How Salons Will Change After COVID-19 — Report

“Maybe people are just going to get their color done and leave,” says Rachel Bodt, a New York City-based colorist. “We don’t really know exactly, and I think there are going to be a lot of things that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the State Board [OSHA] will come through and say we have to do, but I think the whole model of a hair salon is going to feel different for a while.”OSHA does have a guidance document for preparing workplaces to reopen, but states that it is “not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations.” It includes preparedness plans and engineering and administrative tips, such as installing high-efficiency air filters, sneeze guards, and wearing personal protective equipment, but does not mention blowouts. In Georgia, one of the first states to reopen, the State board of Cosmetologists and Barbers has 28 safety guidelines listed on their site. If salons are found violating any of these during inspection, they may be closed. However, many of the recommendations regarding sanitization and disinfection are already standard in salons. The guidelines cover protocol at the shampoo bowls, even suggesting salons ask clients to come in with wet hair, but offer no insight regarding hair dryers and blowouts.“The shampoo area, if we’re still allowed to do that, will be a silent place,” George tells Allure. “No talking, because the client will probably have to take off their mask for a shampoo.”There may be fewer appointments overall and not just because salons will need to socially distance clients. In hotspots like New York, stylists may be leaving for good, says Bodt, recalling one friend in particular who made the decision to move back to California to be closer to her family after 10 years of living in NYC. “I love New York and I want to be here for a long time, but I get how it’s sometimes just too much,” Bodt says.The New York Post reports that Suburban Jungle, a real estate advisory platform that helps families transition out of urban hubs like New York City, has seen a nearly 40 percent increase in moves from the same time last year. It’s been widely reported that New Yorkers were leaving in droves before the novel coronavirus made it to the U.S, but perhaps the pandemic helped make up their minds.Salon owners interviewed for this story agreed that magazines and books would be removed from the premises, as would glassware, cutlery, and beverage services. At Dime Nails in Los Angeles, owner Kristin Gyimah says things like chair pillows and handbag baskets will be eliminated. The process of selecting nail polish colors will evolve over time as well.“We aren’t completely sure how [clients] will pick colors yet as it’s going to be an ongoing project to explore ways that work,” says Gyimah. “A kind of trial and error, if you will. Polishes will be pointed to [by the client] or marked in some way. Then those polishes will be taken to the client’s station and will not go back to the polish wall until sanitized. Gel swatches will be a little more complicated, but we’ll figure it out as we go. I’m thinking the swatches will eventually go digital, but that is a project. Until then we might have to show each client the swatches ourselves and then sanitize each time a client touches them.”At Dermalogica clinics, no services will be off the table, but additional measures may be added. For instance, prior to clients getting a face mapping skin analysis, clients’ faces will be washed. And if you plan on coming in for a treatment, you’ll be required to fill out an online questionnaire plus undergo a virtual consultation prior to your appointment. Testers in the stores will still be available, although will only be allowed to be applied on hands and sanitized before and after anyone touches them, and your skin therapist will not only be wearing a mask but a face shield. The brand has created 12 principles for “enhanced service safety” that will be implemented throughout their stores, as well as a Clean Touch Certification program available to all skin therapists and estheticians, not just Dermalogica employees, to help clients feel comfortable once they return to getting professional beauty services like facials.

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