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Clients 'in tears' over July salon reopening date, says boss Ceira

Huge demand for €65 takeaway home kits as panic sets in

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Hair consultant Ceira Lambert has been inundated with calls from all over Ireland

Hair consultant Ceira Lambert has been inundated with calls from all over Ireland

Hair consultant Ceira Lambert has been inundated with calls from all over Ireland

For some members of the public who pride themselves on keeping up appearances, the prospect of salons not reopening until July 20 is a hair-raising prospect.

However, some people are now taking matters into their own hands when it comes to dealing with six weeks of lockdown regrowth and are clamouring to get their hands on a takeaway home colour kit from their local salon.

Gloves

Hair consultant Ceira Lambert, whose celebrity clients include Rosanna Davison, started selling kits this week and said she's been inundated with queries from people all over Ireland.

The Shankill-based salon owner said that the kits she is selling are just for grey coverage and only for the root area.

Ranging in price from €45 to €65 depending on how much product is needed, the kit includes gloves, a gown and instructions on how to apply the product at home.

She insists clients must carry out a 'patch test' 48 hours beforehand to make sure they don't have a reaction to the product. They must also sign a waiver for insurance purposes.

"The demand for these has been absolutely huge. I've had people contacting me from Galway, Cork, all over," she said.

"I've had people saying that their local salon isn't able to provide the service, even though they know their colour code, so I'm delighted to help out."

She is also offering hair extension removal kits, as some of her clients are cancer survivors who have lost all their hair after treatment and were using extensions while their natural hair grew back.

Extensions must be removed within a certain time frame by a professional, otherwise the hair gets badly damaged.

"I've had clients ringing me up in tears saying, 'I can't leave these extensions in until July; what can we do?' They're the ones I'd love to look after on a one-to-one basis. If physios can still see clients on a one-to-one basis, I don't see why we can't, obviously using all the necessary precautions," she said.

She said that she has already bought PPE equipment and has sought advice on getting screen dividers for her salon for when it reopens.

Meanwhile, the Irish Hairdressing Federation (IHF) is calling on the Government to bring forward the opening of hair salons in a bid to avoid a surge in black market services.

Currently hairdressing salons will not reopen until phase four of the Government's roadmap plan, which comes into effect on July 20, as they are not deemed essential services.

However, IHF boss David Campbell said his organisation is lobbying for salons to be moved into phase three of the plan, which starts on June 29, due to fears of a booming black market economy.

He said cash-strapped hairdressers may be tempted to do call-out visits to people's homes now that the travel restrictions are lifted to 5km, thereby increasing the risk of spreading Covid-19 in the community.

Mr Campbell said he has been contacted by federation members saying they have been offered lucrative cash incentives to go into clients' homes and carry out various services.

Problem

"It's bananas some of the stuff I've heard. One member said she was offered €80 just to go in and do a blow-dry in someone's house," he said.

"She contacted me saying, 'I don't feel good about this'. I told her to tell her client that hairdressers won't be going into people's homes.

"From a black-market perspective, if they lift the radius and people can travel again as normal before the salons open, we're going to have a huge problem if hairdressers do start going into people's houses."

In Spain, Italy and Germany, salons were all included in phase one of those countries' reopening plan.

The IHF, which represents 30,000 workers, is waiting for an official Government response to its proposal.

Mr Campbell is also calling for more guidance about how salons can be re-configured to adhere to the two-metre social distancing once they reopen.