IN just under a fortnight, one of the most momentous events in Scotland’s recent history will occur and allow a much undervalued sector to step out of the shadows and dramatically improve the wellbeing of the nation.

From July 15, hairdressers and barber shops will be allowed to open their doors and will almost certainly enjoy an economic boom like no other.

Hairdressers across the land are currently sharpening their scissors in anticipation of giving the nation a collective trim.

And let’s be honest, we all need one. Walking around a supermarket is like being on the set of Top of the Pops without the flares.

One of their main tasks will be to somehow correct thousands of botched DIY haircuts. It is, after all, very hard to cut your own hair in a straight line, in the dark, with kitchen scissors - apparently.

Scotland has collectively plunged back to the 1970’s in terms of hair, and it is not a good look. It’s fair to say our personal grooming habits have fallen by the wayside somewhat during the long months of lockdown.

Wearing pyjamas to the shops is now perfectly acceptable, even if you’re over 6 years old and beards have never been so popular. It’s been a long road, but we seem to have suppressed the virus and we’re now being allowed out to play again.

But while there is bound to be a short-term economic bounce, particularly for hairdressers who have 5.3million people to groom, the lasting effects of the lockdown will be here for much longer.

The country is in deep recession, hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs and countless firms have closed. Mental health issues will also have got worse while many routine operations were cancelled and screening programmed stopped.

Time will tell if such an extended lockdown was the right thing to do and will be a cause for debate forever more.

Everybody seemed to have an opinion on it and many still do and will carry on having one, which they will gladly share with whoever is unlucky enough to be standing within 2m of them.

Social distancing, rigorous hand washing and common sense from everyone will now be needed for a very long time by everyone to keep the virus at bay and prevent it returning.

But for now we can look forward to life getting back to nearly normal and we all deserve a small celebration in a newly-opened beer garden on a job well done.

We all have a lot of hair to let down after all.