You can go to the hairdresser, but don’t expect a massage!

Finally women (and men) can get rid of that awful lockdown hairstyle with hair salons that opened their doors this week.

However, salons have to follow strict safety regulations and hairdressers had to implement drastic changes in order to adhere to the regulations.

Besides the normal precautionary measures like face masks and 1.5 meter social distancing, strict measures are to be taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19. For instance, all common areas must be sanitised before and after each customer, clean towels must be used for each customer, time limits must be set for each treatment and “no unnecessary touching and no scalp, neck or shoulder massages at the basin is allowed.

Customers must all be screened before entering the salon and complete a questionnaire. The hairdresser must keep a meticulous register of all customers visiting the salon.

Hairdressers in Hartbeespoort agree it is not an easy adjustment, but they are all just too happy to be back at work again.

“It is a nuisance but that is irrelevant because I can work again,” says hairdresser Yolanda de Beer. “If you have a passion for your work, like I do, it is easy to accommodate the inconvenience. It is amazing to see my customers again. The only problem I really have, is the masks. We communicate with customers in the mirror and now you cannot see expressions! That is not easy.”

Surina Weyers says the biggest inconvenience is the process of allowing clients into the salon. The screening and registering is time consuming, and then the masks… it is not pleasant working with a mask. And I cannot even offer my clients a cup of coffee!”

“It is also expensive to adhere to the regulations. Because every client has to use a clean towel, I had to buy disposable towels and capes. Sanitiser is also expensive and the whole salon has to be sanitised regularly. Concerning the ban on massaging a scalp while washing hair… I am waiting for the massage police to come and arrest me.”

Hairdresser Johan Snyman agrees. “How do you wash hair without massaging a scalp? I really don’t know. The regulations are strict and we will have to monitor our operations closely,” he says.

“And it costs quite a bit of money to operate under these conditions. Chairs and work areas have to be sanitised before and after each client, and there are other costs involved in order to adhere to the regulations. The bulky documentation to be completed with each customer is also a pain, but I am just so happy to be working again. It is wonderful to see my clients and to earn money after three months of no income.”

What to do…
• Make an appointment. You will not be allowed in without one
• Wear a mask at all times
• Sanitise before you enter the shop
• Pay contactless by tapping your bank card or by electronic transfer
• If you have to pay with cash, sanitise your hands afterwards
• Stay at least 1.5 metres away from other clients
• Sanitise your hands upon leaving the salon

What not to do…
• Avoid touching surfaces unnecessarily
• Don’t touch your face
• Don’t arrive early, you will not be allowed to wait your turn in the salon.
• Don’t take a family member or friend with as they will not be allowed in the salon.
• Don’t go to the salon if you feel ill
• Rather refrain from going to the hairdresser if you are 60 or older and with an underlying illness
And, don’t expect a scalp massage or a cup of coffee while you are at the hairdresser… regulations strictly forbid it!