What It’s Really Like To Go Back To A Hair Salon On Super Saturday

Outside waiting, PPE, BYOB (bring your own beverages) and a lotta, lotta anti-bac. Damn it’s good to be back at the hair salon...

Hair Salon

by Joely Walker |
Published on

Hairis always a hot topic of conversation between friends (mine, anyway), but in lockdown, hair chat has gone into OVERDRIVE. I’m obsessed. My friends are obsessed. Social media is obsessed. Pictures of our darkening, greying and lengthening roots have made up 70% of Instagram feeds (ok, not exactly an official stat, but you catch my drift) and we’ve been pinning, pasting and saving hair cut and colour inspo for months (since salons officially closed on the 23rd March, but who’s counting?) with one too many of us failing at DIY cuts or colour jobs.


I can almost hear the cheers of collective rejoicing as the day we’ve all been waiting for finally arrives. Today - on Saturday 4th July, dubbed Super Saturday- it’s time to put down those Amazon panic-buy scissors, step away from the dye box (unless you’ve managed to nail at-home hair colour, in which case - props to you!) and GET THEE TO THE SALON, pronto. Which is exactly what I did this morning - booking in for a cut with my go-to hairdresser, Larry King (at Larry King London in South Kensington).

READ MORE: 10 Things Your Hairdresser Wants You To Know Before You Go Back To The Salon

But what is it really like to get a hair cut or colour in a post-lockdown, pandemic world? First things first, it’s important to remember that salons have been closed for months and subsequently have taken a huge financial hit. So make sure you arrive on time (I got there 10 minutes early and was asked to wait outside until my stylist was ready) and make sure you’re compliant with the guidelines you receive via email and text before your appointment.

Through the doors, I’m greeted by an anti-bac station with clear instructions to perform a thorough clean. I check-in at the counter, which has been jazzed you with a glass cabinet. A sticker reads ‘A social life for your hair, from a social distance.’ There’s no hiding it now - I’m notably giddy. In pre-pandemic times I’d get this excited to go on holiday. Seriously. GET ME IN THAT CHAIR.


One thing that strikes me when I settle down is how spacious it feels. Larry’s salon is a pretty perfect size anyway (with Pinterest-worth interiors), but the new ‘rules and guidelines’ mean that only half of the chairs are taken. This ensures a one metre distance can be adhered to at all times (obviously apart from between you and your chosen stylist, who has the required facial guard on).

READ MORE: Now That Salons Are Reopening, How Do You Get A Low-Maintenance But High-Impact Haircut?

Then it’s to the backwash, which has been split into individual ‘pods’ with glass panels separating you from the next person. When I hear the words ‘would you like a head massage?’ I genuinely feel like I’ve died and gone to good hair days heaven. It feels like normal pre-pandemic life. Almost.

Now it’s trim time. Larry, my hairdresser, opens a fresh bag of tools per appointment. It contains one gown, two towers and two brushes that have been sterilised with Barbicide (a disinfectant solution used by salons pre-pandemic, too). It’s the most sanitary haircut I’ve ever had.

Before heading for my appointment I was wondering how long it would take to adjust to the changes. Would it feel weird? Would I feel uncomfortable to be indoors with strangers for the first time in months? But honestly, it took all of three minutes to settle in - PPE headgear and all. After all, hairdressers aren’t just the pros that dish out expert cuts and colour, they’re people we chat to about all manner of things. And after a good old natter with a Larry, I left with a bounce in my step as well as in my hair.

Welcome back hair salons! Now we just need to get our beloved local nail and beauty salons back in business (read our interview with Sharmadean Reid MBE here). Because surely I can have a pedi if I can go to a pub?!

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