Salons are re-opening in London on 1 August: here's what to expect
Full salon services have been given the green light to open from the beginning of August – here's what you need to know
According to a survey by Treatwell, visiting a hair and beauty salon is a priority for most people – almost half of those surveyed said it’s in the top three activities they plan to do once lockdown is lifted.
What’s causing the most anxiety? Not being able to go for a haircut is causing the most tension for 41% of people, with 69% saying they are in great need of hair and beauty treatments, while 60% have said they will go to a salon within two weeks of reopening.
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 and everything you need to know about how hair salons will look like after 1 August.
What will salons & spas look like after re-opening on 1 August?
If your salon is small – you might have to queue outside. So take all-weather essentials – umbrella, a light summer woolly and sunblock are probably a good choice for this time of year.
For customers, wearing a face mask is not mandatory, however, some salons are giving them out and encouraging you to wear one.
At Toni & Guy salons, clients will receive single-use protection packs when they arrive, which will include masks, towels and hand sanitisers.
Refreshments will be limited or not available at all (so pack your water bottle).
A blow-dry might be a no-dry depending on your salon’s rules. Kat De Rozario, hair stylist at Josh Wood Atelier told Stylist: '[This is] due to the potential risk of the virus being transmitted through swift airflow and to reduce the time and volume of people in salons.'
So, don’t expect a blow-dry finale at the end – it will be at your salon’s discretion.
Famous for their hair and coffee, SALON64 has replaced cups with reusable branded 'keep-me cups' as well as replacing glassware with single-use options so you can still enjoy a cocktail or two at its private members club – CLUB64.
Live True London salons have said: 'We recognised that space would be an issue, so we’ve redesigned entire sections of our salons with social distancing in mind to accommodate the new way of working.
'We will be using screens and a one-way system for entry and exit, with hand sanitation points and distance markings will be made on the floor.
'Enhanced cleaning will take place throughout the day and this will be regularly monitored and we are also making PPE fully available for our clients and staff.
'We also won’t be able to provide physical magazines for clients; however, we now have e-magazines available which can be accessed through a client’s phone or tablet. These also have the benefit of being environmentally friendly.'
Meanwhile the National Hair and Beauty Federation has asked hairdressers to keep salon chat to a minimum and avoid 'face-to-face discussions with clients'.
On the plus side, you’re going to get the best haircut you’ve had in months – so this new way of working seems a small price to pay.
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. 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 an 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 as 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.'