File Photo.

Eckville salon adjusting to new normal after COVID-19 closure

Upper Cuts Salon has enforced new protocols and appointment schedules since re-opening

Eckville’s Upper Cuts Salon got back to work a few weeks ago with a very different look.

Owner Alexis Lightbown said they took the re-opening slowly the week of May 19 as they adjusted to the new way of operating.

They started with one stylist in the salon at a time as they get used to the new schedule.

“We have to change our timing throughout the day differently and we have to make sure that we have time to clean between each client,” said Lightbown.

After each customer leaves the entire salon has to be fully sanitized.

“It’s been really challenging,” Lightbown said of the scheduling, “like we’ve been open for over a week and most of us still haven’t even been able to contact all of our clients because we have to book so far ahead.”

Booking too far in advance could lead to potential issues if the regulations were to change and appointments need to be re-booked, or if one of the stylists develop symptoms everything would have to be cancelled for two weeks.

“That’s tricky to navigate around too, so that’s making it harder for us to book far into the future,” added Lightbown.

The salon is doing what they can do accommodate everybody and have shortened appointment slots for the first couple of months to free up time.

Lightbown says they have some clients who can normally take four to seven hours depending on the change they are making, but right now they are maxing appointments out at three hours.

“That still only gives you a few clients a day and we all have pretty substantial waiting lists,” commented Lightbown.

“We aren’t really even in the position to take on new customers, which is too bad because there is a lot of people that are needing somewhere to go for the same reason that our clients … are still waiting to get in.”

Clients going to the salon can expect to see different procedures than they are used to.

Appointments must be made by texting or calling your stylist as there is no walk-ins.

After entering the salon for your appointment customers are encouraged to sanitize their hands and wear masks.

The stylists are required to wear masks, there’s signage posted around the salon and their usual cleaning regiment has been bumped up to include items like door handles.

Lightbown says the salon’s customers are “amazing” and she has received no negative feedback about the changes.

“We really appreciate how patient everyone’s been because it has been really difficult navigating our schedules and getting everybody in and getting back to everybody,” expressed Lightbown.

“I think most people are just thankful to be able to get out and pamper themselves a little bit again.”

Starting June 2 there will be two stylists in the salon at a time now that they have had time to adjust to the new scheduling.

The salon will likely continue to operate with two stylists in the building at a time until the restrictions are lifted.

Upper Cut Salon’s estheticians are not yet allowed to be back to work, but Lightbown is hoping to see them back in Phase 2 of the Province’s re-opening.

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