in the chair. As restrictions require salons to use an appointment only system, many salons are already booked solid for the next few months.
Despite the excitement of things returning to more normality, Deputy First Minister John Swinney urged people to remember the virus is still circulating and to continue following the rules.
He said: “The virus is down but it’s not yet out, and the last thing we need is to see it making a comeback and undoing all the progress from the massive effort and sacrifices we have all had to make.”
Stylist Fallon Carberry, and owner of BLOW salons in Glasgow city centre and Finneston said her salons have already been swamped with bookings.
“When we got the first announcement, we opened our books and we had over 1,000 bookings in 24 hours. We weren’t expecting that.” Said Fallon “Our top stylists are booked until the end of the year”.
“It’s crazy busy but the staff are all well rested. We are going to be open seven days until eight at night. There are long days ahead but we’re ready.”
Marc McCune, who owner of Eutopia salons in Glasgow, said his staff were as much a priority as customers as restrictions are lifted.
He said: “The government has provided financial support and furlough has allowed us to keep all our team employed.
“It’s been a strange year for our team who have only worked for five months in the last year. So we are concerned more about their mental wellbeing.”
Susan McGorm, who runs Susan McGorm Hair Boutique in Broomhill, said she was “excited about reopening, but scared in case we close down again”.
“Obviously now the vaccines are rolled out we are hoping that won’t be the case, but it’s annoying” added Susan. “Despite the fact that hairdressers are probably one of the safest places, what with social distancing and the hygiene measures in place, we will still get shut down if we return to lockdown.
“We are more worried if the government funding stops. If that stopped, we wouldn’t survive.”
“We are now booked fully until June, but the phone has been ringing off the hook” said Susan. “If I’d known it was so busy I’d have put more people on.”
Susan has already had a member of the council come to check over the correct precautions were being used.
“We had a man in from the council doing Covid checks”, says Susan. “Everything was fine, as we are all masked up, hand sanitiser very visible, no magazines or hot drinks and there is plastic screens between seats. It’s good they’re checking, but that’s the first we’ve had from the council.
“I think any hairdresser not being as careful would maybe get caught out, so it’s all more important to be to on top of the regulations and restrictions.
“But everyone who is coming in is so happy – as if you’ve made their day. It’s so cheery – it’s like Christmas!”