Hair salons are reopening across the United States, but with COVID-19 here to stay for now, many owners and stylists still aren’t entirely sure of how to reopen and look after their clients in the best way possible.
This guide should help you with all of your decision making, including topics such as your Day 1 salon reopening, how to communicate effectively with your clients and staff, and how to make sure you’re staying safe and stress-free during this time.
All of us at International Hairgoods want to make sure that all of our partners are safe and happy as they start to reopen, so if there is anything we can help you with, don’t hesitate to give us a call or shoot us an email!
Chapter 1: Before you Reopen
The best thing you can do before your salon opens its doors back up is to be prepared. Many clients are bordering on going insane due to not being able to get their hair done!
You’ll be receiving many phone calls, texts and emails from them about the day you reopen, what times you have available and whether you can fit them in.
Many states have implemented an “appointment only” policy at this time, so it would be best to get ahead of that and implement your own appointment/scheduling service.
Whether this is something that you do with a pen and pad, or you use an app to track your future appointments, you’ll be able to stay on track and not get too overwhelmed once your clients start to walk through the door.
Below we have provided you with a paper schedule template you can use to keep track of your day!
It is likely that your salon currently has the technology to schedule out your day, so you may not need to use our scheduling template, but for smaller hair salons and barbershops that don’t have the technology, we hope it helps you plan.
If you think that now is the right time to implement scheduling technology into your salon or barbershop, below we’ve provided some services you can make use of now and moving forward!
FREE (Offers paid service)
Web-Based, App Store, Google Play Store
$20/month for one stylist (price breaks for more)
Web-Based, App Store
$29/month for one stylist (price breaks for more)
$15/month for one stylist (price breaks for more)
Web-Based, App Store, Google Play Store
FREE for one stylist (price breaks for more)
Web-Based, App Store, Google Play Store
Create a Waitlist
As previously mentioned, your regular clients are going to want to get into your salon/barbershop as soon as possible.
Months of homemade haircuts have taken their toll on them!
It might not be possible for you to accommodate all of the people wanting an appointment right away, so a good tip is to create a waitlist and add clients to it so you can contact them in the order they called.
Below we’ve provided a waitlist template so you can keep track. Simply call them when an appointment opens up!
Clean and Disinfect
Probably the most important step you’re going to want to take is to clean and disinfect your entire salon.
Cleaning and disinfecting are two different things, so you’ll want to make sure you’re doing both at the appropriate times!
Before you open, make sure you’re using a disinfecting spray on all of your surfaces as well as all of the chairs in the salon and reception areas.
If your salon has a bathroom open to clients, you’ll also want to set up a regular cleaning schedule for it.
Keep your standards high for your cleaning schedule. Your clients will undoubtedly be watching on and the best thing you can do is reassure them that their favorite salon remains clean.
While cleaning reduces any build up of chemicals, hair and other residue, disinfecting actively removes pathogens from your surfaces. This is why you’ll want to disinfect all of your tools after every client as well as the chair they were using.
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds between each client and reapply new gloves and a face mask/face shield if you need to.
A good way to stay on top of this is to create a space at your station where you can put products that have touched you or the client. Once you are finished with an appointment, you’ll know exactly which products and tools to disinfect.
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
Another must-have in your salon in PPE for you, your stylists and your clients.
Depending on your state’s health guidelines and your client’s wishes, gloves may need to be worn and changed for each new appointment.
Capes will need to either be washed after each appointment, or you’ll need to invest in some disposable capes that can easily be removed and thrown away. This removes the worry for a client and a stylist about whether they did or didn’t wash a cape.
The same goes for towels. Unless you have a giant stockpile and can do laundry pretty quickly, disposable towels might be your best option as appointments come thick and fast.
With PPE in short supply in most places, you may want to implement a policy for all of your clients to wear cloth face coverings prior to entry. This will give you the opportunity to use the mask and gloves at your disposal and not run out as quickly.
Social distancing is obviously a difficult practice in a salon setting, but it is vital to ensure the lowest risk of the spread of COVID-19.
Implementing a social distancing policy will be key to keeping your salon open for the long term.
