7 Things You Can Do To Make Your Salon Safe To Visit During The Pandemic
7 Things You Can Do To Make Your Salon Safe To Visit During The Pandemic
With the restrictions easing up, people have again started to widen their social circles and allowed themselves to go out for some activities they initially couldn’t do while strict lockdowns were in place.
This includes visiting a salon for a hair fix or nail services.
However, even if more people now have the guts to do these things, the question remains: is it safe to visit a salon?
What do people usually do before deciding to head to a salon?
Think about it:
Although there may be some level of confidence in going out, clients still want assurance for their safety. They’ll need the sense of security of being virus-free even though they’ll be interacting with people outside their household.
This is especially the case with services offered in salons.
One of the biggest concerns about visiting a salon during the pandemic stems from how the virus spreads, which is from person-to-person. In salons, the clients and employees will inevitably touch each other.
Typically, a hairstylist will need to hold the hair and some parts of the face while styling, cutting, or coloring it. A pedicurist and manicurist will also need to hold the feet and the riskiest part of the body that gets in touch with the face – the hands.
The risk isn’t over. There are also commonly-shared surfaces to think about. Salon chairs, hair washing stations, tools, and doorknobs are highly likely to have virus particles in them.
Lorraine Massey, the owner of Spiral salon in New York says her salon is taking all the necessary safety measures. This includes requiring everyone who goes inside the salon to wear a mask, gloves, and even a face shield. Part of their safety measures also includes setting up sanitizer stations around the salon.
In many cases, clients call in advance not just to book an appointment but also to ask what safety measures are put in place in the salon to make sure they visit the place with minimum risk involved.
The most common things they ask are the disinfecting practices done for the commonly-used tools, if public surfaces are cleaned and how you do it, and if wearing protective gears such as face masks are strictly implemented.
With these 3 measures in mind, here are 7 more things you can do to keep your salon a safe place to visit. Mind you, these are also things clients may also ask in advance.
Designate An On-Site Workplace Safety Coordinator
This can simply be you, the salon owner, or the salon manager, or anyone you can trust to monitor and implement safety measures.
The safety coordinator will not just maintain safety measures and ensure salon tools are sanitized after every use, this person will also coordinate with the client for appointments and cancellations, as well as coordinate with employees for sick leaves.
Having a coordinator in place will ensure all safety measures are regularly checked and implemented for everybody’s protection.
Implement Flexible Sick Leaves
Because of the tight budget from a period of establishment closures as part of lockdown rules, employees tend to make the best of the time to work as much as they can.
In many cases, they’d even go to work even if they are sick since they need to earn for the bills to get paid. This puts a weighty risk in everybody in the salon getting sick.
One way to encourage them to stay at home when sick is to implement flexible sick leaves. Part of this is creating policies and practices that will ensure they still receive some pay on the days they’ll need to stay home.
If you think this means more cost for you, just think of the consequences when everybody in the salon gets infected and you have to close down for a week or two.
Work stations facing each other or directly beside each other can mean more risk of cross-infection.
To avoid this danger, you can redesign the stations so that the clients and employees do not face each other and are as far as 6 feet from each other.
Usually, the salon chairs are all lined up. Many arranged for vacant seats in between occupied seats to maintain a safe distance.
As for the cashier counters, you can arrange for contactless payment using online payments or POS machines that are placed at a safe distance from the cashier so when clients use it, social distancing will still be practiced.
You can also put direction stickers people can follow so they can get reminded of keeping a safe distance from each other.
Place Physical Barriers
If you have a limited salon space, physical barriers will keep one person away from another.
You can either put up plastic curtains, plexiglass partitions, or other materials that can act as impermeable barriers.
This doesn’t only work for limited spaces though. Even if you have ample space, placing impermeable barriers will give clients the sense of security of knowing air flows are blocked so the virus won’t be transferred from one person to another.
Keep The Workplace Ventilated
Viruses can be spread in enclosed areas because there is no escape route for air.
If you have or can afford ventilated table or portable ventilation machines, this will do a lot of help.
If not, you can arrange for the salon to get the maximum amount of fresh air while keeping the humidity at 40%-60%. You can consider getting natural ventilation like opening windows and doors to amp up outdoor air dilution of the indoor air of the salon.
But keep in mind, this doesn’t apply in all cases. Sometimes opening windows and doors can pose more risk so this is something you should evaluate first.
Also, blow dryers and personal fans have been discouraged. Using these can spread the airborne droplets that may contain the virus.
Scheduling And Canceling Appointments
Clients will feel safer if salon appointments are scheduled. This will ensure there will be limited people in the salon, lesser risk of contracting the virus from unknown people.
You can also use this time to inform clients that you won’t allow non-customers inside the salon to keep the number of people to a minimum so that social distancing will be kept.
To make things safer, you can also allow for rescheduling or cancellation perks when they feel sick to discourage them from visiting the salon when they are not feeling well.
Place Hand Hygiene Stations
Ted Gibson, a Los Angeles salon owner put it upon himself to implement safety measures in his salon.
Aside from offering face masks to clients who were not able to bring their own, clients also get a temperature check and some hand sanitizer to kill any germs they might bring in from their hands.
Since hand sanitizer stations are placed in strategic locations like salon entrances, clients get an unwritten welcoming message saying “this salon wants to keep you as safe as possible.”
It’ll be the first thing they’ll see once they go to your salon (aside from the door of course). Right there and then, they’ll get the sense of security that they are getting their hair or nails done in a salon that cares for their safety.
If clients call ahead and ask what safety measure you’ve put in place, each of the 7 things listed here will be great selling points to encourage them to do business with you.
You might even be amazed, simply putting up sanitizer stations like a touch-free hand sanitizer dispenser might be the turning point to persuade them to visit your salon.