How Hair Salons Will Be Transformed by the COVID-19 Pandemic

How Hair Salons Will Be Transformed by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Last Friday, the experienced hairdresser Van Council officially reopened the doors of six Van Michael hairdressing salons in Atlanta, Georgia, after governor Brian Kemp removed his order at the state-wide shelter site. Since then, the rest of the hair styling community in the U.S. has been watching closely, experiencing a cocktail of emotions: fear, curiosity and willingness between them. This was not because Kemp’s decision was a wildcard (which health officials warned it might be too early to loosen the restrictions), but a brand new world for Georgia’s hairdressing salons came to the fore. Post-pandemic. Although not required in many countries, people suddenly realized how confident they were in their living room as a relaxing source of self-care and community. And although they aren’t necessarily crowded, they need intimate interaction – how can they adapt to social distance? The question arose in one of President Donald Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings and created bait for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert: “Barbers and hairdressers must be very creative, like taping their hair clippers in a few yards or sinking their customers. In Barbecide, ”the host said.

But really, how could reappearance on this particular personal care throne be? The Council, an Aveda expert and educator for over 30 years, has been attending advisory board meetings to set a plan since March. The basic rules for Van Michael salons are as follows: Hall volume will be kept at least 50% with stylists working at both stations at least six feet apart; Before logging in, customers will wait outside and check temperatures; Once inside, all stylists will wear plastic shields and masks, while customers are asked to wear masks and items must be limited to a phone and form of payment – no handbag. Regarding the services, there will be no blow dryer in order to prevent the air flow of microbes that will also decrease in the hall time.

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“We remained open for the first two days, averaging about 250 customers per day in all salons,” he adds, adding that they only saw returning customers and the most popular treatments were regular haircuts and color touches. some of them are for gray roots. In addition to keeping its employees safe, the Council wants to make sure they won’t escape in this challenging new environment. “It’s hard to work with a mask and a shield,” he says, emphasizing the realities of working with a large PVC sheet covering the eyes, nose and mouth. “We have stylists and colourists who are returning, working two days and two days.” In addition to managing excessive demands under harsh conditions, the Council receives a series of overflows from other salon owners across the country. ” Probably I finally got 200 room owners to send me text or messages via Instagram or Facebook. A few days, ‘Where can we get shields, where did we get a hand sanitizer?’ he asks. But it’s nice to try to set the industry standard here in the USA because I care so much. It is our job to speed up and do this work so that everyone can safely open it again. ”

The new security and health procedures introduced in Georgia are not unprecedented globally. When the spread of COVID-19 began to slow down in China, where the virus first appeared in Wuhan in late December 2019, some hairdressing salons, barbers, and other personal care businesses began reopening with stimulating measures in March: Stylists wore face masks, dangerous clothes, and the gloves applied new sanitation strategies, paused the seats in accordance with limited volumes and social removal powers. In Japan, where hairdressers and barber shops are allowed to remain technically open in emergencies, the approach is similar. “When I was preparing a plan, I had the advantage of having partnerships with the salons. He explained that they were doing what they were doing in Tokyo and getting clues from what they were doing. A stylist in his network, Masa Honda, who is currently closed to the Masaveda salon in Kanagawa State, but with other salons in Japan and other he travels with the health salons in the countries to exchange information about health and sanitation practices and reopen the plan. Honda says, “Safety is our number one priority.” “To help customers and staff feel safe, a customer is wearing a mask, checking their temperature, and before their visit. We have created a new service routine that is responsible when a customer enters the hall until a customer, such as conducting a short health survey, leaves. The hall is an area where many people come together, we will prevent too many people at the same time, and things that cannot be sterilized like magazines will be removed. ”

