May 11, 2020

Hair salons in Singapore get ready for expected influx of customers ahead of reopening

Customers at a QB House outlet before the circuit breaker began. Hair salons can reopen from Tuesday, but must manage potential crowds.PHOTO: QB HOUSE

Regular customers of Ezen Hair, Nail & Beauty salon have been calling to ask when it would reopen, as some of them grow increasingly desperate for a haircut.

The salon, which started operations in 1982 and has nine outlets, will reopen on Tuesday but can provide only basic hair-cutting as well as washing and blow-drying services.

It can also serve each customer for a maximum of an hour.

Founder Esla Lim told The Sunday Times: “Some of my customers have said they are starting to look like ghosts, and that their sons have hair so long they are starting to look like daughters.”

After having had to close for almost three weeks owing to tighter circuit breaker measures, salons are now figuring out ways to deal with potential crowds, such as advising customers to visit during off-peak hours, make an appointment, and even wait for another week, as some outlets are nearly fully booked.

Some customers requested private hair-cutting services at their homes, but Ms Lim, 55, said this was not allowed under the circuit breaker rules.

Her company employs about 50 people, and she said it has been a difficult time for her staff.

“However, we have not let any of them go – some of them have been with us for 20, 30 years. But everyone is sharing the burden to tide them over this period, including taking lower salaries,” she said.

The Hair & Cosmetology Association Singapore, which represents more than 280 individuals and salons here, told The Sunday Times yesterday that salons can take walk-in customers as long as safe distancing measures are adhered to.

But it has advised its members to make appointments where possible.

Mr Kevin Neo, founder and creative director of Prix Salon at Funan mall and in Clementi, said his business has received an influx of appointments from customers, and he has asked them not to rush for a haircut this week.

A spokesman for express salon chain QB House said that while it was prepared to handle a large number of people who need a haircut, it advised customers to go at off-peak times, such as during weekday mornings and afternoons.

All except four of its 36 outlets will reopen on Tuesday.

Staff have been taught how to cut the hair of customers who are wearing a mask at all times, he said, adding that all outlets have implemented mandatory temperature taking since mid-February.

While some Singaporeans are planning to get a haircut as soon as possible, others plan to wait until next month, when more restrictions might be lifted as the circuit breaker period ends.

Marketer Michelle Teo, 24, usually cuts her hair every three weeks but has not had a haircut for six weeks.

“My hair has been growing out. I haven’t cut it and neither have I had much reason to, because I’ve not been meeting people.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to let it grow out to see the extent of how bad it can look,” she said, adding that she will not be cutting her hair until after June 1, when she has to return to her workplace.

Source from : https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/hair-salons-get-ready-for-expected-influx-of-customers?utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=STFB&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR2arCj9Caq-7oC6f1n8GrmCwWKVpI79oZzEQsjXMkmiNjqnxJ5YDMiWlXU#Echobox=1589069440

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