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‘It’s good to be back’: Customers return to hairdressers and barbers across Wales for the first time this year

People have been having their hair cut professionally in Wales for the first time in months and they’re loving it. Hairdressers and barbers in Wales opened today, March 15, for the first time this year.

It follows the Welsh Government lifting its rules banning salon haircuts The re-opening comes almost a month before hairdressers in England are allowed to pick up their scissors again from April 12.

Salon owner Sue Trace said it was “good to be back”. She said she was fully booked for the next two weeks. The owner of Hair Flair in Llandaff added: “I came in on Saturday after the announcement was made and the phone was just constantly ringing.

“We don’t normally open on a Monday but decided to open today as we knew how desperately people wanted to have their hair done. We have seen clients with some very long hair and it has been great seeing them leave with fabulous hair. It is good to be back.”



Some of the first customers at the Hair Flair salon in Llandaff, Cardiff



The phone was ringing off the hook at the salon on Saturday

Customers at Sleep When You’re Dead barbers in Cardiff, said they felt “relieved” and “refreshed” after having their hair cut professionally for the first time in 2021.

David Saunders, 38, who runs a healthcare clinic, told the PA news agency: “I’m just relieved. I was going a little stir crazy.

“My wife says having a haircut is really important to how I am around the house, and with family and work. When my hair is a mess, I feel as if I’m appearing as a mess. I think the health aspect and psychology is really underestimated.”



Barber Olly D’Urso styles the hair of David Saunders, 38, from Cardiff, at Sleep When You’re Dead barbers in Duke St Arcade



David with his freshly styled hair



Stavros Andreou at his hair salon, Lazarou’s, in Pontypridd

Dan Thain, 36, who owns a fire and security business, told PA: “I feel refreshed, a bit more normal and ready to go again. It’s like we can see light at the end of the tunnel. If you’re dealing with customers, it looks good if you turn up and you’re looking and feeling a bit sharper.”

Welsh Government regulations say hairdressers can only serve customers with an appointment, and that their services will be restricted to haircuts only.



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Monday also saw Welsh primary school pupils return to classrooms for the first time this year, joining those in foundation years who returned last month, while face-to-face teaching will also resume for learners in years 11 and 13. Teachers can also invite learners in years 10 and 12 back to school in order to support their learning, while all other years will be allowed to ‘check in’ with teachers on a limited number of days before a full school return from April 12.

But not everyone is happy., beauty salons say they are being ‘left behind’ after they were not included in the announcement last Friday. Read what they think here.

Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething told Sky News today that the changes had been made possible by the vaccine, which has brought cases to below 40 per 100,000 people.

“Our message to the public is that we want to see these easements made as quickly and as safely as possible,'” he added.



The Lazarou Hair Salon, Whitchurch, Cardiff, ready to open

The latest figures for Wales on Monday from Public Health Wales showed that the infection rate was now 39.1 cases per 100,000 of population, based on the seven days up to March 10, a slight drop from the figure of 39.3 reported on Sunday and well below the key Welsh Government benchmark of 50. You can check the cases in your area here.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said on Friday that hairdressing businesses would be allowed to re-open because they had ‘gone through everything that is needed in order to operate safely’.

It comes after Wales’ ‘stay-at-home’ restrictions were lifted on Saturday, as the country moved to a ‘stay local’ period, with travel restrictions expected to be eased further in time for Easter.

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