The beauty industry is finally starting to see light at the end of a dark journey. COVID-19 shutdown many salons with only a handful of states still allowing salons to remain open. After almost 10 weeks of being closed some states are opening their salon doors but it won’t be business as usual.
Salons and barbershops will be given new regulations by their state board. Georgia’s state board was one of the first to release updated regulations based on CDC’s recommendations. For detailed information about the regulations go to https://bit.ly/2Ylz9V1 . Remember that each state will provide its own safety guidelines. I used Georgia as a reference to start planning the changes in my salon.
Here are 5 key elements that we should all prepare for.
1. Budget the salon changes
Should you charge a sanitation fee for the new guidelines you have to follow. This is the question that is buzzing around the beauty community. The answers are mixed on whether to charge a fee or not, but I want to give you some food for thought.
How would you feel if the grocery store charged you a fee every time you went to buy groceries? Their cost have increased just like the salon. Mask for the employees, security, partitions to protect the cashiers, etc.
In the salon you will have additional costs up front but not every cost is a reoccurring cost. Your smocks, capes, and sanitation containers can be used for years. When you average out the cost your clients will be paying for those items 10x over.
The reoccurring cost of cleaning/sanitation supplies, gloves, and masks are items we normally purchase. This should already be in your salon budget.
I do understand that you haven’t been working and purchasing this items all at once is costly.
Instead of a fee lets rearrange your pricing structure.
Are you due for a price increase? Increase your prices by $5 dollars and inform your guest about the increase. Trust me, your clients haven’t seen you for several weeks a $5 increase to see their favorite hairstylist is not going to break their bank.
Purchase items a little at a time. Get what you need now and eventually get more to have the convenience of not having to wash as much.
When it comes to masks every client should come in with one and wear it at all times during their service. If they come in without one have a couple they can purchase from you.
Think about how you can increase profits with the new guidelines. Your in business to make money.
2. Communicate with clients
Email your clients at least 2 weeks prior to opening and inform them what about new guidelines. Communication will let them know what is expected of them as well as ensure their safety. I have a template you can adjust and send to your clients. Look in the free resources on deandragiselle.com.
3. Sanitation Procedure
In the salon it has always been your duty to clean and sanitize tools and equipment. However you should go the extra measure and do it more as well as eliminate high risk areas.
Here’s what you should consider:
Before entering the salon take client’s temperature. Any temperature over 99 must reschedule.
Ask them a series of questions to ensure they are not sick.
Get rid of your waiting area and have guest only come in when it is time for their appointment. If you keep the waiting area eliminate the magazines.
Only allow clients in the salon that have appointments.
No double booking to eliminate how many people are in the salon.
Try to schedule your appointments in shifts if their are multiple hairstylist working in the salon. Or create temporary partitions in between each station.
Both you and your clients wear mask throughout the services. If you are performing a service wear the mask will be in the way. Ask them to hold the mask and remove the elastic from behind their ears.
Wear gloves at all times and change in between clients
All hairstylist should wear smocks and change after every client. It should be long sleeve and no open toe shoes. Try to keep your skin covered as much as possible.
Clean all chairs, stations, shampoo bowls, and floors after each client.
Keep retail products locked or get the products for the client to eliminate how many people are touching items.
Keep towels, gloves, and capes in a closed container
All dirty laundry should be in a closed container.
Salon should be deep cleaned every night by sweeping, moping, and wiping all equipment with disinfectant wipes.
Do not serve food or beverages in the salon.
These are the most important things to consider. As you start working you will find what works and what should be adjusted. You can also create ways to make the guidelines fun. For example, wear a mask with a positive message, instead of a smock where a long sleeve shirt with salon logo or positive message. You can create a VIP area for the retail area that is robbed off. You are creative make this apart of the salon environment.
4. Revamp Your Salon
You may have to move stations around, rearrange products, and/or eliminate your waiting area and this can be time consuming. I want you to think about it in this way. We get caught up in our regular routine. Now is a time we can reinvent our salon. It isn’t the ideal situation but don’t you just love when your mind gets to be creative?
5. Salon Environment
Being out of the salon for a long time comes with its ups and downs. You have went through tons of emotions from happy to depressed but don’t discuss that in your salon. Protect the environment you are bringing you clients in and keep it positive. Nothing is worse than your client seeing you for the first time and you have nothing but negativity to give them. Everyone (including your clients) took a loss somehow during this pandemic. Let your salon be a sanctuary for them.
If you don’t know what to talk about consider these topics.
Favorite shows or movies they binge watched
New food recipes
Educate them on hair products and services you learned during the downtime
Discuss new ideas or job opportunities
Whatever you discuss keep it positive and light.
The “new normal” isn’t what you signed up for but its the reality. Don’t be a victim of it. Step up and make the most out of it. Your clients will appreciate in a world of uncertainty that you are consistent.