NORTH Essex residents may have to wait until the end of May to get a hair cut with many hairdressers’ diaries are fully booked for the next five weeks.

With hairdressers reopening on Monday, salon owners have been faced with the “totally bonkers” task of rebooking their clients’ cancelled appointments and fitting in new bookings for people in need of a post-lockdown cut.

Glynne Gerrard, who runs the Station Hair and Beauty, in High Street, Mistley, with his partner Jessica Wilson, said they had to switch off their online booking system in order to prioritise rebooking their existing clients’ appointments.

He said: “The list we are getting through has about 1,500 requests, so we had to turn our online booking system off.”

The salon’s staff members were called into the salon this week to help manage their clients’ bookings ahead of Monday’s reopening.


Reopening - The Station Hair and Beauty staff are looking forward to welcoming their customers back 

Mr Gerrard said: “We did not want to do anything until we were given an 100 per cent confirmation by the Government that salons could reopen on Monday.

“We are now prepared and have allocated more time to clean up after appointments, and it will work like a slick operation.”

The last time the salon was able to reopen, Mr Gerrard opened it seven days a week.

However, he said working around the clock was not feasible.

He added: “During the last period out of lockdown we opened for seven days a week, but it was a challenge.

“The staff just needed a proper break as it was exhausting being open every day.”


Coffee - the Mistley salon also has an outdoor drinking area 

Mr Gerrard said his team of 16 are looking forward to getting back to work and he is going to recruit more staff.

He added: “Our online booking forms reopens today *Friday* as the salon cannot keep up with rebooking appointments via the phone once we are open again.”

Divas Hair Salon, in St John’s Street, Colchester, is having to extend its opening hours in a bid to meet demand.

Before the coronavirus pandemic the salon never used to open on a Sunday and staff would normally finish their shifts at 5.30pm.

However, the salon will now be open for seven days a week.

Michelle Loriga, the salon owner, said: “We are full until the middle of May. We have divided ourselves into two teams so that there are not too many people in the salon at once.

“We are opening seven days a week between 9am and 6pm.

“As the salon owner, I don’t think I have a day off until the middle of May.”

She said she hopes Colchester will feel busier from next week when businesses reopen.

Non-essential shops, nail salons, libraries and outdoor hospitality venues such as beer gardens will also be allowed to reopen from Monday.