As hairdressers, barbers reopen, customers inquire Are you vaccinated? – Trinidad & Tobago Express Newspapers

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WHILE some hairdressers and barbers are seeing a steady flow of clients since the reopening of the personal services sector last week Monday, the most asked questioned before an appointment is booked is ‘are you vaccinated’?
The nation’s hairdressers and barbers were ordered by the Government to hang up their scissors and close their salons as it implemented a state of emergency with a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. after Covid-19 cases spiked in April.
Speaking to the Express on Monday, Roxanne Ishmael-Harnarayan, owner of Roxanne Beauty Salon in San Fernando reported that she had a steady flow of her regular customers last week.
She said her salon is operating by appointments only which makes it easier in order to sanitise properly after every client.
“We know people are concerned whether you are vaccinated as hairdressing requires close contact between the customer and the hairdresser. So when clients call to book an appointment, I tell them upfront that my staff and I are fully vaccinated. The general consensus that I am hearing especially from colleagues up the islands is that they only want vaccinated hairdressers attending to them,” Ishmael-Harnarayan said.
One of the directors of Annel’s de Beaute Salon and Spa services in the East, Ann Grant, said as the green light was given by the Prime Minister on August 21 to reopen the industry the bookings began.
According to Grant, last week was hectic for her not just because the industry was closed for almost 4 months, but three of her staff were not vaccinated and clients requested that only vaccinated persons attend to them.
“Two have since taken their first shot while the other hairdresser is still deciding on whether she should or should not take the vaccine. It was tough for me the first week, but I made through, as I am well-seasoned in the business. I can hold out until the other hairdressers are fully vaccinated,” Grant remarked.
And Kerry Mohammed, owner of KOR Salon and Spa at Gaston Court, Lange Park, Chaguanas said the first week was not the mad rush which was expected, however clients are still booking.
Mohammed said this is because people are still sceptical of coming back out and then the question arises of vaccinated or unvaccinated.
“We are taking vaccinated and unvaccinated clients, but when they call the customer wants to ensure the person attending to them is vaccinated. In a hairdressing salon it’s a more controlled environment than a supermarket or a pharmacy. Also with appointments only, you are not able to see 40 clients a day. That’s now cut in half, with the same amount of overhead expenses to be paid,” said Mohammed.
Also, he noted that he slashed his prices in half to make it more affordable to everyone, especially in these times where some persons are still not working.
Owner of Professional Barbering and Beauty School located in Maloney and Trincity, Donald James, explained that there was no rush last week for men to get their hair cut as the entertainment industry is still closed and there is not much cultural activity available at this time.
“Also with appointments only you have fewer clients, as before Covid people will walk off the street and get a haircut. But now customers do not want to be mixing with others in the barber shop, which is understandable in these times. I’m happy the industry has reopened and it’s just for the other sectors to reopen, so that we can start seeing more clients,” James said.
And owner of Boss Cuts Barbershop in Las Cuevas Jay Nmbatt said the first week back out, his regular clients returned and it was a busy week as the their hair had not been trimmed or marked in close to four months.
Nmbatt said while he still has a flow, he expressed the same sentiments as James that with the entertainment industry still being closed his customers are not rushing to cut their hair as before.
“You would have the client who is going to a wedding or funeral, but not like how it used to be before with several persons attending parties and different events weekly,” Nmbatt said.
All the hairdressers and barbers that Express Business spoke with said they are hopeful that Government will not impose a third lockdown on the industry.
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WHILE some hairdressers and barbers are seeing a steady flow of clients since the reopening of the personal services sector last week Monday, the most asked questioned before an appointment is booked is ‘are you vaccinated’?
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