AN AYR hairdresser says it was like “starting a new job” after he reopened his salon nearly four months after he closed his doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jim Higgins, who owns Headstart Hair Studio in Ayr, welcomed clients back to his salon last Wednesday for the first time since March 23, as Scotland continues to ease out of lockdown.

He said: “It was like starting a new job after four months away. Myself and all the staff had butterflies and we were a bit apprehensive as to how it would all work out but all went very well.

“The first day was very busy and we were fully booked and we need to leave more time between appointments in order to deep clean after every person.

“The clients were all delighted and over the moon that they could get their hair cut and pleased to get back into a routine.

“They were also very appreciative of all the work we had put in behind the scenes to ensure we could open in a safe manner.

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“The one thing I really appreciated was clients bringing their own towels which we had asked them to do, so they could take them away and everyone was happy to do that.”

Despite Jim’s delight at reopening, he admits the experience is not the same as it was before lockdown.

The 55-year-old spent over £2,500 to renovate his salon to ensure it was safe for his clients, as well as giving it a fresh look.

Jim, who also stars in a BBC Scotland series Mirror Mirror which was part-filmed in his Ayr salon, said: “It is completely different from the relaxed way that a salon would usually operate in. Previously you would get a hug or a kiss if you had not seen the client for a long time but that interaction is completely gone.

“Clients wear face masks and we wear visors all-day. When clients come in they now need to hang up their jackets themselves and put on hand sanitiser and they need to stay within a certain area.

“When we were speaking to clients and hearing their stories, you realise just how much life has changed for so many over the past four months.

He added: “It’s very important for us to have reopened for our staff but also for our sanity and to have a routine again. I must say a big thank you to my clients for being loyal and coming back again.”