April 24, 2020 / 2:23 PM / a month ago

Greeks in lockdown fret over unkempt locks

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greeks are queuing up to get their hair cut or coloured when the coronavirus lockdown is lifted, although some have taken to cropping their own locks.

Angelos Antonopoulos, is reflected in a mirror in his barbershop that is closed to customers as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Athens, Greece April 23, 2020. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

Hairdressers across the country have been taking calls from clients stuck at home fretting over odd-coloured roots coming through and people wanting tips on trimming hair themselves.

“We received calls from clients desperate to dye their roots and we gave them tips on the colour or the hair dye number,” said hairstylist Stelios Strantzalis, who runs the “25” hair salon in Athens with colourist Alexandros Tassos.

The two have a waiting list of 50 people once the lockdown ends.

“They all want to be served first,” Strantzalis told Reuters, advising clients to be patient and warning that a do-it-yourself haircut “could turn into a disaster.”

Greeks surveyed by MRB pollsters earlier this month ranked a visit at the hairdressers a top priority when the lockdown ends.

The country shut hair salons on March 14, weeks after its first coronavirus cases emerged. They are expecting to reopen in early May, but a specific date has not yet been announced.

“I will be the first to go the hairdressers for a dye,” Smaro Skoulikidou said, wearing a face mask.

Men are also worried about unkempt hair.

“Our image is directly linked to our psychology,” said Angelos Antonopoulos, owner of Sir Barber in central Athens who has diverted his business phone to his personal mobile.

“It’s hard to be suddenly locked up in your home with sloppy hair and beard.”

A few brave Greeks have taken matters into their own hands.

“I took the small scissors, and I am not a hairdresser but I am pretty good at it. I went to the mirror and gave myself a haircut,” said 47-year-old Antonis Lakopoulos. “There was no other option.”

Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Vassilis Triandafyllou; Editing by Mike Collett-White

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