salon services

Why salon services need to have extra precautions during covid-19

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Salons and beauty shops are reopening. What responsibility do they have to prevent the spread of Coronavirus while providing service to their customers?

Remember that time during the lockdown in 2020 when cutting your bangs was trending! And that face mask you DIY with ninety-six spices, black pepper included? All these wild adventures were followed by one essential step, rushing to the nearby salon. 

Why Go to The Salon During Pandemic?

The pandemic is hitting us all in different ways. Our lifestyles have changed drastically but one thing that stays true is our appreciation for beauty. When the world around us seems haywire, we feel restless inside as well.

During that time a fresh new haircut can make us feel a little bit better and in control of our own life. It gives us some much-needed escapism from the reality of the situation we are living in.

 Makeup and Hair Styling is not just vanity, it is a lifestyle choice. When we engage in uplifting facial massage or much-needed pedicure sessions, we feel good about ourselves. It provides us with a sense of order and a fresh perspective on life.

Why Do We Need To Be Extra Careful With Salon Services?

COVID-19 has presented all the industries with new challenges. In the March of 2020, the government of India announced the nationwide lockdown closing all the salon and beauty departments along with other businesses. As per the WHO Guideline, the coronavirus can spread from one human being to another, and maintaining social distancing is key to prevent it. 

Since the lockdowns have been removed and businesses opened, precautionary measures are a must for any business but are especially important for beauty shops as they can not always maintain the six feet distance that is required while providing all the salon facilities.

 It is the responsibility of the salons to create a safe environment with extra precautions so the customers feel safe inside their store.

Key Risks in The Beauty Salon During COVID-19

From not following the  CDC guidelines to allowing too many people inside there are multiple health risks a salon needs to take care of.

Coronavirus mainly spreads from one person to another who is in close contact. The respiratory droplets are produced when someone who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or talks.

Some of the common issues with salon services during coronavirus situation are

Crowded Areas

According to WHO’s COVID-19 public guideline crowded areas must be avoided when not necessary. We need to maintain a minimum distance of six feet from our fellow human beings to avoid transmitting the coronavirus. However, it is not possible to follow such advice strictly as they are in a salon. 

Salon services whether it is a haircut or a styling can not be done from a six feet distance.

So the salon must decide beforehand how many customers they can have at one time inside the salon.

Sometimes Beauty salons overestimate their holding capacity and book more customers than they should. This can result in an overwhelmingly crowded place with a higher risk of contamination. This can be one of the major issues for salons to handle.

Poor Hygiene

Beauty salons must be kept super clean and follow good hygiene standards. All equipment that comes to direct contact with the clients’ face, nose, or mouth needs to be either disposable, sanitized or sterilized after every use. Items used on multiple clients (eg hairbrushes, massage rollers,  chairs, shampoo beds, and massage beds) should be cleaned frequently to prevent cross-contamination and help to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Many local pest control services are offering cleaning services for coronavirus. Salona should hire them frequently to sanitize their places. They can also make monthly contracts with them with fixed dates dedicated for decontamination.

Frequently Touched Surface

In a salon, there are some places or types of equipment that are touched more frequently than others. Some examples of such would be,

  • Scissors
  • Chairs/headrests/armrests
  • Counters
  • Hair rinsing tools
  • Hairstyling tools
  • Message beds
  • Mirrors
  • Storage services
  • Sinks

These surfaces need to be cleaned regularly to prevent contamination.

Unqualified Staff

It is possible that your working staff may be unaware of some of the COVID-19 guidelines. It is the responsibility of the owner to provide their staff with necessary information regarding the current situation. 

Customers will feel more safe and comfortable when their hairdressers and beauticians wear masks and follow the guidelines with care.

Staff Shortage

When opening the business, we must have a clear assessment of how many customers we can provide service to and have staff accordingly. There is no bigger turn-off than seeing your hairdresser attending someone else while you are half done. It can be very risky for the customers as well as for the staff as they will not be able to follow proper preventative measures.

Precautionary Measures Salons Can Adopt During COVID-19

In a salon, While your services may require people to be closer than six feet apart, you can still avoid unnecessary contacts with correct measures. Some ways you can do that are by creating virtual check-in and check-out, having online money transactions, etc. 

You can also remove waiting rooms, any food or drink facility you generally provide to entertain your clients.

Salons need to focus solely on the services they provide and not any other additional entertainment. 

Many salons are asking their customers to come with pre-washed wet hair to minimize the time spent inside the salon and also for maximum optimization of the time they have in their hands.

