A HAIR salon that was due to open as the lockdown hit has finally welcomed new customers for the first time.

Twelve Hair Design, in Chandler's Ford, launched its grand opening on Saturday, almost four months later than planned.

And it is the first time that owner Laraine Rose has been able to call it her own salon - which has always been her dream.

Despite the lockdown meaning she had to pause her initial plans to open on March 18, her new venture has now begun.

Daily Echo:

Although it has only just opened for business, more than 200 customers had already made bookings prior to its launch.

Mum-of-two Laraine, 40, said: "I'm already booked solid until the middle of August. Everyone is desperate for a cut and colour.

"I'm really looking forward to finally opening for business as it has always been a dream to have my own salon - it just took a few months longer than planned. Now my clients cannot wait and neither can I."

Maintaining social distancing and PPE, customers can expect one-on-one appointments following safety guidelines from the government and The Hairdressing Council, to ensure everyone stays safe during the pandemic.

"It's been a massive change for all hairdressers but my clients can be guaranteed that I am taking every precaution possible to keep everyone safe," said Laraine.

"Cleaning and sterilising everything between clients will take up several hours a day in total but it has to be done.”

Daily Echo:

To mark National Hair Sunday last weekend, the hairdresser gave free haircuts to frontline NHS workers, following in the footsteps of stylists across the UK.

She is also a member of the Green Salon Collective, which recycles hair to raise money for charity, and regularly cuts hair for residents at Winchester Churches Night Shelter.

"Being able to boost someone's morale and confidence with a skill I can offer them for free is what makes my job really worthwhile," said Laraine.

"I would like to thank everyone who embraced their roots and didn't home-colour their hair during lockdown, which has helped to support their hair stylists now."