Sylvia Hands McGarvey looking forward to reopening her Barber Shop on the Diamond in Belturbet.

Salons are ‘totally safe’ places

Sylvia Hands McGarvey only opened her new Diamond Barber Shop in Belturbet last July after the first lockdown and it has been a case of “opening and closing” ever since.

“I went from been very busy, to closed down. I feel I have been constantly busy but I have yet to see what it will be like in normal times,” she told the Celt last week.

Sylvia feels that barbers and hairdressers did a lot of work during the first lockdown to become Covid compliant and put health and safety measures in place. She feels they are “totally safe” places.

“When I opened the shop, I set up an appointment system – an app on Facebook and also gave my phone number. People could phone, walk in or make appointments on-line. They were all 15-minute or half-hour slots, depending on the type of hair cut requested,” explained Sylvia of her efforts to control the number of people in the stop at any one time.

“There was no overlapping and I would never use the same gown on anybody. Everything was washed that evening and the seat was sanitised after each person vacated it and before the next person sat on it. The equipment was cleaned after each person’s hair cut was completed and both of us were wearing masks. She described closing, despite every best effort employed, as “very frustrating”.

Sylivia is hoping for a May opening. “I would like if it was April, but I can’t see that happening,” she said.

Given Belturbet’s proximity to the Border, Sylvia said that customers may well go to Derrylin or Lisnaskea for haircuts if they reopen sooner.

“I am optimistic and feel it will get back to normal – weddings, confirmations, holy communions all help our business. People require a fresh hair cut for all these events,” she said.

“Footballers won’t go out on a field any more, without having a fresh hair cut – it is great for us and it is good that they are into grooming. Young men are definitely more conscious of how they look and it is all about fade hair cuts at present and has been for the past three or four years,” continued Sylvia.

Such styles need to be redone every two to three weeks due to growth.

Syvlia feels mullets may even be on the way back! “You can see mullet style in England at the moment. The hair is long at the back with a mullet, but is trimmed on top and tight on the sides. It is going to be the next new thing.”