"Mixed emotions of all sorts but mostly excited to be back" - that was how stylist Lydia Greer at Shed hair salon on French Church Street described being back to work today.
The salon is operating on an appointment-only system and like most hair establishments has already been inundated with requests for appointments.
"I think taking on the UN would be a lot easier after navigating my way through appointments this week," Ms Greer laughed.
"We’re just doing one client at a time. We’re doing 12-13 hour shifts and we have about five clients a day.
"We’re sharing shifts, so we’re doing three to four days each so that if one group contaminates, there will still be one able to work," she explained.
For health and safety reasons, teas or coffees and magazines cannot be provided and customers are asked to wear a face mask and undergo a temperature check prior to entering the salon.
"It’s very different really and it feels like not a full service that you would normally give your clients.
"Everyone loves their coffee and everyone loves to come in and relax so although they’re really happy to get their hair done and we’re delighted to be back, there’s just a part of it missing for now," Ms Greer said.
"Everyone has been very respectful though and I think they feel glad that we have the procedures in place as they feel comfortable and confident coming in,” she added.
Equally in Bounce Hair Salon in the Market Parade, salon owner Melissa Corrigan said despite the need to adapt to new regulations, she is delighted to be back open and making her way through her waiting lists.
"It’s like the Christmas rush. I was their favourite person when I rang them up! I felt like a celebrity!
"They were so excited to hear my voice,” she laughed.
Ms Corrigan is leaving an empty seat in between clients to ensure social distancing, which has meant fewer clients in the salon at any one given time.
Despite this and other changes she has had to make, Ms Corrigan said she is fortunate that people have been patient and understanding.
"As much as we’d love to fit everyone in straight away that’s obviously not possible but clients were very understanding."
On Parliament Street, there was a similar air of jubilance from customers fortunate enough to get the first appointments at The Asylum Barbershop.
The barbers, which has running for almost three years, was swamped with appointments within less than 24 hours of announcing the reopening.
"Last Saturday at 4pm we put the appointments live on the Booksy app, which is what we use, and by 2pm the next day we had 500 customers booked in,” said co-owner Andrea Raymond.
Ms Raymond and her business partner Leanne Edwards were busy in advance of reopening, making all the necessary changes to the premises to safely recommence operating.
As well as implementing temperature checks and increased sanitisation, the staff have devised innovative techniques to ensure the highest level of health and safety.
"We’re even using lollipop sticks to get the product out so we don’t have to touch it,” Ms Raymond laughed.
"We can’t do beards as of yet because clients have to wear face masks so there will be a lot of hairy beards around but I think they’re just happy to have their hair cut," she said.
"The last guy that left said it was the best day ever,” she laughed.
"Staff have been really good to be fair to them.
"They’re all sticking to the rules and implemented anything we’ve asked. It’s a big change for everyone,” added Ms Edwards.