Hairdressers aim to keep everyone safe while creating wonderful looks for clients

Kara Pearson from WO Salon

Kara Pearson from WO Salon - Credit: Archant

WO Salon will be open again... we have had confirmation that from July 4 we can start trading again. To say we are delighted is an understatement.

However, the trials and tribulations it has taken to get to this point have been absolutely devastating on the industry, and has forced so much change for us as salon owners, stylists and clients.

I believe when we open our doors on July 4 it will be the start of new and different fight post Covid-19.

So while we have been shut down it has been incredibly difficult to guess what we will need ready for re-opening, the forward thinking has been a stressful experience with no stated guidelines given in advance.

Each week I thought we may have had the information relating to opening, giving us a chance to be equipped with the basics to open when the time was right.

Leaving it two weeks before announcing opening doesn't seem enough time.

Hence, we have implemented new protocol at WO, very much on a temporary basis as we learn and understand how these changes can influence clients who might feel intimidated coming back to the salon.

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The team has been split in half for eight weeks on a rota - eight stylists group 1 and group 2 - easier said than done!

They will alternate their days weekly to ensure they work every day to cover all our clients' availability, and is a nice ease back into salon life.

However, we have applied the one in at a time rule, so no back-to-back appointments at this time and to be revised according to Government guidance.

Clients can arrive for their appointment at their allocated time and will have to wait outside. They will be called when it is safe to enter the salon as the door will be locked during appointment times to stop people wondering in.

Upon entering, there is a sanitiser stand to use and a temperature check will be done and then a stylist in full PPE will escort clients to their seat.

Jackets and coats can no longer be taken off clients will be asked to pop on their own gowns provided by the salon. There are also clear signs for social distancing on the way to seats and a sign to state no entry to the WC.

The times of a lovely latte and a good read of a magazine or book is still possible but only if clients bring their own - refreshments or reading material cannot be provided.

WO Salon has a huge amount of space and can implement the one to two metre rule anywhere within the salon. As this reduces, more stylists can be brought back on a daily basis to help re-boot the business, also to help clear the backlog of appointments.

But clients/staff safety has to be the priority.

Wash basins will have screens between them for protection, and the massaging seats will still be available while getting a hair wash.

Clients can still buy products or gift vouchers and will receive an invoice link to pay upon exit.

Re-booking appointments will take place via a social platform, email or during the appointment. However, the client cannot attend the desk.

Once finished the client must leave promptly with another sanitise stop on the way out, and then all equipment stations and product bottles have to be sanitised.

Stylists will then undergo a full change of PPE before the next client.

All appointments must be pre-paid so clients will have to be sure on what they are wanting to have done on their visit.

Sadly, there will have to be a price increase in our services to reflect all of the essential changes.

This has been the biggest worry of all and we have to rely on the goodwill of our regular clients at this unique time.

WO has had to have a full risk assessment done, another cost to ensure the safety of clients.

All in all, it has cost a small fortune to open, and the planning for re-opening started the day we closed.

Trying to source PPE and kit out the salon in two weeks would have been an impossible challenge.

On a happy note, clients will still receive 100 per cent WO hair, and every single one of the team are so excited to be creating a wonderful look for our clients all again.

We have been very lucky as we have made contact with some of our clients, and most of them have been amazing and jumped on board without hesitation. Just remember nothing is forever and this is the first step to being back.