Who is your hairdressing hero? MAXINE GORDON shines the light on Emma Rawson at Bonito in York who sorted our her lockdown hair horrors

I WAS one of the last customers at my local salon before lockdown - and one of the first to return. What a difference four months make.

Not only had my fringe grown to reach my nose, my grey roots were inches long.

I'd resorted to pinning my floppy locks back with hair grips just in order to see.

My appointment at Bonito in Fishergate, York, couldn't have come sooner.

Emma Rawson, owner of Bonito, has been my hairdresser for years.

As soon as Boris announced hairdressers could open on July 4, Emma messaged me on Facebook with an appointment for Tuesday July 7 at 12.45pm.

What a hero! Who is your hairdressing hero in York. Click here to send us your story and photos.

Meanwhile, here's more on my nomination: Emma.

Because I was having a cut and colour, I had to pop into Bonito on Saturday for a patch test to make sure I wasn't allergic to any of the dye Emma was going to use.

Safety first

York Press:

Emma Rawson in PPE at Bonito sanitising equipment between clients

This was a precaution, she said, because many people had been home dyeing during lockdown and the industry wanted to ensure clients didn't react to colour products used on their hair as they returned to professional salons.

It only took a few seconds for Emma to bob a spot of dye behind my ear. If I had a reaction to it, I was to let her know.

Immediately I could see what the new normal looked like at the hairdressers.

Emma was wearing a mask. I was the only person in the salon. There were notices everywhere reminding clients about Covid-19 and staying safe and a certificate stating how the premises was "Covid-19 secure". Translated, this meant Emma would be wearing PPE - a visor and disposable gown - and limiting the number of clients in the salon at any one time. She would also be sanitising chairs and equipment between each customer. Hand sanitiser was available to customers too.

"I have to have fewer appointments, with more space in between clients, to allow the extra time to clean everything down," explained Emma.

But she didn't mind the extra precautions. "People have to be safe. And it's great to be open again and back to business," she said.

Customers do not have to wear a mask in hair salons, the government has not made that mandatory. Emma says it is up to individuals whether they want to wear a mask or not.

It's a cover up!

York Press:

Maxine and Emma in PPE during an appointment at Bonito

I chose to wear a mask - for most of my visit, removing it to have a drink. I brought my own coffee (another aspect of the new normal - and don't expect to find a pile of magazines at salons either. Top tip: bring your own or a good book to read).

Only one other customer arrived during my visit. Emma has her stations spread out across the salon, so that people will be socially distanced during their appointments. But clients have strict arrival times and if they are early, they have to wait outside, she said.

Despite the extra costs of PPE and having to limit the number of clients she can see in a shift which will affect her earnings, she is not putting up her prices. Yet.

"Everyone is struggling just now and I am just happy to be back."

And so am I!

York Press:

Now it's your chance to nominate your hairdressing heroes in York. Click here to tell us all about why your stylist or barber is the best in town - and send us your before and after lockdown hair photos!