Hairdressers and barbers will be reopening on July 4, to the relief of many desperate to see their lockdown locks attended to after months of neglect.
However, a trip to to salon will look and feel very different due to social distancing, with new rules in place.
Hairdressers across the UK also face the challenge of balancing the demand for appointments alongside new health and safety requirements, with longer opening hours, staggered shifts and special slots for the over-70s and other vulnerable people likely to feature.
All hairdressers and barbers are also now required to wear face masks and visors while they work to decrease the risk of the virus spreading.
If you’re trying to book a coveted haircut appointment in London, here’s what to expect.
How long is the waiting list for a haircut in London?
Those eager to secure a hair appointment may have to wait weeks, or even months, to have their locks attended to.
Speaking to the Standard, a representative of Soho-based hair salon SALON64 said: “Currently there is a waiting list of over 2,000 clients.
“They will be open from Monday – Saturday 9am-8pm, and will be opening on the first 2 Sundays in July to cater for all their waiting list and make sure they get through this.”
The salon has bookings up until mid-August and 4,500 people on its waiting list, and is set to open on Saturday with staff split into two separate shifts across the day.
Those who are able to secure an appointment will not be able to enjoy perusing a magazine with coffee whilst waiting as they may have been accustomed to.
In another change in practice, small talk between hairdressers and clients is also to be “kept to a minimum” to reduce the chances of cough droplets transferring through the air.
Nigel Darwin, CEO of Toni and Guy, said: “Every client will be spoken to ahead of visits, staff will do phone or virtual consultations to cut the amount of time spent in the salon.”
Myla and Davis hairdressers in south London have a waiting list of more than 2,000 people, and will be working an extra four hours each day to cope with the increased demand.
Similarly, Electric London – who have salons in London, Brighton, Reading, Liverpool and Edinburgh – have a waiting list of 6 – 8 weeks’ worth of appointments at each salon, with Brighton Salon having 1500 people on the waiting list.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson anticipated the huge demand for a haircut when he announced the easing of the lockdown after more than three months
He said: “Almost as eagerly awaited as a pint will be a haircut, particularly by me, and so we will reopen hairdressers with appropriate precautions, including the use of visors.”
According to Live True London, their wait time for a haircut is approximately two days, and for a colour around a week.
They’ve offered customers several tips on securing an appointment, stating: “Be flexible – Go with who is available as most stylists are booked up for the next six weeks, while others still have availability.
“Haircuts are easier – They are easier to book in for, colours are longer services and will be more difficult to find (plus remember a patch test must be completed beforehand for new clients, which will slow down the process).”