The beauty industry is all about amplifying the best parts of humanity—boosting our confidence and bringing joy to our lives. And finally, after months of shelter-in-place and social distancing orders, salons are opening their doors to a populace desperate for a little self-care, pampering, and beautification.
Both salon frequenters and beauty enthusiasts are excited to get back in the chair. But before you reopen for business, there are a few things you can do to ensure your business’ revival is a huge success.
#1 Change Your Salon Style
Your salon is a place of transformation. And to fully embrace your reopening, the salon itself will have to undergo its own metamorphosis. While you should closely follow your state’s guidelines (like these from Indiana or these from Colorado), check out these practical business tips to prepare your salon for reopening:
Rearrange the room – By strategically laying out your salon, you can greatly diminish health risks. Here are just a few examples of how to update your salon in a COVID-19 age:
- Make space between salon stations to allow for each stylist to stand 7 feet apart—the extra foot of distance gives your staff room to move around their client.
- Add hand sanitizer at entry points, in bathrooms, and at every beauty station.
- Designate a hair-drying area that’s as far from other stations as possible to minimize the potential respiratory droplet spread through the air.
Reduce risk in communal areas – Sometimes, half the fun of going to a salon is chatting with stylists or clients in the waiting area. While you’ll still have those meaningful connections, you can make your communal areas a little safer by limiting risks of transmission.
- Remove candy bowls, complimentary beverage stations, or other shared food or drink place spaces.
- Swap multi-person couches for a few comfy lounge chairs.
- Replace beauty magazines with TV screens to limit shared contact amongst staff and clients.
#2 Practice Safe Beautification
A trip to the salon is sometimes the only self-care your clients receive all week or even all year. But after months of health concerns, it may be difficult for your clients to feel pampered if they’re worried about illness. Put your clients’ (and your staff’s) safety first with a few best practices in addition to your state’s mandated guidelines:
Salon safety – Safety practices can help your clients and staff relax and enjoy their beautifying. Implement a few salon safety strategies to protect everyone who walks through your door:
- Cap the number of stylists and clients allowed in the salon.
- Encourage contactless payments such as PayPal, Venmo, or Apple Pay.
- Ask stylists to clearly post their Venmo or Paypal information on their stations for cashless tipping.
- Stagger appointments to minimize your clients’ exposure to others.
- Add 15-30 minutes of buffer room for each client so you can sanitize stations and surfaces between appointments.
- One client per stylist, no double-booking.
- Ask clients to wait in their car until they receive a text to let them know you’re ready for their beautification to begin.
- Require masks for all clients (provide disposable ones if you can).
- Ask clients who are not feeling well to reschedule.
Staff best practices – Your staff brings laughter, warm conversation, and moments of “I can’t believe that’s really me!” You couldn’t run your business without them. Keep them safe with a few techniques:
- Require all staff members to wear a mask
- Provide disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) for every staff member.
- Turn the shampoo area into a quiet zone to limit respiratory droplet transmission.
- Ask staff to stay home if they’re not feeling well.
#3 Add Some Reopening Flair
As the owner of a beauty salon, you don’t just give your customers a beautiful haircut, you give them a beauty experience. But with all of the health protocols, precautions, and no cute little candy bowl at the reception area, you may feel like you’ve lost some of your salon’s panache.
To keep the experience element alive and rejuvenating, consider these additions to your salon space:Plants – These days, there’s nothing more stylish than a room filled with plants, especially when paired with white walls. Head to your local nursery to deck your salon out in greenery. You can even look for air-purifying plants to give your clients the breath of fresh air they’ve been waiting for these last few months. Some air-purifying plants include:
- Areca palm
- Snake plant
- Money plant
- Gerbera daisy
- Chinese evergreens
- Spider plant
- Aloe vera
- Broad lady palm
- Dragon tree
Lighting – Unscrew the fluorescents and fill your salon with bulbs that give a soft, natural glow. You’ll create a warm atmosphere and put clients in their best light (literally).Staff style – Just because your staff members are fully equipped with PPE, doesn’t mean they can’t bring their own unique style and beauty to work everyday. Encourage your staff to get creative with their clothing and PPE. Your team’s natural artistry will prevent your salon from feeling clinical. Ideas can include fashionable face masks and color-coordinated coverings.
