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| January 17, 2022

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Back 2 Work

The announcement we’ve all been waiting for is finally here! The Government has announced hair salons, barbers, mobiles and freelancers are allowed to re-open from July 4 in England. (Northern Ireland: 6 July, Wales: 13 July, and Scotland: 15 July). It means you’re now against the clock to re-design your premises, train staff, ensure you have suitable PPE, communicate with clients regarding operational changes, implement adequate hygiene standards, and come to terms with the changes necessary to ensure the safety of you, your staff and your clients.

We will update this page with more information on exactly what is expected of salons when it is released. In the meantime, we’ve gathered some tips below and also advice on what other salon owners are doing to get ready.

Measures to think about
  • Communication – This is possibly the most important measure of all, because it incorporate all others. Make sure you communicate with staff and clients about all of the new measures to ensure everyone is on-board and ready to embrace the new way of working.
  • Contactless payments – You may want to consider going cashless altogether to eliminate one big contamination risk. Speak to your software provider about this, as they should be able to help, and if you don’t work off of a computerised system currently, now may be the time to switch. 
  • Extended appointment times – With the extra levels of cleaning you may find appointments take longer and you want to avoid having too many people in the salon at one time by over-run appointments so it’s probably worth extending them, at least initially.
  • PPE – Start to think about how much PPE you may need for staff and clients including the piece of equipment [visor, mask, coveralls, aprons, gloves] and which type/brand you will go for. You also want to make sure you’re not in a position where it may run out, so ensure you look at when you’ll need to re-stock. 
  • Refreshments – Cups offer a means of contamination so many salons are looking at alternative options – London’s SALON64 has temporarily replaced all cups with reusable “keep me cups” in the brand’s colours and logo. 
  • Social distancing – How will you ensure social distance between clients and staff around the salon? Will you create a one way system and have screens between clients?
  • Toilets – Do you have a separate toilet for clients and staff? Who will be in charge of ensuring the toilet is clean between users  
  • General cleaning – Who will be responsible for cleaning between client visits? Do you have enough stock of cleaner? 
  • Sanitiser – Will you provide sanitising stations? 
  • Freelance Insurance – It’s never been more important to be insured but figuring out what you need can be difficult, so The FHA have answered your most important concerns here
Latest Guidelines

The Government has published their Safer Workplaces guidelines for close contact services (England only). These are for both hair and beauty businesses to prepare for reopening.
The key points of the Safer Workplace guidelines for England are:

    • All salons must stick to social distancing and maintain two metres between clients, or
      one metre with additional precautions, such as the use of screens.
    • Face visors must be worn by practitioners for all activities. Face coverings are not an
      acceptable alternative to visors, but clients or staff may choose to wear an additional
      face covering.
    • No walk-ins; clients must be seen by appointment only. Salon and barbershop
      owners will be required to keep a temporary record of all clients and visitors for 21
      days to support the NHS test-and-trace system which controls outbreaks of the virus.
    • No food or drinks to be consumed in the salon by clients other than water in
      disposable cups or bottles.
    • The guidance does not ban the use of hairdryers.

The full Safer Workplace guidelines are available to view in full at:

The government has updated its ‘Close Contact Services’ guidance on 09/07/20 which includes: 

  • Page 4 – No treatments are to be provided on the face until Government advice changes; An example of this is…Intricate detailing, outlining or shaving of beards.
  • Para 2.2 – Ventilation – To keep doors and windows open if possible (additionally this section gives an overview on all ventilation possibilities).
  • Para 2.3 – Client Toilets – To ensure toilets are kept open and to ensure/promote good hygiene, social distancing, and cleanliness in toilet facilities.
  • Section 4 – Social Distancing – Using a consistent pairing system if workers have to be in close proximity, whilst mitigating risk, as an example this could include a stylist and an apprentice.

UPDATE – FACE MASK WEARING – 03 August 2020 

From 8 August 2020, members of the public/customers must wear a face mask/ covering in hair and beauty salons, barbershops and nail bars. If necessary, the customer can remove their facemask/covering for a treatment to be carried out, i.e. for styling/shaping around the ears, etc but please remember however that no beauty treatments are allowed on the face in England, until at least 15th August 2020 when Government will review this.


