By John Isaac
HAIRDRESSERS and barbers have finally dusted off their scissors and combs to trim overgrown locks as salons across Sarawak reopened for business today.
They had not been able to operate for almost three months due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) which was enforced since March 18 to curb the Covid-9 pandemic.
Steven Yek, a member of Malaysia Hairdressing Association, expressed relief that the long painful wait was finally over, after almost three months of zero income.
“For the first time and in almost three months, we are now allowed to take out the scissors to do our business. The pain is still there but it is all over now,” he said as reported by Borneo Post.
The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) announced last Thursday that all hair salons and barber shops are allowed to operate on June 9 though only limited to haircutting services.
Yek, however, hoped the government can give more relaxations and allow services like hair wash and hair treatment.
“Haircuts alone will not be able to sustain our business,” he added.
Yek, who operates The Masterpiece hair salon, said he has followed all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) like wearing face masks and gloves, taking their customers temperature, recording their names and contact number before allowing them to enter their premises.
“All our customers will have their temperature taken to ensure that no one is feverish before sitting on the chair which are arranged to ensure social distancing,” he added.
Asked whether he will increase the charges for their services, Yek replied in the negative, saying he had decided to absorb all the extra charges incurred for buying the personal protective equipment (PPEs).
He said most of his customers are on appointments and walk-in customers may not be accepted at this point of time.
“My appointment is fully booked these few days, at about one-hour per customer,” he added.
Yek said he would require at least 15 to 20 minutes in between appointments to disinfect all surfaces, including the chairs and equipment, in compliance to the SOPs.
Another hairdresser Kong Yuk Ling of Oscar Hair Salon said her customers were on appointment basis and most left within one hour after completing their haircuts.
She said they did not talk much when attending to customers because talking might increase the risk of emitting respiratory droplets.
“We just keep silent throughout the haircutting service,” she said.
However, she said her customers did express satisfaction after their haircut.
“One of them even told me that he had visited our centre seven times in the past two months just waiting for our shop to reopen so that he can have a good haircut.”
Kong said they also increased the charges by RM3 to cover their overhead costs.
“The increase is inevitable and most of our customers have no qualms about that.”