The women of Dublin were out in numbers getting pampered from head-to-toe now that the latest lifting of Covid restrictions means hair and beauty salons can finally open their doors once more.
here were sighs of relief as dye brushes were lathered lovingly onto greying or dull locks of hair, and cuticles were buffed, polished and painted to glamour catwalk standard.
And despite the fact that cups of coffee and glossy magazines have been replaced with facemasks, perspex screens, and hand sanitiser bottles, salons were booked out in advance.
At Peter Mark on Grafton Street Hilary Marren from Clontarf was sitting comfortably in front of a mirror getting a cut and colour in her favourite salon for the first time in more than three months.
“I’ve been waiting since March so it’s a long time. It’s been most challenging but we got there in the end,” she said as her stylist Lorraine worked her magic.
“Before lockdown Lorraine was kind enough to loan me her hair drier and give me some salon products so that kept me going and tided me over, but it’s great to be back, I missed the whole therapeutic experience and the chat with the girls,” she added from behind her facemask.
“I had an idea it would be like this. I guess this is the price we have to pay in order to resume activities like going to the hairdressers, so in the scheme of things it’s a small price to pay if it keeps people sane and the virus contained,” she explained.
The staff were glad to be back too.
“I’m super excited to be back. It’s time to get our heads down and look after our clients again,” said stylist Megan Butler.
“I’m a colour specialist so I’ve a lot of colour clients, so I’ll focus on colour for the first few weeks,” she explained.
Asked about the difference between working pre-Covid and with-Covid, Megan said it’s a little bit more formal now.
“You’re not just going into your hairdresser to chat and have a cup of tea, but that’s the new way for everything,” she said.
“Last week we did lots of health and safety training and a barbicide course, so we’re well equipped. It will be different but we’ll take it as it comes,” she added.
The Peter Mark chain announced last week that it would charge extra for clients who had coloured their own hair, as correcting it would mean more work for the stylists.
But how did this go down with client Hilary.
“I was fine with the extra charge. They only said there would be an extra charge if you had coloured your hair yourself, so they would have to spend more time correcting your colour mistakes and condition of your hair. I didn’t colour it, but in the scheme of things if you did do it it would be a small price to pay,” she said.
“I’ve been coming to Lorriane for many years now. The girls here are excellent and great fun, so I’ve really missed them. It’s like being reunited with friends,” she added.
After coming out of the salon more than two hours later, Hilary said she felt like a new woman.
“I feel great, like a new woman. She did a super job. It would be impossible to be able to get the shine and the smoothness they are able to do. It was great to see the girls, to connect with them,” said Hilary.
“It’s more than a cut and colour. It’s an experience. I’m a regular customer – I go three times a week. They are like friends and family to me at this stage and I will be back on Friday,” she added.
At 5th Avenue Beauty Emporium on Clarendon Street Geidre Vasiliauske said she was nervous as she opened her chain of salons this morning.
“I am excited and scared to be open again. I probably didn’t sleep for the last three nights. It was more scary to be reopening than actually opening the business in the first place thirteen years ago,” she said.
“I was a bit afraid the clients on the first day back would feel a bit jumpy and scared but everyone was so lovely and supporting and happy to be back,” she added.
“We had tonnes of supportive messages while we were closed, especially on social media. Just before the opening we got nearly 3,000 emails for bookings,” Geidre explained.
“You can do many things at home but the professional job is meant to be perfect.”
One happy 5th Avenue customer was Sinead Turley from Rathgar.
“It’s great to be back. I let my nails go au-natural for the last three months so it was great to be back today,” she said as she left the salon with little pieces of tissues still separating her newly painted toes.
Source: Irish News