This week we launched our Back in Business campaign to help firms get on their feet again. JOE HARRIGAN speaks to hairdressers who cannot wait to return to what they do best

MANY of us will remember that sinking feeling as lockdown was imposed across the country and the thought occurred: ‘What will we do about haircuts?’

Now, after three months in which the nation has had to get to grips with pairs of kitchen scissors in front of bathroom mirrors, hairdressers are set to reopen from July 4.

Kellie Hughes, of Kellie’s Hair, Nails and Beauty Emporium on King Street, Whalley, said: “Obviously you can imagine how overwhelming it’s been with customers coming back, we’ve had about 4,000 phone calls!”

However, they will not be back to normal straight away, with salons planning for new sanitation regimes, one-metre social distancing regulations and for stylists to shield themselves with visors and gloves.

Customers can also expect to find markings telling them where to go, drinks and magazines removed for the time being and for salons to keep records of visits.

Ms Hughes was able to explain this when she appeared on ITV’s Lorraine on Wednesday morning, where she gave viewers her perspective on the challenges ahead.

She said: “I understand why everyone’s excited, but we need to put things into perspective, I’m not saying it’s only hair, but we can’t lose our grip on what’s important.”

She added: “The most important thing is putting these regulations into place and making sure everybody is safe, my girls have been off for 14 weeks and are just now coming back so you’ve got to take people’s health and especially their mental health into consideration.”

Nigel Womack, of Nigel’s Cutting Shop in Blackburn is just as determined to make the new system work.

He said: “Forty-six years in the business and it has taken a world pandemic to close me down, but we’re indestructible.

Nigel said he had cut the hair of people’s children in the salon and their children and their children’s children. He added: “We’ll be back, ready and raring!”

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