A HAIRDRESSING salon had to resort to using buckets of water and offering dry cuts after a burst water main on the Regent Circus construction site brought business to a near standstill.

Builders working on the shopping complex struck a hidden pipe at about 2pm yesterday afternoon causing about 50 properties to lose pressure.

The incident forced salon staff at Hair Academi on Victoria Road to fill buckets with water to wash chemicals out of eight customers’ hair before engineers shut off supply to repair the pipe.

They were also unable to offer wet cuts and blow dries for the duration of the repairs.

Clifford Mighten, of Hair Academi, said: ““We had to put water in buckets before they turned off the water completely to wash the chemicals out of clients’ hair. We were doing treatments, perms and colours.

“And there was no indication of when it would be turned back on. We were affected by this. “We couldn’t do wet cuts and blow-drys and that sort of thing and had to do dry cuts instead.”

The burst main was shut at around 4pm by Thames Water.

John Malcolm, machine operator on the Regent Circus site, said: “We hit it – the pipe was hidden. But we put clay all around when it happened to stop the water going in people’s businesses. “There was nothing we can do. It should take a couple of hours for the water board to fix.”

Although everything was due to return to normal for some residents and business, the supply of 27 properties was still affected with no indication of when it would be reconnected as the Adver went to press.

A Thames Water spokesman said: “We’re really sorry to customers affected by our burst main. “Engineers are on site and about to close off the supply of water to the pipe so that they can dig down and start a repair.

“About 27 properties will be without water while we fix the pipe, however the majority of customers who contacted us and who live up the hill should have found that their pressure and water supply returned very shortly after we closed off this burst section of pipe.”