Remember salons? Yeah, same. It’s been about four months since we’ve been in quarantine and pretty much every girl on social media has cut her own bangs, rocked the coronabrow, or bought stick-on nails off of the Internet. Now, some people consider manicures non-essential but for Latinas, acrylic nails are life and you better believe salons are taking extra precautions to ensure that we glow up safely.
In states like California, for example, the Department of Public Health announced that salons may reopen with modifications such as face masks for both stylists and clients. While this is great news for your IG posts – what we are here to do is inform you and help you stay healthy at your next appointment.
Your Car Is the New Lobby
Although businesses are opening back up, we still need to practice social distancing. In the beginning of the pandemic, New York Governor Cuomo said the rise in cases was from people socializing. Trust us, we don’t want to be quarantined AGAIN any more than you do, so we need to do our part and social distance. At your next appointment, there will be limitations in the number of people permitted to be in the salon, particularly the lobby. Some salons may ask that clients wait in their cars rather than the lobby, to avoid breaking the “six-feet-apart” rule.
Hopefully, you are aware of some of the symptoms of COVID-19: cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell, and fever. Because fever is at the top of the list, salons will most likely be checking your temperature via a no-touch thermometer before you walk through the door. You may not have any symptoms but anytime you interact with someone, the risk of catching COVID-19 increases. Aside from temperature checks, salons may hand you a questionnaire about where you’ve traveled in the past two weeks or if you’re living with anyone who may have come into contact with COVID-19 or has COVID-19. These measures may seem a bit overkill but stylists may be concerned about clients showing up if they’re not feeling great.
This face mask won’t minimize your pores but it may prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you live in California, Governor Newsam recently issued a statewide order requiring Californians to wear face-coverings in public spaces. How can you tell if your face mask is good enough? Well, the CDC advises that cloth face coverings should be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape. Consider face masks your new glorified fashion accessory. If you get to your appointment without a mask, the salon may turn you away and you’ll be stuck with that coronabrow for another week. So we suggest just keeping a face mask in your car or purse at all times.
Hand sanitizer has probably become your new BFF. Once you enter the salon you should see sanitizing stations everywhere; at the front desk, at a salon chair, in the corner, in the bathroom. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t rely on sanitizer alone. According to the CDC, alcohol-based sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on your hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs. As if your hands aren’t already dry enough, you may be asked to washed your hands before your service.
Staff Safety Requirements
One of the first things you should notice when walking into your appointment is that the staff is wearing protective face masks. Some salons take it a step further and require staff to wear a face mask, gloves, and face shields. Another noticeable change is that there may be plexiglass partitions between each salon chair and between you and your stylist. After each appointment, the staff should clean their aprons, if not change them completely. Also, make sure the staff is sanitizing stations after each appointment. This includes wiping down the chairs, appliances, polishes, etc. Don’t be surprised if you see Monica Geller working there.
Watch Out For That “COVID Surcharge”
All this sanitizer and plexiglass comes with a price tag. The new rules and regulations will require salons to spend more money. Many salons have permanently closed because the cost of doing business now is too expensive. You may see a rise in cost of manicures and pedicures or they may hit you with the “COVID surcharge” which is an extra fee to cover the cost of sanitation and single-use tools and supplies.
Do Your Research Prior to Going
Salons may no longer be taking walk-ins, so call ahead or check online to book an appointment in advance. Salons may only be able to host a few guests at a time due to space restrictions and they may not legally be allowed to take or squeeze in many clients at a time. On top of that, some salons may book extra time because the sanitation measures have gone up a bit. To keep everyone safe, salons may also need to stagger staff.
Ask About Their Re-opening Plan
Call ahead or check online to find out how your salon plans to re-open. Don’t be afraid to ask what precautionary measures are in place to keep everyone safe. We have also noticed that at some newly re-opened locations, there is a certificate on the wall which states that that location meets all of the safety guidelines required by the state. Unfortunately, some salons have received little to no direction from their respective state boards of cosmetology, which typically provides education for salon health and safety practices. Again, you have every right to ask about safety protocol because it’s your health.
Bring Your Own Tools
Remember, customers are still touching bottles of nail polish and not everyone is as clean as you. So if you’re still worried about germs, go ahead and bring your own nail polish. If you go to get your hair did, bring your own brushes. This lessens the chance of cross-contamination and the virus being spread from person to person. Just don’t forget to wipe them down with sanitizing wipes after using them.