WONKY fringes, DIY dye disasters and overgrown roots – these are just some of the hair mishaps stylists have been remedying since salons reopened on Saturday.
I am also emerging from hibernation looking like a cavewoman with straw-like locks.
I last had my hair cut in November so the wait is almost over for my dry, bushy hair to be brought under control – but first I must be zapped with a thermometer and sanitise my hands at a Sassoon salon in central London.
I also had to sign a waiver that I was there at my own risk, would pay a £5 surcharge to “help cover the additional costs of doing business during this time” and would comply with their social distancing rules.
Creative Director Lina Ryan, has been getting the salon ready since Wednesday and wears a face shield. Only every second chair is in use, with sofas cordoned off using hazard tape.
She puts on an additional surgical mask to cover her mouth when standing over me to wash my hair.
Refreshments are no longer offered and my favourite part – thumbing through out-of-date magazines – is deemed too risky.
I was worried that this no-frills experience would mean that the relaxing head massage at the sink would be scrapped but fortunately it’s survived into this brave new world.
Lina has a huge task sorting out my split-ends and frizz, which has been made worse by being caught in downpours in the last week.
She’s excited to be back at work, but feels the extra measures will take some getting used to.
Lina says: “All of the gear does take away some of the joy and the visor causes pressure on my head and gets warm underneath.
"It’s also a shame that the atmosphere is less buzzy as clients can’t chat to each other. But I’m so happy to be back, even if it is with all of the safety precautions.”
I am one of 55 clients expected that day. Appointment slots have gone up from 45 minutes to an hour to allow time to disinfect the area and dunk the grooming tools into a large jar of barbicide.
But it doesn’t take long before the experience feels relatively normal.
The face coverings make it trickier to gauge how straight my head is positioned, but it doesn’t impede Lina brilliantly transforming my hair.
And I’m not the only one pleased to have had one of the first appointments for a makeover on Super Saturday.
Sam De Lotz, 49, from Archway, North London, is “delighted” to have a cut and colour, along with her mum.
She says: “We’ve really missed it. I tried to trim my fringe during lockdown as it was annoying the hell out of me being too long.
“I was prepared that I might not get an appointment until August. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for the 24 hours after I had it confirmed for 4th July.”
It feels amazing to be able to run my fingers all the way to the end of my sleek new mane – I just hope I can keep it looking this good for when the pints are flying round the pub later.
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