by Colin Campbell
AN Inverness barber’s has made probably the most important announcement in barbershop history.
Even better, it just happens to be my regular barber’s shop – although it wouldn’t matter, any place with a comb, a scissors, or the hand-held equivalent of a high-powered lawnmower would do.
After three long months of increasingly entangled frustration, the wonderful barber’s in Greig Street run by Pawel, Arleta and Damian is set to reopen in early July.
It was a good barber’s before. But now, yes it is indeed – wonderful.
I was speculating with a close relative on Sunday night how and when we might be able to get a haircut again, now that we are working our way through the phases. He has managed to retain a suitably professional appearance through the application on his thick, dark locks of copious amounts of gell. Early on in this crisis – the hair, I have to say, not the virus – he probably wisely turned down a snippy offer from his wife who volunteered to “have a go”.
He goes to Greig Street the same as I do. And soon, it would appear, we will be able to go again. On Sunday, we wondered how barbers and hairdressers would cope with demand when they are able to reopen for business.
The population of Inverness is in the region of 80,000 and – excluding those who are completely, in some ways blissfully bald – a huge proportion over the age of five will be in need of their services, preferably with immediate effect. That could amount to perhaps 50,000 people seeking a proper haircut or a hairdo, as opposed to the domestic shearing they may have relied on. That adds up to an extraordinary convergence on the city’s hair today, gone in 20 minutes establishments – for men. Women will have their own rather more elaborate needs and requirements.
Queues won’t cut it – they could stretch hundreds of yards, we speculated. Appointments only? There could be quite a wait. And while it will be an unprecedented bonanza time for barbers and hairdressers, there will also be awareness that staff could literally be worked off their feet.
Being on your feet potentially for hours at a stretch and still being able to concentrate with skilled but flagging fingers is a very tough challenge. But I hope those involved do very well financially – they’ll be worth every penny.
I don’t know how much I’d give for a haircut just now. The normal tenner? I’d pay that if they’d let me brush the floor. When you really, really need something, money doesn’t come into it. The announcement that will cause customers to bristle with relief and excitement, from Greig Street, which is an offshoot of Lenny’s landmark salon in Academy Street, stated:
WE HOPE YOU ARE WELL!
We are planning to reopen our shop, but this will be confirmed once the government has given permission.
We have not been given any guidelines as to how exactly services can be provided so this will also be confirmed as soon as we know.
Undoubtedly, we will not have a waiting area inside the shop anymore so we will appreciate your patience if you are waiting outside.
We will be aiming to introduce appointments on top of a walking in service, perhaps certain days of the week (most likely Fridays/Saturdays) or certain times of the day. Also, we are planning on extending opening hours to offer more availability and to reduce customers queueing. We will also offer mobile appointments to more vulnerable customers on request.
Please like us and follow us on Facebook at Lenny’s barber shop as we will be giving more updates there.
We are working on creating an app to be able to take online bookings and will also provide a phone number for those who wish to book an appointment by a text message.
Please be advised all our staff have completed a COVID-19 barbicide course and we are all certified to provide a safe and healthy working environment to our customers.
WE HOPE TO SEE YOU AGAIN SOON!
Pawel (Paul) Arleta, Damian.
We hope to see you again soon too. Make that we yearn to see you again soon. I’ve no doubt that feeling is shared by everyone across the city in relation to their regular barber’s or hairdressers. We can only presume you all know just how much you’ve been missed.
- Barbicide is a disinfectant solution used by barbers and cosmetologists for disinfecting grooming tools such as combs and hair-cutting devices.