HAIRDRESSERS up and down Oxfordshire have been anxiously awaiting government’s guidelines to reopen.
Businesses within the beauty industry are getting ready to reopen from July 4 – with new safety measures in place – and some taking booking are already fully booked for the month.
Such is the case of Popham Hairdressing that runs three salons based in Jericho, North Parade and Summertown.
Earlier in June 28-year-old manager Sam Popham, who runs the family business with his mother Shirley, re-launched their online booking system and within 24 hours more than 600 requests were made.
But a trip to the hairdressers will now look very different and Mr Popham revealed some of the major changes he is implementing within the three salons.
These include temperature checks for everyone entering the premises with 37.5 degrees Celsius and above considered too high, and PPE for all staff including masks, visors and gloves.
Customers, who will be given disposable biodegradable gowns, will also be required to wear a face mask and sanitise their hands and gloves upon arrival.
Work stations and equipment will be cleaned after every client.
Refreshments and print magazines will no longer be provided.
While all three facilities in Oxford are very spacious, Mr Popham revealed that stylists will work at every other station to avoid cross-contamination.
The manager said: “We are taking this quite far.
“People are our business, so we need to look after them as much as we can.
“Implementing all these changes will not be cheap but we need to adapt to government guidelines and be ready to reopen on July 4.”
Mr Popham also added that there has been a lot of ‘lobbying’ within the industry to reopen sooner, however, he was ‘not interested’.
Some hairdressers, however, have not taken the plunge to start taking bookings for July.
Charlotte Falkenau – a partner at Segais Hair and Beauty in Wantage – said that she will wait for confirmation from the government about a date before allowing appointments.
She said: “Fortunately the salon is quite large, so we will be able to keep customers and staff at a safe distance.
“We have also followed our common sense and implemented separate entry and exit doors.”
“We are also figuring out how to do staggered bookings.”
Ms Falkenau is not the only one who is worried about ‘failing customers’ expectations’ if the government chooses to delay the reopening of the non-essential businesses.
Head stylist and owner of the Abingdon-based salon The Look Jodie Rudman confirmed she hopes to reopen soon but is also ‘reluctant’ to take bookings.
She said: “We have implemented a lot of changes and are ready to go.
“However, we want the clients to feel comfortable when making appointments and unfortunately I cannot promise them that we will reopen in July.
“I do not want to upset anybody as people have been waiting for months to get their hair done.”