A barber in County Louth is bracing himself to be overwhelmed when his shop re-opens after receiving hundreds of messages from people in the Republic and Northern Ireland in recent weeks.
Craig Colgan, owner of Sailor Sharkey Barbers in Dundalk, said he is relieved will be able to re-open his business at the end of the month.
Hairdressers and barbers are expected to re-open in the Republic on June 29, while they will re-open in Northern Ireland on July 6.
Mr Colgan said he has been swamped with emails, texts, and messages through Instagram, Facebook from people looking for appointments.
“I’ve received hundreds of messages from men looking for haircuts since March. It wasn’t just regular clients or local people… I had guys from the North contacting me too – it has just been crazy,” he added.
He says while many businesses are concerned about their future after the pandemic, businesses providing personal services should weather the storm.
He said: “I would call barbering recession proof… A lot of people see it as a necessity. I would charge 13 euro for a cut but I’d also provide extra touches like a massage and beard oil. Customers like a bit of luxury.”
He said his business had just started to get “where he wanted it to be” when it was announced in March that all barbers and hairdressers had to shut.
“The closure was a big setback for the business but it was completely unprecedented and there was nothing you could do other than prepare for whatever the new normal would look like,” he added.
We are getting word that the 29th of June is the date we can reopen. (Thankfully)— Sailor Sharkey Barbers (@BarbersSailor) June 18, 2020
We are just putting together a plan about whether it will be on appointment for the next few weeks or walk ins.
Want it to be as safe as possible.
Will update in the next few days guys 💪
Looking ahead, Mr Colgan said barbers already sterilise and keep equipment clean, but he will have to buy PPE for his staff and customers.
He said: “We won’t have to spend to much money to re-open but PPE and we will comply with whatever guidelines are released so we can re-open as safely as possible.”
“I’m not sure if I will be able to operate a walk-in system…. men don’t tend to do appointments. A lot of my regular clients are in their fifties and don’t like using apps or going online but we will operate a system that is fair and safe.”
“I have to make sure I keep myself safe too because I will be in close contact with a lot of people but I’m really looking forward to getting back to some kind of normality again and seeing my clients.”