As hairdressers across Scotland prepare to reopen, the owners of one family salon have explained the “massive” changes in place to help protect against coronavirus.
Liza Harper, 46, owns The Lunatic Fringe in Glasgow’s west end with her sister Shireen Inglis, 41.
Halving the number of staff and customers in the salon is one of the key changes being made for reopening on Wednesday, along with stylists wearing personal protective equipment including masks, visors and disposable aprons.
Customers will wait outside ahead of their appointment, use sanitiser on arrival, put their belongings such as jackets in a bag instead of hanging them up, and they will also be given a disposable apron to wear.
Screens are in place for extra protection, including at reception and around the sinks used for hair washing.
Equipment, including hairdryers and seats, will be sanitised between appointments, and a single member of staff will deal with each customer throughout to limit contact.
Ms Harper told the PA news agency: “The health and safety of our clients and our staff is paramount. There are lots of salons which seem to be doing very little.
“They haven’t got screens or they are operating the same hours with the same amount of staff.
“I feel we’ve gone above and beyond, but we’re more comfortable with that and we think our customers appreciate that.”
Trying to limit contact as much as possible means fewer staff and customers in the salon at a time.
“It’s a massive change for us,” Ms Harper said.
“Normally we would do many more clients in a day. It’s really limiting things for us and I think that’s why so many places are not reopening, it’s just not viable for some people.”
She said the response since they resumed taking appointments has been “unbelievable”, and the salon is fully booked for several weeks.
Putting the changes in place has cost “considerably more” than £1,000 and the salon plans a surcharge to cover those expenses, but Ms Harper said customers have been understanding of the increase.
She added: “I’m very grateful that we have been able to reopen and hope that going forward we will be able to keep going.
“It’s been really, really tough. When lockdown was announced we worried about how we were going to keep going.
“Furlough has helped us massively, without that I don’t know how we would have coped.
“We wanted to fight to keep things going, my sister and I have been here for almost 15 years, it’s our livelihood and we love it.”