The sites were allowed to open on Monday after six weeks of closure, as Germany begins to emerge from its economic paralysis.
But hair salons are subject to strict restrictions – cuts are by appointment only and the demands of social distancing have forced them to operate well below their capacity.
“Most customers have two inches of visible roots,” famed hairstylist Udo Walz told CNN. “Some of them tried to cut their hair themselves or cover the color, but it generally went wrong.”
Walz, who styled Marlene Dietrich, Nancy Reagan and Gwyneth Paltrow, said he gave advice over the phone to clients. “Everyone is wearing masks, customers, hairdressers,” Walz said of the scene in his living room on Monday.
Like other hairdressers in Germany, he is required to leave all other chairs empty. Hairdressers should only cut dry hair and disinfect surfaces regularly.
In Berlin, customers are asked to fill out forms with personal information before they can get a seat in the barber’s chair. The newspaper asks for the name, address, signature and the time a customer entered and left the salon.
Anne Bruemmer, owner of Salon Heidi, a small hair salon in Hamburg, Germany, told CNN they were “overwhelmed”.
Bruemmer said that although customers need to make an appointment and the salon has carefully planned the reopening, they are now booked two weeks in advance.
The easing of restrictions is part of the first phase of the company’s attempt to reopen in Germany. Breach of security measures exposes hairdressers to a fine of € 500 ($ 547), said Bruemmer.
Some schoolchildren will start to resume their lessons this week, but Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold talks with regional leaders on Wednesday on the opening of other businesses and services nationwide.