A hairdresser with 46 years experience says the pandemic has transformed the industry.
Monica Fee, who has welcomed customers to Monica's Hairstylists in Derry for four decades, said turning the keys in the salon on Monday after 14 weeks filled her with many emotions.
The usual selection of glossy magazines and offers of tea and coffee have been replaced with face-shields and a level of sanitisation that would be the envy of any hospital ward.
Mrs Fee takes the safety of her staff and clients seriously, but even with all these extra measures she said to make this new way of hairdressing work it was crucial clients kept to their appointed time. She said: "Opening the door after 14 weeks of lockdown, I think I felt every emotion it was possible to feel.
"I am anxious, nervous, there's a tiny bit of fear and worrying about getting clients to stick to their appointments, worrying about protecting staff and clients.
"Customers adhering to their appointments will be critical to the smooth running of the salon and making sure there are not more people here than is safe.
"It was emotional seeing people arrive back, especially customers that I haven't seen since 14 weeks ago.
"In order to comply with the regulations I totally gutted the salon, installed new floors, new sinks which are two metres apart, and fitted one long mirror instead of individual ones so we can move chairs so customers feel comfortable being here.
"Sanitation is part and parcel of hairdressing anyway, but from now on that will be extended and extensive, and will be carried out throughout the day. Staff are wearing face-shields and gloves and clients are also wearing masks.
"This is hairdressing like I have never seen it in all my years in the industry. It will take quite a bit of getting used to, but we will have to because I think it will be like this for the foreseeable future."
Dramatic changes have also been introduced at La Bella Beauty Salon in the Waterside.
Owner Michelle Matthews said she was excited to get back to work.
She said: "People have clearly missed not being able to have their treatments because our appointment book is full.
"Appointments for nails and eyebrows are most in demand, but we have a doctor who does Botox here and we have taken lots of appointments for that too.
"There are lots of new rules but I think we will learn to adapt and get on with it."