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All change as hair salons across West Berkshire and North Hampshire get set to start snipping again

Hairdressers excited to resume work, but all have to cope with new guidelines

Sarah Bosley


01635 886655

All change as hair salons across West Berkshire and North Hampshire get set to start snipping again

Dan Abram-Smith (left) and Julian Hendy of Julian’s

The wait is nearly over.

Hair salons across the district will open their doors again on Saturday and begin to deal with the array of lockdown cuts that we’ve all been forced to endure.

Many are now booked up until well into the summer as they try to deal with the backlog of appointments that has built up over the past three months.

But many stylists and salon owners are warning that it is going to be a very different experience from now on.

At Julian’s, which has salons in Newbury and Thatcham, customers will notice hand sanitiser units all around the salon, chairs much more spaced out and no receptionists.

Owner Duncan McClure Fisher said: “Going into the crisis we were faced with the very real possibility of making 25 talented employees redundant.

“The support received from the Government furlough scheme and Newbury council’s grant has been incredible.

“We took advantage of a NatWest bounce back loan to prepare the salon for socially distanced operation while also redecorating – including a new floor in our Thatcham branch.

“Our team has been amazing and can’t wait to welcome our clients to a safe and welcoming environment.”

Sarah Jones (pictured above), who runs Jones Hairdressing in Woolton Hill, said she was excited to be opening again, but admitted it had been a stressful few weeks getting ready.

“I will be working more hours to start with to catch up and I’ve had to allow an extra half an hour between clients to clean everything down,” she said.

“I have had to send out a list of new rules to all my clients too as they will now have to wait outside and I will go out to collect them and I won’t be able to offer drinks anymore.”

She said she has purchased hundreds of pounds worth of new equipment, including disposable gowns, shoe covers and a gazebo for anyone wishing to have their hair cut outside, which has meant she has had to increase her prices slightly.

And she isn’t the only one. 

Jim Taylor, owner of Legends Barbers, has also been forced to increase his prices to meet the soaring new costs of opening under strict new guidelines and he worries what the future may hold for his business.

He said: “Normally I run a walk-in shop, with seven stations, but I can now only have four barbers working at once and we have to do appointments.

“I don’t know how barbers are going to keep going like this. It’s going to be a nightmare.

“We’ve spent about £3,000 to get ready to reopen and it’s going to be a whole new game.

"It’s terrifying and I have had a lot of sleepless nights over it.

“My takings will be pretty much halved, but all my overheads will be the same.”

Staff at Julian's send a message to all of their clients (above)

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