It’s been around 2 months since the Covid-19 lockdown came into effect in India. This COVID-19 lockdown has hugely impacted the salon industry along with the country’s economy. The health experts and other officials from the WHO have warned that this COVID-19 may never go away. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech on 12th may say that we can’t sit back & allow this COVID-19 to end. Instead, we need to move forward and start doing our daily works along with taking proper safety measures. The ministry of home affairs allowed salons to reopen in non-prohibited localities from Monday, 18th May 2020. Since the virus isn’t eliminated from our surrounding, so some safety measures must be followed by the people inside salons to avoid being in contact with this virus. Salon owners can reopen salons but they need to take precautions to ensure the safety of its customers and staff in the salon premises. We have discussed the various safety measures below.
Precautions to be taken by the Salon
Firstly, always refer to the latest advice from the local government and local health authorities. Additionally, follow guidelines related to health instructions, so that you can take all possible steps to help you stay healthy and safe.
- Install thermal scanner at the entry gate/reception of the salon. Ensure the temperature of every person entering the salon is normal, and this must be done by maintaining a minimum distance of 2 meters.
- Keep Aarogya Setu app downloaded in your & your staff’s mobile phones, encourage clients for the same.
1. To ensure personal hygiene for staff
- The salon staff must use safety kit for their own and others safety. Safety kit includes cap, N-95/triple layer surgical face mask, gown, shoe cover etc. The kit must be sanitized before & after use.
- Staff must wash their hands using soap and water for at least 20 seconds or sanitize using 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of germs. It should be followed before & after every client, after eating, using the restroom, blowing nose and after coughing or sneezing. This will help customers & staff to be safe.
2. Cleanliness of tools
- Tools used in a salon, like Scissor, Comb, razor, clipper, trimmer and Salon cape (apron/gown) etc. must be sanitized with alcohol-based sanitizer and tissue paper.
- Metal accessories such as scissors, metal removers can be sterilized using UV sterilizer.
- If you use towel or Salon cape then, these must be washed after every use. To avoid washing towel or salon cape, tissue or plastic cape can be used. A plastic cape can be sanitized and the tissue capes can be thrown in the dustbin. If you still wish to use towels, then those must be rinsed in boiled water & should be disinfected properly.
3. Safety of Salon infrastructure
- The salon’s chair & its handles must be sanitized before & after every job. Distance between two chairs must be at least 2 meters.
- High contact surfaces such as countertops, back bars, reception areas, styling stations, pens & diaries, and other office machines should be wiped daily after every use with spray & cloth or a linen/absorbable cloth soaked in liquid disinfectant.
- Reception area, pantry, clientele service rooms, waiting area be disinfected twice or thrice every day.
- Busy areas and floor must be disinfected for 4-5 times a day.
- Metallic surfaces such as doors & handles can be wiped with a disinfectant or chlorine-based solution.
- Outdoor areas of Salon should be washed with disinfectants twice a day i.e. prior opening and post-closing of the premises.
- Magazines/journals/brochures, newspapers are uncommon items in waiting areas; these must be disinfected at the entry point of the salon.
- Washrooms should be sanitized with phenolic disinfectants. Make sure that the cleaning personnel is using a separate set of cleaning equipment for toilet, sinks and water closest cleaning. Cleaning person should wash their hands properly for 20 sec. after completion of each job.
4. Motivate the Salon staff
- Ask them not to touch their face, nose, eyes, and mouth as these are vital entryways for the virus.
- Conduct COVID-19 awareness program for the employees, also ask for their suggestions.
- Ask your staff to bath daily using any antiseptic mixed in water & wear washed clothes.
- If possible, arrange a PPE uniform for them. Otherwise, tell them to keep a separate dress in the salon and they need to change it while coming to the salon and while leaving for their home.
- Ask employees to work in shifts to ensure fewer people in the salon at a time.
- Request employees to break for lunch in shifts to avoid contact and cross-contamination.
- Motivate your staff to keep their immune system strong. Take a proper diet rich in vitamin C, restful sleep and drink ample water.
- If any staff do not feel fit to work, make sure they take preventive measures or stay away from the salon & encourage other staff members to do the same if they feel so.
Ensuring Client’s Safety
- Their thermal screening must be done at the entry point. If you find any symptom of cough, cold or fever etc. then don’t serve them.
- Sanitizer must be placed at the entry point which can be used to clean hand, mobile, bike or car’s key etc.
- Say not to Handshakes, hugs to coworkers/clientele. Instead, use ‘Namaste’ to greet people. Make it a general rule! Maintain social distance & ensure minimal physical contact with your clients wherever possible.
- Encourage clients to take an appointment before coming to the salon. Keep proper timing between the appointments of 2 clients. Make sure the availability of the staff who will serve the clients.
- Cancel appointments, if the client or staff is experiencing fever, breathing difficulties or coughing.
2. During Service
- Ask clients to declare any symptom, foreign travel history and exposure to high-risk segments. A self-declaration may get signed from the clients if they get infected – but we care the best.
- Ensure the use of sealed single-use product pack for the service.
- Ensure both staff & client wear a face mask, discard after use. Provide them with a mono kit(includes facemask, gloves etc) if needed.
- Staff must sanitize their hands before the service and limit the contact to the minimum.
- Use disposable tea/coffee/water glasses and use sugar sachets only, discard after use.
- Physical contact with clients must be minimized.
- Don’t do facial, or do it with machines only (or ignore if possible).
3. Post Service
- Avoid cash payments; encourage clients for digital payments thereby maintaining social distancing. Credit/Debit cards may hold virus, so electronic payment transfer such as UPI, Payment apps and NEFT/RTGS can be used.
- Clients should sanitize their hands, mobile phone, handbags, wallet, personal belongings etc. while leaving.
Spread Awareness & reopen salons
- Put templates/informatics signage with useful information like Do’s & Don’ts to prevent the spread of the virus at the entry point, front desk, break room or waiting area inside the salon for staff & clients awareness.
- Printed brochures can be shared with the clients waiting in queue for reminding them about the importance of hygiene standards.
- Share precautions & steps you’re taking, while serving clients ensuring health & hygiene of clients, with them.
- Use a motto statement like “Spread Happiness not the disease” – We all are together.
Stop sharing myths, be ready for emergencies
- Inform your staff not to follow any Do’s & Don’ts received from any unauthenticated source & don’t forward rumours to others.
- Keep emergency contact details of your local health provider and authorities to get the right support whenever someone requires.
- If you find anyone ill with COVID-19 symptoms, do not get panic, call your local health authority & follow guidelines.
Will clients visit if you follow these measures?
One question might still stress you out, “Will customers visit my salon after taking all these safety measures?” Let’s try to understand this. Customers will still be afraid of visiting the salons even after they are reopened. This is due to the huge impact the coronavirus has done on society. It’s spreading rapidly. So, first of all, you need to tell your customers that you are practising all the safety measures & its safe to visit your salon. Put hoardings about this on your entrance. Message or send emails to your regular clients to let them know. Once they are assured of safety, they will come as people need salon and beauty services on a regular basis.
Reopen of salons can be done easily but it will only be effective if these preventive measures are practised. We can’t predict when this coronavirus lockdown will end but we can prevent the spread of coronavirus in our salons. Also, make sure to hire staff only if it’s urgent when you reopen your salons. You can screen out the applicants over the phone call or as it’s called Phone screening, and then call only the selected applicants to your salon for demo/interview. Moreover, check out our other blogs to know more about the salon industry.