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How post COVID-19 will affect the salon business

Raeesa Dawood

Hairdressers will have to adapt to a new world post lockdown, which will include enhanced safety protocols, a limited number of clients per day, a reduction in assistants, extra sets of tools, temperature readings and no walk-in clients.

So said Raeesa Dawood, winner of Twincare International’s HSOTY (Hairstylist of the Year) Award, during a Professional Beauty / Salon International online webinar held on 4 June.

“I do urge all hair professionals to try and keep a positive mindset. New opportunities will arise from this situation and you will be able to create new customer journeys in the salon. We have to make sure that clients feel at home in the salon and that it’s a safe place for them.

“The new hygiene & safety protocols that we will have to adopt will mean taking extra measures. As hair salons, we already clean and disinfect our surfaces and brushes. Now we will have to take temperature readings of clients and staff and implement social distancing. But there needs to be consistency throughout this process.

“Our whole journey through the salon is based on safety and hygiene. However, we will now have to limit the number of clients in the salon at any one time and also limit what they can bring with them into the salon, such as handbags, pouches and purses. We have to create awareness about all these measures so that clients will feel comfortable coming into our salons. Now is the time for us to put these protocols in place before we open.”

Dawood noted that extra measures include a deep cleaning of salons daily to ensure that there are no germs or viruses. She continued: “We will have to balance our time to accommodate all the disinfecting and cleaning and the intervals between clients. Maybe we will only be able to service two clients a day. This obviously affects business as less clients equates to less revenue. It’s difficult for small business owners – we’ve really taken a hit and we have to look at ways of bringing clients back through our doors.”

Another important aspect, according to Dawood, is how our new body language will affect our clients. “We won’t be able to hug clients, so we have to find other ways to make them feel welcome.

“Also, we won’t be able to see walk-in clients anymore at all as all bookings will have to be pre-scheduled in a consistent way. In addition, we won’ be able to have as many assistants or apprentices as before, just to keep the number of people in the salon at any one time limited for social distancing purposes.

“Prices will have to marginally increase due to the enhanced sanitation protocols and the reduction in the number of clients. I do believe that clients will understand the price increases and accept them. We also have to look at ways to increase our menus as it’s not economically viable to do just two clients a day.”

Dawood pointed out that the hair industry has already, during lockdown, been exposed to virtual consultations, which can now be done the day before the client comes into the salon so that salons can get vital information about the client’s health.

“We are going to have to be totally responsible about offering a safe and secure environment. Clients are dying to get back to salons for professional services but they are fearful. So we need to create a platform for us to promote safety.” (Report by Joanna Sterkowicz)


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