A Stoke-on-Trent salon owner has described how her hair, beauty and health business will look very different when it reopens this summer.
Laura Price, owner of Alchemy in Leek Road, Milton is bringing in a raft of changes to reduce Covid-19 risks for her customers and staff.
The Government has indicated salons could open on July 4 if conditions are met, and Alchemy staff are hoping to welcome back customers on Tuesday, July 7.
Laura, whose team of eight includes three hairdressers, three beauty therapists, a physiotherapist and an acupuncturist, says the biggest changes will include the way her staff dress and the length of appointments.
She said: “We are going to be working very differently.
“During lockdown all our staff have received training in Cov-19 protection and also clean touch training.
“We’ve done risk assessments and have been planning the changes we’ll make to the way we work.”
All customers will be asked to complete a health questionnaire, which must be emailed to the salon the day before the appointment.
“It includes details of any symptoms they have and whether they fall into vulnerable categories.
“Depending on the answers, some people may be unable to attend the salon or may have particular appointments created for them.
There will be a sanitisation and disinfection station outside the salon where customers will be asked to wash their hands and a mask will be provided for them to wear before they enter.
Customers must attend appointments alone unless they’re a minor or need the help of a carer.
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The salon will have a separate entrance and exit and extra time has been added on to every appointment so that there is no overlapping. Every beauty appointment will be 15 minutes longer than usual and hair appointments will be three hours long.
“It allows time for us to sanitise and disinfect tools between clients,” explained Laura. “Wherever possible we’ll be using single use items to avoid the risk of cross contamination.
“Every staff member will work in a separate room, so all customers will have their own room and won’t be sitting next to someone else. Some salons are one big room, but we’re fortunate to be able to use different areas. It makes it easier for us to abide by Government guidelines without putting partitions up.
Staff will use disposable aprons, masks and visors and will wash their hands between seeing each customers and also if they need to leave the room for any reason.
All staff will have their temperature checked at the start of the day to ensure they’re fit and healthy. A no-touch thermometer will also be used to check the temperature of customers before they enter the salon.
Laura says that staff may look different in their PPE, but that the treatments offered should remain the same.
“It all depends on whether there are any changes to Government guidelines between now and July, but we’re planning to have the same touch therapies we have always offered.”
Small price increases are planned, due to longer appointment times and the cost of disposable PPE equipment, but appointments are almost fully booked for the first few weeks after reopening.
Laura said: “We’re really excited. We’ve been desperately wanting to get back to what we love doing. Many of our customers have been with us for a very long time and have become close friends, so we’re looking forward to seeing them again.
“We’ve also missed working together. We’ve kept in touch through video calls and have been bouncing ideas off one another. There ‘s been lots of planning and preparation during this time.”
She added: “It’s going to be a different way of working but we’re willing to comply with all of that to start working again.”
Alchemy is taking online bookings here.