The sound of blow dryers and snipping scissors returned to Northern Ireland as people flocked to reopened hairdressers to lose their lockdown locks.
Close contact services such as hair salons, barbers, beauty parlours and tattooists resumed business on Friday as the region took its latest steps back to normality.
Queues were spotted at many hairdressers from early morning as customers counted down to the shutters coming up.
At Natural Hair Company in Lisburn a red carpet was rolled out to welcome back regulars with pre-booked appointments who last crossed the threshold four months ago.
David Tinsley was among those first back in the chair.
“It’s great to just get tidied up,” he said. “I don’t like long hair.”
Mr Tinsley said he was delighted that lockdown was coming to an end, though he cautioned at exiting restrictions too quickly.
“It been good to see us moving forward as long as we don’t move forward too fast,” he said.
“We need to take little small steps at a time and just keep building and building and building.”
Asked what the last few months have been like, he replied: “Boring. It’s been absolutely boring.”
Salon owner Martine Groggy said it was hard to describe her emotions at finally being able to get back to business.
“You can’t explain it, it’s just so exciting,” she said.
“It’s nerve wracking and exciting, it’s the whole bundle.
“It’s great just to be back and doing what we normally do, and enjoying just getting back to normal really.”
Ms Broggy expressed hope the most recent lockdown would be the last.
“I just feel we’re on the turn now,” she said.
“I haven’t felt that before and the previous times I haven’t felt like that. But I do feel we’re on the turn now and hopefully that this will be us.”
In relation to the soaring popularity of hairdressers, Ms Broggy said: “The actual reality of feeling really appreciated is so, so important. It’s just lovely.”
Economy minister Diane Dodds paid a visit to Ms Broggy’s salon on Friday morning.
Lorraine Calvert, who secured a prized 9am appointment, told the minister she would have come at 6.30am if it had been possible.
“I’m so so excited, I’m really delighted,” she said.
Mrs Dodds, who is booked with her own hairdresser on Saturday, said it was great to see sections of the economy reopening.
“I am super excited for 12.30pm tomorrow when I will be at the hairdresser,” added the minister.