Safety first

Andrew Dark is Director and Co-Owner at branded uniform and promotional products specialist Custom Planet. Here, he outlines how you can ensure you’re abiding by the current COVID-19 guidelines, and that your clients feel safe in your salon when you re-open after the coronavirus lockdown.

This article isn’t exhaustive and should only be used as a guide. Please also check the government’s official coronavirus guidelines for more information.

As more lockdown restrictions were lifted on 4 July, you might have started welcoming customers through your doors again. While this is sure to be an exciting time for you and your staff, you also might be worried about how you’re going to keep everyone safe and make your clients feel comfortable.

There are a range of steps you can take to abide by government guidelines while still providing your customers with a fantastic service they’ll be happy with, so, when they leave your salon, they’ll be confident that they didn’t have to take any unnecessary risks to have their hair cut or dyed. Here, we’re going to outline just some of the precautions you can take to ensure everyone is safe and happy in your salon post-COVID.

Provide your staff with PPE

It’s vital that you provide your staff with all of the PPE they’ll need to do their job safely, including high-quality masks, visors and disposable gloves. Not only will this ensure you’re following the necessary rules as well as helping to protect the health of both your employees and the people they’re working on, but it will also show your customers that you’re taking all of this very seriously.

It’s a good idea to have fresh disposable masks on hand for customers who have forgotten to bring theirs to the salon too. While some people might be hesitant to wear one, I would recommend making mask wearing mandatory in your salon, and letting customers know this when they book in. It isn’t just about stopping your staff from spreading the virus to your customers — you also need to make sure your clients aren’t contaminating your space or passing germs between themselves.

Put up signs to outline any precautions you’re taking

It’s also important that you put up signs around your salon to outline what precautions you’re taking to keep your customers and staff safe. I would also recommend adding this information to your website and to make it visible to people who might just be approaching or walking past your shop too. You want to make sure people know what to expect when they pay you a visit.

The government has also recommended that you keep small talk to a minimum in your salon to reduce the risk of the virus transferring into the air. Their guidance on close contact services also says there should be no food or drink consumed in your salon, although you can offer people water in a disposable bottle or cup if they really need it. It’s well worth making these rules clear in your salon signs to prevent disappointment and ensure everyone abides by the guidelines you intend to follow.

Encourage customers to ask you questions before their appointments

As we’re living through such unprecedented times, it’s natural for your clients to feel nervous about visiting your salon for the first time after lockdown. But you can help to put their minds at ease by encouraging them to get in touch with any questions they might have before their appointment. Perhaps you could hold a Q&A session on social media or ask clients if they have any questions or concerns when they get in touch to book their slot.

Everyone is just learning as they go, and getting your customers’ feedback and questions might also give you some extra ideas of how you could make your workplace safer. Or they might be able to point out some extra guidelines that you should make clear in your salon signs and on your website. Every salon owner out there is experiencing a very steep learning curve, and the more feedback you have from your customers, the better you’ll be able to serve them.

Keep on top of cleaning your salon

You might be used to tidying and cleaning your salon at the end of the day when everyone’s left, but you’ll be required to spot-clean areas more frequently to keep your workspace free of the coronavirus. Plus, if a customer sees you cleaning and disinfecting the seat they’re about to sit in, they’ll feel far more confident that you’re doing everything you can to protect them.

Whenever a client leaves a particular chair or area of your salon, wipe all of the surfaces down with a disinfectant spray and disposable cloth. It’s also a good idea to give your space a deeper clean once or twice a day, and let your clients know that this happens so they’re confident your workplace is as hygienic as possible.

It is thought that the virus can survive on fabrics, so it’s also a good idea to keep your staff uniforms in your salon and get your workers to change into them when they arrive. They can then leave their uniforms with you each night, so they can be thoroughly washed on the warmest water setting outlined in the manufacturer’s instructions. Again, let your customer know you’re taking these precautions, either by telling them or outlining this in your salon signs, so they feel as safe as possible.

Making your customers and staff feel safe in your salon should be your number one priority right now, and these tips will help you do just that. Plus, they will help to ensure you’re abiding by all of the necessary government guidelines.