Gone are the days of weekly manicures and pedicures at our favorite salons. Those monthly hair trims, root touch-ups, waxing jobs and full-body massages have all taken a backseat at the threat of Covid-19 to everyone's health. Box dyes, trimming scissors and wax and nail kits have been flying off beauty and grooming shelves since the virus has taken over the world. People have resorted to watching YouTube how-to videos to learn what their trusty barbers, hair stylists and salon technicians have been doing for them for most of their adult lives. We have all realized how tricky their jobs are and how good it actually feels to be primped and pampered on salon day.
While the food industry has coped better with outdoor dining, pickups and deliveries, the salon industry has it tougher. As Vox Media reports, Covid-19 has threatened the livelihoods of many beauty business owners with the slow influx of customers and forced closures. With a lot of salons having difficulty catching up with safety regulations and the procurement of expensive safety equipment, some owners just opt to shut down, either temporarily or permanently. Just imagine what Covid-19 can cost the salon industry: Allure writes that in the U.S. alone, the salon and spa industry boasts around $57 billion in sales based on a 2019 Professional Beauty Association report. Those sales have definitely declined by this time.
Things may be looking up though. Vox discloses that as of October 23, beauty services have opened at limited capacity. Reopening regulations do vary from state to state and county to county. In the state of New York, barbershops and salons have been open since June, but with modifications made in accordance to entering Phase 2.
Vogue reveals that while salons are not considered an essential need or service in many countries, people have realized how heavily they rely on salons for self-care and the sense of community. The friendships and trust that women, especially, develop with their stylists, waxing and nail technicians can be invaluable.
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These are the changes you should expect if you decide to venture out and visit a salon:
50 percent observed capacity inside the salon and with stylist and workstations spaced six feet apart. Vogue shares that Van Michaels salons in Atlanta observe this primary rule. Clients also must wait outside for their turn and get their temperatures checked.
All clients are expected to wear masks.
All stylists are also required to wear plastic shields and masks.
Belongings should be kept to a minimum of mobile phone and method of payment. You can probably expect this in most, if not all, salons reopening nationwide.
In a conversation with Vogue, Salih Watts, owner of natural hair salon Loc Lov, says that imposing precautionary measures is his way of protecting his community. With his flagship salon in D.C. and a new one in L.A., his clientele is 95 percent African-American and as reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the African-American community has the highest mortality rate from Covid-19. He hopes to have a positive influence on other salon owners to keep staff and clients feel "safe and relaxed before, during, and after their salon experience."
Still, the financial pressure of keeping salons open is a trial for all owners. One hopes that those still open will generate enough revenue to sustain the livelihoods of many.
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