THE easing of lockdown restrictions are well and truly underway.

Last week, the First Minister detailed further changes in Scotland’s four-phased route-map to coronavirus freedom.

Phase 2 has brought a host of new changes – including an ‘extended bubble’ and the reopening of retail next week.

However there is one industry still longing to open its doors – with costumers getting ever more desperate. 

The hair and beauty industry was yet again not included in the most recent raft of changes, which came into force in a phased approach from last Thursday. 

So when will hairdressers open?

According to the route map, “personal retail services, including hairdressers” can open in Scotland from our Phase 3. 

This is, as with most changes, provided on the basis that hygiene and distancing measures are put in place.

When will Phase 3 begin?

From the beginning of announcing the route map, the First Minister was rightly apprehensive about giving set dates for each new stage.

However, revelations in recent weeks regarding the opening of other services within Phase 3 could help narrow down the dates.

The next possible formal review for the change of Phase is on July 9 – with Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing revealing businesses including pubs, hotels and restaurants are being told to prepare to reopen on July 15.

Meanwhile schools across Scotland, also on Phase 3, are being advised to open from August 11.

Therefore the reopening of hairdressers, salons and other personal retail services can expect to reopen in Scotland between July 9 and August 11. 

In England, it is looking likely to be on July 4. 

What changes will there be inside?

The British Beauty Council has outlined a number of suggested guidelines for social distancing and hygiene within hairdressers and salons.

They note these “have been created with experts in each industry field and are advisory only”, adding “they do not constitute legal requirement” and “have not eben agreed with the Government”. Instead, they act simply as guidance. 

They suggest, among other advice, the following:

  • Staff members are to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and a disposable apron. 
  • Disposable towels and disposable paper gowns to be used rather than machine washed ones. 
  • To erect Perspex screens throughout the salon area, including the till area, backwash stations and hairdresser chairs to help limit the spread of infection.

Glasgow Times:

Will I have to wear a mask?

According to the British Beauty Council, clients are to “bring their own PPE” unless employers decide to supply. 

Currently, it looks like it will be a matter for each individual salon to decide – but going on that advice it is probable you will have to wear a face covering. 

What else might change?

Some hairdressers may opt to extend their opening hours – meaning staff can see clients but have less people inside at any one time.

As with supermarkets, the British Beauty Council recommends a “vulnerable hour” first thing, once the salon has been deep cleaned from the previous day. 

It may also be harder to get an appointment, with extreme demand following lockdown and the need for an extra 15 minutes to be allocated for cleaning between clients. 

Many places will only allow pre-bookings, not walk-ins, and advance payments over the phone would be encouraged.

Indoor waiting areas could also be scrapped, with customers having to wait outside until being called in at the time of their appointment. 

Will it cost more?

As expected, this might be the case.

A note on the British Beauty Council website reads: “It may be advisable to raise prices to cover cost of PPE, longer opening hours, sanitisation and hygiene equipment, reduced appointments and other accrued costs as a result of COVID-19”.