Trendz for Hair – Chester
Hairdresser and Beauty Salon
Owner – Michelle
The closure of hairdressers, beauty salons and barbers during the COVID-19 pandemic lead to a “follicle phenomenon” across social media, with an array of home haircuts notching high numbers across every platform from Facebook to Instagram. During a time of uncertainty and anxiety, 2020 “lockdown hairstyles” captured the public imagination and gave us something to smile about.
However, what became quickly apparent was the fact that the DIY experience was unable to recreate the connection and community that exists in your local hair salons, not to mention the mental wellbeing it generates for many regulars. When the government finally announced that hair salons could reopen, there was a sigh of relief from many who missed that monthly visit to the barber.
For an industry of professionals who provide close contact services, lockdown proved a devastating setback.
“Individual stylist can deal with up to 10 clients a day,” says owner, Michelle at Trendz for Hair in Chester. “We went from a busy salon to shut down overnight. Our income dropped from stable to zero in less than 24 hours and our relationship with the local community was immediately severed.”
Like many businesses across other sectors, some may never reopen and those who have taken the plunge, have had to go to extreme measures for the safety of the staff and public, to safeguard business continuity.
“As an employer I have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety,” continues Michelle. “Therefore, prior to reopening a COVID-19 the results of our extensive risk assessment were put into place. Taking preventative measures to keep returning staff and clients safe was a major priority.”
“Viruses spread mainly through close, person-to-person contact with infected people. In a hair salon, people are typically in very close proximity to one another, especially when a hair stylist is colouring, cutting, or styling someone else’s hair.
“Another risk is coming into contact with common shared surfaces like salon chairs and tools, which could have virus particles on them as well as frequently-touched areas such as door handles, counters and armchairs.
“The objective seemed like a huge task. The SteraSpace unit on the wall in the salon has been a silent, invisible helper. Working constantly to kill harmful bacteria and viruses in the air and on all exposed surfaces, it has been almost like having an extra pair of hands to help us out.”
“Paired with the increased handwashing and surface cleaning, minimising client attendees using a booking only system, separating clients chairs 3 metres apart, and providing maximum ventilation into the salon, I feel satisfied I have made some headway.”
“I have resorted to disposable gowns as this is more hygienic and for my own protection, I wear an apron and visor.”
“Bookings are done prior to visits and a text message is sent to the client emphasising all the steps outlined for their visit. This way, clients are clear on what to expect before they arrive.”
“I recognise that I cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19, however I am ticking all the relevant boxes and feel with the air purifier fitted I have gone above and beyond government expectations. Using the air purifier has made the clients feel more comfortable as it is constantly cleaning the air, not only from bacteria but as an odour eliminator too. The air actually smells fresher and it reminds me of my family camping trips as a child, when you woke up and stepped outside!
“Moving forward, the ongoing costs of PPE and sanitisation remain a concern to me. This reality coupled with the reduced number of clients seen during a working day, could result in my business being unable to turn a profit in the future unless we can diversify. I have been exploring the option of hair care retail sales as a way to help support the client at home as well as opening up an additional income stream for the salon.”
“Unfortunately, the relationship with the clients had changed slightly. It’s not as relaxing as it has been in the past. It’s more difficult to talk to the client with the added PPE and not being able to offer magazines and drinks like before has made the visit a bit more clinical than friendly. However, safety is paramount, and we will make the best of the present circumstances.
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