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Scottish Barbers Pull Overtime Shifts for Post-Lockdown Reopening

With lockdown restrictions easing in Scotland, barbers are chomping at the bit to get open and start fixing those lockdown manes. Some barbers are even pulling 14+ hour shifts to make up for lost time.

Tony Mann, barbershop owner in Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, opened up at 6am yesterday morning to get cracking on much needed haircuts. With a total of 96 cuts booked in for his 14 hour shift.

Taking it one step further, Georgia Gaffney, owner of House of Handsome in Carnoustie opened at one minute past midnight Monday morning, to get started on a 24-hour shift.

After Nicola Sturgeon announced the slight easing of restrictions from April 2, including allowing hairdressers and barbers to reopen on April 5, it will have been over 100 days since they had been allowed to be open, just before Christmas.

When Tony reopened his shop for the first time back in July 2020, like Georgia, he opened at midnight and pulled a 24-hour shift. But twice in one year is perhaps a bit much.

Tony said: “”It’s been four months since the last day we cut hair so the feeling today is slight anxiety and slight worry, like ‘is everything going to go to plan’, but I’m also feeling really excited and happy because my shop is open again. 

“We start at 6am and finish at 8pm. I didn’t fancy doing another 24-hour shift this time but we’re open long enough. Last time we did 24 hours but what I’ve come to realise is doing shifts like that is not good for you.” 

Shortly after Nicola announced the new guidelines, Georgia decided to go all out. She said: “Georgia said: “I’ll be cutting from 12.01am, Monday April 5, a 24-hour shift right through to 12.01 the next day.

“The last time we went back to work it was a 19-hour shift, this time we’re upping it to 24. It sounded like a good idea at the time!” she laughed.

“The first lockdown was really quite difficult because nobody knew what to do or how to be.

“This time round it has been better because my wife and son have both been at home so we’ve been able to do more together – walks and stuff – so going back this time will be harder!”

Despite both barbershops having a fully-book schedule for their tremendously long days, both have put in measures to ensure their customers’ safety.

Georgia said: “We have an appointment system and have the distancing space taped out and signs on the window so that everyone knows they can’t all pile in. People will have to change the way they come to us usually, the whole family together for example.”

With hope that this will be the last ‘reopening’ from lockdown, both Georgia and Tony are looking forward to seeing their customers again and returning to a sense of normality… Maybe once they have a had a good sleep.

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