Chennai

Now, salons offer home visits, ask customers to bring their own towels to shops

A salon operating in Sharma Nagar

A salon operating in Sharma Nagar   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Salons and barber shops that have reopened have to follow a number of safety norms, but say that customers are still anxious about coming in

Nearly a week after resuming business in Chennai in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a section of hair dressers say many residents prefer to now have their hair cut at home, keeping safety in mind. Besides, many small barber shops have been asking their customers to bring towels from home.

According to the Tamil Nadu Barber Workers Association, there are more than 1 lakh barber shops in the city. After the shops reopened from June 1, they were expected to follow safety measure to prevent COVID-19 infections among the customers and staff.

All the shops are expected to check the temperatures of customers and their staff, use sanitisers, masks, disinfect their premises regularly, take Aadhaar card and address details of customers and follow all safety measures recommended by the government.

“Even then, many customers are frightened to come. They want me to come to their house and give them a haircut. I have been going to a few houses, but I charge a bit more than what I would at the shop,” said Pachaiappan, who runs a barber shop in Madipakkam.

K. Diwakar, a resident of T. Nagar said that he was not very confident of the safety measures at the shops, and had asked his barber to come home. “However, my apartment block’s residents association did not allow this, so I had to send the barber back,” he said.

A. Sandeep who runs the 81-year-old Kerala Hair Dressers in T. Nagar, said that though his staff go to their customers’ houses for hair cuts, they refuse service if the surroundings are unhygienic.

“Both in the shop and for home service, we follow proper hygiene and safety measures. If the customer has fever, we refuse to provide the hair cut. At the shop, we use disposable towels, gloves and sanitise the equipment after every hair cut,” said Mr. Sandeep.

Veeramani, who runs a salon in Sharma Nagar in North Chennai said that he has purchased face shield and gloves. “But I ask my customers to bring their own towels. It is safer,” he said.

Amit Tamang, who works in a salon on R.K. Salai said that the hair dressers there have to wear Personal Protective Equipment including the blue overcoat, plastic cap and surgical gloves. “Services are based on appointment. We disinfect the shop once the customer leaves,” he said.

Increase in prices

As the salons and barber shops have to purchase disposable towels, santisers and other equipment, there has been an increase in the price of hair cuts. Now, most shops are charging ₹50 more for their services.

“Most of the shops are struggling. Migrant workers were employed in many of the shops and now, most have left, leading to a manpower crunch,” said M. Munusamy, State president, Tamil Nadu Barber Workers Association.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 4:36:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/now-salons-offer-home-visits-ask-customers-to-bring-their-own-towels-to-shops/article31765445.ece

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