Hairdressers and salons around the country are returning to work today and while they are keen to get back to the styling side of things, they are prepared to tackle some dodgy DIY jobs first.
When stylists last returned, they were met with box dyes, alarming roots and crooked cuts. Lorraine Martin of Revo Hair & Beauty in Parnell Place says that for the most part, her customers avoided shop-bought dyes during the first lockdown but notes this has been a longer period away from the salon. She says some have given her advance warning that they tried to tackle some issues themselves.
“I must say our clients were very good during the first lockdown and we did not have too many disasters facing us when we reopened,” she told the Irish Examiner.
“Of course you have extra long roots and a lot of brassiness in our blondes but all of these can be sorted eventually, maybe not to perfection on the first visit but close enough. However this time has been longer and we have received a few emails from clients, especially blondes, who have used box dye at home and cannot understand why it’s now orange. Home colour is not the same as salon colour... you will never get the same results.”
She has also seen some customers fully embrace their natural tones.
“A few people have left their grey come through and now love it and that’s okay too. Grey tones are all in!”
Similarly, Frank O’Neill, manager of D'arcys Hairdressing in Paul Street, says they know what to expect this time - and a lot of the questionable cuts can be blamed on inappropriate tools.
“When we reopen we expect to see a lot of DIY jobs,” he says.
"But I’m looking forward to hearing people’s experiences and excited to be back with our team.”
When it comes to the most requested appointment type, both Frank and Lorraine have seen a theme: everyone wants their colour done.
“Clients are looking forward to coming into the salon to have their colour done. It’s usually the first appointment they make and then they ask about the cut but with the priority on getting a colour appointment,” Frank says.
Lorraine says colour appointments are in high demand, as well as restyling cuts.
“Our most requested service is definitely colour followed very very closely by requests for our cutting specialist Fiona for restyling hair cuts.”
It’s not just hair care in demand: Lorraine has seen a high volume of requests for their beauty services too.
“We cater for everything here in Revo so most clients are booking their lashes, brows and spray tans all in the same week. People want to feel good about themselves again.”
While many loyal customers were on the ball to organise an appointment, both D'arcys and Revo have seen their waiting list grow and new appointments are not available for some time.
“We had a waiting list for people who began contacting us through email, Instagram, Facebook, etc since February,” Lorraine says.
“As soon as we got clarification on a reopening date we sent an sms to all of our clients to start ringing the following day. It has taken over a week to go through our list and take phone calls but we hit it done and we are more or less booked for the next month after reopening.”
Staff at D'arcys will be working seven days a week to facilitate their customers after reopening.
“We had clients booked into our system whose appointments were cancelled due to our third lockdown. We had to reschedule those appointments and then we had to work through all the emails and social media messages,” Frank says.
“We’re fairly booked up for the next couple of months and our phone lines crashed when we reopened them. We’re now open seven days a week to catch up and we extended our working hours to try and accommodate everyone as soon as possible.”
A Deposit-based booking system has become popular for many salons that are hoping to avoid no-show clients during this period of high demand. It is a requirement D'arcys introduced some time ago.
“We’ve had a deposit system in place for quite some time now and it secures an appointment with a stylist that may take up to two and a half hours of an allotted time,” Frank notes.
However, Lorraine says they are lucky Revo’s loyal customers rarely cancel so they have not introduced a deposit requirement.
“We do not take deposits for our bookings as the majority of our bookings are returning clientele who are loyal and will contact us if they need to move or cancel. We of course welcome new clients and trust that they will turn up for their appointments. We also send all clients an sms reminder the previous evening.”
- Wear a mask during your entire visit, just as you would in any shop.
- Don’t attend your appointment if you feel unwell or have any Covid-19 symptoms.
- Bring your own tea, coffee or water as most salons are unable to offer refreshments Bring a book or magazine or make sure you have an audiobook or podcast ready to listen to as communal reading material will not be available in salons.
- Be on time. If you’re late you’ll push the next client’s appointment back and if you’re too early you may have to wait outside.
- Pay by card if possible, most salons want to avoid cash payments but make sure your salon can accept card payments in case you need to visit an ATM on the way.