The hair restoration and hair industry have been hit hard by the COVID-19 virus. After being considered a non-essential business by the powers that be, we have been mostly inoperative since mid-March/early April. Clients, on the other hand, are clamoring to get back in as soon as possible. Many are willing to adapt to whatever adjustments need to be made in order to get an appointment.
Salon owners, stylists, and technicians have mixed feelings ranging from excited to scared and optimistic to apprehensive, and everything in between. It would be understandable to have any of these emotions as the prospect of re-opening looms in front of everyone.
First and foremost, we must learn, understand, and follow our individual state, county, and city guidelines. In addition, the respective cosmetology boards will also have criteria to which we must adhere. There are also advisory groups to help determine what the “new normal” will look like, at least for the foreseeable future.
The main focus is on social distancing and sanitization. We expect to see at least a 50% reduction in daily capacity both for staff and clients. Staff may have staggered schedules, and clients will wait in their cars or outside, and be called or texted when they may enter the salon. They will only be allowed to bring in their phone and payments, no handbags or other items will be allowed. Everyone will need to maintain at least six feet distance apart. Many salons will require temperature checks before entering, and some will have a short health questionnaire to administer. Waiting areas will no longer be needed, so magazines, open beverages, and any other touch items will be removed. Daily deep cleaning of all surfaces, tools, and supplies will become even more stringent than before.
As far as personal protective equipment (PPE), staff will wear plastic shields, face masks, and gloves. Clients will be required to wear face masks and will be given disposable or freshly sanitized capes. This will be a very restrictive way to work. It also makes what was once a very personalized service, feel like a very impersonal and sterile environment.
Payment will potentially be handled differently as well. Many salons will opt for cashless payment, and some will only accept online payment to avoid touching credit cards. Rates may be adjusted to absorb the additional costs of sanitation and reduced capacity. Many will forego discounts of any kind to help with the added cost of doing business created by COVID-19. There may also be sanitation fees added to services.
There is much concern about germs from the virus getting into the air. The addition of air purifiers throughout the salon, towels on faces during shampoos, possibly eliminating shampoos and blowouts, and the installation of high capacity ventilation systems are likely to ensure a more sanitized environment.
We are navigating a changing world. This is uncharted territory for our industry. The Hair Society is here to support you and your success. We want you to feel prepared, armed, and assured that we are here to help in any way we can. We will do so by helping you find vendors for the new supplies required. Our experienced marketing team can provide expertise and materials to let your clients know you are providing them a safe and sanitized environment. We also offer in-salon and virtual training for you and your staff to be the very best at your craft. We must be resilient. We are all on the frontlines together and will persevere! Do not hesitate to reach out to us: Email Us
Contributing Editor, Lisa Marie Stewart, has 40 plus years of writing, marketing, creative development, Editor-in-Chief, and Creative Director experience. Initially studying journalism and English, and ultimately received a Business Administration and Management B.S. degree with honors.
Ms. Stewart has authored, managed and directed teams at Fortune 500 companies to create corporate policies and procedures, human resource guides, emergency preparedness manuals, technical instructions, articles, newsletters, internal company magazines, retail store transition instruction guides, change orders, year-end financial brochures, website content, social media blogs, and posts.
Additionally, Lisa hosts her own YouTube channel entitled: Living My Best Life