Hairdressers and barbers in England will now have to wear a face mask as well as a visor. The Government said the move, which follows new evidence from the scientific advisory group for emergencies (Sage) is aimed at protecting customers and staff from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or speaking. 

PPE For Salons


Offer your clients and staff complete hand protection with the Salon Essentials Sanitiser Gel from PPE for Salons. Its divine anti-bacterial formula contains 70% alcohol, which comes in a handy pump bottle.

Formulated with Rosemary, Sage & Cypress essential oils. This hydro-alcohol cleansing gel is for use without water and is perfect to leave around the salon to ensure a germ-free environment. Its essential oils help to soothe the senses and prevent skin from drying, whilst the 70% alcohol content can help to reduce bacteria on the skin. RRP: £9.99 (300ml). WWW.PPEFORSALONS.COM.


UPDATE: TEST AND TRACE – 18th September 

  • From Friday 18 September, it will be mandatory for all hair salons, barbershops and beauty salons in England and Wales to collect customer information when attending their appointments! You will need to log the customers name, contact details, date of appointment, time of arrival and time of departure.
  • On Thursday 24 September, the NHS Covid-19 app is being launched. It will be mandatory from this date, for all salons, barbershops and beauty salons in England and Wales to display their unique app ‘QR’ code on a poster positioned prominently in their front window or on the door. To access a QR code please log on to;
Words from the industry

“I have been re-opened for two weeks now. It has definitely been a challenge, and I was very anxious about re-opening again but I do have to say that it has gone smoother than I’d hoped. I know that everywhere is different, but I think something that’s going to be seen everywhere, is that we’re required to wear a mask. I’ve found the surgical ones work best as they fit the best. Also they have the little metal piece on the top over the bridge of the nose that you can close. It’s really important to have a mask that fits, otherwise it’s not really worth having it on. It’s a long day to wear a mask and it’s hard, so I’ve found a few things that have really helped. One thing is to have some kind of mint, or gum or cough drop in your mouth when you’re wearing the mask – something that’s menthol will really help with you breath. It’s also really easy to get dehydrated with a mask on because you’re not constantly drinking water, so it’s really important to stay hydrated. The other thing that I’ve been building into my time is a few minutes to step outside and get a little bit of fresh air. Like I say it’s a long day to wear a mask, so having a little bit of a break to get some fresh air has been really helpful.” North America Salon Mentor and Owner Emily (Hampshire, USA)

Kay Brady, National PPS Manager UK & IRE for Schwarzkopf Professional, says: “All reputable salons know and understand the importance of providing a robust patch test policy, and so I’m sure it’s something they have been thinking about as they plan to potentially reopen in a few weeks. Some clients may have experimented with home dyes. A patch test will be required to ensure that the client can still tolerate their in-salon colour, and an incompatibility test should be performed to ensure that the box colour on their hair won’t react to in-salon colouring products.”

“Clients can now start looking forward to coming back into the salon to see their stylist, albeit in a different type of normal. “We have been modifying the space we have and our team have completed health & safety courses. We have done everything we can – following guidelines – to ensure the salon is following social distancing measures, is fully prepared for clients to still enjoy their appointment as much as possible,” Marcello Moccia, Owner of Room 97.

“As a salon owner I’m really pleased the industry finally has some guidelines to work to. I have been able to clearly communicate these to both my team and clients so they all know what to expect when the salon doors re-open. My priority will always be the welfare of staff and clients alike and I can’t wait to welcome everybody back on July 4th,” Kerry Mather – owner of KJM Salons in Fleet and the Fellowship for British Hairdressing’s Vice Chairperson.

“For my Great Lengths clients I have pre-ordered Client Prep Kits so they are able to pre-wash their hair at home before coming into the salon, which will minimise the time they need to be here as applying Great Lengths already is one of the longest services we offer.” Kirby Hickey – Hair by Kirby Blythe, Scunthorpe.

