Note from the editor: Please note this article was written prior to salon closures on March 13th, 2020. New guidelines are evolving and changing daily. We urge you to consult the CDC and WHO websites for all up to date recommendations in your area.
Coronavirus. COVID-19. 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Everyone is talking about the virus quickly spreading across the globe and how to best avoid it. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) outlines the spread of the disease as a result of people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) of one another and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Both are common occurrences in the salon. Although sanitation and a clean environment are important for a range of reasons and regulations, it’s never been so critical to protect your staff and your guests. The salon industry is based on a personal approach and inevitably requires close contact with our clients, that’s why we are taking a better safe than sorry approach.
“If you can smell what someone had for lunch — garlic, curry, etc. — you are inhaling what they are breathing out, including any virus in their breath.” – Professor Kwok, the University of Leicester in England
The trickiest part about Coronavirus is its ability to survive for long periods of time on surfaces. According to the CDC, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 simply by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
There are resources from the Department of Health and the World Health Organization being released daily. But, we thought it would be a great idea to round up some of the top ways to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in the salon. From simple, everyday best practices to taking extra precautions give these 10 tips for prevention a try!
- On average, people touch their faces up to 3,000 times a day! Coronavirus is spread through mucus membranes, eyes, mouth and nose. Working in the salon, you are exposed to a lot of germs. Whether it’s the Coronavirus or the flu, try to limit the number of times you touch your face between hand washing. (Trust us, it’s harder than it sounds)
- Signage! It’s not rude to politely ask your guests to cover their mouths when coughing/sneezing. A simple sign on the door or at the station asking clients to be extra careful this season and help protect the health of the stylists has never been more appropriate.
- Keeping the salon safe means a little extra cleaning. Stock up on Lysol or Bleach-based wipes. Disinfecting surfaces is an essential way to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus and all seasonal flu virus’. Wiping down stations, chairs after each appointment, phones, tools and door handles will reduce the spread of germs from person to person. Using a simple disinfectant on a surface is almost guaranteed to break the delicate envelope that surrounds the tiny microbe, rendering it harmless.
- Refrain from shaking hands for now. A warm smile and guiding a new client to the chair will do the trick.
- Although it’s getting harder and harder to come by, when you see hand sanitizer, buy it! It may not be as beautiful as a bouquet, but it is practical! Place a bottle of hand sanitizer at the front desk and in your waiting room encouraging clients to keep hands clean. Remember, you need 60% alcohol, or more, to be effective in killing germs like the Coronavirus.
- Washing towels is a given, but are you washing capes as well? Capes need the same amount of disinfecting that towels and other surfaces need in the salon, and should be treated as single-use when possible.
- As we are moving through these new circumstances, consider an eco-friendly, recyclable paper option for hand drying versus a towel that’s used repeatedly throughout the day.
- Confirm appointments with an option to reschedule if they are under the weather. Clients often come in even when feeling ill because it’s a pain to reschedule. Make it easy for them and remind them you are protecting them and your stylists.
- Encourage good health with your stylists. A strong immune system means taking breaks, eating well and getting rest. As an industry, we are notorious for not taking time for self-care and eating once a day (at best) while standing up. Never before has a healthy lifestyle and a strong immune system been more important.
- Wash your hands too. We know your hands are in water all day rinsing color and shampooing strands, but after cleaning up your station at the end of the night give yourself a second and wash your hands too. This is one of the most critical ways to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. Remember, you need soap, to wash under warm water for 20 seconds or more, and all over. Soap the tops and palms of your hands with loads of movement to ensure you are ridding hands of germs.
Precaution for you and your salon guests is the name of the game to keep you all healthy and looking beautiful!