Irish Hairdressers Federation member flags huge demand for appointments ahead of 10 May reopening 3 months ago

Irish Hairdressers Federation member flags huge demand for appointments ahead of 10 May reopening

Waiting lists could prove tricky due to the sheer volume of demand.

A member of the Executive Committee for the Irish Hairdressers Federation (IHF) has offered some advice and tips for booking appointments ahead of the reopening of hairdressers and personal services next month.

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Mark O'Keeffe, Founder and Director of Sugar Culture Hair and Beauty Group, told JOE that "phones have already been flying off the hook" and debunked some myths about what the reopening will mean for clients.

Will there be a waiting list?

During the last reopening, many salons across the country introduced a waiting list system, which gave clients the ability to call in advance and place their name on a list to guarantee an earlier appointment slot ahead of the reopening.

However, it seems some businesses may scrap waiting lists this time around due to the volume of demands.

"It's different from business to business, the last time we opened after the first lockdown, we opened up a waiting list about two months before we opened, certainly six weeks before we opened," O'Keeffe said.

"It proved to be a very difficult challenge for us because we had close to 4,000 names on the list."

The salon owner said that, this time around, he will be taking bookings on a "first come first serve" basis only.

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"When we got to reopen, we literally had five working days to get people booked and it was a monumental challenge, it was very difficult both for clients and my front of house team because of that pressure.

"As a result, we decided not to do a waiting list this time and it will literally be first come first serve."

Will my appointment made before salon closures still count?

O'Keeffe also said that prioritisation of clients who had their appointments cancelled due to the lockdown will be likely for many salons.

"We are prioritising clients who had appointments between January and May," he added.

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"There was a substantial amount of people who had appointments made because they had a physical appointment already in the appointment system. We are prioritising them. Then come Tuesday (4 May) because Monday is a bank holiday, our front of house team will be back taking appointments and online bookings will be open."

When and how can I make a new appointment?

The hairdresser said that he won't be taking any appointments until after the official announcement about the reopening of personal services is made on Thursday evening. However, each salon will have a different set of protocols in relation to booking appointments.

O'Keeffe will be reopening phone lines and online bookings for the weeks ahead as of Tuesday. As each hairdresser/barber/salon will likely have a different system, he recommends getting in touch with your barber or hairstylist ahead of time to find out when they will be starting to take bookings.

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It is understood that the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) gave the go-ahead for a major easing of restrictions over the coming weeks and months, including the reopening of hair salons and personal service from 10 May ahead of a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 on Wednesday evening and of Cabinet on Thursday.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is set to make an official announcement on the easing of restrictions in the coming months at 6pm this evening in an address to the nation.