Now open for business | Hair salons and barbershops

Government announce hair salons and barbershops reopening date and release Safer Workplace guidance. The NHBF sets out the guidlines below

The government finally confirmed yesterday that hairdressers and barbers in England can reopen from Saturday 4th July for ‘services that relate to cutting or treating hair on the head only’. This applies to both salon-based and mobile and freelance hairdressers and barbers.

However, beauty businesses (including but not limited to nail bars, eyelash and brow bars, makeup artists, tattoo and tanning studios, spas, sports and massage therapy, well-being and holistic locations) will not be able to open until the government announce it is safe to do so (no official date has been given).

The Government has published their Safer Workplaces guidelines for close contact services (England only). These are for both hair and beauty businesses to prepare for reopening.

The key points of the Safer Workplace guidelines for England are:

  • All salons must stick to social distancing and maintain two metres between clients, or one metre with additional precautions, such as the use of screens
  • Face visors must be worn by practitioners for all activities. Face coverings are not an acceptable alternative to visors, but clients or staff may choose to wear an additional face covering
  • No walk-ins; clients must be seen by appointment only. Salon and barbershop owners will be required to keep a temporary record of all clients and visitors for 21 days to support the NHS test-and-trace system which controls outbreaks of the virus
  • No food or drinks to be consumed in the salon by clients other than water in disposable cups or bottles
  • The guidance does not ban the use of hairdryers

The guidelines are based on the most up to date scientific evidence. Face visors must be worn by anyone carrying out hairdressing, barbering or beauty activities. These provide a clear Perspex covering for the eyes, nose and mouth from the forehead down. Face coverings may be worn as an extra precaution, but not as an alternative to visors.

The Government makes a distinction between face coverings and face masks. Face masks are used by health and care workers, whilst face coverings are what the government is advising people to wear on public transport, for example. Evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you from the virus, but it may protect others if you are infected but have not developed symptoms.

The ‘highest risk zone’ is the area in front of the face where splashes and droplets from the nose and mouth which may not be visible can be present.

Salons and barbershops in Wales are expected to reopen from 13th July (after a review on 9th July) and in Northern Ireland from 6th July. Scotland has not given any date for salons and barbershops to aim for. The governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have yet to make any announcement on whether they will be adopting the same guidelines as England, or publishing their own. 

Hilary Hall, chief executive of the NHBF says, ‘Although it’s great news that hairdressers and barbers in England have a confirmed opening date, these decisions have come very late in the day. We are also extremely disappointed that beauty businesses are not yet allowed to reopen, and we have always emphasised that hair and beauty should reopen at the same time. We will continue to put pressure on the government to allow beauty businesses to reopen as soon as possible, and for financial support to be extended.

We will be updating our back to work guidelines and risk assessments in line with the government advice. We are also holding a webinar for Members on Thursday 25th June at 9.30am to go through the government guidelines in more detail.’ The full Safer Workplace guidelines are available to view here.

For more information and FAQs, visit and follow the National Hair & Beauty Federation on social at @nhbfsocial.

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