For many, having their hair styled, colored or cut, can be the difference between feeling confident and attractive. After the world-wide shutdowns due to the Coronavirus pandemic, getting our hair done was not an option for a while.
Luckily, businesses and services have started to open back up across the globe, including hair salons and barbershops. Here are ten of the most significant changes you will see the next time you have your hair cut or colored.
10. Personal Protective Equipment for Everyone
Be prepared to see barbers and stylists in masks, using plastic face shields and wearing latex gloves in many cases. Currently, masks and shields are the new norm for those working at hair salons and barbershops. Masks are now required for customers in most states. Since the CDC stands behind the fact that masks are one of the best ways to keep others safe from COVID-19, and new studies have indicated that masks might even help the wearers stay safe, these precautions are for everyone’s safety.
9. No More Walk-in Appointments
Walk-in appointments were common before, but now most salons and shops will require, or at least strongly suggest, that clients make appointments ahead of time to keep the number of people in the establishment within acceptable limits. In some places, scheduling a hair appointment requires a video call that assesses potential clients’ health. But, in most cases, a phone call will do the trick.
8. Entrance Procedure
As with most other businesses and services, clients that arrive early and walk-ins will need to wait outside until their stylist is ready. Upon entering, most salons and barbershops will require clients to disinfect their shoes, have their temperatures checked, and possibly fill out a health questionnaire. While these may seem annoying or even excessive, remember that they are all policies to keep everyone safe and healthy.
7. Say Goodbye to Magazines
Things that cannot be easily disinfected and is common for people to touch will be no longer. This includes the famous magazine collection in the waiting room. Magazines will sadly no longer be part of the salon experience. There will also likely not be any complimentary beverages offered to clients to minimize anything that might be touched by more than one person.
6. No Bags or Purses
Similarly, clients may not be able to take bags, backpacks or purses inside the salon or shop to minimize physical items that could be contaminated and difficult to clean. Many salons and barbershops will only allow you to enter with your phone and some form of payment.
5. Social Distancing
You will notice that the layout of chairs and other furniture has changed as well. There will be fewer chairs and stylists’ vanities, fewer spots for manis and pedis, and possibly even some kind of plexiglass separators between stations. Similarly, fewer clients and stylists will be in the space at a time, all in an effort to comply with new standards regarding social distancing and reduced time in indoor spaces.
4. No Blow Drying
One way that viruses can be easily spread is in tiny, airborne droplets – this is why social distancing and mask-wearing is so important, as they minimize the possibility that people can become infected. In a similar way, blow-drying will be a no-no in most salons and barber shops. Blow dryers spread air and water droplets even further, therefore, could increase the area where the virus could be potentially spread.
3. Keep it Clean
Hair salons and barbershops will need to ramp up their cleaning and disinfecting in a big way. This will include disinfecting the seat and any tools that were used between clients. Also, disposable items will be preferred when possible. At the end of each day, a much more thorough, deep cleaning will be required to ensure that any potential contagions are taken care of before the next day’s business begins.
2. Home Visits
Although they are generally considered less safe than visits to a salon or barbershop, many stylists have been “going rogue” and doing house calls for hair cuts and coloring. Though this may seem like a great idea, it can be highly unsafe for the client and their family as well as the stylist considering safety protocols aren’t enforced in a home. So, even though it might seem tempting to have your stylist come to you, it might be more of a risk than you realize.
1. Virtual Consults
If you feel uncomfortable going out to get your hair done, a much safer option is to find a salon or stylist that does virtual consultations. Many salons have begun to offer this service for things such as at-home color kits and even family haircuts! With a virtual appointment, both you and the stylist are protected from unsafe contact and, though you may not be as skilled, chances are you will do just fine as long as someone talks you through the process.
So, if you have been waiting for what seems like years for your favorite hair salon or barbershop to open, you will soon have that fresh new cut or color you’ve been dreaming of. Just remember, things won’t look quite as you remember them from before the pandemic. But that’s OK – it’s all part of the process of figuring out what our “new normal” is going to be, and making our best effort to keep ourselves, our families, and everyone else as safe and healthy as possible!