How to Prepare For Your Return to the Salon 

Part 1: Everything You Need to Know About Preparing Financially, Mentally, and More

We can all acknowledge that the last few months have felt like we’ve been living inside some kind of insane, apocalyptic movie plot where everything is going wrong all at once, right?

We’re not trying to undermine the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic—not at all—but, c’mon, we can all agree that what’s been happening for the last few months feels totally and entirely surreal, right?

It can’t just be us thinking that—we know you guys (at least some of you)  have to be on the same page, too.

But for as eerily similar as it all feels, there’s a huge difference between our lives amid the coronavirus pandemic and the plot of creepy, end-of-the-world type movie—at some point, we’ve all got to start back over, go back to work, and return to normal.

We won’t lie—the return to the salon might be tough.

For as much as you probably have been absolutely itching to get back to your clients—and for as loudly as your finances might be screaming at you to return to your clients—it might not be a seamless transition back. And you know what? That’s OK.

This isn’t a return from vacation. This isn’t a sabbatical you took. This isn’t you coming back from a guest spot in another salon.

This is you returning from one of the strangest, most stressful, most unique times in our history—so if it takes you a little while to get the hang of things, be gentle on yourself.

We can’t sit here and pretend to know how to combat every obstacle that might arise as you being to prepare to return to the salon, but we can offer a little help—and that’s something we’re always ready to do for you guys.

Keep reading to learn about how you can start slowly but surely preparing yourself to return to your salon!

Let’s Talk Mental Health

This kind of stuff is always a little tricky to talk about because everyone is different.

Maybe you’ll return to the salon with no problems whatsoever. Maybe you’ll seamlessly adapt to this post-pandemic life without any hesitation.

But if that’s likely not the case for you, that’s OK—like we said before, there’s no normal way to react to this situation because, let’s face it, this situation is not normal.

You need to handle your mental health in a way that’s most beneficial for you. If you’re overwhelmed with anxiety and stress and you’re feeling afraid of working in a world where the virus is still prevalent, that’s OK.

If you can, put off coming back to work or set up a gradual schedule for yourself. If you can’t put off coming back to work, implement new policies that can better protect you, your staff, and your clients, like masks, PPE, limited numbers of people in the salon, or even private sessions.

Above all, make sure you’re taking care of yourself—whether that’s chatting with a therapist weekly, exercising, eating right, getting plenty of sleep, taking time for yourself (or a mix of all of those), just make sure you’re sticking to it.

Check out our article here about taking care of your mental health during the pandemic—most of these tips can be applied to this unique space of time where we’re preparing to return to the salon.

Morale & Employee Encouragement

Think about how tough the return to the salon is going to be for you—seems a little scary and uncertain, yeah? You have every right to feel that way and pretending that you don’t feel that way won’t help anyone, especially you.

That being said, if you run your own salon, manage a shop, or have any number of employees working under or for you, you’ll have to put that fear aside (momentarily) to establish a plan to help integrate them back into the salon life, too.

Part of being a good boss, owner, or manager is looking out for your employees, having their backs, and keeping them safe—and that absolutely applies to our current situation.

Before you open, host a virtual team meeting to discuss employee concerns, thoughts, and practices that they believe would make the salon a safe, healthy place to be. Come up with a mandatory protocol for cleaning and sanitizing, social distancing, laundry, surfaces, PPE and masks, and more. (PS, stay tuned, we’re releasing an article all about safety protocol in the next few days).

When you do this, you’re showing your employees that you care about them, their health, and their well-being. You’re not just in this to throw them to the wolves now that you’re legally allowed to make money again—you want them to be healthy and you don’t want them to work in an environment that they’re fearful of.

Be flexible, too. If you have employees who aren’t quite ready to come back to work, give them time. We’re not trying to tell you how to run your business, but if you’re able, try to allow employees to come back at their own pace.

Lastly, be encouraging. Boost morale. Have one-on-one chats (whether virtual or in-person from an appropriate distance) about how you can help each employee integrate seamlessly back into working in a salon.

Financials and More

Everyone’s financial situation is going to be different coming back from the pandemic. We’re sure there are a lot of you out there who are more than eager to get back with their clients so you can start seeing money roll in to pay your bills. Trust us, we get it.

Our best advice for preparing to go back to the salon in a safe, healthy way is to do so slowly (if possible). Don’t jam-pack your salon (if you can help it) and stick to a limited number of people in the salon at a time to help ensure client—and staff—safety. Try to continue focusing your revenue efforts on selling products, kits, gift cards, and more—this can help bring in more money without putting you or others at risk.

If you need financial assistance while this is going on—and if you haven’t yet received financial help from these avenues—we suggest checking out this article right here all about the CARES Act, how it can help you, and what you need to know about stimulus checks and small business loans.

Further, check out our post here about the PBA COVID-19 Relief Fund—this could also be a help to professionals who have been financially burdened and affected by the pandemic.

Have some insight to offer your fellow beauty pros? We can’t encourage you enough to leave any words of encouragement, advice, or counsel in our comment section below.

Remember, we’re all in this together—the more we can unite to help pull ourselves through this difficult time, the sooner we’re all likely to return to normal.

One day, the pandemic will be something we read about—it won’t be something we have to actively fear or worry about. But until that day comes, we need to band together, do what we do best, and be kind to ourselves (and everyone else, for that matter). We’ve all got this!

Looking for a little more post-pandemic advice? Subscribe to our blog—we’ve got part 2 of this series coming out soon with even more advice on how to return to that post-quarantine life in a safe way (that’s right, we’re talkin’ PPE, new ways to run your salon, and how you can keep everyone—yourself included—as safe as possible).