Hairstylists: How To Protect Yourself Once Salons Reopen
Different Ways To Stay Healthy + Safe Once Your Salon Reopens
By this point, we know that when we get back into the salon, it’s not going to be business as usual—and that’s OK! While it’s essential that we make our salon environments as safe and clean as possible for clients, we also need to take care of the salon professional. It’s time to make the best decisions for your business, your clients and yourself. Here’s how!
BTC is working with Leslie Roste, BSN, RN—Barbicide® National Director of Industry Relations and Education—who specializes in infection control and chemical safety, to provide you with ways to protect yourselves and stay safe at work.
Keep reading for different ways to implement proper hand hygiene, safety in the salon AND at home, plus a downloadable reopening checklist for you to hang up in the salon!
1. Hand Hygiene: What Every Stylist Should Know
Over the past few months, we’ve heard the words, “Wash your hands!” basically on a loop—but once you’re back in the salon and servicing clients, this is more important than ever. Here’s what you need to know.
Hand Washing 101
- Always wash your hands with soap and water for 30 seconds before and after eating, smoking and using the restroom.
- In the salon, it’s super important to wash your hands immediately before and after servicing a client. You can also ask your clients to do the same, they will appreciate you demonstrating your diligence.
- Provide hand sanitizer at the front desk and all stations for clients.
- We understand this is A LOT of hand washing—so make sure to use lotion frequently to protect your skin!
Using Gloves? Remember This.
- Repeat after us, do not wear the same gloves all day! 👏 “[Wearing] the same set of gloves all day is like a filthy dirty set of hands, moving germs from one place to the next,” warns Leslie.
- If you do wear gloves, change them between services AND make sure to wash your hands after the gloves are removed.
Pro Tip: If you can wash your hands instead of sanitizing them, do it. “Regardless of the allowance for hand sanitizer in many states, hand washing is the gold standard and required in most states,” shares Leslie.
2. Safety In The Salon
How can you protect yourself and your business? By practicing safe distancing and reducing risk! “So many people carrying [the virus] and spreading it do not have symptoms or only feel mildly under the weather—those people are the biggest risk for spreading illness in your salon,” shares Leslie. That means being careful and consistent!
Here are some preventative ideas:
- Divide Shifts: Salon owners, consider having your stylists break up into separate shifts. This will allow them to keep a safe distance from one another and prevent overcrowding in the salon. This will also limit how many people are working in high-traffic areas (like the backbar and shampoo bowls) at the same time.
- Keep A Safe Distance Between Salon Chairs: If your salon or suite’s work stations are closer than six feet apart, alternate chairs if possible to leave a safe distance between working stylists.
- Avoid Double Booking: Yes, we know you will experience a rush of clients post-quarantine, but double booking should be avoided unless you can keep both clients in separate chairs the entire time. Limiting movement throughout the salon as much as possible will help reduce risk.
- Stagger Appointment Times: This is the best way to avoid a full waiting room, while also limiting the pressure to rush from one client to another. Plus, this gives you time to properly disinfect your station and wash your hands in between services.
- No Breakroom: Practice social distancing in the salon by temporarily closing the breakroom.
- Limit Any Non-Essential Contact: We know many of our clients greet us with handshakes and hugs, but this puts everyone at risk—so for now, let them know you are limiting any non-essential contact to keep everyone safe.
- Wear A Mask: If you are willing to wear a mask, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain. Wearing a mask not only helps you protect yourself, but also your clients and coworkers.
- Safety Check-Ins: All clients should have their temperatures taken upon arrival at the salon using a no-touch digital thermometer. If they do have a fever, politely decline their services and have them call to reschedule. Here are some questions you can ask:
- Do you have a fever?
- Do you have any of the following: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell or a sore throat?
- Are you currently living with someone who has been sick in the past 14 days?
3. Follow Consistent Cleaning & Disinfection Salon Guidelines
As a stylist, it’s YOUR responsibility to make sure your work station is regularly cleaned and disinfected—hold yourself to the highest standards when it comes to protecting your personal work space.
4. Ongoing Safety Practices:
Just because your self quarantining is over, this doesn’t mean that your at-home routine isn’t important. “Your personal health comes to work with you each day and either protects you or makes you more prone to all types of illnesses,” shares Leslie.
Here are some suggestions to help keep your immune system at its best possible level:
- Get plenty of sleep every night. Trust us, you’ll be tired from being back in the salon!
- Stay healthy. Maintain a well balanced diet and exercise regularly.
- Remember that if YOU stay healthy, there’s a better chance that your salon will too.
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