Bay of Plenty hair salons are extending their opening hours to help clear a backlog of appointments due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

And customers could have to wait more than a month for an appointment at some salons.

Hairdressers can operate in alert level 2 as long as they keep contact tracing registers, 1m between clients, and good hygiene practices including disinfecting surfaces between services. They are not required to wear personal protective equipment such as masks.

Hair to Stare At co-owner Damian Conn said the salon was booked for the next four weeks.


Conn said they had to open seven days a week to cater for demand and the phone was still "ringing off the hook".

"It is very busy. It is Christmas busy."

Hairdressing at level 2 meant every second chair was full, staff wore masks, the salon was sanitised regularly and their 16 stylists had to be split into two groups.

Conn said having to shut in level 4 was "pretty scary" not knowing how long the salon would be closed for.

Hair to Stare At salon owners Damian and Corina Conn. Photo / George Novak
Hair to Stare At salon owners Damian and Corina Conn. Photo / George Novak

"There were lots of sleepless nights and stress."

But he was happy to be back in business again and despite the new rules and the demand for bookings Conn said the salon was relatively "chilled".

"Everyone is just happy to be back to normality."

Owner of Salon One Hair and Beauty in Fraser Cove, Angela King, said her staff had been "flat-out" since the doors opened.


"In some ways, it has been busier than Christmas," she said.

King said her senior stylists were booked up until June and her team had been "outstanding" in extending their hours to be able to fit clients in.

Envy Salon owner Jenny Hurliman said staff were working seven days a week to fit in all seven weeks of lost business and it was "heartbreaking" telling clients there was a two-week wait.

"Our books are full and we are busier than what we would have been at Christmas."

However, Hurliman said they were lucky to have hired a stylist just before lockdown which meant she was free to take on some of the bookings.

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"We are busy but it is a positive thing. We are just really fortunate to be back in business."

Faded Barbershop on Cameron Rd owner Kris Phillips said they had been "extremely" busy and opening hours had been extended.

"There has been lots of hair being chopped off at the moment. Our books are completely full."

Phillips said it was good to be back at work and even better to see clients walking out feeling "fresh and new again".

Meanwhile, in Rotorua, Honeycomb Hair and Beauty owner Sarah Pearson said business had been "insane" since the salon in Tutanekai St opened on Thursday.

"We haven't stopped. We have been doing 12-hour days," she said.

Pearson said her stylists were booked until the middle of June for a colour and the salon had queues of people "nearly as big as Kmart" waiting for cuts most days.

To cater for the demand, Pearson said the salon had extended its opening hours to 9am to 7pm.

She said it had been "awesome" to finally be able to open the doors after seven weeks in lockdown.

"It is really lovely to see everyone back in town. Everybody is just so happy they are getting their hair done. It just shows hairdressers are essential."