When will hairdressers reopen in the UK? The latest news

Can hairdressers open in tier 3 and tier 2 when England's lockdown ends? What about the rest of the UK? We bring you the latest government updates for beauty.

When will hairdressers open again

With Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing the UK's plans for Christmas this week, will hairdressers be able to reopen across the country? Are hairdressers open in tier 3 and tier 2?

After temporarily opening their doors over the summer, hairdressers had to close their doors once again as restrictions were reintroduced across the UK.

While hairdressers are open again in some parts of the country, the rules are ever-changing and many of us are wondering if we'll be able to get a pre-Christmas hair appointment in. So are hairdressers open on the 2nd of December? Can hair salons open in tier 3 and tier 2? Here's what we know...

Can hairdressers open on the 2nd of December in England?

In England, the current lockdown is due to end next week on Wednesday 2nd of December. Depending on if any additional rules are enforced in your local area, it looks like hairdressers will be able to open then. Hooray!

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to confirm the tier restrictions for the different areas of England on Thursday, following the announcement of the nation's Christmas Covid plans on Monday.

Are hairdressers open in tier 3?

Yes, hairdressers can open in tier 3 when England's lockdown ends on 2nd December, including mobile hairdressers offering personal care services. There will be no variation in rules between local areas.

Before Lockdown 2, some areas imposed additional restrictions on top of the official rules for tier 3. For example, Nottingham closed almost all beauty services when it moved into tier 3, but these rules was not seen in other tier 3 areas like West Yorkshire. However, this will not be the case once lockdown ends in December. 

Are hairdressers open in tier 2?

Yes. As was the case before England's second lockdown, in tier 2 both mobile and in-salon hairdressers can open with Covid-secure measures in place. The government has confirmed all non essential retail, including personal care, can operate in tiers 1, 2 and 3.

Are hairdressers open in Scotland?

In Scotland, both in-salon and mobile hairdressers can offer haircuts in tiers 1, 2 and 3 (all other mobile beauty services are restricted to tier 1). Beauty services are completely closed under tier 4 restrictions, affecting 11 areas of Scotland until the 11th of December.

Are hairdressers open in Wales?

Yes! Following the "firebreak" lockdown that ran for 17 days from the 23rd of October, beauty salons are all open provided all of the relevant Covid safety measures are in place.

Are hairdressers open in Northern Ireland?

Yes, but not for much longer. After a circuit break lockdown that ended on Friday 20th November, Northern Ireland's beauty services were allowed to reopen – but only for a week.

They will close once more on Friday 27th as part of a stricter, two week lockdown. Get in there quickly if you need an appointment before then!

What do the experts say about hairdressers reopening?

Beauty booking services Treatwell and Urban have warned of the impact to the industry if salons are unable to open at the start of December.

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, they outlined that 10% of the beauty industry has already gone out of business due to the pandemic, a figure that could jump to 30% if workers cannot take advantage of the all-important Christmas period.

The letter, signed by more than 500 members of the beauty industry, stresses the devastating potential impact on 370,000 jobs and 50,000 businesses across the country, and that tens of thousands of jobs have already been lost – 94% of these by women.

"Hair, beauty and wellness cannot survive another last minute U-turn from the Government," reads a statement from Treatwell COO Giorgia Rossi and Urban CEO Jack Tang. "We are seeking urgent clarity and reassurance that businesses will be able to open on 3rd December. Let’s come together to bring back hair, beauty and wellness and prevent it from getting left behind again."

when will hairdressers reopen

In May, Keith Conniford, CEO of theHair and Barber Council spoke to Woman & Home about the plans for hairdressers and barbers to open when the first lockdown ended. He confirmed that, during the initial lockdown, there were people making plans to support the industry in preparation for the restrictions being lifted.

He said, “One of the critical things that businesses need to do is ensure that they feel the health, safety and hygiene of their premises is as safe as possible for [clients] to come in and get their hair done, or whatever service they’re going to have."

Keith had previously hoped that the announcement about "non-essential" shops reopening on the 15th of June would bring forward the reopening date for salons, confirming that a letter was sent out in late May to the secretary of state, signed by all the main beauty organisations asking whether they would change the date from July 4 to June 15 for the hairdressing sector. Unfortunately for salons and those looking to get their hair cut, this didn't happen and the reopening date remained firmly on July 4, as long as all the guidelines for lifting the lockdown further were met.

The Guild of Beauty Therapists also confirmed their initial position on the subject with a post on Instagram in May. They said, "Beauty and hair salon businesses, holistic centres, practice training schools and nail bars including mobile and home-based businesses must remain shut" as "our industry involves touching clients, which makes it impossible to adhere to the 2m social distancing rule. Hence the industry remains in lockdown."

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Will social distancing be in place in hairdressers again?

