How to bag that elusive hairdresser slot – from using booking apps to direct messaging stylists

HAIRDRESSERS and beauticians open in England on Monday – and demand is bound to be high. But our exclusive survey reveals only one in four of us has a booking.

SIOBHAN O’CONNOR speaks to insiders for tips on how to get to the head of the queue . . . 

Search with apps

TREATWELL is Europe’s largest hair and beauty bookings website.

Head of partner engagement Dorothy Constantino says: “Apps do the hard work for you. Using booking apps such as Treatwell gives you a head start because it lets you look at ‘salons near me’ to see free slots.

“You can then choose the next available appointment without having to call them and ask.

"Make sure you opt in to the salon’s ­communications – that way you are in the loop with reopening times, offers and deals.”

Sliding into DMs

FOUNDER of hair salon Whip London, Lou Birkett, says: “Luckily for us at Whip the silver lining is realising that you, as a hair business, are the hottest ticket in town post-lockdown.

“If people struggle to get a booking I do make magic happen for those who DM desperate pleas via @whipstergram.

“Emailing a photo of your DIY lockdown hair travesties can trigger some sympathetic emergency assistance, as we can’t let you walk around with bodge jobs.”

Walk-ins are out

OWNER of salon64.co.uk in London, Ricky Walters, says: “Our team have appointments booked to the end of the year. It’s not too late to get one but walk-ins are a no-no.

“Due to Covid safety rules, a lot of salons will not be able to facilitate a drop-in – instead, try emailing or ringing. And be ­prepared for an 8am start.”

The Jon Hala salon in London’s Canary Wharf adds: “Speak to the manager and ask if they could book you in early morning or late evening, just outside opening hours.”

Email, don't ring

CELEBRITY hair stylist Tom Smith, who works with pop’s Louise Redknapp, says: “Find out if the salon is offering a priority or waiting list and get your name down.

“Avoid calling. Most will be busy working so they won’t have someone manning the salon phone, and some messages might get missed.

“Front-of-house teams have a huge task getting everyone booked in, so be patient if your email does not get an ­instant response. Follow up a week later.”

Pay the deposit

MANY salons have started taking deposits for larger bookings and new clients, as they cannot afford to have any no-shows. To show you are serious, offer up a deposit.

Ricky Walters, owner of Salon64, in London, says: “When calling, if you show you are prepared to part with a small amount of cash this will help to secure the appointment.

“I cannot speak for all hairdressers but I will now be taking bribes.

"Cash, cars and jewellery all welcome, to earn your spot at the top of the list. Jokes aside, a deposit goes a long way.”

Bring your bubble

PIPPA OSBORN, clinic director at Nova Aesthetic Clinic, says: “Bring a friend.

"Ask the clinic if you can bring someone in your bubble who also wants treatment. If consultation can be done with someone else it saves on time and means you’re more likely to get a slot.”

Making the most of friends on social media can also help. Dr Mariam Adegoke, founder of adegokeclinic.com, says: “Post on Snapchat, Twitter or Instagram asking friends to recommend salons.

"Places may contact you when they have cancellations or no-shows.”

Avoid office rush

FOUNDER of Bloggs salons in Bristol, Joe Hemmings, says: “Late mornings between 10.30am and noon is always ­quieter – and also after lunch and before the evening rush, so 2-4pm.

“Think about what times people who work in an office would go, and avoid those times.”

An industry insider added: “Many ­companies will still be working from home so try salons based around business ­districts, which may be quieter.”

Try Mondays and Wednesdays

AN appointment on a busy Saturday is like gold dust. Most salons are completely booked out.

Ondine Cowley, a senior director at Nicky Clarke, says: “Mondays and Wednesdays are always much quieter in our busy salon, so I would always recommend trying to aim for a mid- week day.

“If you are able to, take the Monday morning slot.”

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