Making your own floor markings or purchasing some online will help with this. Another step you can take is eliminating some of the chairs in the waiting area and making sure that everyone is six feet apart at all times when they’re not wearing a mask or a face shield.
Staying true to your scheduling and letting your clients know to arrive no sooner than five minutes before their appointment will also minimize the risk of spreading the virus.
Chapter 2: Self Care
This has been and will continue to be a stressful time for us all. A lot of salons will (hopefully) have their busiest times over the next few weeks and months, so staying healthy physically and mentally will ensure you can keep turning up to work day after day and giving the great service we know you can to your clients.
Take Time for Yourself
You’re likely already used to having a busy salon, but with all of the precautions you now have to take, using your time wisely between each appointment and before and after each day will ensure you stay as healthy as possible.
Try to take a minute or two between each appointment to yourself. This can be as simple as eating a quick, healthy snack or sitting and gathering your thoughts.
Snacks such as almonds, hummus, Greek yogurt and dried fruit in the right portions will keep you going throughout the day and keep you healthy at the same time.
Once you’re done with your day, it can be really tempting to head home and collapse on the couch with a bag of chips and Season 3 of Ozark, but if you have the time, try and get 30 minutes of exercise in!
If you have dogs, take them on a walk or go for a bike ride. If you have the space, set up an area in your house where you can do some sit-ups, press-ups and squats.
Exercise releases endorphins which will improve your mood and lower stress!
Of course, many salons open later in the day, so if you have the time, a morning run might be better for you! This will also allow you to relax after a long day of being on your feet.
A Little Help From Your Friends
Camaraderie is key, so if you have a salon with multiple stylists, keep the conversations uplifting and flowing. We’re all in this together, so making sure your fellow stylists and your clients know this is a perfect way to keep morale high.
If you don’t already, start having a huddle before the start of every day with all staff. Let them know who and what is coming up that day and encourage them to get involved by sharing a success story or something they’re looking forward to.
Have Some Fun!
Because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about, right?!
Turn the music up if your clients are going along with the vibe. Dance a little! If you dance enough you might even be able to skip that 30 minute workout we talked about.
This is also an opportunity for you to utilize social media as a tool to drive business. Sharing your fun through a Facebook/Instagram Live video or simply shooting some photos to share throughout the week is a great way to attract potential clients.
If you’re tech savvy, you can also utilize Facebook Ads to get the message across that you’re open and accepting new clients/self-scheduling (if you’re using a scheduling app).
Chapter 3: Communication
Communication is key, as we’re sure you’ve heard before, and it’s especially true during this uncertain time.
Making sure your clients know of any updates to your salons hours, staffing and appointment times will serve you in the long run.
If you’re able to collect the email addresses and cell numbers of your clients, sending out mass emails/texts to them will keep them in the loop.
You can also put up signs in your salon for clients to follow you on social media for any and all updates. This is a more simple (and free) way of communicating any notices to them.
As previously mentioned, now would be the time to utilize SMS and Email messaging if you have it at your disposal.
Some of the messages you can send out include:
- Your cleaning procedures
- Social Distancing policies
- Updated business hours
- Appointment reminders
In the unfortunate but possible event that salons will have to close again due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, you’ll need to set up a communication plan for all of your staff and clients.
Any clients that have appointments already scheduled should go to the top of your waitlist so you can reschedule them when you’re able to re-open again.
Anybody on the waitlist currently will need to be made aware of your closure and their subsequent drop down the waitlist.
If you have reopened successfully, please let us know in the comments about anything that came up that you weren't expecting.
If you think we should add to this guide, let us know what you think other salon owners need to do before they open their doors!
Hey Warren, so sorry to hear that. We’re going to send you an email today!
My hairstylist died suddenly and I don’t know what salons in my area sell your products. Can you direct me to salons in Fort Collins, Colorado that carry your New Man products?
Hi Leon, we’re sorry to hear about that. Unfortunately since the factories closed we were unable to ship anything out for an extended period of time. We did send you your Cyberhair shipment yesterday! Be sure to let us know when you receive it :)
Still waiting for my hair so we can book appointments