Hairdressing in Doncaster post lockdown
Getting rid of the lockdown look or correcting a DIY hair do was top of many people’s list of priorities when coronavirus restrictions started to ease.
And along with other businesses up and down the country the coronavirus pandemic has put a major strain on hair salons who are now having to adapt to the new normal way of working.
One of the Doncaster salon’s getting to grips with the new measures is Saks in High Street Doncaster run by husband and wife team Paul and Rebecca Calladine.
Speaking about the impact of coronavirus on the industry Rebecca said: “I just hope that the salon and beauty industry bounces back as it has been through a very hard time, especially being held back at the beginning when other industries were reopening.
"We have all taken such strong measures to get back to work I just hope the government agrees and lets us all keep working hard for the winter.
"It’s such a worrying and scary time, we can only thank all our amazing customers for choosing us and being loyal, also to new clients who have come to us because of the measures we have in place.”
The salon was forced to close on March 23 as part of the nationwide lockdown and Rebecca said the uncertainty at the time was unsettling.
She added: “Lockdown was a shock mainly because of the lack of guidance, especially at the beginning, from the government.
"but the team at Saks were fab at having weekly meetings and helping us source the correct PPE.
"I also got in touch with local salons in Doncaster and we all had a group text where we updated each other throughout lockdown on measures and guidance that we were all receiving, we all tried to help each other which was amazing and it has been nice to form lasting relationships with felllow salons.”
Along with hair salons up and down the country Rebecca and her team were waiting with bated breath to get the green light to open the salon doors.
“Every week we kept thinking we will open next week and it kept getting pushed back and you can imagine how frustrating that was to clients who were desperate. We tried to help keep in contact with them messaging to give advice and help with their own hair needs at home throughout.
“It was so frustrating waiting but we did understand that safety wise it was needed and our main priority was to keep staff and customers safe so we were happy to stick to the rules regarding this."
After months of waiting Rebecca and the team at Saks were able to open the High Street salon on July 4.
The team were thrilled to be back taming the tresses of their loyal clients in Doncaster and it was full steam ahead with rescheduling the hundreds of appointments that were forced to be cancelled during lockdown.
She added: “We had three months of appointments to reschedule and rearrange which you can imagine was overwhelming,
“And before we opened a lot of work went on behind the scenes to get the new safety measures and restrictions in place in the salon and to carry out updated staff training to ensure we were keeping clients and staff as safe as possible.
“The measures we put in place included getting rid of gowns and towels and moving to disposable versions of both. We also had perspex screens fitted to create secure booths for each client.
"We created a sanitise station for all brushes, combs and products to be cleaned before use and we also took all chairs out of reception to create a sanitise station on entry.
"We have stopped serving any drinks or magazines at the minute and have a deep cleaning schedule.
“We also staggered days and opened Monday to Sunday to try and keep clients to a minimum each day and still ensure we were able to book as many people’s appointments in as possible.”
In spite of all the changes Rebecca has been proud of the way the team has come together and adapted.
“The new way of working is very different and a lot harder but we all love our jobs and would have worked in a space suit to get back to work if we had too.
"We did struggle when the restrictions changed to a mask and visor as it was red hot weather and we have also noticed the cost of things including PPE has increased.
“Our staff have been amazing and have worked so so hard. We are very proud of our team and very honoured all our customers have chosen to return to us, it means so much. We have a long road ahead and know it’s going to be a struggle but we are more committed than ever to provide high quality training and try and produce our best work ever, at a time like this it’s so important to be delivering the highest quality.”
(Group shot outside the salon was taken in June before the mask and visor ruling for salons was introduced)