Aberdeen’s beauty salons and tattoo parlours opened their doors to customers for the first time since lockdown began yesterday, with the occasion marked by careful safety measures and happy reunions with old regulars.
They were among a raft of businesses, also including tailors, that were allowed to reopen on July 22 as phase three of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown progressed.
The long wait has meant many customers were eager to book a spot, as evidenced by the packed schedules of the city’s beauticians.
Among them is the Brow Houz on St Andrew Street, owned by Jordanna Bradley, who talked about the treatments that can be done following government restrictions.
She said: “We’ve been really busy – the rest of the week is fully booked. All the girls and Craig who work here are all really busy.
“We’re doing nails, and we’re doing brows and lashes, any treatments that we can do from either the side or from behind.
“We’re not doing makeup at the moment, because you need to be front on for that, but every other treatment on our menu, we’re offering.”
At Simply Bliss Beauty, the menu for customers has also been reduced to ensure their safety and that of staff.
Assistant manager Sarah Laws said: “At the moment we’re just offering what the Scottish guidelines have said, so body waxing, nails and pedicure.
“We’re not offering facials or massages, or spray tanning.”
A changed menu is not the most visible difference from pre-lockdown days, however.
Jordanna Bradley said: “We’re all in full PPE, so we’ve wearing face masks and we’ve also got shields.
“All the nail desks have got plastic shields on them, and when clients come in they are to have their temperature checked.
“We also make sure they sanitise their hands, they’re wearing face masks and we’ve also been sending out Covid consultation forms prior to their appointment that they’re asked to fill in.”
Sarah said: “I was apprehensive when I came in this morning.
“Obviously me and the owner Lisa have been working hard to get the salon up and running, but it’s gone smoothly, and I think our customers have been so happy getting their nails and all that done.
“It’s made all the difference to them.”
Kev Bailey, who has run tattoo studio Kev’s Inkhouse in the city since 1999, was wearing a face screen as he tattooed his first ‘customer’ today – the man who runs his social media, who was giving him a hand with a new computer system during the session.
His studio is only allowing one customer in the shop at a time, and with the door locked to walk-in customers, appointments can only be made over social media. Masks and hand wash have also been made available.
According to Kev, the guidance given to artists such as himself has been minimal.
He said: “I’m pretty much playing it by ear at the seat of my pants, because nobody’s given us any rules.
“It’s not like how there’s been rules that have been drawn up for pubs, nobody’s come across to me with any for tattoo shops.
“They haven’t with anywhere – they’ve said two metre distance and wear a mask, that’s about it.”
Kev is unsure about the PPE he might be made to wear for the foreseeable future, but he’s still optimistic about times ahead.
“I think it’s going to cause bother, but because I’ve had four months of people wanting tattoos and not being able to get them, I’m pretty sure the first few months are going to be glorious,” he said.