Coronavirus in the Salon
Safe Practices for the Beauty Industry
No matter who you are or where you live, you’ve likely heard the term coronavirus or COVID-19 over the course of the past few weeks.
While everyone has their own hot take on what’s happening with it, how dangerous it might be, or how it could affect us (which, we won’t comment on in this article, that’s not why we’re here), the fact remains—it’s best to exercise safe practices, caution, and preventative measures in order to stay healthy and keep your customers feeling confident and safe.
We work in an industry that’s very hands-on. We work in close quarters and with people and often, due to the nature of what we do, we’re very in-someone’s-face where touching is required. So, when the public is dealing with major health concerns (and honestly, we should be extra cautious always), we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to perform our services safely!
Safe Practices for Those in The Beauty Industry: How to Handle Coronavirus in the Salon
No, we don’t think you need to change professions to avoid the coronavirus (that’s just a little humor)—all you need to do is take the extra effort to ensure you’re working in a safe environment and instilling preventative measures to avoid illness (of any kind).
Wash Your Hands (Like, A Lot)
Washing your hands should be a staple in your everyday routine anyway (because it helps us fight off all types of illnesses, bacteria, infections, etc. every single day, not just the days when there’s a new virus spreading). But, we recommend washing your hands more often and with more dedication. Instead of a quick rinse with a dab of soap, the American Red Cross suggests that you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Wash your hands often, but especially before and after you work with a client, after you use the restroom, after you eat, sneeze, cough, or touch your face, etc. Make sure you’re washing your hands regularly throughout the day for the recommended time.
Cover Your Mouth and Nose When You Cough, Sneeze, Etc.
Just based on etiquette you already know not to open-mouth cough or sneeze on someone (clients wouldn’t appreciate that ever, not just during a critical time like this). But our best recommendation is to always make sure you have tissues on hand so that you and your clients can use them ASAP when they need them. Then, be sure to throw those tissues away immediately so no one accidentally re-uses them.
Focus on Sanitization—All Over the Salon
Yes, you obviously need to disinfect your equipment between uses (you always do), but we recommend taking it to the next level to help fight off any extra-harmful germs. Your sanitizing and disinfecting game with your tools, your chair, and your station in general—but don’t stop there.
Disinfect doorknobs, bathrooms, sinks, toilets, telephones, laptops, tables, counters, and every work surface you can a few times a day. Any surface that’s commonly touched should get some extra TLC with a powerful disinfectant day-in and day-out.
Don’t Touch Your Mouth or Face
This one can be tough to catch, but it’s a great rule to live by, anyway. Anywhere in the world you go, you’re dealing with touching germs, so doing your best to avoid touching your mouth or face anyway is ideal. Make a conscious effort to stop putting your hands to your face, your nose, your mouth, your eyes, etc.
Give Some Cancellation Leeway
If your clients are sick and need to cancel, don’t punish them for doing so. Wave the cancellation fees or rescheduling fees and thank them for being responsible and respectful enough to let you know, in advance, that they’re battling some kind of illness. The best thing you can do when you’re sick is to avoid contact with people, so make sure your clients know they will not be penalized for canceling appointments for this reason.
If You’re Sick, Stay Home
We know that in an ideal world if we had any visible signs of illness, we could just call in and stay home with no consequence. Obviously, we don’t live in a perfect world and that’s not always a viable solution. But, we do encourage talking with your employees or your employer about a sick-day policy that makes sense for this unique time.
If you’re sick, you need to stay home—that’s the long and the short of it. Try to make that happen.
Send out a Memo to Customers
We definitely don’t mean send out a panicky, cancel your appointments memo, but we do recommend sending out a calm statement that acknowledges that you, as a salon, know what’s happening in the world. Explain your stay safe plans, any policy changes, and your rules about customers coming into the salon while sick.
Post this memo on your social media sites, your website, in your salon, and send it to your regulars. Again, make sure you’re not trying to incite fear, just informing your valued customers on what your unique approach to this issue is.
We know that can be hard. With infinite headlines about the coronavirus and new cases popping up in the United States, it can be tough to not panic about the unknown. But here’s the thing—panicking doesn’t solve any problems; it just makes you far more anxious and stirs up internal trouble that you don’t necessarily have to deal with yet.
Sure, we believe it’s hugely important to take preventative measures and to exercise caution, but don’t let that safety advisory leave you spinning. Just do what you need to do to stay healthy and be sure that you’re communicating that with your clients, too!
Like we said, we’re not here to comment on the seriousness of COVID-19—but we do believe that in circumstances like this (and honestly, in every circumstance) doing everything you can to keep yourself healthy and ensure your clients are safe are both hugely important to running a respectable, successful, and responsible business.
Do your research, talk to your doctor, and work out new policies with your employees or employers so that everyone can be on the same, healthy page.
Have some advice on how to deal with COVID-19 in our unique, beauty industry environments? Let us know!
Share your tips and insight with our community in the comment section below.