PEOPLE in Warrington are looking forward to their first haircut in months when barbers and salons reopen on Monday.

And demand has rocketed if bookings at Lords of the North and Jakata are anything to go by.

We spoke to the two indepedent businesses for a sense of what their first week back will be like.

Cheryl Good, who has run Lords of the North for 10 years, said: “I know our customers can’t wait for us to reopen. I’ve had messages from some saying they feel like a yeti or a caveman.

“Most of my customers feel like friends so I can’t wait to see them. I can’t believe we’re allowed to open. I’m really excited and I know my staff are as well. We’ve honed our Covid regime so it’s like second nature now. Like they say, it’s the new normal.”

Cheryl Good with her dog Reggie and team members

Cheryl Good with her dog Reggie and team members

Cheryl’s full team-of-five are coming back to the Barbauld Street barbers on Monday.

They are using a new booking app called Booksy to help manage things and at time of writing they had 212 bookings for the first week.

Former Culcheth High student Cheryl added: “That app has been fantastic as it has made it easy for people to check availability and book an appointment.

“We’re raring to go. We’re fully booked for the first two days and fully booked for Saturday. We’re jammed.

“It’s appointment only so we will have a chance to clean down chairs and equipment after each cut.”

Jakata, a salon in Rylands Street, was last open on December 30.

Team leader and senior stylist Natalie Sharpe said: “We had so many bookings in for New Year’s Eve.

“I think people just really wanted to make themselves feel special due to everything that had gone on. We’re really excited to see everybody again.

Natalie Sharpe

Natalie Sharpe

“I’ve got more than 100 appointments booked in personally and the salon is almost completely booked up for the whole of April.

“It’s been really lovely in these past two weeks to make some bookings and, even just speaking on the phone, everyone is so happy to hear from us.

“It’s been a real morale boost for the staff to have a conversation with customers and for them to be really excited.

“It’s going to make starting back at the salon a lot easier.

“This time around we’ve also got new clients who have never been before who have come across us while doing research on social media during the lockdown so that’s a good feeling as well.”

Seven people work at Jakata in total with graduate stylists also assisting at busy times.

The Jakata team at Christmas before the salon closed

The Jakata team at Christmas before the salon closed

To allow for social distancing, around three members of staff will be in on the first day back.

Orford resident Natalie, who worked her way up at Jakata from a work experience role to running the salon, added: “We’ll have a handful of people starting work on the Monday and we’ve been able to stagger that first week so the team aren’t working themselves to the bone.

“We can’t have them working seven days a week as much as they want to fit all their clients in. The most important thing is their health mentally and physically so everyone will be doing five to six days a week but in a safe way.”

Natalie cannot wait to return to work though.

The former St Gregory’s student said: “I think I speak for the whole team when I say we had a ‘down February’ where morale was low. Everyone went into their shell.

“We know the importance of keeping in touch so we’ve started to have team meetings over Zoom now and I’ve been checking in on everyone.”

Cheryl added: “I think mostly people have missed the spontaneity. You can’t just pop for a drink or get a haircut.

“You can’t do that anymore. You’ve got to book and be more cautious with your choices.”