Salons are slowly getting back to business, but is it safe to visit?


You may have heard the news that the UK government has decided it is safe for salons to open from the 4th July. This followed the news that salons could open for click and collect services from the 15th June. This means that customers can visit to pick up items, but they can’t go inside, and they can’t have any treatments.

For those suffering through lockdown haircuts and ever-increasing root growth, you might be wondering when you’ll be able to visit your stylist to put things right. The 4th July might seem like a long way away, but salons are busy working behind the scenes to make sure it’s safe to return to work.

While you might be concerned about the risk to your own health, salon owners are naturally concerned about the risk to their workers. This is why salon owners are taking the time to put measures in place to keep everyone safe.

What will salons look like when they reopen?
When salons reopen on the 4th July, don’t expect to see packed out premises. Social distancing will still be in place, so salons will only be able to admit a few people at a time. This is to ensure that everyone can stay 2 meters apart at all times. The exception will be your stylist or beauty therapist, so handwashing and hygiene provisions will be essential.

It’s also likely that waiting areas will be abolished. Rather than arriving early and flicking through a magazine, salons will need customers to arrive at their appointment time. It’s also unlikely that you’ll be able to have anyone waiting while you enjoy your pampering session.

Staff will all be wearing masks and will wash their hands and work stations between customers. Customers will also be required to wear masks, but if you’re getting a haircut, make sure it’s one that attaches behind your ears and not around the back of your head.

Will I be able to get an appointment?
Some salons have started to accept provisional bookings, but many are keen to point out that these bookings may need to be rescheduled or cancelled if things don’t move forward as planned. Research from Salon Iris has found that salon owners are keen to get things moving again.

Opening a salon at 50% capacity is not ideal, but it’s better than no bookings at all. To help boost the number of appointments available, we can expect to see salons increasing their opening hours. As we adapt to the new normal, we could see salons splitting their staff into shifts and allowing early morning and late evening appointments to go ahead.

What about mobile salons?
Under the current social distancing rules, mobile hairdressers are unable to work. They could face fines of up to £3200 if they ignore these rules. The government hasn’t yet given any indication when mobile salons will be able to resume working.

Is it safe to visit a salon?
If you follow the guidelines set out by your salon, it should be safe to visit once the lockdown restrictions are eased. Salons will be asked to check their staff’s temperature every day to help identify any potential cases of COVID-19. There will also be increased hygiene measures in place. You won’t have a magazine to flick through, and the salon won’t offer you a drink.

While salons are doing their bit to help keep everyone safe, it’s equally important that customers do everything they can to stop the spread of the virus. If you feel unwell on the day of your appointment, it’s important that you cancel your appointment rather than run the risk of spreading the virus.

Washing your hands, wearing a mask and following the guidelines set out by your salon will be essential to ensure a successful reopening. In the United States, where some states allowed salons to reopen before the virus was under control, one salon worker was revealed to have exposed 91 customers to COVID-19.

When will salons return to normal?
Social distancing will be in place for as long as the coronavirus is still circulating. This means that we won’t see salons operating as normal for a while. Salons rely on close personal contact with their customers, so it’s likely that this industry will be the worst hit and the last to return to normal.

Until then, customers in need of a haircut will need to follow the guidelines to be able to access these services. And while wearing a mask to get your haircut might seem inconvenient, the changes will be much more pronounced for salon workers. They will be expected to wear full PPE to work, they won’t be able to wear their work uniform on the way home from work, and they will have to abide by much stricter hygiene rules.