Monday was the salon’s first day open, though the staff had turned out on Saturday for a total dress rehearsal and to ensure everyone knew the drill.
Arriving exactly on time, and wearing a facemask, I was greeted at the desk by visor-clad Lydia, who whisked me straight through to the chair, where she handed me a bag with a towel and a gown. I’m pleased to say for the first time ever I managed to get the gown on myself! Then to a screened hairwash area – for the moment at least, dry cuts are not allowed – and a relaxing scalp massage by salon owner Tracey.
The cut and trim thankfully did not need a lawnmower and thanks to the fact that we were both masked up, Tracey and I were able to chat normally (I’ll spare you the details of that conversation :)) Sadly, coffee and tea are for the moment, off the menu, regulations.
I did notice an unfamiliar product – Nioxin have launched a new finishing spray – so I had to have some. You may think me effete, but believe me, the sticky stuff is vital to ensuring I don’t look like a thistle three days after my salon experience!
Once upon a time I would have been relieved I wasn’t the only man in the salon but this time ensuring I didn’t commit a ‘covid faux pas’ required my full attention. In fact, because there are a lot less staff in the salon due to the new shift pattern and consequently less clients, I was less aware than usual of anyone else around me. I did notice there was no music this time – presumably to stop my singing.
The Style team has been reorganised into two shifts, A and B, and are working twelve hours on, three days a week. Now in the confines of a hair salon in July, wearing visors and full PPE, that’s a gruelling day at the office for anyone. I was pleased to hear the team are having a decent lunch, with food provided.
The phone has been ringing off the hook for days with clients clamouring for appointments after the long pause, and on Monday the text reminder system apparently crashed because of the number of clients confirming YES to their appointment time – and sending lots of happy emojis in the message (please stop this practice).
My impressions? This team have always delivered 101% (I have to say my family have been clients for a long time) and it’s very clear they have thought it through, with safety of clients and staff absolutely paramount.
For all the close contact, the precautions they have taken at SH&B made me feel safer than in most public environments, including local shops and supermarkets.
Yes, the PPE regime does take a little of the “fun” out of the proceedings, but that’s not the salon’s fault. And for me the haircut came along with a lot of humour.
The whole experience probably took around 15 minutes longer for me than normal, but that was due to the mandatory shampooing, so most people would only need to allow an extra five minutes or so for the safety procedures. Expect to pay a small charge for the necessary PPE that helps keep you safe, though at the end of the first day I’m told not one client had even asked what the charge was.
So thanks to Tracey and Style Hair and Beauty, here’s hoping the ‘New Normal’ will be over soon, but even if not, our hairstyle experience is back.
I’d take my hat off to you, but of course I no longer need to wear one as my short trim is now totally presentable!