Beauty Treatments & Coronavirus: What You Need to Know Before Visiting the Salon or Spa During the COVID-19 Pandemic by Belinda Lichty Clarke
Can't wait to get your hair cut or colored or those toes done once coronavirus stay-at-home orders are lifted, but worried about safety? “The hands-on services and treatments provided by hairdressers, aestheticians, manicurists and massage therapists are going to be especially challenged to adopt ... restrictions in an effort to protect their staff and clients,” says Jeff Alford, president of CBON Group, Canada’s largest supplier of professional infection control products.
Here are tips from Alford that he suggests the public can look for as they return to their favorite salon or spa:
1. Advanced Awareness of Salon/Spa Policy Changes
Even before you book an appointment, you should be aware of what measures your salon or spa are taking to keep you safe while in their care. Their website, social media channels or email notifications should be announcing changes in policy that might include, required use of face masks, restrictions in services (like no hair drying), reduced (or extended) hours, no walk-ins, no waiting areas, no outside food or drinks, etc. Become familiar with those policies and make sure you’re comfortable with them before making a booking. You do not want to become a social media sensation by causing a scene when you show up and are potentially taken by surprise.
2. Communicate With Your Professional Beauty Facility
Perhaps your local salon or spa isn’t all that tech savvy with making updates through digital media. You can also give them a call when booking your appointment and inquire about changes in policy. You can ask if staff will be wearing masks, what additional cleaning and disinfection practices are in place and whether they are undertaking any screening measures (e.g. checking for flu-like symptoms, temperature taking or filling out forms). This knowledge will give you the confidence to continue with your booking or contemplate an alternative destination. Safety is not only about you, but the practices enforced upon the people around you as well.
3. Before You Enter…
Before entering your salon or spa, you should see notification of any changes communicated through signage or posted letters at the door or window. This will let you know that policies are being universally applied to everyone. Remember, the risk of infection does not just come from within the facility but also from other patrons.
4. Reception, the First Line of Defense
A salon or spa’s primary objective during this outbreak is to prevent the introduction of viruses that can lead to infection. Larger establishments may have a designated greeter at the door who can screen clients before they enter the premises. Smaller salons or spas should have a physical barrier or reception desk that prevents clients from freely entering before being processed. Hand sanitizing gel, availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and gloves, disposal of outside coffee cups, form-filling, etc., may all be part of the new norm. If these measures are not in place, you may need to ask yourself why and what other precautionary steps are not being taken to keep you safe?
5. Social Distancing Is Possible
While maintaining distance may not be possible when obtaining professional beauty services, your salon or spa should still be taking measures to respect the 6-feet separation rule whenever possible. This may include removal of waiting areas, limiting capacity and by-appointment-only service to avoid over congestion. It may also involve removal or decommissioning of every other workstation, shampooing sink, blow drying area, etc., to ensure distancing. If your salon or spa do not have these precautions in place, you may be exposing yourself to a higher risk of infection through exposure to other customers in close quarters.
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