Ben Madle talks salon openings in Berlin

It’s really frustrating for us all to see that Europe eases the lockdown ahead of the UK, and in some countries salons are open. Argh! When will it be our turn? Patience is key while we wait, but easier said than done. So, rather than twiddle your thumbs and be fed up, we’re looking for positive action, and hey! We found it in a conversation with one of our premium members, Ben Madle. We think it’s really useful to see how things are going in a country that has reopened hairdressing businesses. So that we could start prepare ourselves for what is coming.

Our man Ben is currently living in Germany, with a small salon in Berlin. We asked him to share with us his experience of the past week, the challenges, the clients’ reactions and his advice. Interestingly, Ben’s family owns also a hair salon in Woking, so he’s even more relevant in relating his German story to how it might work in the UK.

The new normal


Good news! Ben says week 1 has been a success and things have worked fine so far. People are listening and complying with the new regulations. Clients are copying well with the new normal and it’s really not as difficult as many think, as long as you prepare and practice.

The main changes in Berlin are these new regulations:

  • All clients must book an appointment-no walk-in allowed.
  • Salons need to keep a record of all appointments
  • All services are pre-paid during booking process. No cash exchange allowed.
  • There is no waiting area or queues and there is a specific number of clients allowed at the same time-depending on the size of the salon
  • No children, pets or friends accompanying the client are allowed
  • 1,5 m distance between chairs is necessary
  • Clients are encouraged to wear their own masks, but they can also have masks provided
  • Hairdressers need to clean everything and change gloves after each client
  • Staff have to wear masks all the time
  • No hair washing in the salons- clients are asked to wash their hair at home

As for Ben’s top advice to the U.K. hairdressers?

‘Start planning. Make sure you have enough cleaning supplies, as you will need way more than you thought. Stock up cleaning sprays, masks , capes, gowns, towels. Research on sterilizers suppliers, if you don’t have any. Inform your team about the changes. Salons won’t be the same. Reception areas won’t operate, working hours will probably change, so it’s good to speak with your team about all these. Practice working and talking with a mask on at home, now that you have the time to do it. Use this time to prepare and organise. And finally, let your clients know you’re still thinking of them. Contact them on phone or via social media, keep in touch. You will be seeing them soon.’

Thank you, Ben!

Watch Ben’s interview HERE