It is very important to look at other countries for the Toni & Guy hall in Geneva, Switzerland, which reopened on Monday as the Alpine country gradually eased the restrictions. “When I first heard that we would reopen, the Swiss government did not give clear instructions at the time, so I was concerned about the safety of my staff, my customers, and the feasibility of reopening with restrictions.” Olga Tetard. “We are part of a global brand, and when my colleague in China reopened, I knew their restrictions were too heavy – letting just one customer in the lounge – I knew it made more sense to keep the hall closed longer.” After the Swiss government announced its reopening decision, Tetard immediately assembled the internal security rules and then based them on weekly Zoom meetings with Toni & Guy partners around the world. “Our Chinese partners who experienced the COVID-19 situation before us shared their experiences and provided incredible support during this crisis.” Finally, a week before the opening, the Swiss hairdressing organization CoiffureSuisse issued a safety guide. “What we put in place was completely in line with their offer, so we were pleased with it,” adds Tetard. So far, the hall’s new way of working – mandatory face masks, half the capacity of the chairs, six feet between each chair and daily deep cleansing – goes relatively smoothly – it’s just a matter of managing demand and staying healthy.

“I think there is a universal understanding of how to work, it includes all these health protocols to make salons as safe as possible,” said Sally Hershberger, a hairdresser with three anonymous salons in New York. One in LA is closely examining the guidelines set by the CDC, FDA, and the State Board of State of New York and California State Cosmetology. “Although each country will reopen and operate differently, I am now paying close attention to Georgia and I want to know what works for them and what practices we want to avoid.” As more and more halls begin to operate with reduced capacity and extreme protective measures, Hershberger believes that the COVID-19 outbreak will have long-term effects on the salon industry. “Sanitation has always played a big role in the halls, but I think people will take it more seriously than ever.” “Most stylists do not wear masks while doing hair, but they can become permanent outfits. I believe the saloons will not work at full capacity for a long time, as the social distance is such an important player in straightening the curve. Edward Tricomi, co-founder of the Warren Tricomi halls, agrees, even when things return a little closer to normal, believing that the inevitable things will change permanently. “We will handle this and learn and grow from it,” says Tricomi, who believes how the salons will use technology better after seeing their stylists and customers achieve success in virtual consultations and home color kits.

With the initial stages of reopening being carried out both internationally and by the state, hall owners are seeing a glimmer of hope as they deal with the financial destruction that affects their business. A dear D.C. For Salih Watts, the owner of the natural hairdresser Loc Lov, who owns the flagship and recently opened a new place in L.A., is about staying as flexible as possible to support his community and stay positive. Home orders D.C. While remaining in place at L.A. and L.A., Watts has released a rigorously reopened security plan that covers everything from health scans and surveys to best mask practices. “We have released a security plan before most salons to ensure that my customers and staff feel safe and comfortable before, during and after the salon experiences,” said Watts. “I especially avoided this effort because 95% of our customers are African Americans and we have the highest mortality rate from COVID-19. We have become a leader for other salons, and now I wanted to put it more than ever before, something that could affect other salon owners.” Watts Like many in his position, he feels financial pressure, goes through all the moves for first-come first-served government loans and grants, and salons, especially younger, less resident LA. hopes that his position will survive. “Unfortunately, we were open for just nine months before this happened, and we don’t have enough value to sustain our spending after that.” “The plan is to get enough income to maintain the west coast on the east coast until it can be reopened. But without enough funds, Loc Lov L.A. will have to close its doors, and that will certainly be destructive.”

For Hershberger, the salon has always been more than just a place to get your hair done. “We build relationships with our customers, and when we don’t have that routine where we can socialize and interact, a part of us may feel like it’s missing.” It fills the gap between its customers by offering virtual haircuts and donating half of the proceeds to Direct Aid. “Beauty routines play a big role in our daily life,” he adds. “When you can’t get the regular root touch up or make an explosion correction, your daily life can frustrate itself.” Tricomi, always a highly personal hairdresser, believes that the bond between a client and hairdresser is always strong, but will be even stronger on the other side of this disaster incident. “I think people will appreciate more who we are as hairdressers,” she says. “You never know what you’re going to miss, until you miss it.”