A hairdresser says she was “amazed” by the outpouring love her clients have shown since reopening for over a week.

Sophie Andrea, who has been running Hairconnections by Andrea of Wembley for over 40 years, has been greeted with flowers, chocolates, and other gracious gifts by her clients after the extensive lockdown period.

The hairdresser joked that the overwhelming reaction and support received since the reopening was as if she “opened a new business”, as her clients were overly excited to get their hair done once again.

She said: “We were really worried, we thought when we do open, are people going to want to come in or will they be scared?

“Watford is not what it was pre-lockdown, the streets are empty and it’s devastating with what’s happening with John Lewis, Debenhams and intu. So, I’m worried with what will happen to Watford.”

But on the opening day, things quickly felt as 'normal' as possible.

Watford Observer:

Staff are doing their best to keep themselves and clients safe

Hairdressers have adapted with a few social distancing measures, including spaced out bookings, wearing visors and aprons, and enhanced cleaning procedures.

While Ms Andrea admits she felt worried on the first day as she did not know what to expect, but after the first wave of customers her staff quickly adapted to the new measures.

She said: “After an hour, you don’t even realise you have a visor on.”

Staff have had to be on their toes due to the changes and are disinfecting the chairs “the minute” a client leaves the premises.

Watford Observer:

Staff at the salon are keeping up with new social distancing measures

At Hairconnections, there are hand sanitiser dispensers at the end of every station

Ms Andrea said: “It’s steady at the moment even though we can’t do back to back clients. I’m not sure if we are making enough for profit.

“Say if a normal day would have 20 clients, we can only have half of that. But hopefully if we carry on as we are now, we will be okay.”

Many clients who visited within the opening week have already scheduled their next appointment.

Despite this, the hairdresser is wondering how much footfall will be affected by the loss of Debenhams and John Lewis, and administration of intu.

She said: “Not a lot of people are coming into the town centre, so I’m thinking what it will be in say three months’ time?”

Helen Hooker, the owner of Andrea & Son in Market Street, shared similar concerns about the future of the town.

To make light of the reopening of the store, Ms Andrea has started to make a book of collages after lockdown.

She said: “It’s been such a traumatic time, so the memories of reopening will give it something to hold on to.”