Scores of shaggy-haired customers across Tayside and Fife flocked to their favourite barbers and hairdressers on Monday as salons opened for the first time this year.
Many leapt at the chance to clean up their lockdown locks, with queues of punters forming outside of almost every hairdresser.
Some stylists, such as Norman McDicken of Salonori, have dealt with the surge in demand by taking mass bookings and offering customers who had appointments before lockdown new slots.
The experienced coiffeur now has a full appointment book for the rest of the month.
He said: “We’re booked up until May, but all the hairdressers will be the same.
“There’ll be a huge flurry until the end of the month then it’ll all settle down I think but it’s good to be back.
“Seeing the customers and the staff, people who work here, is great – just getting to mix and socialise.
“Most of our clients have their hair coloured so we’ve been doing lots of work on their roots today – hair colouring has been a big thing.”
Carolina Glinka, a regular customer of Salonori, was one of the first in line to get her hair done.
She added: “I was on the phone while Nicola Sturgeon was still confirming the dates.
“My hair was going grey which was very upsetting, so I’m delighted to be back.”
‘There’s a good buzz in the shop’
Meanwhile at Lovett’s on Exchange Street in Dundee, barber Darren Reid says he’s the busiest he has ever been in his career.
The 29-year-old said: “All our spots are gone for the next few weeks.
“It’s just good to be back and in that kind of routine, all of us are pretty happy.
“So far we have seen some people who have had their girlfriends cutting their hair, as well as lots of overgrown hairstyles.”
His colleague Callum Butler added: “I’m feeling good, there’s a good buzz in the shop and everyone is kind of itching to get back to it.
“We’ve only done the first few this morning but the rest of my day is basically regulars who I’ve not seen for the past few months so it’ll be good to have a good catch up with them and everything.
“Everyone’s coming in with crazy hair so it’s a good old job.”
24 hour shift success for Georgia
Meanwhile, in Carnoustie, House of Handsome owner Georgia Gaffney went ahead with her 24 hour marathon and was delighted to see her customers back.
She said: “It’s so good to get up in the morning and actually have a purpose and be able to come to work.
“I started at one minute past 12 last night. It was a regular so that made it a bit easier.
“It’s mainly people with long hair that we’ve had, there’s not been any mishaps yet.
“Some people are liking what they’ve grown and just getting it tidied up.”
Nine-year-old customer Jack was also glad to be back in the barber’s chair, saying: “I’m happy, I really like having Georgia as a barber.”
‘This lockdown was much harder’
In Perth, Liza Konu of Liza Konu Hairdressing on Princes Street had faced further challenges in the dark days of lockdown.
Shortly before the stay at home restrictions came into force, a burst pipe damaged the flooring after being chewed by a mouse.
Liza bad to put a new floor and basins in, lowered the roof, put up new lights and created a flower wall.
The team at the salon were overjoyed to welcome back their first clients to the newly refurbished salon.
“This second lockdown has been much harder than the last, as we were in the winter months with long dark days,” Liza said.
“Re-opening the salon has been hard work and quite tiring. We have improved clients’ comfort and made our social distance more comfortable.”
Thousands of calls
Copperfield’s Hairdressing and Beauty in the city centre made “thousands” of calls in anticipation of yesterday’s reopening, as they kept customers in the loop and ensured everyone was prepared.
Stylist Derek Irving said: “We made over 2500 calls since beginning of January. We were initially moving all clients forward at each Scottish Government review, and have made approximately 1100 calls this month and in March.
“We will be very busy and our salon is fully-booked until the end of the month, however we are working on longer appointments which means we are seeing fewer clients daily.”
Meanwhile in Fife, Alison Daly, of Innovate Hair Salon in Dunfermline, believes this is a positive step for both staff and clients to get back into socialising.
She said: “We work in an environment where we talk to people all day long. We are social people and we have been excited to get back.
“A lot of people have been telling us that this lockdown has been harder, and to get your hair done – it makes you feel good.”