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This pandemic has shown us many things, but one thing that’s standing out in more ways than one- we are all going grey and nobody is a natural blonde anymore! Without my usual blonde balayage as dramatic as it sounds, I felt like I was lost and was a shell of my former, sassy self so when I heard hairdressers were re-opening with 3 weeks to spare until my birthday? You bet I booked right in and gave then my x-factor worthy sob story to make sure it was before the 4th of August! Like, I hadn’t had my hair coloured since January and was also booked in for March but yano, lockdown happened and all, so my hair was a full on neglect case and my rug is now forever stained with root conceal spray, it was a cute rug whilst she lasted.
Anyway, dramatics aside lol (although was totally true tho), I got booked in the week after they re-opened and as you can imagine I was proper buzzing… but also felt extremely nervous, too. What was a hairdresser’s going to be like post-lockdown? Would I feel comfortable? How would I feel wearing a mask for 3+ hours? Would I be safe? I did have a lot of anxiety before my appointment even though I had a slight idea of what to expect at Ola Hair due to them kindly uploading photos of inside the salon to show people what to expect (great idea ladies!)
Now, I have been attending Ola’s for little over a year now and my hairdresser Christy is like the queen of a balayage! Also, she puts up with my moans and freaking out about my blonde so she’s a keeper xo. They really did go all out with their return through social media promotion and how they corona-proofed the salon itself to ease people into the new normal. However, here I present to you- What to expect from a salon in a pandemic: The vain b*tch edition. Bringing you my honest opinion and my tips for being salon ready!
[Salon Featured: Ola Hair- Greenock]
Now, my salon had uploaded a lot of posts about what to expect in the build up to re-opening which had even included photos of inside the salon and how they all look in their new ‘fit. Information on payment (they accept both cash and card) and that if you did not have a face mask with you, you could purchase one for a small fee as it was essential to wear one inside during your appointment. It will look a bit like this during your appointment-
You were to attend appointments on time and being anymore than 10 minutes late would result in them strictly not being able to take you. You were to attend no earlier than your appointment and in doing so may have resulted in you having to stand outside until your hairdresser was ready for you (and if you live in Scotland, you bet you’ll be soakin’ from doing so am I right?) I also had to pay a £20 deposit to secure my booking online which is completely understandable due to the high demand all hairdresser’s must be experiencing right now. I also had to fill in a form online which asked if I had coloured my hair during lockdown and to say what I wanted done to my hair when I visited which I thought was an amazing idea to speed up the process and help manage their time more effectively!
NEW HAIR- WHO DIS?
So, as I arrived at the salon my hairdresser - Christy - was at the door inside to greet me. Once I got in it did feel a bit overwhelming at first as you didn’t know what you could and couldn’t do “is it okay to put my bottle down?” “am I standing in the right place?” “is it an apocalypse? Wake upppp” I almost felt like I would get into trouble or something if I messed up it was such a strange experience at first but having your hairdresser there to guide you definitely helped. Once inside I was instructed to sanitise my hands (I also chose to sanitise my bottle, model pupil guys xo) and Christy checked my temperature before showing me to the chair I would be spending the next 3hrs being masked and fabulous in!
Once seated, instead of the usual black capes I was instead dressed in 2 disposable plastic capes-
and any belongings I had with me instead of the usual hanging my jacket up VIP treatment, I placed them on the floor beside me, same went for my bottle and bag and the shelf in front of me I would normally put my bottle on was not to be used.
Communicating through face masks felt so strange- more so cause I’m totally deaf with others wearing one! Ngl, totally hated the whole face mask wearing experience. With hair getting moved around everywhere I felt so hot and stuffy and almost like I was wearing a gas mask to send me to sleep! I don’t know how key workers do it. I would definitely recommend bringing water with you for “breaks” to pull the mask down for a drink as it definitely helps so much. Also, I have found face masks can make me a bit dizzy with all the blowing hot air in my face and all, so keeping hydrated is the best tip I can give you all! Plus, it aids glowing skin apparently so go all out xo
To the left of me separating me and another customer was a perspex screen which, seeing as they were see through, I didn’t feel too shut off from everything (and good 'cos nobody puts baby in the corner yano xo)
When I was sitting waiting on my hair developing, I noticed ALL of the hairdressers constantly spraying an anti-bacterial spray on all items such as hairbrushes, trolleys, clips, scissors- anything they use on multiple people. They really did take their hygiene seriously.
When you get your hair washed, they no longer use towels either. In its place is a kind of large paper towel like thing which I did notice doesn’t really dry the hair as good as a towel but does seem to be disposable and that of course is all for a greater cause!
After my hair was done you are instructed to spin your chair round, take your belongings over to the what once was the waiting area. Take off your plastic cape and bin it before going on to pay for your hair at the desk (with your deposit of course being deducted) You will probably notice that there is an increase in costs in all salons ATM however, given all the equipment and expenses such as disposable towels, capes, the staffs daily face masks and also anti-bac sprays to keep us all safe they require, I am totally okay with that. It’s money well spent in my opinion.
My top tips are- Take a bottle of water to stay hydrated and to take a break with your mask when it feels overwhelming. Avoid taking bulky jackets, large bags or a lot of belongings, especially expensive ones, as they may be on the floor for a bit and you don’t want anything being spoiled or damaged (leave the LV totes at home). Remember your phone! There are no magazines available and with limited contact with others, during long hair appointments, a phone will get you through! If you struggle to hear others with masks on, give your hairdresser a head’s up beforehand so they know to speak up and help you feel less awkward if you have to say ‘what’ like 3 times (guilty xo) Perhaps leave the make-up at home gals, I know, I know, I’m a mood killer. Unlike normal appointments though where you could fix that bit of foundation that was washed off during the process, you have zero opportunity to do this after your appointment girls so maybe don’t make immediate plans after unless you can get access to a mirror out-width the salon before the plans. But my biggest tip of all? Try enjoy the experience- you’ll be leaving with fresh hair and you waited months for this, hun!
When you get out that salon, you’ll whip that mask off and honestly, the feeling is up there with taking your bra off after a long day ngl! I was swishing my hair about in the wind and instantly felt back to my sassy self again and what a feeling that is.
Stay Safe, Stay Sassy & Stay Local, your hairdressers are on to it trust me! Happy Hair Transformations, huns.