Champagne and chocolates for customers getting their first haircut in months as salons reopen across Leeds
People "just want to feel better about themselves" say hair salons and gyms as they welcomed clients old and new after a hiatus of nearly for months.
In line with the government's roadmap to reopening following a third national lockdown in a bid to combat coronavirus, today (Monday) saw hair dressers, beauticians and gyms reopen along with pub and restaurant beer gardens and non-essential shops.
At a family salon in Alwoodley there was champagne and chocolates to welcome customers back and owner, Jeremy Farber of Headfirst on Harrogate Road, said they had pushed the boat out and people loved it.
He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "People are embracing it and really happy to come in. We had a lot of appointments made before-hand this time, quite a lot on the day and a lot of new clients which is very encouraging after a nightmare seven months.
"People are fed up of using a home colour and doing their own hair. They have been saying that personal care and having your hair done is such a feeling and can affect your confidence - and that is a neccessity these days. People have got into a habit of not doing anything. They have been walking out saying they feel fantastic, for me coming back to work and making people feel good about themselves, is amazing.
"We are massively social people and hair dressing is a performance and we have massively missed that."
He added: "Our industry has taken a massive hit. It has been tough beyond description as we have not been able to diversify or do anything else. We want people to be safe and responsible but come out, embrace it and support local businesses.
"We are a city salon in the suburbs and there is a lot of new business coming through the doors. People are not working in the city and want their hair doing more or less where they live which is a positive thing for us."
At Select Hairdressers in Rothwell, owner Lisa Speight said customers were "relieved and happy".
She said: "We have re-opened three times before so we are cracking on. We are like Santa to everybody, they are relieved and happy to see us which is nice. We have had lots of people trying to get appointments this morning and a few changed appointments but we are trying to accommodate everybody.
"It has been a hard lockdown this time but hopefully this will be the last time."
Gyms have also reopened and according to one gym owner, shouldn't have closed because they are part of the solution and not the problem.
Joe Gledhill at Trident Fitness Ltd in Morley said the gym is just as important to mental health as it is physical.
He said: "Today has been buzzing, it has been brilliant. It has been really obvious to us how much of an impact it has had on mental health not being able to get to the gym. We have had to invest quite a bit of money into getting back up and running with ventilation in the changing areas, limited opening hours, limited staff and classes outside but everyone is loving it. It doesn't matter where, everybody is just happy to be training again.
"This last lockdown has been hard, especially for gyms, we have been hit quite hard and in our opinion they are part of the solution, they have never added to the problem and it has set quite a few people back."
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