Radical Changes in Your Next Salon Visit
Are you looking forward to your salon visit after several weeks of stay-at-home orders? If you are, then you aren’t alone! We can safely assume that hundreds of thousands of Americans have been eagerly waiting for salons, such as JCPenney Salon, to reopen. According to price-tracking website Pricelisto, JCPenney salon prices were really affordable before the coronavirus pandemic.
But the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 100,000 Americans so far, has affected our lives in many ways including salon visits. Salon regulars should then prepare themselves for radical changes in their salon experience. Here are a few of these changes.
Unlike in pre-pandemic days, salons are less likely to accept walk-in appointments due to their limited capacity and services, among other reasons. The reservation system will become the new normal since salons cannot exceed their new capacity, usually just 50% or less of their original capacity. This is because close person-to-person contact can increase the risk of infection transmission.
There will likely be other pre-entry protocols in the salon industry. You should ask about the specific guidelines being implemented by the salon before showing up at its doorstep. You may be asked to do these steps before your appointment.
- Wash your hair on the day of your appointment. This is a way to minimize your contact with the salon employees since one step is eliminated from the process.
- Wait in your car while waiting for your turn at the chair, so to speak. This is also a way to minimize the duration of close interaction with other clients and employees inside the salon.
- Wear a mask before entering the salon. This is actually a common theme in guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations.
- Follow the safety protocols implemented by the salon. These can include washing your hands well before entering the salon and allowing a thermal scanner to measure your body temperature.
States also have the authority to implement specific safety measures that can preclude the citizens’ opportunity to avail of salon services. In Texas and Arkansas, for example, people over 65 years suggest people stay home and, thus, away from salons.
Physical Distancing Measures
The radical changes don’t stop there either! Gone are the days when you and your girlfriends can enjoy a relaxing experience at the salon. In the new normal, sipping drinks while getting your mani-pedi, exchanging gossip with each other and the staff, and hugging and kissing are off the board.
In other words, physical distancing is strongly recommended! This doesn’t only mean keeping a safe distance – the recommended distance is one meter – but also avoiding certain things.
A few measures that we’ve known so far:
- Salon staff have to limit face-to-face interactions with clients, such as staying behind the client at all times, if possible.
- Clients are discouraged from unnecessary talking, such as exchanging chitchat. (It makes sense, too, since talking with your mouth and nose covered by a mask can be troublesome) Other actions that are strongly discouraged are shaking hands, hugging and kissing (even air-kissing), and blowouts. Clients may not even be allowed to loiter and linger!
You may feel deprived of the social interactions that come with your pre-pandemic regular salon visits. But the risks of getting infected aren’t something to be trifled with: In Missouri, for example, a hairstylist may have unwittingly exposed more than a hundred people in a salon. Your best bet is to practice physical distancing as much as possible or you can cut, color and style your hair at home.
Even your regular hairstylist will not want to risk his or her health in favor of chitchats and gossips. You have to acknowledge that for everybody’s safety, you and your hairstylist have to maintain physical distance to a certain degree.
There’s also the possibility that salons will charge higher prices for their services or charge a fee for disinfection costs. We have come across salons that are charging sanitation fees and/or PPE surcharges, which cover the costs of disinfection and personal protective equipment. The costs are usually nominal, from $3 to $5, and most clients aren’t complaining.
After all, if you can get back your crowning glory after two months of letting it go, so to speak, a $5 surcharge is peanuts. Besides, you may want to help out your favorite salon! Think about the fact that it’s operating at less than half of its full capacity but it’s still paying for its rent and overhead at full pre-pandemic dollars.
With all of these changes, you’re likely looking at a back-to-basics salon experience. You will get in the door, sit on a salon chair and get your hair done, and get out as soon as it’s finished. You may miss the social experience, as previously mentioned, but your hair’s looking fabulous again.
Let’s hope that things get back to normal sooner than expected. For now, let’s be happy for the small blessings coming our way, a new haircut included.