The Irish Hairdressers Federation (IHF) published a set of guidelines on Monday, which the organisation believes will allow salons to reopen ahead of the scheduled July 20 date, marked out in the Government’s Roadmap.
The development came following the announcement that Ireland would be accelerating the opening up of many businesses ahead of the initial schedule.
However, there was to be no relief for hairdressers and barbers who were instructed to keep their doors closed until late July.
This hesitant approach is overly-cautious in the eyes of the IHF, with Danielle Kennedy, the organisation’s president, saying that its guidelines ‘go above and beyond the Government’s advice on what to do, and will enable hairdressers and barber shops to reopen safely in Phase 3 rather than Phase 4’.
The guidelines contain over 100 specific measures that were put together in consultation with health and safety experts, according to the IHF.
If implemented, the representative organisation argues that there is no reason why barbers and hairdressers could not begin to welcome back customers towards the end of June instead of waiting for almost another month to elapse.
The IHF, in its proposed guidelines, has outlined an array of actions which will need to be taken by salon owners and managers. They range from planning, right down to everyday practical changes that will have to be observed to prevent any spread of Covid-19.
Some of the practices are already commonplace in many businesses such as hand washing, minimising the numbers of customers attending a salon at any given time, and having signage in place throughout the business providing advice on Covid-19 measures.
However, a large number of the recommendations are industry-specific. Styling chairs, basins, equipment and work surfaces are to be cleaned and sanitised after every service. Where a salon uses disposable gowns, they are instructed to dispose of this after a single use. Where a gown is not disposable, it must be laundered after each use, and the same restriction would apply to towels used in the business.
Under the guidelines, reading material, a favourite way to pass the time while waiting, will also be done away with.
Consultations would also be conducted, where practicable, from the back of a client’s head.
Previously, The Avondhu spoke to a number of hairdressers based in Mitchelstown and Fermoy regarding possibly reopening ahead of July 20.
Deirdre O’Sullivan, the proprietor of ‘Bespoke Hair by Deirdre’ in Mitchelstown was optimistic that the industry would be in a position to achieve this, mentioning that hair salons generally maintain a very high standard of hygiene and cleanliness.
Similarly, Maureen Kiely who owns and runs ‘Maureen’s Hair Studio’ on Patrick Street in Fermoy, explained that hairdressers had agreed that health precautions would be to the fore from now on, but felt strongly that salon owners would be able to implement the new measures, and would be ‘extra careful’ going forward.