How prepared do you feel to reopen your salon following the lifting of the lockdown? With hair salons and barber shops now confirmed for a reopening date of 4th July – and nail and beauty salons still awaiting further guidelines – we know that many businesses want to get themselves ready as soon as possible.
Afterall, there could be some big changes you need to make that will take planning, organisation and additional budget, plus you will need to communicate to your team how they will return to work with plenty of notice.
So, until official word arrives on the exact requirements that will be asked of the hair and beauty industry, we’ve summarised some best-practice points that are likely to play a part in reopening your salon post-lockdown…
1. Risk Assessment
Your first step before you put your reopening plan together is to identify the areas of your salon that pose risks of spreading the infection. Be aware that every treatment you offer might pose different risks and require their own set-up or tools to make them safe.
The current scientific research suggests that the Covid-19 virus is spread mainly through…
- People within 2 metres of each other
- Via respiratory droplets through coughs and sneezes
- Touching the face after touching a surface contaminated with the virus
This information might help you when identifying risks. For example, is there one area in your salon that all members of the team have to access throughout the day? You might want to ensure this area is cleaned regularly, or think of other ways to reduce the need for contact.
You could also hold a video meeting with your team to ask them what their biggest concerns are around opening and what you can do to make them feel safer in returning to work.
2. Salon Hygiene
A well prepared salon hygiene plan will be essential to your reopening. While you likely already have thorough hygiene practices set up, make sure you review them and see what changes or additions you need to make…
The importance of hand washing can’t be stressed enough, even if you are wearing disposable gloves. Staff should wash their hands between each client as an absolute minimum for 20 seconds with warm water and soap, then be dried with a disposable towel.
Hand sanitiser should also be provided at all stations for client use, but should not replace hand washing for staff.
Tool and surface cleaning
All hair and beauty tools should be cleaned between every client using a disinfectant jar, disinfectant wipe or a sterilising machine. Single use tools may be preferable where possible – for example, nail files.
Have a cleaning rota that you check off at regular intervals throughout the day to ensure you clean all stations, desks, door handles, card machines and chairs with a suitable disinfectant. Clean using disposable paper towels or place reusable cloths in the laundry basket after each use.
Declutter your salon and remove things like magazines and decorative cushions to make cleaning as easy and effective as possible.
Towels and gowns should only be used once before being put in a closed-lid laundry basket. Disposable gowns for clients and disposable aprons for staff can also be used for extra protection. Salon uniforms should be left in the salon and washed rather than taken home. If staff do not wear uniforms, advise them to bring a change of clothes – the clothes they wore in the salon should be placed in a plastic bag and washed as soon as they get home.
Clean all laundry on a hot cycle and allow to dry in a clean environment.
Where possible, keep windows open to ensure fresh air circulation. Use dust collectors at nail stations when filing nails. At the moment, air-conditioning is not thought to significantly increase the spread in well-ventilated areas, but studies are still being made.
Provide plenty of tissues for coughs and sneezes. Ask staff to avoid wearing jewellery and if they would be happy to keep their nails short during this time. Ideally, hair should be tied back and out of the face – this can reduce the need for staff to touch their face, helping to protect them.
Both staff and clients can make use of PPE in the salon to help keep them feeling safe. Our packs of disposable hairdressing gowns help clients keep their clothes clean after leaving the salon, while face masks and visors can be worn by stylists when social distancing is difficult.
3. Social Distancing
Like other areas of life and industry, it will likely be advised by the government that the minimum 1 metre social distance is observed where possible in salons.
Before your salon reopens, make sure all treatment stations are as far apart as possible, reducing them if needed. Give stylists everything they need at each station so they don’t have to share equipment. The Procare 247 can be a big help in preparing foils quickly and hygienically.
Advise clients before they arrive that you have this policy in place. If clients arrive early or the stylist isn’t ready, ask them to wait outside or in their car.
In addition, manage staff on a rota and try to keep the same staff members on the same shifts. In areas where social distancing is difficult, perspex hygiene screens can be set up or visors can be worn.
Find out more about how to use perspex screens in your salon here.
4. Client Bookings
Before every appointment, make sure clients know what guidelines you will be asking them to follow – either by phone, text or email. Before they enter the salon, ask them if they have any Coronavirus symptoms or live with anyone who does.
Accept bookings by appointment only and suspend any walk-ins without a prior phone call. Make sure you have a sign in your door explaining your rules on entering the salon.
If possible, carry out client consultations over the phone or by video call beforehand and space appointments out to ensure nobody is sat in your waiting room for too long.
If you would like clients to wear face masks, either ask them to bring their own or provide them with one on arrival. Ensure everyone who enters the salon washes or sanitises their hands.
Appointments should also be staggered to avoid too many clients being in the salon at any one time. Allow extra time between each client to allow for cleaning.
Remove any magazines and explain to clients that you can’t offer them tea or coffee at the moment. When it comes to payment, ask for card payments only, preferably contactless.
5. Salon Retail
The return of clients might offer a good opportunity for retail sales. Keep products behind your reception desk, or if this isn’t possible, ask clients not to pick them up until they are ready to buy them. Have as few products out as possible and clean them along with the rest of your salon on a daily basis.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, make sure your whole team understands all the new guidelines you have put in place. You might want to put together a handbook for them to look through, and hold regular online meetings to see how everyone is getting along with them.
If you are providing your team with PPE to wear, make sure they know how to use it safely and effectively.
We have more information in our Guide to Using PPE in Your Salon here.
Make sure staff understand that if they or anyone in their house has any symptoms, they should stay at home. Reassure them on your sickness policy and sickness pay if this were to happen.
Here at Salons Direct we are working hard to bring you the Salon PPE and other supplies you might need to reopen your salon.
If anything you need is out of stock, just click ‘notify me’ to receive an email as soon as we have the item available again.
More advice from the Salons Direct Blog…
How to Deep Clean Your Salon | Salon Disinfection and Sanitation with Navy Professional | The Importance of Hygiene in a Salon – Safe & Hygienic Working Practices
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