When salons threw their doors open on Monday, they knew there were a lot of customers keen to use their services. What they perhaps didn’t expect was crashed booking systems, back-to-back treatments and a week that saw more in sales than Christmas.

Danielle Charlton, owner of Daniela Beauty in Balmain, said that her phone started ringing the moment the announcement of the eased restrictions. “Everyone is keen to get in, in the first week,” she said, adding that she is looking to hire new staff immediately. It’s welcome news though, given that her business was down 80 per cent during the nine-week lockdown. “I tried hard to think outside the box…I brought in facial kits for home use and special beauty boxes. They were both popular, but I was still at least 80 per cent down.”

Similarly, Kristin Fisher of Kristin Fisher Eyebrows in Double Bay took a record number of bookings. “We had over 2,000 bookings. Every day we had a staggering number of inquiries and booking requests,” she said. “June is looking like a December trade where we simply do not have enough hours in the day too cater to client needs.” Kristin said she was planning on expanding her team, and has already hired stage who are exclusively responsible for managing hygiene procedures and demands.

Kristin Fisher Eyebrows is on the hunt for therapists to help with the re-opening rush.

While it’s comforting to see salons having a busy re-opeing, it will no doubt take some time to recover from close to three months of closed doors. Business expert Jerry Cleaver says it’s important to ensure that salon owners don’t take their foot off the pedal when it comes to recovery. “Owners should still be looking to save as much money as they can, despite the sudden cashflow,” he says. “Continue to take advantage of government initiatives such as JobKeeper for as long as possible, keep communicating with your landlord regarding reduced rent, and with your suppliers for payment plans. We don’t know how long the rush will last and people may pull back on their regular appointments once they have their first. We don’t know what the new normal is going to look like for our businesses after this initial boom. So we need to tread carefully.”

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