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Joanne Murphy works on her 'bad hair day' mural in the window of
Ciaran Nevin's salon

Joanne Murphy works on her 'bad hair day' mural in the window of Ciaran Nevin's salon

Joanne Murphy works on her 'bad hair day' mural in the window of Ciaran Nevin's salon

Those bad hair days are set to continue.

There is no prospect of the country's 30,000 hairdressers and barbers returning to work until July - and how long and how grey will the nation's hair be by then?

The worry now is that the continued shuttering of hair salons and barber shops until phase four of the five three-week phases will spark an underground black market.

There were warnings last night of the spectre of mobile hairdressers moving indiscriminately in and out of people's homes and causing cross-contamination.

"Black market hairdressing runs much higher risks of spreading Covid-19 into households as it is not in a controlled environment," said Ciaran Nevin, who has a hair salon in Terenure and another in the Merrion Hotel.

He invited Terenure artist Joanne Murphy to paint a bad hair day mural on the window of his closed salon, saying: "Hang on in there, we'll be back."

However, last night's announcement means it could be at least July 20 before professional salons can open their doors again.

"We feel that if we do not get our industry to re-open, and as travel restrictions on movement are lifted, we fear the black market in hairdressing will start to take hold," said Mr Nevin.

Devastated

Dylan Bradshaw, who has a salon on Dublin's South William Street, said he was "devastated" by the news.

"What they have done is they have given the black market a massive shot in the arm," he said.

"These guys are going to be revered as heroes coming into people's homes because people are desperate to have their hair done.

"Covid-19 isn't going anywhere, we have to learn to live with it and protect ourselves in the workplace, and our clients, and trade in a safe environment rather than people going to somebody's home and doing it with a mask and cross- contaminating venues."

Italy and Spain, the worst-hit countries in Europe in terms of death tolls, will have their hair salons open for business on June 1.