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Re-open the salon? Is it safe? More importantly – Where do I start?

Image of a barber with a yellow background.

Lets be honest, nothing is for certain and there has been pretty terrible guidance from the top on these safety questions. But the group of entrepreneurs that we’ve seen with the most hustle has to be salon owners. When your family dream of opening your own business is on the line you just do what you have to do to get it done. There are no guarantees but there is evidence that opening can be safe when its done right – and if you’re fighting to keep your dream alive it doesn’t mean you need to be reckless – you need balance. Here at CPD we’re spending time with a group that just recently got to re-open in our local area – Salons and Spas. In polling salons, we started by giving you a care package specifically designed to allow a stylist with a single station to get what they need to start right away. Its our Hair Salon Re-Opening Kit and its specially priced to be about 25% below the list price of buying all the parts separately but more importantly it provides enough disposable masks, wipes, and sanitizer to keep your station clean for a month or more.

OSHA also released “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19” recommendations for salon/shop owners and managers, a bit before its time, as a guide for reopening. Below are some top-level guidelines for salon and spa operators to follow:

  • Temperature checks: Salons should consider use of a touch less infrared thermometer to check the temperature of employees each day and of each client who enters the salon/shop.
  • Screening questions: Ask each client entering the shop the following questions – Have you had a cough? Have you had a fever? Have you been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms within the past 14 days? Are you living with anyone who is sick or quarantined?
  • Limit people in shops/salons: Salons/shops should consider seeing clients by appointment only. Salons/shops should consider telephonic or online scheduling. Limit the number of persons in the waiting area of the salon/shop. It is recommended that clients wait outside the salon/shop in their vehicle until the cosmetologist or barber is ready to serve them. It is recommended that persons not being serviced in the salon/shop wait outside the salon/shop.
  • Maintain social distancing: Spacing between persons in the salon should be at least six feet at all times. Salons/shops should consider additional spacing between booths, divider shields, and/or alternate work schedules.
  • Use of personal protective equipment and best practices: Salon/shop employees will be required to wear masks at all times. Salons may want to consider providing masks to clients. Clients should wear face masks to the extent possible while receiving services. Salons/shops should also make use of face shields, gloves, disposable or re-washable capes, smocks, neck strips, etc. These items should be disinfected or disposed of between each client. Employees should arrive at the salon/shop showered and wearing clean clothing and change clothes before leaving the salon/shop each day. Hand washing with soap and warm water, for a minimum of 20 seconds will be required by employees between every client service.
  • Disinfection: All salons/shops should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to reopening. Disinfect all surfaces, tools, and linens, even if they were cleaned before the salon/shop was closed. Salons/shops should maintain regular disinfection of all tools, shampoo bowls, pedicure bowls, workstations, treatment rooms, and restrooms. Additionally, salons/shops should remove all unnecessary items (magazines, newspapers, service menus, and any other unnecessary paper products/decor) from reception areas and ensure that these areas and regularly touched surfaces are consistently wiped down, disinfected, and that hand sanitizer is readily available to clients and staff. Avoiding the exchange of cash can help in preventing the spread of the virus, but if this is unavoidable, be sure to wash and sanitize hands well after each transaction. The use of credit/debit transactions is preferred, using touch/swipe/no signature technology.
  • Administration: Employees who are sick will be expected to stay home. Salon/shop owners/managers should provide training, educational materials, and reinforcement on proper sanitation, hand washing, cough and sneeze etiquette, use of PPE, and other protective behaviors. Ensure break rooms are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized and not used for congregating by employees. Be flexible with work schedules/salon hours to reduce the number of people (employees and clients) in salons/shops at all times in order to maintain social distancing.

It’s time to hustle. It’s time to get it done – safely.