Ahead of hairdressers reopening in July, founder of London Soho's SALON64 Ricky Walters has told us what clients could expect when they returned to the salon. "We will be taking everyone’s temperatures upon entering the salon with an infrared thermometer to ensure there is not further spread of coronavirus within the salon that will affect our clients and staff," he confirmed. 

"Everything is going disposable! From the gowns our clients wear to the towels we use to dry hair, everything will be single use. Still conscious of our environmental responsibility, we are using eco-friendly bio-degradable towels and gowns that decompose at the same speed as a banana skin (from our favourite eco-brand Scrummi). Even our cups and glassware will all be single use. Still serving up incredible cocktails at the bar as well as delicious coffee, it will all be served in disposable tableware.

"'Sneeze Screens' will protect clients at the front desk upon check in and check out as well as floor to ceiling screens between each section. Clients will be supplied with a face mask to wear along with the team all wearing gloves, branded 64 face masks and 64 shields.

"We are currently looking into pre-payment options to eliminate unnecessary human interaction when paying at the front desk. We know with our innovation and high standards, we will continue to provide an incredible environment and positive energy even with these new restrictions”.

It's likely that, should hairdressers reopen in December, we'll see a return to similar safety measures that were seen in July.

Personal grooming and mental health

As Phoebe Waller Bridge's Fleabag poignantly put, "hair is everything".

“Hair is everything, we wish it wasn't so we could actually think about something else occasionally. But it is," she defiantly told her hairdresser in the last series of the hit BBC show. And Keith agrees.

He told us that while the hair industry is not considered to be a vital service, it has a serious impact on people’s mental wellbeing. “The effect of people not being able to get their hair done has been quite big in terms of people’s mental health," he told Woman & Home. "The ‘feel good factor’, because the industry does a good job in terms of what they’re paid do – a haircut et cetera – but what we do beyond that has come into real, heavy focus recently in terms of people coming in, it’s a good atmosphere. People like being there.

“We’ve also got some barbers doing great work in terms of loneliness, mental health and suicide prevention because people do talk to hairdressers and barbers and for some people, in some places, it’s their only point of contact in the week. So there’s a whole mass of things that the industry are chomping at the bit to get back to."

Here's hoping we'll be able to get that feel-good boost once again come December.

While it may be tempting to look at these countries and use them to determine when hairdressers will be open in the UK, Keith says this isn’t helpful.

“People are looking to these countries being good or bad in terms of what they feel they’re doing and relating it straight to us. It bears no relevance to what we might be doing, or may not be doing once we’re told.”

Attempting a DIY haircut: the golden rules

 If your hair needs urgent attendance, or you’re just looking for a little lockdown pick-me-up, there’s nothing wrong with giving your hair a light trim. If you really can't wait for the lockdown to lift, We asked SALON64's Ricky Walters for his top tips for maintaining (or changing) your style...

Find a video for guidance

“There are huge amounts of videos and tutorials online on how to cut someone’s hair, but my first piece of advice would be to shop around for a video that speaks slowly, clearly and with plenty of detail.”

Ricky says, “Do not just go for the first video you quite like the look of. The key is in the detail – whether it’s flicking out the clippers when fading men’s hair or the amount of tension in your hands when pulling ladies’ hair down to cut. Details are key.”

Make a contingency plan

Ricky says not having a contingency plan this is one of the most common mistakes you can make when cutting someone else’s hair. “Your husband or wife wants three inches off their hair and I cringe as I watch an amateur cut a line at exactly 3 inches with no margin for error.

“Remember you can always take more off but you can’t put more on.”

Start from the back

For some reason everyone like to start at the front, says Ricky. “For me this is the most important area and the place most visible to your client. Try and take less off starting from the back as a little test patch to find your feet and work slowly and methodically following an experts tutorial. [Find someone] who is a professional hairdresser and not an amateur trying to gain followers.”

Products that Ricky recommends for ensuring your DIY haircut and styling session runs smoothly

Along with a good amount of confidence, these are the things that Ricky suggests you need before attempting a DIY haircut.

Anself Pintail Comb

Anself Pintail Comb

Combs play an important role in cutting hair. They help to divide it into sections and guide the scissors when making the cut.

Haryali London Professional 6" Hairdressing Scissors

Haryali London Professional 6" Hairdressing Scissors, £7.50

Easily the most essential tool for cutting hair. You can buy hairdressers' scissors in a huge variety of styles and colours - but we went for these basic ones that are easy to use, from Amazon.

CLOUD NINE The Curling Wand

CLOUD NINE The Curling Wand, £109

As recommended by Ricky Walters of SALON64, this CLOUD NINE curling wand will help you style your hair in whatever way you like.

ghd original IV hair straightener

ghd original IV hair straightener, £109

One of ghd's most popular products, these straightening tongs might not be the cheapest, but they're some of the most reliable around.

Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Treatment

Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Treatment, £24

Designed to give your hair a new lease of life, this hair mask from Avon will help moisturise and repair damaged hair.

Here's hoping we don't have to endure at-home cuts for much longer!