To holiday or not to holiday? That is still the question. We hairdressers are renowned for our holiday chit-chat – not least because everyone tends to plan hair appointments around travel plans and various holiday celebrations. That said, the emphasis has changed a little in the chair of late. Not so much ‘where should we go?’ as ‘should we go at all?’ What with the fast changing traffic-light system, the concern over self-isolating and the near certainty of expensive testing, staycations for many are looking better and better…if only everyone’s garden furniture would arrive. But thankfully, home or away, we all still want to look good and the salon is thriving. And, besides the latest style trends and techniques, so are other topics of conversation.
Because it appears we’re also pretty clued up on current affairs. A fair representation of concerns can be summed up in two questions on everyone’s lips: ‘Do you plan to keep safety procedures in place beyond freedom day?’ And: ‘Is the country opening up too soon?’ Sure, many are encouraged by the recent drop in Covid cases, some a little more hopeful than others. The range of experiences is as diverse as our clients. And as hairdressers we do what we’ve always done… we listen and we care.
One of the issues we’ve had to confront as a salon is to mask or not to mask. We have 27 utterly professional staff keen to know and follow salon policy. Naturally in a perfect world (which it never is!) we’d all prefer not to be wearing masks for eight hours a day. Anyway, I was gearing up to tell them when our receptionist Nikki happened to be placing a weekly order for products. She waltzed into the staff room, a beacon of smiling light as usual, and asked straightforwardly, “Cath, am I still ordering masks?” Everyone went quiet and looked at me. “Yes,” I replied. “Get ten boxes.” Sorted. While we’d all like to get back to lip reading while the hairdryer is going, we had no intention of dropping our guard now.
After getting past the initial space suits and visors last year, it’s been a total pleasure looking after our clients to a higher standard than ever, and the sighs of relief under masked faces when we reassure them of our safe environment is worth every effort!
Since lockdown ended, I and the rest of the staff have racked up a few cycles of six-week appointments plus quite a few late-night haircuts to catch up. We’re all due a bit of a break but even those staycations are not without hassle. Cornwall in the camper van, I thought, just the job. But even the most cursory Google of things to do and places to eat throws up much the same message…’services limited due to Covid’
Back in the salon, how lucky we are that creativity isn’t limited…no matter how hard Covid tries to beat us. As we discovered when a few (extremely frustrated, apologetic, vaccinated and tested) sought-after stylists found themselves isolating due to the pingdemic.
At the best of times, fitting in clients can be a work of art. Amending and rescheduling needs divine inspiration, especially when you absolutely do not want to use that dreaded phrase ‘services limited due to Covid’.
Everyone was extremely understanding but, let’s face it, if someone messes with you hair appointment it’s pretty disappointing. After all, it could be your holiday hair!
So, until the next ping, we can offer a full helping of style inspiration, new looks and summer colours, (whether you’ll be showing it off in Greece, on the beaches of Cornwall or with your feet in the paddling pool in the garden).
Not to mention the excellent coffee. And I do believe we even have the latest edition of Vogue back