Hairdresser ‘thrilled’ to be back at work

Hairdresser Marselle Arendse.

Kenwyn-based hairdresser Marselle Arendse is thrilled to be back at work after lockdown restrictions were eased.

Apart from hairdressers, other personal-care services that can now resume business include nail bars, beauty salons, massage facilities and tattoo and body-piercing parlours. They have to comply with all the standard Covid-19 precautions, including hand washing, physical distancing, the wearing of masks and disinfection of surfaces and equipment.

The changes came into effect on Friday June 19.

Ms Arendse runs her informal salon at her home in Kenwyn, and under the new regulations, she must ensure her premises are cleaned before and after she sees each client. Also, all hairdressers must wear a face shield, mask and gown that must be cleaned regularly; explain Covid-19 procedures to clients; practise physical distancing; keep a customer register; and sanitise wash basins after each use and deep clean them at the end of the day.

Ms Arendse hired a firm to deep clean all her couches, basins and products. She also bought spray bottles, hand sanitisers and a foot-activated sanitiser dispenser.

There are also Covid-19 safety posters on her wall.

Ms Arendse started working with clients on Saturday June 20.

“It was amazing,” she said. “I feel like I am back in my element as I am a real people’s person.”

She works by appointment only and now only accepts one client at a time.

Before Covid-19, she saw 10 to 12 clients a day, now she can only manage four to five.

“A lot of preparation goes into each client, with cleaning before and after seeing them, so that time impacts on the amount I can see in the day.”

Ms Arendse has been in the business for 28 years. Her aunts and cousins were also hairdressers and her late father, Willomore Kleinschmidt, was a barber.

“I enjoy what I am doing; it doesn’t feel like a job. I don’t work, I have fun.”

It had been frustrating being unable to work during lockdown, she said, but she had built good relationships with her clients over the years, and they had gone out of their way to help her.

“I felt the love from my clients who dropped off groceries, they provided financial support and even paid for my electricity.”

During lockdown, she spent time with her children, Liam and Kayla, playing board games and teaching them how to cook.