Hairdressers and barbers in the north and north-east were “absolutely delighted” when the first minister confirmed restrictions on their businesses will ease within days.
Premises will be able to open their doors again on Monday, with many places already fully booked for weeks ahead.
It comes after Nicola Sturgeon announced that progress in suppressing the virus has allowed further relaxation of the lockdown restrictions.
Mark Reilly and Roo Mackinnon from Hometown Barbers in Aberdeen said they are excited to welcome customers back to their business, and are preparing for a busy few weeks ahead.
Since they last cut hair on Christmas Eve, the pair have been working hard within their shop – knocking down a wall to a former waiting area, and replacing the floor.
Mr Mackinnon said that with appointment-only haircuts being the way forward for the foreseeable future, he wanted to take full advantage of all the space within the barbershop.
He said: “The first lockdown felt kind of new, we had never had that kind of time off since we were 14 years old, but the second lockdown has been more of a struggle.
“It all just felt a lot longer this time.
“We were getting so out of our normal routine we wanted to get something done.
“Because we’re not going to have any walk-ins and it’s only going to be appointments, and with Covid we can’t have too many people in the shop anyway, we figured there was no point in having a separate waiting area.
“Now without that wall, people will have a bit more room to distance, and it opens up space that if we want to get another barber, we’ll have it.”
Mr Mackinnon added: “We’re super excited to start cutting hair again.
“Our job is such a social one, hearing stories and socialising with each client is such a big part of our usual routine, so to have gone from that to nothing at all has been pretty soul-destroying.
“So we’re really buzzing to get back.”
Staff at the Inverness salon the Hair Directory have also had all hands on deck getting ready for a grand reopening next week.
The salon, which has been serving the local community for nearly 28 years, is already fully booked until the beginning of May with hundreds of customers eager to get a long-awaited haircut.
Linda Dick, co-owner of the Hair Directory, said she is “thrilled” to finally open doors after several “horrendous” months.
She said: “We are absolutely delighted that we can open so soon, as we first thought that we’d probably have to wait until April 26.
“We already have all the necessary safety measures in place, so this time we can open up with a lot more ease and welcome our customers.
“We have spent two full weeks rescheduling all of the appointments from December and January and then, on top of that, we had another 200 people on our waiting list to get put in, so we are definitely going to be busy.
“Everybody seems eager to come back and we are fully booked for the next six weeks already.
“We realise that there are still going to be clients that will feel anxious, so we’ll be doing our best to put them at ease and make sure they are comfortable with all that’s going on in the salon.”