How to Manage your Salon during the COVID-19 Pandemic
I think I speak for most people on this planet when I say that 2020 was an extremely difficult year. We have lost a lot more than was gained, and so many things changed, that I don’t think our lives will ever really be the same again. For people like me, who work in the beauty industry it was exceptionally hard. Many beauty specialists, whether it be nail technicians, hairstylists, etc. lost their jobs or had to sell their business and equipment just so that they could get by.
Seeing that we work face-to-face with clients, we were only allowed to start working again, after most other people have returned and the lockdown level was almost at its lowest. I personally struggled to recover, but I’m really thankful that I still have my business. Many clients haven’t returned due to financial struggles or some other factor caused by COVID. Many people are too afraid to visit salons for fear of exposure. Needless to say, that the beauty industry took an extreme hit.
When lockdown protocols were put in place, I personally started preparing myself and my salon for the day my salon doors could be opened again. In this article, I am going to list the things I did to ensure the safety of myself, my clients and to ensure my salon’s doors stay open.
One of the biggest changes that had to be made to my salon is the extensive PPE equipment that I had to acquire. For most nail technicians, wearing masks isn’t new, but there are a few other goodies that we have to include in our salon decoration as well. I personally got a sanitiser-stand for when people come to the salon. This is actually great, as you would usually only sanitize their hand once they sit down for their appointment. This limits any transmission of diseases by touch through the client’s hands.
Another products that I added to my salon, is a Perspex screen placed between me and the client. It has an opening where my client can place her hands. I personally love it as it, not only protects me from any physical droplets like saliva, but it also protects my client from pesky dust particles, which can get everywhere when filing.
I also acquired a digital thermometer which I use before each appointment to be able to measure and log the temperature of my clients.
The final product I have is a face shield. This is supposed to be used to protect your face from any droplets that can increase the potential for disease transmission. I however don’t use it for this purpose. Seeing that I already have a Perspex screen, I mainly make use of my face shield to protect my face and eyes when using my e-file. It really works like a charm.
I personally like the added PPE and will most likely continue using it even after the pandemic has passed.
Hygiene of the salon
This specific step has not changed drastically, as I was already very hygienically aware of my salon and my tools. I will, however, add this as it is a very important part of opening your salon after the lockdown.
Firstly, let’s talk about disinfect able tools. This includes anything made out of stainless steel, like nail clippers, cuticle nippers and cuticle pushers. Seeing that sanitiser will definitely not cut it for cleaning these tools, as you use them on multiple clients, I like to thoroughly disinfect mine after each client. This means I add them to a container with bleach and boiling water. I then let it sit for a while after which I put it on some paper towel to air dry. Note that this method can have some cons like if you leave your tools in the water for too long, or don’t dry it properly it can cause the fittings of the tools (which are indeed not made out of stainless steel) to start to rust. There are some disinfecting machines that you can invest in, which will easily disinfect your tools between clients.
Another part of hygiene is nail files. You will not believe how many nail technicians only use one file for all of their clients. Only sanitizing the file in between clients will not cut it! You must understand that sanitiser does not get rid of all harmful microscopic organisms and pathogens. If you, for instance, accidentally cut your client with the file, I can assure you that simply sanitizing the file will definitely not get rid of the traces of blood. It may seem clean but the blood’s still there. Using that file on another person is not only unhygienic but can also cause harm to your client’s health. If you have a stainless steel file, you can disinfect it the same way as mentioned above and use it on multiple clients. Regular cardboard files will however not be able to be disinfected that way.
So splurge and buy one file, and one sanding band per client. If you use orangewood sticks, you will only be able to use them on one client. It is not that expensive and a file goes a long way. I usually take envelopes and mark them with my client’s name. Therein I put their personal file and sanding band, which can be sanitized in between sessions. This method is also highly recommended for stopping the spread of nail funguses and bacteria in between clients. More about common nail diseases and disorders.
Finally, let’s talk about the overall hygiene of the nail salon and all surfaces used. After each client, the work surface should be properly cleaned as well as all equipment used like Your LED lamp. If you work on a towel, it should be switched out after each client. Floors have to be cleared of dust and properly washed with the right products. Properly clean your client’s chair and anything they might have come in contact with, like the door handle, etc. It is very important to leave time in between clients so that you can properly clean and disinfect your tools and area.
During the lockdown period, I did extensive research on the protocols and rules that we, as salon owners have to follow. I was able to procure the necessary notices to put up in front of my salon. These are notices like entry without a mask, etc. I placed them in such a way so that it’s the first thing my clients see when they enter my salon. This is very important, as having these notices can save your salon from being closed down during this time.
Some free templates you can look through. Here
While I was following legal pages during our hard lockdown period, a legal agent made a COVID-19 indemnity form available for download to anyone in this line of work. This protects the salon owner from any blame being shifted if the client was to contract covid-19.
I also make use of a logbook where I ask every client to add their personal information (name, surname, ID number, address, cell number and email), as well as their temperature which I take before each appointment. There is also space where they have to sign to acknowledge it’s their information and that it is correct. This is very important to add to your salon seeing that if you have a COVID-19 outbreak in your salon, you will have to be able to contact and notify any clients that you had appointments with in the set amount of time.
Set rules and regulations
When I opened my salon again I sent all of my clients a set of rules and regulations that they have to follow if they want to enter my salon. If I get a new client I send them the same information. This way you know they are aware of your protocols and won’t be able to say they didn’t know, as you’ll have digital proof.
This time is rough for all of us, but we have to stick together and do our utmost best to limit the spread of COVID-19. By working together this might blow over faster than we think. Stay safe and protect not only yourself but those around you as well.