“Remain positive and remember why people love coming to you in the first place. Don’t panic, it will show when your first client comes in so just relax and prepare everything in the salon beforehand. Remember, people love us for our talent and your clients can’t wait to see you,” Aileen Barnby, Barnby & Brennan.

“The last couple of days have been totally manic. It’s a shock to the system after having so long off, but it’s been lovely to chat to clients and get their appointments booked in – we’ve even had shrieks of joy! Our stylists have been in on two hour intervals to call their clients personally, to rearrange and also to find out if they have done anything to their own hair during lockdown.
Right now we are waiting on screens to be delivered and we’re undertaking a major stock take, reordering ready for the 4th July. We are also deep cleaning the salon ready for reopening. Now that the 1 metre rule has been implemented we can almost go back to normal with the whole team but with longer appointments, extra cleaning and hygiene protocol and PPE .
It’s been a tough time but I’m already booked up now for 3 months ahead. With a slight price increase to cover the amount of colour we will be using and the longer appointments, we will get through this. I’m feeling positive and excited for the future. It feels like we’re opening the salon from the first day again. We’re pressing the reset button” – Tim Scott-Wright @ The Hair Surgery.

“I am really pleased the industry now has clear and concise guidelines to follow ahead of salons re-opening. The guidelines are in line with what we’ve been preparing and planning for already, but it’s really helpful to have them definitively laid out so, as an industry, we all have the same understanding. It’s crucial as salon owners that we communicate these guidelines to both team members and clients, so everybody can feel confident in the knowledge that their safety and wellbeing is of upmost priority when working in or visiting the salon,” Robert Eaton, Creative Director at Russell Eaton Salons in Leeds and Barnsley, British Hairdresser of the Year and UK and Ireland Technical Director for Wella Professionals.

“July 4th! Certainly a day that both hairdressers and clients have been waiting for. There will be both excitement and joy of been back in the salon doing what we love, and for clients finally having the luxury of being pampered and made to feel fabulous. However, with such clear guidelines in place, we will see a new way of working, and all reputable salons will be fully prepared with PPE, screens and sanitisers which will be part of the new norm. We can’t wait!” – Tracy Hayes, Global Brand Ambassador at Fudge Professional.

“Preparing to get back to work is quite daunting at the minute for a lot of people with all the new rules and regulations. I am making sure I am in proper contact with my clients and keeping them updated of the situation and how things are moving forward. And also investing in appropriate PPE ready so I am ready for back to the salon, freelance work and for any jobs that come up” – Jonathan Andrew, Global Brand Ambassador for Fudge Professional.

“With the salons thankfully opening this weekend it is easy for us salon owners to be anxious about all the new red tape and distancing but it is very important not to let it get us down and make the most of the positives that we may not have considered out of this situation. With small talk now cut to a minimum we will inevitably become more productive and will find it easier to immerse ourselves and focus on our actual craft.

So good luck to all the salons out there opening over the next week or two. With the right prep and just taking things day by day, being flexible and making adjustments where needed as we go along (we are all learning on our feet in this new normal), we will all get through learning from one another and sharing our experiences. We will all get through and it will be ok” – Adele Clarke, Owner of Spectrum Hair Company, OSMO IKON Brand Ambassador.

“I can’t wait to open the doors on the Saturday, the minute we are allowed to open I’m there. I’ve opened up a new salon that’s undergone a huge refurb so I’m very excited. My waiting list is currently at 3 months” – Beck Sutherland, owner of Lush Hair Salon and OSMO IKON Brand Ambassador

“When we get back to normal and salons reopen I will be taking all the necessary measure to ensure me, my staff and his clients are all protected. All staff will be made to wear PPE including a face mask and screen, gloves and a boiler suit. Hand sanitisation stations will be placed at the entry and the exit points of the salon and tools will be completely cleaned and sanitised in between every client with stylists wearing new gloves per service. We will be urging customers to come alone and to use contactless payment where possible,” – Myles Lewis from Myles & Co and OSMO Ambassador.