- September 6, 2021
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By Iola Wyn
Long and untidy hair has been a topic of many jokes during lockdown – but the serious business of reopening salons has now begun.
First Minister Mark Drakeford advised hairdressers and barbers to prepare to restart work on 13 July.
But when they do reopen, they will be very different places to those you could simply walk into, chat to friends or browse magazines.
For a start, there will be strict hygiene rules in place, with hairdressers only be able to accept booked appointments.
For Salon Chiron in Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, there will be no waiting area.
"On arrival, there will be signs up as soon as people come through the door, and there'll be hand sanitizers, " explains Jackie Turner, who runs it.
"If people don't arrive with personal protective equipment, we will have some available, but there will be a cost for that. So we are advising people to come with masks and gloves and their own sanitizers."
Clients will be asked to sign a consultation form declaring whether they have any symptoms.
She added: "We'll also be doing a temperature check when they come in. It's not in the guidance, but we've decided to do it as we'll be temperature testing our staff everyday as well."
Ms Turner said the layout of her salon meant it could be sectioned off fairly easily.
It will be open for a longer period, in order to serve all their customers and to prepare the area between each appointment.
During the lockdown, the team has been keeping in touch with their clients on social media.
"They've been really loyal to us over the years and we just wanted to make sure that they know that we're doing everything possible to ensure their safety when they come back to the salon.
"The technology has been brilliant. We've uploaded funny pictures, just to lighten the mood during this difficult time."
Wendie Williams, who runs Gwallt Wendigedig from her home in Carmarthen, has completed an online course on cleanliness and safety.
"I'll be wearing a visor, and I'll have masks for the customers," she said.
"It will be important to keep the space well ventilated, as you would do in a salon. But of course I've got a family, so I'll lock off the kitchen.
She has had to buy a contactless payment machine and sterilizers – and there are other increased costs, such a packet of hair colouring now costing £30, up from £25.
Anwen Lewis, a mobile hairdresser from Llanon, Aberaeron, in Ceredigion, said she could not wait to open.
"There are some clients who have mentioned that they want me to cut their hair in their garden," she said.
"But that depends on the weather. And if it rains, we would need to cancel the appointment."
However, Ms Lewis does not believe she has received enough information.
"Nothing is set in stone, and I would have appreciated specific guidelines for mobile hairdressers," she added.
She is also considering a slight increase in her fees, in order to cover the cost of the protective equipment.
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