Consider Pre-booking Clients 

When reopening your business consider making pre-booked appointments for your clients. This way you can rightly estimate your daily customer numbers and can be in more control of the situation. Communicate with your loyal clients about the necessity of pre-booking and ask them for their available dates and the beauty services they want beforehand to avoid conflict.

Some perks of pre-booking are,

  • Stocking up the products you need for the day.
  • Customize your staff according to the services.
  • Having a rough idea about the amount of money you will make that day.

This can not only lessen the human contact and the risk of spreading the virus but also can be monetarily beneficial for your business.

Bring Your Business Online

Salons sell multiple products including customized shampoos, conditioners, spa treatments, etc. Bringing your business online, you can deliver those products to your clients to their doorsteps. That way you can keep your business and your customers get your products without crowding your store. With the right online marketing strategy, you can reach more people and sell more products eventually. 

If you are a local beauty shop you can reach more people even outside your locality through online marketing. Any small business has the potential to reach a bigger crowd with the help of the internet and social media.

Having an attractive website and aesthetic social media pages you can sell your salon products all across the country.

Do More Home Services

The Best way to avoid a crowd is through bringing the services to the doorsteps to your client. Undoubtedly Salon services at Home is a Safer Option for the customer. While you can have an empty salon your clients can have their relaxing spas and manicures at the comfort of their home.

This can be beneficial for your work staff as well as they can better align their time with the appointments they have and have a more flexible routine.

Encourage Your Staff to Stay at Home

You can not provide service to anyone if your staff is sick. Make it very clear to your employees that you expect them to take care of themselves and not come into work if they’re feeling under the weather. They will be setting a great example for other consumers and the industry. Make sure they regularly test themselves and provide support to any staff who have unfortunately been affected by Coronavirus.

Make Cleanliness Your Top Priority

Having a clean salon is always a priority but now it is important more than ever. As we know Coronavirus can stay alive on any surface, with proper sanitization we can kill the virus. Some ways you can maintain hygiene in your salon are,

  • Sanitize the furniture after each client 
  • Clean the scissors, brushes, and other tools frequently
  • Wear masks at all time
  • Sanitize frequently touched places more often

Create a cleaning schedule as per your convenience for your business, and make sure all your employees follow the cleaning schedule religiously. Then, document cleanings on that schedule. Whenever it is possible, consider removing the items or changing unnecessary processes. You can make your cleaning routine easier by removing rugs and carpets, eliminating waiting rooms, front door check-ins, food courts, and drink services.

Reduce Services

In this trying time, it is more important to keep the business going than to offer your full service. While pre-booking, your customer sessions make sure you have enough time to clean and sanitize your place in a proper way. It makes sense to reduce your services to some extent so you can keep your business going.

Some salons are setting examples by discontinuing the use of blow dryers as they can spread respiratory droplets through the air.

 Reconsider cancellation fees

A cancellation fee is a useful practice during typical business operations. It is understandable asking for a fee if a customer cancels the appointment at the last moment in regular times. However, we are not living in regular time. A cancellation fee may encourage clients who aren’t feeling 100% or who have COVID-19 to power through and make it to their service now. Make sure your clients know that they can cancel without a fine if they’re not feeling well. 

With good intention and proper planning, it is possible for salons to reopen their businesses. When looking for services we as the customer should do proper research on whether our favorite salon is following COVID-19 guidelines and taking necessary steps such as wearing masks, frequent sanitization, etc.

Go Virtual

 It may seem a little strange to offer beauty, spa, and health services online. But if you think critically you will notice what your clients need your expert pieces of advice just as much as they need your presence and your expertise. If you’re temporarily closed, can you guide them through a bang trim or a manicure session online? Can you advise them on the right products to use between facials and perms? Virtual consultations can maximize your productivity to a great extent.

Salon treatments are a part of people’s self-care rituals. Some of that can be done at home all by themselves with the right guidance from experts.

Stay Connected

Communication is the key to success in 2021. While we are all apart from each other, quarantining at our home it is very important to stay in touch with our client base. Whether it is through social media or personalized emails or one on one online consulting, you should stay connected to your customers and attend to their concerns wholeheartedly.

Stay in contact with your customers through emails, social media i.e Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Coco Chanel once famously said, “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” We do not know whether it can change her life but it can make you feel great. Multiple studies show that a good hairstyle can lift one’s mood in a significant way. Women spend an average of 10 days a year on their hair. Beauty has a direct correlation with one’s confidence, attitude, and overall well-being With the right safety measures and a proper understanding of the situation, and goodwill the salons can successfully reopen their businesses without contributing to more numbers of covid cases, and customers can enjoy their beauty treatments. By taking such measures salon business can also be a source of great inspiration for other businesses.

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