This is what Sheffield hairdressers have to say about salons remaining closed until April at the earliest

By the time Sheffield’s hairdressers are permitted to cut, colour and style our hair once more, they will have spent more of the last year closed than they have been open.

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 9:06 am

And the Government’s so-called “roadmap” out of lockdown means the city’s salons will remain closed until April 12 at the earliest, when Stage Three of the easing of restrictions is provisionally scheduled to begin.

While Sheffield hairdressers are keen to wait until it is safe for them to reopen, and that we are not forced back into lockdown, several believe they could safely open next month.

Mark Pearson, owner of Creator Hair/The Blow on West Street in the city centre said the salon has many clients who work at Sheffield hospitals, who claim the level of personal protective equipment (PPE) worn by hairdressers is comparable to that worn by staff on Covid wards.

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Creator Hair/The Blow is based on West Street. Picture: Google

He said: “I play football, and my team will be able to start playing with 22 men on the pitch, plus coaches, subs etc, by the end of March, but I won’t be able to cut hair wearing a mask and a visor while the client wears a mask too!”

Sara Barlow, owner of Vanilla by Sara Barlow on Norfolk Row in the city centre, also believes the reopening date should be brought forward.

“When you look at the proceedures in place, the amount of PPE we wear, the cleaning that happens between clients, we are very, very safe,” said Sara.

Customers dealing with the horrors of lockdown hair have been quick to get in touch with Sheffield’s salons following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday (Monday, February 22) but many owners are holding off on opening their appointment books until the provisional date of April 12 become definite.

Sara Barlow inside her salon

This is what Creator Hair and Vanilla by Sara Barlow are opting to do – as is The Avenue Hair and Skin, which is owned by John Colgrave.

John says the salon, which is based on Glossop Road in the Devonshire Quarter, has 500 customers on their waiting list, but wants to avoid causing disappointment if the opening date is pushed back.

"It’s difficult because you don’t want customers to book in somewhere else, but we also don’t want to be cancelling appointments later down the line,” he said.

When The Avenue reopened after the first national lockdown, John says staff worked overtime to fit everyone in but he wants to avoid doing that this time.

John Colgrave

He said: “Staff suffered and we can’t do that again, it’s not good for their mental health. They were dead after last July and August, and we can’t be having that again. People will just have to wait.”

Mark, of Creator Hair, says getting the Government go-ahead to reopen is just one of the obstacles salons will have to overcome – he is also worried about people’s shopping and beauty habits changing.

“I talk to a lot of salon owners and the worry is that people will get out of the habit of coming into the city centre, they will get out of the habit of coming for a colour every eight weeks, and highlights every 12 weeks because they’ve managed without it during lockdown,” said Mark.

He added: “I think that people should go and support local businesses – and I don’t just mean independents like mine – because once they’re gone, they’re gone for good.”

The interior of The Avenue Hair & Skin

Sara Barlow says she believes it will “take some time” for salons to bounce back but is hopeful for the future.

"I’m trying to be optimistic, and hopefully, when we are able to reopen it’ll be for good.”


The interior of Vanilla by Sara Barlow

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.

The exterior of Vanilla by Sara Barlow