Bootle hairdresser going the extra mile with PPE as it reopens

A Bootle salon has gone above and beyond with its safety measures and PPE as it reopens after months on lockdown.

Hairdressers and barbers have been closed for several months after the Government enforced lockdown in March to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In June, Boris Johnson gave businesses the confirmation they’d been waiting for and said bars, restaurants, hairdressers and barbers could reopen from July 4 , providing they introduce ‘Covid secure’ measures.

Among the Government guidelines for salons are no music, necessary hand sanitising stations, a limited number of clients in attendance and the use of screens or barriers to ensure social distancing.

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Salons must also collect clients’ contact information in order to provide it to the NHS Test and Trace , which aims to contact those who may have come into contact with someone with coronavirus.

Salon Hairlucinations, in Bootle, has completely transformed in order to stick to the guidelines and protect staff and clients.

The salon has been based inside The Strand Shopping Centre for more than 50 years, and reopened yesterday to a queue of around 30 regulars waiting to get rid of their lockdown hair dos.

Hairlucinations is now completely ‘Covid secure’, with social distancing markers, hand sanitising stations, disposable products, and extensive cleaning measures.

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Barry Cochrane, managing director of Hairlucinations told the ECHO : “It’s taken about six weeks to get here, to be fully ready and it was right down to the wire for things to all take shape.

“We’re just now implementing all the training we’ve had beforehand and the staff are doing so, so well with it. Following it to the letter.

“To be honest there’s quite a sad story to why we’re taking this all so seriously. Just after we were told to close a client we’d had in nine or ten days before passed away from Covid.

“It was all really terrible and sad and in the end my girlfriend was diagnosed too, which meant I had to be tested.

“The doctors were brilliant and really thorough but that’s why we’re taking this so seriously.”

Among the new measures in place are the use of disposable towels and capes, specific seating areas for clients when they’re having a colour developed or being prepped, and a variety of dental grade PPE.

Barry added: “It’s been very hard to get our hands on a lot of the stuff, things like Perspex is virtually impossible to get at the minute.

“We managed to get things just in time, including a UVC wand, which kills the bacteria, so that’s what we’re using on all of our chairs and equipment.

“By the time you’ve sprayed and wiped chairs down over and over they’ll just wear away so this is a much better way.”

When they visit, clients will have to go through several steps before they enter the salon, including a temperature check and short questionnaire, as well as being asked to put on a face mask and wash their hands.

At Hairlucinations, all stylists have two kits, including two of every product they could need, so that once they’ve finished with a client the first one can be cleansed using the UVC wand and they can start on another using the backup kit.

Barry also confirmed that while some other salons may not be offering blow drying, Hairlucinations would be continuing to do so.

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He said: “We’re definitely doing blow drying. We’re actually completely stopping doing any dry cuts.

“Every haircut will be completely with a shampoo, because hair is full of bacteria and that’s how things like this spread. So no dry cuts at all.

“At the end of the day staff come first, I’ve got to make sure they’re safe. I had to create a place where we’re all safe.

“Clients have responded really well, we’ve had a lot of comments and compliments already.”