As the Middle East gets ‘back to business’, new hygiene regulations have been drafted for all salons as part of the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Why take extra precautions?
Salons have remained shut for more than two months. Now that they have clearance from the authorities to reopen, people are going to throng them. If appropriate hygiene measures are not put in place, chances of cross contamination and a second wave of infection break out are likely.
Hygiene guidelines for the ‘new normal’
Use a touchless infrared thermometer to check the temperature of every employee and customer who enters your salon. Anyone who shows a temperature above 99°F should not be allowed until they have no fever and no evidence of COVID-19 symptoms.
For any client that makes an appointment, ask a small set of questions like:
Have you had a cough or fever?
Have you been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms within the past 14 days?
Are you living with anyone who is sick or quarantined?
-Limit the number of people in the salon
This is imperative for social distancing. See clients by appointment only and do not allow anyone to wait inside the salon.
-Maintain social distancing
Space out your work stations, booths, divider shields, etc. Social distancing lies at the heart of the ‘new normal’.
-Never forget PPE
Be it a face mask, face shield, gloves, disposable aprons, or hair nets, PPE is an integral part of the new normal. Encourage your employees and customers to use it.
Educate your staff to maintain hand hygiene and wash their hands frequently with soapy, warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
All salons should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected everyday - this will include all surfaces, tools, and linens. Even the disinfectants to be used must be chosen carefully. They must be EPA –registered and labeled as bactericidal, virucidal and fungicidal.
Declutter your reception area and make it touchless. Remove all unnecessary items like magazines, newspapers, service menus, any other unnecessary paper products and decor. Wipe down all seats and tables. Disinfect the reception area as frequently as possible because this is the most visited place in your entire salon.
Here are a few additional measures to be taken:
1. Consider discontinuing the use of paper appointment books or cards. Go for electronic options.
2. Do not take too many appointments at the same time.
3. Employees should frequently wash their hands after using the reception area gadgets like phones, computer, cash register and/or credit card machine. Make sure to also wipe these surfaces between each use.
4. As much as possible, avoid the exchange of cash but if this is unavoidable, be sure to wash and sanitize hands well after each transaction.
5. Clean and wipe all surfaces that are regularly touched by clients and staff.
6. Provide hand sanitizer and tissues for employees and clients.
7. Make use of floor stickers and signage to encourage social distancing.
8. Placement of visible and appropriate signage to communicate to the customer that thorough sanitation procedures are in place.
-Don’t forget the restrooms
Restrooms are undoubtedly the breeding grounds for germs. Clean and disinfect ALL restroom surfaces including floors, sinks and toilet bowls.
If you’ve resumed hair services, don’t forget to constantly disinfect the shampoo bowls, hoses, spray nozzles, foist handles, shampoo chairs and arm rests. If possible, wrap shampoo bowls in plastic and discard them after each client.
Clean and disinfect all work area surfaces like chairs, head rest, arm rests. Try to minimize the usage of reusable tools and whenever you use them, clean them immediately after. Clean and disinfect all appliances, sheers, clippers, clipper guards, rollers, combs, brushes, rolling carts and any other items used in connection with servicing clients.
Begin by removing all removable parts and clean them with soap and water. Finally, immerse them into properly diluted disinfectant for full recommended contact time. If your bowl has jets, allow the jets run for a full 10 minutes with disinfectant.
Clean and disinfect all surfaces such as, chairs, tables, electrical appliances including their cords. Don’t forget to clean and disinfect all linens and store them in a closed container/cabinet afterwards. Pay attention to little details - empty all wax pots and disinfect before refilling them with new wax.
Some extra measures to take care of:
- Do not allow sick employees to enter the salon.
- Provide training, educational materials, and reinforcement on proper sanitation, hand-washing, cough and sneeze etiquette, using PPE, and other protective behaviors.
- Ensure that all sinks have antibacterial soap and paper towels available.
- Post handwashing signs in the restrooms.
- Provide alcohol wipes.
- Reduce the numbers of people in salons at all times in order to ensure social distancing.