HAIRDRESSERS are bracing themselves to be overwhelmed when salons open again, with clients already trying to book appointments for the expected July 20 reopening.
Hairdressers are currently expected to open in the fourth phase of the roadmap to recovery after Covid-19.
The Irish Hairdressers Federation yesterday highlighted that hairdressers are being offered up to €200 for a haircut on the black market. The federation wants the hairdressing sector to be able to reopen in the third phase, at the end of June.
Owner of The Edge salon on Emmet Place, Eileen McGrath, agreed that clients are contacting hairdressers looking for hair treatments before the reopening of salons.
She said: "We have been asked to do black market work but under no circumstances would we do that. It is not something we would even entertain."
She said that the efforts of her and her staff are directed at preparing for reopening on July 20, as a rush of people have contacted them to book appointments.
She said bookings are not yet being taken, as the focus must first be put on how to implement policies including social distancing in the salon.
Ms McGrath said one of the areas being considered is the removal of every second seat in the salon, as well as lengthening the working day by splitting up the staff into different teams.
She said: "We have to make our environment seamless for everybody."
She moved to reassure customers who had appointments made prior to the outbreak of Covid-19 that they would be rescheduled as a priority.
She expects to be in a position to allocate appointments next month.
And she said consultations may be done virtually to find out what exactly a client wants, to help lessen their time in the salon.
She added: "We have to also allocate people who are cocooning times too."
Magazines will no longer be available, she said.
Meanwhile, Valerie Finnegan-Cahill of Ikon hair design said she has been swamped with emails, texts, and messages through Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn from people looking for appointments.
She said: "It is incredible. There were enquiries before last Friday's announcement by Leo Varadkar but the floodgates have opened since then."
While looking forward to eventually returning to the salon, she said: "As much as I want to see all our clients, the important thing now is that their experience with us is going to be safe as well as enjoyable."
She said a waiting list has not been opened as yet but it is hoped that it will be up and running in the coming days.
She said that customers will have to have their appointments staggered to help with social distancing.
She added that Ikon were just weeks from moving to a new premises on Marlboro Street from Oliver Plunkett Street, before the arrival of Covid-19, and the move will now coincide with the reopening on July 20.