Hair salon waiting lists are already in their thousands ahead of the weekend

So what will hairdressers look like when they reopen their doors?

(Image credit: Buller + Rice)

So what will hairdressers look like when they reopen their doors?

'When are hairdressers opening?' has been one of the country's most burning questions as lockdown eases. Last week, Boris Johnson announced that salons would be able to reopen their doors from the 4th of July, sending those desperate for a cut into a frenzy.

But even before the announcement came, salon waiting lists up and down the country were already in their hundreds and thousands.

For example, TONI&GUY, who have 172 salons across the UK, are seeing an average waiting list of around 500 people per salon, with as many as 1,000 for the Sloane Square flagship in London.

Meanwhile London-based HARI's, who have four outposts in the south of the capital, have had their waiting list open for the last month and amassed 2,000 eager sign-ups.

'As a business, we have been working towards the reopening date of July 4th to ensure that our teams, clients and salons are ready, so for us it's business as normal today,' says their Salon Director Lucan Salem.

'We have spent the past three weeks contacting every one of those clients, securing bookings (with a 50% deposit) for the reopening, and have managed to book everyone in.'

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Buller and Rice, who have two branches in North and East London, opened their waiting list six weeks ahead of the 4th of July. 'We now have a strong database of over 1,300 clients (and rising) wishing to be secure appointments,' explains co-founder Stephen Buller. 'We are personally contacting everyone on that list and making sure we get them booked in as soon as possible.

'However when we open, we won’t be encouraging members of the public to come in to make an appointments. All our services are ‘pre-booked appointments’ made via our website, email or phone.'

What will hair salons look like when they re-open?

HARI's has extended opening times from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, which will also allow for clients not on the waiting list to secure appointments.

'Even though it's going to be busy, we are still going to be working at 50% capacity in salon, with longer appointments to ensure our client and staff's safety stays priority,' Lucan explains.

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At Buller and Rice, there will be a reduced service and fewer chairs, with clients much more spread out than usual – something we'll see across most salons to ensure that social distancing rules are adhered to.

Buller and Rice are also staggering their appointments to avoid over-crowding when people arrive, and clients will be asked to wait outside initially.

'We are working to create an outdoor waiting room to accommodate any lateness – we know how long everyone has been waiting for their appointments! – and to make sure the experience is still elevated and less clinical,' Stephen adds.

'The safety of our clients and staff is our primary concern. We will be in full PPE – we have managed to source plastic-free alternatives and biodegradable robes and aprons – with staff wearing protective visors.

'We ask our staff wear reusable face masks, and we will have "locally made" fabric/reusable masks available for clients to purchase, with proceeds donating to UK Black Pride.'

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As for customers, it's important you do your bit to keep the experience as safe as possible, too. At HARI's, Lucan says 'each client will receive a HARI’s Care Kit which includes a disposable face mask and gloves, to ensure everyone feels as safe as possible.'

Meanwhile at Buller and Rice, 'clients must wear face coverings, hand sanitiser will be available throughout the salon and we have extended our appointment times to ensure we can thoroughly clean between services,' Stephen says. 'Refreshments will be limited, however we encourage clients to bring refill water bottles and reusable coffee cups.

'At Buller And Rice Walthamstow we have extended our salon by introducing a fun outdoor space. We wanted to create a space outside where a limited number of our clients could wait for their appointment and relax.

'With purple turf and bright furniture, we have created a self-made Tiki Bar, made from up-cyled kitchen cupboards. Local canned wine or beer will be available for clients to relax, definitely adding some fun to the service while staying safe.'

Are you heading for a hair appointment this weekend? Let us know on social at @marieclaireuk

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.