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Lockdown locks . . . Fourth generation barber Geoff Gibson, of Murray's Barber Shop and Beauty Salon, takes the scissors to dad Murray’s lockdown hair, while son Yoshitomo waits his turn. Mr Gibson is warning customers not to cut their own hair at home as it can end up being more difficult to correct in the long run.

by George Clark

If you decide to cut your own hair at home, that next appointment might cost you.

Fourth-generation barber Geoff Gibson took over Murray’s Barber Shop and Beauty Salon on Church St from his father six years ago. The business has been in the family since 1929.

Mr Gibson said he was not sure if he would reopen at Alert Level 2. He said landlords for local businesses were understanding the climate.

“Realistically, we can only work if we are in close contact with customers. If there is a distancing rule we are still out of business. Luckily creditors and landlords are being great to a few of us.”

Before the lockdown he was operating on a clean-at-all-costs basis, disinfecting after each haircut.

That was six weeks ago, but Mr Gibson is urging those desperate for a cut to steer clear of trying it themselves.

“We would much prefer it if you did not cut your own hair during this time so it does not take double the time to fix. It is actually much more complicated than you think,” he said.

“Hairdressers and barbers go through apprenticeships and with any trade it is best to leave it to the professionals.”

Customers requested cuts and colours on the side, which he declined to perform.

“I know some hairdressers are doing it and they should not be. A few of our staff have been asked and have had to turn it down.”

Mr Gibson said that applied to products. If a business had a licence with a hair company providing colours for use in store, it was illegal to sell them on to customers.

“If anyone feels they need to colour their hair at home, a trip the supermarket would be the only way.”

Salons would no doubt have a busy schedule once lockdown lifted but bookings could not be taken yet.

“There have been a few inquiries for post-lockdown cuts but there is nothing we can do. Taking a booking would put extra pressure on staff who are already battling with a loss of work and looking out for their families,” he said.

“We want to welcome customers back but health and safety are the number one priority. Our recommendation is for everyone to abide by the government rules, so we can all get back to work.”