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With the population eager to get back to normality but anxious about how to do so safely, it’s clear that everyday aspects of our daily lives – from getting to work, to meeting with mates – will need to change.One place that’s priming itself for the influx of customers that will inevitably come once restrictions lift, is salons. Already, across Europe, booking app, Treatwell, has seen a record number of bookings, as countries lifting lockdown earlier than us rush to book in beauty treatments after weeks of DIY maintenance. Germany has seen a 2,000% boom in bookings, with the first appointment (a men’s haircut) booked 5 minutes after the government announcement. In France, there’s been a 3,100% rise in demand, as the first customer post-restrictions hit the salon at 5am in the morning. And there’s been a surge in pre-planning days (and even weeks in advance) now that guidance around social distancing has made walk-ins difficult.
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As ever, nail treatments remain one of the most popular appointments, especially long-wearing manicures and pernickety cuticle trims. But will our beloved manicures resemble anything like the treatments we were used to before lockdown? We spoke to two nail bars prepping to re-open about how they’ll be doing things a little differently.‘It’s tempting to think about everything going back to normal when lockdown ends but the reality is things are going to be different for quite some time,” reveals Juanita Huber-Millet, founder of Fitzrovia nail salon, TOWNHOUSE. “We are focused first and foremost on ensuring our staff and customers are safe, but also on making sure everyone can still have the treatments they enjoy.”The pastel French manicure is the nail art trend everyone’s trying in isolation
“We are still awaiting further guidance from the Government,” says Sherrille Riley, founder of Mayfair nail boutique, Nails & Brows, but salons are planning ahead based on the advice received so far from the government and global health organisations. They’ve been taking their cues from salons opening up around the world, too. “We have been closely monitoring best practice internationally,” says Juanita, “particularly in Asia. As the world opens back up again, we will find new ways of getting through this and I am confident we will all learn from each other.”
Here’s what you can expect from your next nail appointment.Protective equipment will be worn by therapists (and possibly you)“It will be compulsory for all staff and customers to wear protective face masks at all times,” says Sherrille. And the therapists will also be wearing protective face shields. “Our therapists will be wearing a fresh set of gloves for each treatment,” adds Juanita.Hygiene standards will increaseAll customers and therapists will be asked to wash their hands with antibacterial soap on arrival and the frequency of surface cleaning and disinfecting throughout salons will increase – particularly work stations, door handles and tools. “For your protection, all tools at TOWNHOUSE are either disinfected using a hospital-grade autoclave sterilisation machine or are single use,” Juanita says. As for payment, “card payments will be encouraged instead of cash,” says Sherrille.
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Social distancing will be implemented“Our clients and team will have to adhere to the social distancing rules by keeping beauty stations two metres apart,” says Sherrille. “A limited number of staff and clients will be allowed inside the boutique at any time – we imagine that we will operate at 30% our normal capacity,” she adds.Appointments will need to be pre-booked“We will only accept customers who have made pre-booked appointments,” says Sherrille. “No walk-in’ service will be offered.” This is both to help with social distancing and to manage bookings given the increased demand, but reduced capacity.
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