Supporting Your Local Salon Professionals Pre & Post Shutdown
These are challenging times, indeed. Much of the workforce in the United States, and beyond, is sequestered in home confinement, and businesses have either shut down or asked employees to work from home.
One business where its employees cannot take their work home with them is the salon industry. Many salons, barbers, and spas have been ordered to close their doors, likely until late-April or longer, or whenever the CDC and other governing bodies feel the COVID-19 curve has flattened out enough to warrant a reprieve.
As we watch our color grow out, our highlights turn brassy, and our haircuts become shaggy, it's easy to long for the next appointment with much anticipation. With the influx of people clamoring to have their hair done just remember that the numbers are overwhelming for the mostly small businesses that perform these services. As a courtesy to the beauty professionals on the frontlines, consider these things as you emerge from hibernation.
• Be patient with the salon, as they are trying to balance a high number of people all desiring services at once. If available, try booking online to save the receptionist from answering yet another call. Also, be open to appointments that may not be your "usual time."
• Consider limiting the number of services you get at one time and be open to allowing new talent or assistants to do trims, apply color, and provide blowouts.
• Come in with reasonably clean hair, wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer often, and avoid touching your face or shared surfaces as much as possible.
• Be understanding if salon professionals are not as talkative as usual, especially at the shampoo bowl. The two of you are sharing the same air as it is, and talking can project contaminates even further.
• The risk of exposure (to COVID-19 or any illness really) is ten-fold for beauty professionals. They talk with and perform services on many people throughout their day. Be exceptionally patient with them as they excuse themselves to wash their hands, take extra time to clean up their station between clients, or simply step away to get a breath of fresh air. They are under tremendous pressure and are at high risk while performing the services you want… all with a smile. Cut them some slack.
• Tip well! Your hairdresser is taking a considerable risk to make you look and feel beautiful, so both thank and reward them for their efforts.
A few things to keep in mind: as "people-people," hairdressers love to hug and talk in close proximity, even touch your hair as if it's their own. As understandably uncomfortable as this makes you at this very moment, imagine what it's like for them. It's hard to be in a service business that relies on personal contact and then be forced to avoid touching. As good humans, be sensitive to their needs and give them some much-deserved and handsfree love!
Is your salon still closed? Consider purchasing a salon/spa gift card or pre-paying for your next several services to help them get through this tough time. A little kindness and your support of a local business goes a long way!