Rebecca Norris
June 10, 2020 9:26 am
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Now that stay-at-home orders have begun to lift and society has started to reopen its doors, one of the first places you may want to go is the hair or nail salon if you’re a beauty lover. As much as we understand the fantastic feeling of touched-up roots and a fresh set of perfectly painted nails, we also understand that the coronavirus (COVID-19) virus far from eradicated. Because of this, we’re here to help you safely navigate the salon experience in a post-pandemic era. To do so, we chatted with a few salon pros for the 411 on all things sanitary conditions so that you’ll be able to spot red flags and protect yourself if need be.

What to look for and be mindful of when heading back to your hair and nail salons:

1Reduced capacity.

The simple fact of the matter is that COVID-19 spreads easily in close encounters. For that reason, Brian Cantor, founder and owner of Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa, says it’s imperative that you only head to salons that have committed to 50 percent capacity at most. This will allow workers and customers to maintain more of a distance between themselves.

2Protective gear.

Sure, salons aren’t hospitals or doctor’s offices, but they’re a place where plenty of close encounters take place. Because of this, many salons, including N.Y.C.-based salons like Paul Labrecque, Paintbox, and Chillhouse, are gearing up to protect both their staff and clients with plenty of protective gear.

“We have face shields for all of our employees, custom-made face masks, and have put in sneeze shields at every nail station and reception desk,” says Chillhouse’s director of stores, Panayiota Kourtesis. “We will be asking our clients to have a mask prior to entering, and we will be setting up a touchless hand sanitizing station upon entry.” No mask? When it comes to Chillhouse, no problem. “If a client does not have a mask for whatever reason, we will provide them with a disposable one,” Kourtesis says.

3Signage.

According to Paintbox CEO Jane Hong, customers should keep an eye out for proper protocols and signage explaining what precautionary measures the salon is taking.

“This includes but is not limited to: mask-wearing for both employees and clients, appointment-only servicing, contactless payments, ‘do not touch’ signage around product displays, hand sanitizing stations, restrooms to be closed off to clients, plastic shields in place, constant sanitization of surfaces by staff, limited wait times, a limited number of people at reception, and overall reduced capacity,” she explains. “If salons aren’t taking these actions, of course, your risk increases as more and more people enter the salon over time.”

4Touchless temperature checks.

As much as we all wish to live in a world where everyone is fully honest, the truth is, when someone wants their hair or nails done (or anything, for that matter), they might neglect to disclose a slightly sore throat or a mild fever—both of which used to be nothing much to worry about but now are key symptoms of COVID-19. Because of this, Chillhouse, like many salons, will be implementing touchless temperature checks for both clients and employees.

Stefania D'Alessandro, Getty Images

5Fewer perks.

One of the top perks of heading to the salon is a day (or hour) of pampering, and part of that pampering includes add-on services like beverages at the ready. However, due to the current times and the push to be as vigilant as possible to not spread germs (especially any that could be directly ingested), Hong says that Paintbox will not be serving any beverages at this time.

6Timeliness.

While it’s always been good form to show up on time (read: 10 minutes early) for appointments, now it’s even more important to do so, as many salons are using staggered schedules in an effort to maintain social distancing within their spaces.

While these new measures may not seem ideal, looking for these things in any salon you visit will help keep you—and, by extension, your loved ones—safe. And hey, at least it will result in a moment of self-care.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, HelloGiggles is committed to providing accurate and helpful coverage to our readers. As such, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, we encourage you to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments, and visit our coronavirus hub.