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Hairdressers 'fully booked for at least six weeks' ahead of reopening
11 April 2021, 16:59
Most hairdressers across England are fully booked for at least six weeks ahead of their reopening on Monday, according to an industry body.
The National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF) said anecdotal evidence from its members suggests few have any appointments for another six weeks.
It comes as hairdressers can reopen on Monday as part of England's roadmap out of lockdown, with pub gardens, outdoor restaurants, non-essential retail and gyms also reopening.
NHBF chief executive Richard Lambert said: "It's important to remember that our hairdressers and barbers provide so much more than a hair service".
"They are often the hub of the community, offer an ear to talk to, are essential in making us feel good and improving our mental health, especially for those struggling with confidence or illness-related hair issues," he added.
Robert Eaton, Vice President of the Fellowship of British Hairdressing and British Hairdresser of the Year in 2019, told LBC he was "really excited about getting back to the salon".
"Seeing the team again, seeing our clients and doing what we do best, which is make people look and feel amazing.
"It is amazing how our clients have missed coming in to see us as well, I know there are a lot of people really looking forward to that first haircut again after lockdown."
Meanwhile, Lara Boot, owner of Lara Boot Hairdressing in Northampton, said her team were going to be "working 12-hour days" to meet the pent up demand.
"We're booking extra time for the appointments but we're not expecting to see as many disasters this time. It doesn't seem to have bothered people as much this time round."
She said coping financially has been "extremely tight" and the business has turned to loans to get through.
"We had to pay for extras like PPE but we've got all that in place now. We feel a bit more prepared this time."
Alongside hairdressers, restaurants and pubs are preparing to reopen for the first time this year - although hospitality will be limited to outdoor service only.
In London, most of the West End will be closed off to traffic to allow the night time economy to start coming back with a bang.
However landlords around the country have warned the 'vast majority' of pubs will stay shut because they do not have a beer garden.
Retailers have spent hundreds of millions of pounds on measures designed to prevent the transmission of Covid, including safety glass, queue management systems, social distancing signage, better ventilation, and more frequent cleaning.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has calculated non-food stores have lost £30 billion in foregone sales over the three lockdowns.
Read more: Covid-19 crisis in numbers
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: "Consumers appear to be more confident about visiting shops, showing that the safety measures put in place are clearly helping to make shoppers feel more comfortable visiting and returning to stores.
"Savings have been building up over lockdown, and the economic recovery relies on retailers being able to unlock the pent-up demand in the economy."