Life After Lockdown

By Hair Advisor UK

COVID-19 has affected people and businesses in numerous ways. Businesses were forced to shut at the peak of the pandemic and hair salons were impacted by this. After being shut for over 4 months, the UK government announced that on the 4th of July they could reopen up as long as they adhered to safety measures.

It’s now been 3 months since re-opening, we checked in with black hair service providers and members of the community to see how their experience has changed.

 

 

Beyond Glam- Hair Salon

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your salon

“Beyond Glam salon was founded 10years ago. I was 22 years old just finishing university and I felt like hairdressing  was my calling. I was introduced to the hairdressing business at age 13 . My Aunty had a salon and she saw my talent at that age so she gave me a Saturday job at her salon. I immediately felt in love and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. At the time there was no luxury salon for Afro hair. My vision and dream was to open a salon that was beautifully decorated with luxury standards and offers a high standard of services. 

Our luxury salon is situated in crouch hill (Islington) . Our salon is run by myself (Sandra Simmons) and my team of highly trained and experienced staff. We are committed to not only providing you with a first class service in hair extensions, hair care, wigs, beauty treatments and make-up, but also strive to deliver an excellent customer service experience.”

What has changed since reopening?

“A lot has changed since reopening as we now have to wear face coverings while doing clients hair. We can’t have more than 4 customers in at a time. We have always run our business by appointments only so that hasn’t really affected us. We have seen an increase in new customers as opposed to our usual customers. A lot of our old customers have either lost their job or are working from home so they don’t really need their hair done now.”

Any difficulties implementing safety measures?

“I think the only difficulty we’ve had implementing safety measures are the face coverings. Because we are using a lot of blow dryers at the salon and it gets hot so it’s a bit frustrating having to wear the mask all day.”

What did you miss the most being away from operating your services?

“For me I missed the customers and the staff and the banter we had at work.”

How do you ensure customers feel safe?

“Before we opened I made sure to send an email to all our customers letting them know about the new safety measures to ensure everyone’s safety. Everyone has to wash their hands and sanitise before seating. Customers’ coats and jackets are put away in a separate room. All working stations are cleaned properly after each client.  And they have to wear a mask.”

Lastly, one major lesson learnt since COVID-19?

“One lesson I have learnt from Covid is tomorrow is never promised so live your best life and be kind to everyone.”

 

 

Grace Braider- Home Salon

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your salon

“My salon is a private suite at home in Ireland. I have been running it for over a year now, however I have 13 years of experience in braiding. I am specialised in braids and any Afrocentric hairstyles.”

What has changed since reopening?

“Since the reopening what has changed is that clients are more demanding for box braids than any other hairstyles they claim it will last them longer before they do another trip to me and they are trying to avoid contact with people which I agree with their feedback. I have also reduced the number of bookings per day, I went from 5 clients depending on the hairstyle to 1 or 2 clients per day.”

Any difficulties implementing safety measures?

“So far I haven’t had any difficulties in implementing the Covid -19 safety regulations and clients have been complying to them without any struggles.”

What did you miss the most being away from operating your services?

“What I missed the most during lockdown is the smileI put on my client’s face once their hair is done. Their smile is what keeps me going and I really missed it, it almost felt like something was taken away from me.”

How do you ensure customers feel safe?

“To ensure my clients safety, I send them an email explaining the measures that’s being taken on the premises ,upon customers arrivals, I will be wearing my face mask and sanitise my hands in front of them. I also ask them to do the same. Followed by my new tag line “THIS IS THE NEW NORMAL“ then we laugh and proceed with their appointment.”

Lastly, one major lesson learnt since COVID-19?

Since Covid I’ve learnt that the time doesn’t stop but YOU, therefore it is important to keep going and adapt to anything. 

 

 

Member of the Community

What hair service did you get?

Name of Salon: Anonymous

Service received: Hair wash and Feed in braids which took about 3 hours

Date of service: 12/09/2020

 

What has changed since your return to a hair salon/stylist? 

“When booking my appointment, I was asked a series of questions before my booking was accepted. For example- if I had had COVID or had been in contact with anyone that had, If I had been abroad recently etc. I was also told not to bring company as well as bring as little belongings as possible. As another safety measure I was told to ensure I had a mask with me for my appointment and hand sanitisers.

The first thing I noticed when I went to get my hair done was that it was not as busy as it usually would be. There was a quarter of a fraction of the amount of people that I would normally see on a weekend. Additionally not all staff were present.

What has changed since your return to a hair salon/stylist? 

I have only been to the salon once since reopening and I think I will definitely reduce the amount of times I go going forward. During the lockdown, I learnt alot about how to take care of my hair and treat it without having to go to a professional. I feel like I now understand what my hair needs and can cater to all of this without having to go to a salon all the time. Usually I would go to a salon at least once a month but now I’ll aim to only go every other month. It’ll give me a chance to get to know my hair even more!”

How did it feel finally being able to go back to get your hair done?

“It was definitely an amazing feeling being able to go back to the salon. I had missed being around my hairstylist and the cheeky salon gossip sessions. It also really felt good leaving the salon with my hair slayed.”

Did you feel safe?

“I definitely felt very safe going on my visit to the salon. There were dividers in between the hair basins, hooded dryers and appointment chairs. Everyone was also wearing a mask and the stylists all had PPE visors on. There were also hand sanitisers placed all around as well as rules pertaining to the salon in relation to COVID-19. There was even a time when a client came in slightly earlier than their appointment and they were asked to wait outside as they had reached full capacity!”

Lastly, one major lesson learnt since COVID-19?

“Life comes at you fast, make every minute count!”

 

 

Want to know more about Beyond Glam and Grace Braider?

Instagram: @beyondglam

Hair Advisor Profile: https://www.hairadvisor.co/salons/beyond-glam/

Instagram: @grace_braider

Hair Advisor Profile: https://www.hairadvisor.co/salons/grace-braider/

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