HAIRDRESSERS are counting the cost after a car smashed through the front of their popular salon.

The Citroen C4 mounted the kerb and crashed into the front of Hair Technique in Vine Avenue, Wivenhoe, shortly before 6pm on Tuesday.

Fortunately, the shop was closed at the time and nobody was hurt in the incident but huge damage has been caused to the front of the shop.

Equipment including hair straighteners, a hairdryer and a nail desk have been destroyed along with plumbing which serves the store’s basins.

The car had to be wrenched out by expert technicians and engineers have confirmed the structure of the building is still safe.

Manager of the shop Cherene Holland said staff were still calculating the cost of the damage but expected it to run into thousands of pounds.

She said: “I left at 5.40pm and was home at 6pm and by then I had three missed calls from someone trying to tell me what had happened.

“It was a shock because it is such a big car and it was right in the middle of the shop.

“The owner is going to have to go through everything to see how much has been damaged but each nail polish is £25 per bottle and a few of them have been broken.

“It was lucky nobody was here because it could have been a lot worse.

“But people have been absolutely lovely - just little things like neighbours coming round with a tray of teas means so much - and there has been lots of help from other businesses.”

The shop was shut yesterday but staff are hoping it will reopen on Friday, but no final decision has been made.

Staff and customers at Henley’s fish and chip shop which is immediately next door rushed out to help the driver - a young woman - and the passengers which included a small child.

Owner David Henley said his wife Lisa and assistant manager Ryan Patterson were on duty at the time.

“The team reacted very well, we sent someone straight out to the fire station nearby and the staff comforted the driver and the passengers who were in shock,” he said.

“It is a very quiet residential area and you do not expect it to happen.

“Everyone is supportive of each other and the mayor Mike Newton has visited to make sure everyone is ok.

"It is an awful thing to have happened but the reaction to it shows how Wivenhoe is a really brilliant place to live and work."

It is believed the crash happened when the driver pressed the wrong pedal while driving an automatic car which she was not familiar with.

The vehicle then went up the kerb and smashed into the shop's glass frontage.

Essex Police confirmed the motorist has been reported for careless driving.