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A careful return to work approach from Ashburton hair salons is paying dividends, with businesses “as busy as ever”.
That’s despite conflicting Covid-19 alert level 2 advice from the Government and the industry for hairdressers and barbers regarding the use of face masks.
Hair and Barber New Zealand said international guidelines recommended that clients and employees should wear masks because it was the safest option for the industry and workers.
But that varied from recent advice from the Government, which stated clients in hair salons, barber shops and beauty salons would not have to wear a face covering because it was “impractical to do so”.
Hair salons in Ashburton’s CBD have erred on the side of caution and opted not to take any shortcuts, with employees masked and customers asked to follow suit.
“We made the decision that it’s safer for us and clients to wear them,” Capelli Hair Design employee Aimee Burrows said.
“As long as they’re comfortable.”
Clients with any relevant health conditions could also sit in a separate area of the salon.
Further up Burnett St, DNA Hairdressing and Minx Hair Spa were also adopting the same face mask stance.
“We offer masks if clients don’t have their own. And if they don’t want to get their material one ruined, we have disposable ones,” DNA receptionist Sara Baird said.
Customers had been very accommodating, she said.
“We haven’t really had any pushback. I’d say we’re as busy as ever.”
The Bald Barber on Tancred St had a slightly looser policy where employees wore masks, but clients were asked to take their masks off when getting their hair cut.
“There’s only two people (customers) at one time who don’t have to wear a mask,” owner Jeff Swindell said.
“People in the waiting room wear them.”
While DNA and Capelli’s felt their clients welcomed a conservative approach, Swindell said customers appreciated greater flexibility.
“People appreciate not having to wear them,” he said, adding that his barber shop had completed “hundreds” of appointments over the first week of alert level 2.
“For me, it’s about educating people (around masks and signing in) – but I’m not their mother.”
– By Adam Burns
Local Democracy Reporter
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