Hair salons are closing on 5 November, but when will they reopen? Here’s what we know so far

Hair salons are required to close from 5 November as England enters a four-week lockdown.

On 31 October, Boris Johnson announced that England is entering a four-week lockdown. As part of the nation’s new restrictions, hair salons will be required to close.

The government has published a set of guidelines around the upcoming lockdown, confirming: “personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons” will need to close.

In his speech, Johnson confirmed that the four-week lockdown begins on Thursday 5 November. He added: “[These new measures] will end on Wednesday 2 December, when we will seek to ease restrictions, going back into the tiered system on a local and regional basis according to the latest data and trends.”

The news comes as a huge blow to the hair industry, who were not only recovering from losses of the previous lockdown but were also gearing up for the Christmas period (a time that is usually busy for the beauty industry). 

Following their closure throughout spring and summer, the hair industry was the first beauty sector to reopen on 4 July. In response to creating a Covid-secure environment, salon owners made sure their spaces and etiquette surrounding appointments adhered to our new way of living. This included social distancing for workers, cleaning the workplace, rules around PPE and face coverings and monitoring risk.

When will hair salons reopen?

The government has confirmed that “personal care facilities” including hair salons will be required to close their doors from Thursday 5 November for four weeks. While this second lockdown is due to end on Wednesday 2 December, Johnson’s announcement states that England will re-enter the tiered system, meaning there is no confirmation on when all hair salons can reopen.

A hair salon

What will future hair appointments be like after lockdown?

For salons, owners have made changes to how appointments are conducted as well as the set-up of the salon itself.

“There will be no clients in reception,” says Lesley Blair, chair of BABTAC (British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology). “Or, they may stop the nice cup of tea you enjoy prior to/during your treatment. There may be no magazines, no paper, no leaflets; that will all go away. It’ll be very stark.

“Even when it comes to the nice fluffy towels, we’re advising washing them after every treatment at 60 degrees or using disposable towels. Even with sink interaction, we’re advising you conduct any discussion and hair consultation online prior to the appointment, so there’s not as much face-to-face contact as you would normally have.

“We are a very hygienic industry anyway and already follow a lot of hygiene rules.”

Also weighing in on the conversation is Keith Conniford, registrar of The Hair and Barber Council, an organisation set up by an Act of Parliament in 1964 which enables hairdressers to apply to become State Registered. Conniford also works closely with the government to regulate the hairdressing, barbering and beauty industry and tells Stylist.co.uk: “Hair salon owners are ensuring that staff are trained to clean the units between customer appointments.

“All of the equipment has to be cleaned thoroughly. This could take 10-15 minutes between appointments to make sure everything is sterilised properly. But, hairdressers will need to make sure this doesn’t eat into appointment times. There’s also things like cleaning the fridge, dust filters in hairdryers, any tumble dryers, and descaling the showerhead.

“When training them, owners will need to communicate the process, what they expect and how long everything will take.”

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How can clients work with hair salons to ensure safety?

Of course, the onus doesn’t lie solely with the hairdressers themselves. We, as customers, will need to do all we can to make the salons as safe a space for everyone when they reopen again.

Blair advises foregoing handbags, jewellery and lots of clothing layers: “Obviously we’ll have some clothing but let’s minimise the risk and the transference as much as we possibly can.”

You should also be open and honest with your salon about whether you’ve come into contact with anybody, if you’re displaying any symptoms or if you’ve gone on holiday.

A girl in a salon.

How are hair salons preparing for appointments after lockdown?

When hair salons reopened their doors, owners put numerous Covid-safe measures in place. Here, Elena Lavagni, founder of Neville Hair & Beauty, outlines the steps the salon took to ensure the safety of staff and customers when they reopened in July:

“In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we followed strict guidelines in order to protect the safety of clients and employees, which will be in effect during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic and may be adjusted as necessary, and they will only be reduced when it is safe to do so.

“In order to maintain a safe environment each client entering the salon has their temperature taken using an infrared thermometer. Any client who has a temperature above 37.8°C will be sent home immediately and not allowed to return to the salon until they have no fever and no evidence of Covid-19 symptoms.

“Before carrying out any services, all clients entering the salon are asked the following questions: Have you had a cough? Have you had a fever? Have you been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms within the past 14 days? Are you living with anyone who is sick or quarantined?

“We have limited the number of people in the salon. In order to practise social distancing, we accept clients by appointment only. We run our schedule by telephonic or online scheduling only. We also limited the number of persons in the waiting area in the salon. It is recommended that clients wait outside the salon until the hairdresser is ready to serve them. 

“To limit the risk of infection there is no kitchen service, so customers are asked to bring their own food and beverages. To limit the risk of infection there is no cloakroom service. Plastic bags are provided for you to safeguard your belongings.

“There are also no magazines or newspapers available. Clients are expected to follow floor stickers and signage to practice safe social distancing. We kindly ask clients not to touch any retail products unless they have the intention of buying. Lastly, we kindly ask that all clients refrain from handshakes or hugging.”

“We are also taking steps to maintain social distancing as much as possible. This includes:

  • “Spacing between persons in the salon will be at least 2 metres, except when one member of staff is servicing a client.
  • “Wearing masks. Clients should also wear face masks to the extent possible while receiving services.
  • “The salon provides shoe covers for all clients. Clients will be expected to put these on when entering the salon.
  • “To limit the amount of people at the desk, all payments will be taken the day before the appointment.
  • “Hand sanitisers are provided for you to use upon entering the salon.”

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