8 things you MUST do to stay safe when you return to the beauty salon

You don't have to wear your face mask while having a facial, but your beauty therapist does -along with a face shield. You can request they wear gloves too.
You don't have to wear your face mask while having a facial, but your beauty therapist does -along with a face shield. You can request they wear gloves too.
Image: 123RF/Okrasyuk

Reunited and it feels so good! After months of DIY grooming, we bet you can’t wait to run into the arms of your hairdresser, beauty therapist or nail tech and give them a hug and a couple of air kisses now that salons are back in business.

As expected, this won’t be possible as social distancing will play a big part in your next appointment — it’s not going to be same champagne-popping, chit-chat “me time” pamper session as it was pre-lockdown.

In fact, there won’t be any bubbly at all — or coffee or even a glass of water. Food and drink services are not permitted under the advanced level 3 lockdown regulations. This is to prevent the risk of cross-contamination through the sharing of crockery and cutlery, as well as to stop you from taking your mask off while in the salon.

Some establishments are keeping talking to a minimum, ensuring each customer’s time in the salon is as short and sweet as possible.

You might not even get to have that long overdue catch-up with your much-missed beauty pro. Some establishments are keeping talking to a minimum, ensuring each customer’s time in the salon is as short and sweet as possible to lessen everyone’s risk of infection.

While much has been said about the strict health and safety protocols salons, barbers and beauty parlours will have to follow to reopen, you’ll also have to play your part to help keep the pandemic under control.

Here are eight things you’ll need to do:

1. ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

It’s important to ask all the relevant questions before making an appointment to ensure that the establishment you choose is safe. Think:

  • How are your disinfecting your tools and equipment?;
  • Will my therapist be wearing a mask AND a face shield during my facial? Regulations state they should wear both when doing a treatment that involve close facial contact, like make-up applications and even massages; and
  • Are you keeping a registry of all your clients including ‘walk-ins’? This is important so that if a Covid-19 case occurs, anyone who has been in contact with the infected person can be traced and tested.

2. DON’T JUST WALK IN, MAKE A BOOKING

To avoid disappointment, and to help the salon manage their customer numbers for social distancing purposes, be sure to call ahead and book an appointment. Ensure that you keep it and if you can’t make it cancel it well in advance.

3. ALLOW MORE TIME FOR YOUR TREATMENTS

If you’re a woman on the go who used to opt to have multiple beauty treatments done simultaneously to maximise your time, you’re going to be disappointed: the regulations prohibit this practice as it doesn’t allow for proper social distancing between customers and salon staff.

Keep in mind that by law salons have to disinfect tools and equipment before and after each use — even going as far as wiping down the product bottles with an alcohol-based solution — so be patient and cut them a little slack if they’re running behind schedule.

4. SANITISE ALWAYS

Make sure to sanitise your hands upon entering the salon, before and after treatments and especially after making payments. Establishments have been encouraged to use cashless pay points but if you’re handling cash or using the speed-point machine, sanitise, sanitise, sanitise.

5. MASK UP — EXCEPT DURING FACIALS

If you don’t want to risk being turned away at the door, wear your cloth face mask when you arrive at the salon. You’ll need to keep it on at all times — except when having a facial done, when you may remove it. You’ll need to put it back on once your treatment is done.

6. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE

Respect any signage denoting social distancing and have spatial awareness for other people when going through doors or passing through stations in the salon.

7. STEER CLEAR IF YOU’RE OVER 60 OR NOT FEELING WELL

Do not go to salons if you're over 60 years old or have any underlying health conditions. A manicure is not worth risking your life for.

If you aren't feeling well or are displaying flu-like symptoms cancel your appointment as you pose a health risk to others.

8. SHOW SOME APPRECIATION

Now that you've spent months away from your beauty therapist, hairdresser or nail tech, you know how tricky it can be to live without them, so show that you appreciate their expertise. If you can afford to, tip them for good service.

Pre-book your next appointment while paying to show the salon that your continued support is guaranteed and to help them plan adequately (see point 2). 

Lastly, recommend them to others via word-of-mouth or by writing a glowing recommendation online (mention both the salon and your therapist's name) so that people know it's a safe place and has great service.


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