HAIR stylists in Worcester have revealed the new look of their salons and barbershops ahead of re-opening from Saturday.

The city's hairdressers can begin trading again from July 4 as long as they are 'Covid-secure'.

Steve Harley, of Toni & Guy in The Foregate, said: “We have been running around like mad getting everything ready. It has been a long process but customer and staff safety comes first in everything we do. It is a new world. It will feel strange at first but we will soon get used to it. I am so buzzing to re-open and see all my wonderful clients again. It has been emotional speaking with them on the phone and booking in appointments.”

He added: "As soon as you walk in there is a custom-built hand sanitiser station and temperatures will be taken by a forehead scanner. Then the clients will be directed to take off their coat and place it in a sterile bag which is disinfected after each use. We have a designated PPE room and every client will be provided with a PPE pack including mask, gloves and disposable towels and apron.

“We have reduced our staff from six to three and each customer will have a staggered arrival so no customers will cross one another on the shop floor. Instead of taking 13 clients per stylist we will only be able to see nine per day.

“Staff have been on intense training courses and webinars and have all achieved certificates in the gold standard of hygiene as well as training and how to correctly use PPE and approach clients.

“The things that head office have been doing behind the scenes is just phenomenal. We couldn’t be more prepared if we tried.”

Salons and other 'close contact services' must keep a temporary record of all clients and visitors for 21 days in case there is an outbreak.

This would enable NHS Test and Trace to easily contact anyone who has been in close contact with an infected individual, telling them to self-isolate.

Tabitha Wilkinson, from Beauty By Tabitha in St John’s, said: “Our hair stylists are desperate to get back to work on the 4th of July. They have been rostered over 7 days a week with late nights to try and meet client demand.

“To limit the numbers within the salon we have removed waiting areas; there will be a strict appointment system in operation – our online booking system is up and running with consultations via zoom (wherever possible). Our phone lines will be open from Monday 29th of June.

“Screens and safety areas have been marked out in the salon with increased spacing between chairs over all floors. Our stylists will be wearing appropriate PPE and there are facilities for frequent handwashing and sanitising stations available throughout; thorough and regular cleaning of communal areas and chairs after each client will be in place.

“We have completed a full Covid-19 Risk Assessment and updated our General Risk Assessment to meet current guidelines.

“Although the past few months have been challenging with so much uncertainty, the continued support from our clients and staff including the local community has been amazing.”

Helena Beale, from Wicked Hair in Worcester High Street, said: “We are asking our clients to wait outside until their stylist gets them. They will be temperature checked on arrival, hand sanitiser will also be used at reception.

“There will only be five stylists and one colourist in at a time. They will have their own zones to work in which are all at two metre distance.

“We will all have our own trolleys and equipment which will be sanitised after every client. All chairs will also be cleaned down after every client, we will be wearing visors at all times and masks when we shampoo.

“There are dividers between each chair. No drinks or magazines are allowed but clients can bring their own.

“We have two teams, so one team at the start of the week and the other team towards the end to stop cross contamination and also helps if one side has to self-isolate, then we always have another team.”

Rory Curtis, owner of Charlie Parker’s Cut Throat & Coffee barbershop in Barbourne Road, said: “We have all barbers wearing gloves, visor and masks. It will be appointment only, clients will be told not to be late or early. We will be using disposable gowns for clients and aprons for the barbers. The shop will also be fitted with a hands free soap dispenser which the clients will be directed they use as they enter. Social distancing signs and instructions are to be shown around the shop.”

Natalie Adams, of Peel & Adams Gentleman's Grooming in New Street, said: “We have been working hard getting the shop ready to open back up on the Saturday 4th July.

“We will now be working by appointments only with no waiting area, we are trying to accommodate our customers with varied appointment times. As advised all stylists will be wearing visors, a fresh gown will be used for each customer, the stations will be cleaned in between each customer, and hand sanitizer and hand washing facilities will be available on entry."

Hanna Kubiciel, from Esthetique Beauty Clinic in Lowesmoor, said: “We have refurbished the entire interior, repainted and equipped with new furniture. This is including security screens, sanitisers, PPE and protection clothes for employees to ensure the safety of our employees and clients.

“We are excited, but also a slightly worried wondering whether all the precautions we have taken will work. Two months without clients, without work and suddenly you need to be in a completely new reality.

“It will be unusual for my clients that we will not be able to offer them any drinks. Also, won’t give them anything to read. The only reading is the one brought by the client and their own drink is allowed.

“After entering the salon, you need to sanitise your hands and there may be fewer customers in the salon.”

Andrea Bourne, from Barbertown in St John’s, said: “Since May, we have been focusing on the practical work of re-designing our parlours to make our shops Covid secure. We have added additional workstations to ensure the barbers chairs are 2m apart, our waiting rooms are more spacious, we have added social distancing stickers and perspex screens in the shop and around the till for more protection.

“Our biggest change is moving from a walk -in service to an online booking system on our website.

“The last few weeks have proved more challenging for us, as the Government guidelines on close contact services were only released on 23rd June. This 40 page guidance covers a range of things that we need to get in place before we open. Things like risk assessments to establish what control measures to put in place, the level of PPE required, social distancing measures, stricter hygiene procedures, staff training and much more. There is a lot of ground to cover in a short space of time so we are doing our very best to ready for what we have nick-named as ‘Trim-dependence Day.’

“We were over the moon to be reopening on 4th July was confirmed, we have missed being behind the chair and banter with our customers. We cannot wait to get back and see those home trims and 70’s mullets. We have had the setback and now we are well and truly, ready for the comeback.”

Lloyd Baker, from Journey Hair Beauty Aesthetics, in Copenhagen Street, said: “The past 14 weeks have been spent preparing, learning new skills and ensuring that the team are all trained and certified for the ‘new normal’ in hair dressing, styling.

“Every one of the eight-hair team have been on the Barbicide training course during the lockdown period.

“Barbicide is the global leader of disinfection in the professional beauty industry and is synonymous with the highest standards of hygiene and introduced a COVID-19 training course which all of the Journey styling team have successfully completed.

“Hand sanitising stations have been installed and the boutique will be sanitised minutes after every client contact point.

“All of the team will be wearing PPE and while clients won’t be forced to wear masks, they will be encouraged to do what they feel most comfortable doing to feel safe.

“Gone may be the lovely cups of coffee and magazines and swelling of clients swapping stories but this will be replaced with a safe appointment based system with clients being consulted in advance by zoom calls on what they want from their appointment so that timings can be military executed to avoid waiting.

“Clients will be sent a text when their appointment time is ready so that they won’t have to wait.”