At last! After months of looking increasingly like Chewbacca, we can all get back into the salons and barbershops for a much-needed haircut.

You probably know someone who’s managed to bag an early appointment. They’re the ones already swanning around with their gloriously un-split-ended locks, highlights that go all the way to the roots and general appearance of being a 21st century human being.

If you’re not among those lucky few, you might be wondering just what to expect when you finally get your appointment. Here’s the lowdown to put your mind at ease…

No walk-ins

You’ll have to book in advance – demand is high!

Take your own magazine

Salons are being asked not to provide magazines and newspapers in waiting areas to stop the spread of the dreaded covid germ.

If it’s a small salon, they might be operating a one-in, one-out system – so you may not end up waiting around inside. But if you like to leaf through a mag while your locks get the chop, take one with you anyway.

Mask up

Unless you’re exempt, you’ll need to wear a mask when you enter the building and your hairdresser or barber will be wearing PPE too.

They’ll also try to work from the back and the side as much as possible, rather than in front of you. That’s not a problem for a trained professional, so your cut will be just as good!

The only time you can take the mask off is if you’re having a drink and your stylist is 2 metres away. Salons are allowed to give you hot or cold drinks as normal.

Test & Trace is in place

Your stylist will take your details for NHS Test & Trace. That might be through scanning a QR code using the NHS Test & Trace app on your phone. Or if you don’t have the app, they might take your contact details on paper.

Your name and contact details will be kept for 21 days, then destroyed. They will only be used to contact you if the NHS thinks you might have been near someone with Covid-19, in which case they’ll advise you to get a test.

Keep Covid out

Don’t go to your hair appointment if you’ve got Covid or any symptoms of Covid. We don’t need to tell people that… right? A haircut isn’t worth spreading the infection, people.

Squeaky clean

Staff will be keeping premises even cleaner than usual, with extra sanitising. You may find the windows are open too – ventilation reduces the spread of the virus.

There’ll probably be more handwashing than usual too and there might be screens between chairs.

The hair necessities

  • Book in advance
  • Don’t go if you’ve got Covid symptoms
  • Take a mask with you
  • Provide your contact details

If you run a salon, or would like to find out more, you can read the full guidance for close personal contact businesses on the website.

By Julie Weight

Julie writes stories and creates videos for Chelmsford City Council. Contact her at or on 01245 606984.

One thought on “What to expect at the hairdresser”
  1. Everything from a women’s perspective. I’ve been to the barbers and none of these rules were applied.

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