#4 Learn from the Experts
If there’s anything we’ve learned from this pandemic, it’s that there’s always room to learn more. If you’re constantly learning how to improve and evolve your salon business in the age of COVID-19, you’ll ensure sustainable growth for years to come. Here are some ways to keep learning:
- Get certified in sanitization – Cleanliness in your salon is more important than ever. And additional knowledge can help your staff and clients stay healthy. You can quickly become certified with Barbicide online to learn more about sanitization of professional beauty spaces.
- Take cues from beauty experts, and epidemiologists – When it comes to reopening wisely, trust your industry professionals and your healthcare experts. For example, Phenix Salon Suites and Associated Skincare Professionals have recruited the expertise of Dr. Tessa, an epidemiologist, to answer their beauty and COVID-19 questions. You can learn more about what Dr. Tessa has to say about reopening in this podcast series.
- Keep informed – Make sure you’re always up-to-date on safety measures in the beauty world by relying on the American Association of Cosmetology Schools as a resource. Their COVID-19 resource center can guide you to relevant articles, reopening seminars, guidelines, and best practices as the health situation constantly evolves.
#5 Get the Word Out to Customers in Your
The floors are swept, the lights are on, the shampoo is stocked, and it’s beautification time! When it comes to letting customers know you’re ready, make it loud and clear that your doors are open through your marketing channels like Nextdoor.
Creating a Nextdoor Business Page is the best option for connecting with your local customers, those that live nearby It enables you to:
- Share updates to your business operations
- Promote your services and online offerings
- Offer charitable services to your community
- Engage in discussions with your neighbors
- Receive recommendations, synergize with other businesses, etc.
Beauty is an incredibly intimate and personal industry—beauty salons need to integrate community and connection into their business models. Nextdoor is where you can create that connection during your reopening. From there, you can engage with locals, join the conversation, and explain what you’re doing to help and how you’re shifting your services.
Reopening to Add Beauty To Your Community
Let your customers know they can have their own little piece of beauty (and safety) in your salon. With these tips, you’ll connect with your community, become a safe haven of self-care for your customers, let your creativity bloom, and be a hub of post-isolation pampering in your neighborhood.
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Wischover, C. The Salon Business Isn’t Built to Withstand a Pandemic. https://www.allure.com/story/coronavirus-effect-on-salon-industry
Glossy. As China rebounds, beauty brands look to the country as a sales lifeline. https://www.glossy.co/beauty/as-china-rebounds-beauty-brands-look-to-the-country-as-a-sales-lifeline
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Colorado Safer at Home. Additional Guidance for Salons, Spas, and Sole Practitioners of Personal Services. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HO4HEy_Q5r4C98wuw-g-KKRQUS_4A3ls/view
Back on Track Indiana. Suggested Guidelines for Personal Services. https://backontrack.in.gov/files/BackOnTrack-IN_IndustryGuidelines-Personal.pdf
The Washington Post. As hair salons reopen, less pampering and more efficiency. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/hair-salons-barber-shops-reopen-changes/2020/06/01/f912f8e4-a1dd-11ea-9590-1858a893bd59_story.html
Fortune. Reopening hair salons, spas, and other beauty businesses probably won’t be as difficult as you’d assume. https://fortune.com/2020/05/22/coronavirus-how-to-reopen-hair-salons-facial-spas/
Medium. 12 NASA Recommended Air-Purifying Plants That you Must Have in Your House. https://medium.com/@iamgreenified/12-nasa-recommended-air-purifying-plants-that-you-must-have-in-your-house-8797645054b9
Beauty Schools. Guide to Re-Opening. https://www.beautyschools.org/guide-to-re-opening/
Phenix Salon Suites. Ask Dr. Tessa. https://phenixsalonsuites.com/ascp-ask-dr-tessa-epidemiologist-answers-your-covid-19-questions/
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