How to score a salon appointment post lockdown
London clinics, spa spaces and salons may be waiting for the green light from the government, but that doesn’t mean you should wait to book your appointment
You might think this is superficial at this time, but doctors, aestheticians and clinic owners all agree that salons are much more than just a place to get your hair, nails or Botox done – they’re a place of comfort. Dr Preema Vig says, 'I, myself, am manning all the emails to the clinic and am in contact with all of my patients, which is wonderful. I'm encouraging my patients to get in touch for bookings, virtual consultations, and a chat – it can be lonely in isolation.'
So get ahead of the stampede and start to line up your appointments now – here’s our cheat sheet on the best way to book a salon appointment post lockdown.
Touch base with your salon or clinicAt Jamie Stevens, the plan is to 'rebook those cancelled appointments as soon as we have a re-opening date. The advantage of this is by using our iCloud software booking system; we can contact these clients remotely. We will be contacting our priority clients first (cancelled appointments during the lockdown period). There’s enough footfall to have the first four weeks fully booked.'
SALON64 is giving priority to those who have had their appointments cancelled due to the outbreak. Then there's a secondary waiting list for those wishing to make a new booking.
Dr Munir Somji at Dr Medispa says, 'We have a tier-based rebooking system. Any patient that previously had an appointment will get priority. Patients that have had video consultations will next get priority, followed by new bookings. We recommend registering your interest now, so your name and contact details can be entered into our system and we will systematically contact patients as soon as appointment slots become available.'
Join a priority booking clubDr Sophie Shotter’s clinic clients have an option to join the VIP priority booking club, which will give priority booking once the diaries are open again. £50 secures a preferred time slot.
Book now and score a discountIf you look around, plenty of clinics are advertising discounts if you book now and make your appointment after the lockdown. Check in with your favourite salon, spa or clinic to see what they are offering. A Culture Whisper favourite is Dr Rita Rakus clinic in Knightsbridge, which is not only offering virtual skincare consultations but also 50% off Post Lockdown Recovery Packages.
How safe is your salon?Check with your salon or spa space before your appointment to see what Covid-19 safeguarding they have in place. As a resource, here is what London salons and medi-spas have planned:
Karine Jackson, founder and director of Karine Jackson and London Hairdresser of the Year, says, 'We will also kindly ask whether clients can do off-peak time appointments or be flexible with times so we can fit everyone in. The team is going to work extra hours to ensure we get you all in as quickly as possible and as near to the time that suits you best. We will be guided by government guidelines, although we will stagger start-times of the team and keep two metres between each hair station. The team will wear masks and gloves and the clients will be expected to wear a mask too and there will be no waiting area.'
Dr Rhonda Eskander reassures us: 'I have placed an order for PPE equipment to ensure everyone is safe. From surgical masks – CE and FDA certified, goggles and coveralls, to infrared thermometers to ensure clients feel fully protected.'
Michael Van Clarke, the Marylebone super-salon, has removed 50% of seating; two staff are dedicated to all-day cleaning rota of surfaces, with hand-washing on entering the building for clients and staff, and hand-washing for staff between every client, plus face masks for staff.
Dr Munir Somji at Dr Medispa goes further, saying: 'all of our staff members completed online Covid healthcare training (the same that is being provided in the NHS).' In addition, the clinic will be 'enforcing social distancing measures, with glass protection covering the reception and stickers in the waiting area to ensure that patients do not sit close to each other. Extra signs have been placed to ensure all patients wash their hands entering and leaving the clinic along with PPE for staff.'
He adds: 'We are also adjusting appointment times, so there is an adequate gap between patients to ensure hygiene protocols are adhered to, and there are not too many patients in the clinic at any one time. Before opening, we are employing the services of a specialist cleaning company. They will be using ultra-low volume fogging machines to ensure that all potentially contaminated areas are sprayed with a disinfectant. All staff will also be swab-tested before commencing work to ensure we do not facilitate any transfer of the virus.'