To say the hair world has been turned upside down in the last couple of weeks is an understatement. COVID upended the industry and ravaged careers. One state is defying safety concerns and has allowed for salons to open. Although the ramifications for hair professionals’ safety and that of patrons is yet unknown, here are five things about the re-openings that we know for certain.
The Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers has released official guidelines for the reopening of the state’s salons and spas. Although most professionals have voiced their confusion, they are asking salons to take steps like asking screening questions before people arrive at the salon. They will rely on the honor code when it comes to answers. Patrons are expected to fess up if they’ve had a recent fever, if they’ve exhibited symptoms and/or if they’ve been around anyone perceived to have symptoms. Salons are also expected to ask if a patron is living with anyone sick or in quarantine.
Temperature Check Suggestion
The states came short of mandating temperature checks, a step that will surely improve safety. Instead, the state says that salons should consider instituting such checks for employees starting shifts and for clients coming in for services.
One of the biggest head-scratchers for Georgia hair professionals is the state’s mandate to maintain six feet of social distancing at all times. Hair professionals work within an arm’s length of their clients so maintaining social distancing is impossible. That being said, the state is furthering their suggestion to persons in the salon, meaning clients, admins and professionals not working on your hair. The state also advocates for shields that divide work stations or for salons to implement alternate work schedules.
Cleanliness and Disinfection
The state is clear when it comes to disinfection standards, they don’t merely suggest like they do other mandates. They require salons, spas, and shops to be thoroughly disinfected prior to reopening. Everything within the salon or shop must also be cleaned and disinfected, this applies to tools, smocks, linens, shampoo stations, pedicure bowls, treatment rooms, and break rooms. They also call for the removal of communal items that are hard to sanitize like magazines, newspapers, and price menus.
Another clear point Georgia makes is the required use of personal protective equipment or PPE. Salon, spa, and shop employees and owners are required to wear masks at all times. They merely suggest shops provide masks to clients. They require clients to wear masks to the extent possible during treatment. Nevertheless, we all know this becomes hard if masks are secured sitting on your hair and/or if you are getting a facial like treatment.