Hairdresser’s ‘phone is on fire’ as customers seek early bookings

Salons coping with influx of calls and texts for appointments ahead of reopening

Lisa Eccles, owner of Zinc Hair and Beauty in Kilmainham, Dublin. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Lisa Eccles, owner of Zinc Hair and Beauty in Kilmainham, Dublin. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

 

Hairdressers say clients have already begun to get in touch about appointments before the Government’s official announcement on the lifting of restrictions.

Hairdressers and personal services are set to reopen on May 10th, having remained closed since Christmas.

Mark O’Keeffe, managing director of Brown Sugar, said clients who had made appointments prior to their closure would get priority.

Mark O’Keeffe, managing director of Brown Sugar. Photograph: Alan Betson
Mark O’Keeffe, managing director of Brown Sugar. Photograph: Alan Betson

“We will ring those clients today and tomorrow and see if they’re happy to take an appointment when we reopen. Then we will open for the rest of clients, both online and with our front-of-house teams,” he said.

“Some of our senior stylists are already booked out until the middle or end of June. These are hairdressers who have been hairdressing for 15 or 20 years, who have a massive clientele.

“That will cause a little bit of upset in some cases, but we can only do what we can do. We have a very large team and we will be able to facilitate clients fairly quickly.”

Mr O’Keeffe said his focus over the coming days is to ensure that his staff are in “a really good headspace” going back to work.

“That’s what I’m going to prioritise for the next 10 days or so, making sure that my staff are ready to go because we’re going to go to a lot of pressure and to go from zero to 100 like a flick of a switch, that’s a lot to ask of people to do.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, it’s a lot to take on, and it’s the third time now they’ve had to do it as well, so my focus is on my team.”

‘Phone on fire’

Lisa Eccles, owner of Zinc Hair and Beauty in Kilmainham, Dublin, and vice-president of the Irish Hairdressers Federation (IHF), said “my phone is literally on fire with all the calls and texts”.

“With my involvement with the IHF, I’ve a huge amount of salon owners getting in contact with all the speculation before an announcement and then clients are already making contact to try and get those first few appointments,” she said.

Ms Eccles said she was waiting for the official announcement from the Government on reopening before booking in appointments.

“We were closed from December 24th, so anyone who would have booked in after that and into January and February, we’re going to contact them first and offer them an appointment, and then once we get through that list we will open the phone lines and our online booking to everyone else,” she said.

“We are a female-dominated industry so a lot of my team need to make sure they can organise childcare and all that kind of stuff. Once we get our rosters in place we will start to contact clients.”

Ms Eccles described recent months as “very much a rollercoaster” for herself and her staff.

“It’s been up and down. Obviously being out of work for so long is really difficult, but also I suppose trying to keep in contact with your team and trying to keep their spirits lifted,” she said. “It’s been a really difficult time for everyone but the light is at the end of the tunnel now and hopefully we’ll be back open before we know and back doing what we love.”