What Beauty Salon and Spa Employees Need to Know About COVID-19
November 04, 2020The last few months have rewritten many aspects of today's world and businesses of all kinds have introduced necessary changes to stay afloat. Estheticians, hairstylists, and other professionals at spas and beauty salons are already well-versed in the importance of having impeccable sanitary conditions. With all the discoveries surrounding the new coronavirus, your business simply can't go on without an updated approach to counter the risks of infection among your clientele and staff. Your workplace, including the accessories/clothing worn by your staff and the waxing products you use on your clients, must adhere to these enhanced safety measures. Here's what you need to know.
What You Need to Know About COVID-19COVID-19 is the name given to the disease caused by a recently discovered virus: the SARS-CoV-2. As a new disease, all its unknown aspects are an obvious cause of concern, but two major factors have prompted many of the new laws and restrictions we've seen throughout the year:
- The virus spreads from person to person and can survive long enough on different surfaces (plastic, metal, fabric, cardboard, etc) to turn infected areas into a major health hazard.
- Its incubation period changes wildly from one patient to the next, ranging from 3 to 14 days. Even when symptoms fail to show up, infected people are already capable of spreading the virus at an alarming rate.
Following months of lockdown, each state is adapting its rules and guidelines according to their overall success at containing the virus, so remember to research local laws and guidelines to implement them to your business.
Coronavirus Safety Tips for Salons and SpasAs you prepare to reopen your beauty salon or spa, you need to set a clear plan for employees to protect themselves and decontaminate their working space. Misinformation and careless improvisation can yield disastrous results, especially for businesses sustained by constant client-employee interaction. The CDC regularly updates a safety guideline detailing the health risks at beauty salons, the virus' infection patterns, and requirements for a safe environment. With this guideline as a starting point, we will outline the steps you need to follow to guarantee a safe waxing experience at your esthetic center.
- Clean and disinfect high-traffic areas: Use EPA-approved products to clean, disinfect, sanitize, and sterilize all surfaces and waxing accessories. You'll have to do this many times a day, namely after completing each of your appointments. It goes without saying that used spatulas and waxing strips must be thrown away post-treatment. Some high-risk objects and areas that must be disinfected before a new session are:
- Waxing chairs.
- Wax pots.
- Wax heaters.
- Storage areas.
- Wear a cloth mask: To complete a wax treatment, you need to get close and personal with your client, making cloth masks an absolute necessity. Since you need to keep the mask in place for the duration of your workday, it's useful to have a spare in case the one your usually wear gets dirty or contaminated. This rule extends to all your clients for as long as they remain inside of your salon/spa.
- Wear gloves and wash your hands: This is a mandatory step for all professional estheticians and the current health crisis makes it all the more important. Your hands are one of the most likely places for a virus to spread, and your work entails lots of touching. Keep your hands off your face (including your face mask) and wash thoroughly, both between clients and after sanitizing each part of your working space.
- Relocate your equipment when necessary: In most cases, an esthetician's working station takes a single room. By having your own space, you can keep your equipment far from your client's reach and enforce the 6-feet separation rule more effectively when you're not performing a wax treatment. Keep a suitable ventilation system and add visual cues to guide clients through the appropriate safety measures. Move your check-out machine and card readers away from clients if your salon can't afford an online payment system.
- Limited physical contact: You can't avoid close contact during a wax treatment, but you can forego much of the one-on-one interactions leading up to it. Use digital means to work through bookings, reschedules, and payments. By prebooking their appointments, your clients will also be free of a lot of unnecessary stress. Depending on the local situation, it's likely that you'll have to work half-shift, so online consultations and a virtual check-in system will help you save time and avoid a crowd in your waiting area. Continue instilling the importance of keeping at least six feet of separation between members of your staff.
- Online contact: Beyond the resources mentioned above, the Internet is a huge asset to keep your clients' attention and make up for your salon's limited services. If you're in the business of selling retail spa products and accessories, this is the perfect time to boost your online store. Be quick at answering phone calls and emails, and stay active on social media to simplify communication with clients who have questions and doubts about your business. You can also implement a newsletter to keep your clients updated about the services available and new safety requirements in your establishment.
- Reassure your staff when they need to stay home: If you're the owner of an esthetic center, empathy towards your employees is just as important to keep the COVID-19 virus out of your business. Set support policies and encourage your employees to take a sick leave if they feel indisposed. This reassurance not only prevents a potential outbreak, but it will also strengthen the employees' work ethic and increase their efficiency.
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