Hairdressers and barbers are reporting a surge in appointments, following Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley’s announcement that they are allowed to reopen their doors for business.
Representatives of these two work groups allowed to open under Phase 3 of Government’s plan to reopen the country following the national shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, told Barbados TODAY that even before Prime Minister Mottley completed her press conference on Thursday evening, clients were rushing to make appointments.
One hairdresser said though she had not worked since the national shutdown in March, she spent most of Friday just booking appointments and advising clients about the new safety and hygiene protocols they have to follow when they come to her salon from Monday.
They gave the assurance that while they will be wearing their personal protective equipment they will ensure that clients wear masks and follow good hygiene rules.
They all said clients can only come to their establishments once they have booked an appointment which has been approved.
Owner of Hair by Diana salon Diana Goodridge who said many of her clients are calling inquiring whether they could book the first appointment, said she was experiencing “a mixed bag of emotions” to be able to serve her clients once again.
“I am grateful to reopen and provide my clients with the excellent service they have grown accustomed to in the past 20 years, but I am also concerned for the safety of myself and family and also my colleagues in the industry. I am putting new measures in place to foster an even more sterile environment than I always have and trusting God to do the rest,” Goodridge said.
Jennifer James of J’s Beauty Box said she too had mixed emotions about returning to work, but indicated that she has put all safety measures in place to protect herself and clients.
James noted that being away from work for six weeks was financially challenging since like everyone else, she too has bills to pay.
“Clients are excited. I got Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday booked up already and Saturday nearly booked. People miss the human touch you know. It ain’t nothing like somebody massaging your scalp and making you feel a certain way, somebody giving you a haircut and you look in the mirror and feel better about yourself,” James said.
“I am doing appointments only. You have to wear mask. You have to wash your hands before you come into the shop and you can’t bring any guests,” James added.
However, she noted that if Barbados had not flattened the curve and brought the spread of the virus under control she would have stayed away from work until health authorities arrested the situation.
“Because we don’t have a lot of cases anymore and we ain’t getting no big set of cases every day, that is what make me feel a little more comfortable going back out to work.
“But if we were still getting all those cases I wasn’t going anywhere. I just feel that Barbados has it under control. I am glad to be going back out and I am sure other hairdressers feel the same way too. This is over six weeks you ain’t work and you have commitments,” James said.
“I have so much appointments that usually I have one other person working with me but with this rush I have to bring in help. And I am only seeing people by appointments,” said one other hairdresser who requested anonymity.
Barber Adrian Watson who says he loves his job said though the break from cutting hair was a little challenging at first, he took the time to rest considering that it has been many years since he had a vacation.
He said since Thursday evening’s announcement, clients have been calling to book appointments.
According to the barber, he will be flooded with work from Monday.
“I will be doing appointments only and I have to be strategic in how I work because I am not doing any walk-ins. I have appointments set periodically throughout the week. My approach will be to go in a little earlier and obviously leave a little later than usual.
“The most important thing is going back to work. I have my mask, face shield, alcohol to spray down, and I have sanitizer. But, I actually normally practice these things already so the only new thing will be the face shield,” said.