HAIR salons and barbers opened their doors once again on Saturday and welcomed back customers desperate for a long awaited haircut.

The experience for customers was very different to before, as salons ramped up safety measures, with PPE equipment in place, one way systems and extra cleaning routines.

Hairdressers were forced to close in late March when non-essential shops shut in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19.

“We were slightly nervous about opening and how well it would all run but luckily it was fine,” Ashley from Peter Hickman Hairdressing in Dursley said.

“The main thing is that the customers have been absolutely brilliant and really supportive and understanding, which has helped the most.

“We’ve implemented a one way system to help with distancing so we had to remember to keep to this. We’re constantly washing gowns and towels after every client, plus sterilising our equipment and salon stations after every client, but we’re getting used to it now.

“Even the visors don’t seem too bad to wear either, which I thought might be a pain.

“We’re opening 12 hour days so that we’re available to more people now and we’re splitting our work teams so we aren’t coming into contact with each other too.”

Antony, who has his own barber shop, called Antony's, on Long Street in Wotton under Edge, said: “I found the whole process of reopening the shop a welcome challenge after so many months off.

“I believe I’ve managed to create a safe and sterile environment by swapping and disinfecting all of my equipment, collars and capes between every haircut as well as making people aware of the social distancing measures that I have put in place through the shop Facebook page and signs in the shop window.

“I have also started to operate a booking service online ( to ensure that I only have so many people in the shop at once.

“The only hiccup on the day was the fact that I was cutting hair at a slower pace initially, which meant I was running behind for the rest of the day, but now I feel I’m up to my normal pace and can easily keep to my schedule.

“It was also great to see and catch up with my customers again.”

Gina Pearce, who has been running the Hair Hut in Newtown, Berkeley for 17 years, chose to wear a face mask and a visor.

She said: “I’ve decided to wear a mask as well as the recommended visor which I have seen stylists wear in the reopened salons internationally.

“And my clients have been outstanding wearing face coverings.

“I’m working on a one in one out basis, with cleaning and disinfecting the salon and equipment in-between.

“I can only see a fraction of clients per day due to this, but they feel very reassured by what I’ve done.

“It can be warm working with a visor and mask on but it’s so worth it.

“I’ve loved getting back to work and feel very appreciated by my clients.”

The team at Glow in Dursley are working extra hours to deal with for the pent up demand for haircuts.

“Our stylists are working more days and longer hours to try and fit everyone back in,” they said.

“For the time being we are not providing refreshments or magazines, but we are encouraging people bring their own flask or bottled drink, along with iPads and books.

“So far everything seems to be working really well - clients and stylist are extremely happy to be back.”