From the end of March, all salons in the UK were forced to close their doors due to lockdown restrictions. Whilst the measures were very much to be expected due to the intimacy and close contact of beauty treatments, many regular salon visitors have been experiencing a new kind of helplessness. And, very rightly so – I can confirm that removing a gel manicure at home is a right pain.
The demand for products, tutorials and information on how perform at-home treatments has spiked during lockdown, pushing everything from hair dyes to heavy-duty nail files to fly off the virtual shelves. A study by PR Agency Seen Group reveals that blonde hair has been one of the hardest to maintain during lockdown, with ‘yellow tint’, ‘brassy blonde’ and ‘roots growing out’ being some of the most popular Google searches. Lash extension regulars have also faced challenges: from removing the hard work of a lash technician at home, to finding the right mascaras and lash growth serums, going bare-eyed is not an easy process. Whatever the treatment, the internet has been flooded with information about DIY alternatives to meet the demands of beauty consumers.
With non-essential business starting to re-open in the coming weeks, beauty salons have to face the challenge of welcoming our outgrown roots and long-overdue mani’s in a safe environment.
But, with non-essential business starting to re-open in the coming weeks, beauty salons have to face the challenge of welcoming our outgrown roots and long-overdue mani’s in a safe environment. An Instagram statement by the British Beauty Council reveals that salon-based hair and beauty businesses are not anticipated to open their doors prior to the 4thof July, but they can, however, offer ‘click&collect’ services for professional products, ‘as long as customers order in advance and do not enter the premises’. With Government guidelines for the personal care services industry yet to be clarified, many industry experts are speculating what the ‘new salon normal’ will look like.
As many salons are starting to pre-book their customers in anticipation of their much-awaited re-opening, one thing is sure: we can wave goodbye to ‘walk-ins’. With beauty services expected to be more in-demand than ever, businesses must ensure that social distancing is possible within the salon’s premises. Buckinghamshire salon Gatsby&Miller have released a statement about the upcoming re-opening. ‘After booking on-line or via phone, you will arrive for your appointment to find a notice on the door asking you to ring the salon number.’
Health & Safety
‘You will then be greeted by our Front of House team who will ask you to wipe your shoes on the sanitising mat and use the hand sanitiser. The FoH, wearing PPE, will welcome you with a friendly hello rather than a hug or hand shake and will ask to take your temperature using a digital thermometer,’ the L’Oreal Professional salon’s statement continues to expand. Expect frequent hand-washing, plenty of PPE and the request for you to wear a mask or mouth covering during any kind of treatment, which will then have to be disposed of correctly. To ensure social distancing is possible, many salons will implement a one-way circulation system, similar to the one put in place is supermarkets.
Many industry experts expect consultations to be held digitally, prior to the appointment. However, when it comes to the in-person approach, ‘your stylist will provide a consultation via the mirror to minimise face-to-face interactions’ at Gatsby&Miller, which is a technique that could potentially become the norm for post Covid-19 beauty treatments. For nail services, technicians are expected to be wearing gloves and protective mask and adopt stricter practices when it comes to disinfecting tools. As for skin therapists, they will continue to adhere to medical grade sanitising protocols. Whilst it is virtually impossible to keep a mask on during a facial, many US practitioners, who restarted their activity, are checking temperatures before allowing customers to unmask. ‘Masks are required up until [customers] are in bed for their facial’ says celebrity aesthetician Candace Marino. For lash and brow appointments, both technicians and customers will be expected to wear masks, and hygiene will be of the utmost importance. ‘As we look forward to reopening our salons, we want to remind all of our valued guests of the strict safety, training and certification requirements that set The Lash Lounge apart. We are currently developing enhanced standards that include elevated attention to deep cleaning and sanitizing as our salons prepare for reopening’ says a statement released by Lash Lounge CEO Meg Roberts.
At the end of your service, contactless payments will be encouraged. At Gatsby&Miller, ‘your stylist will bring the card machine to you at the styling station. We will accept cards and contactless’, with an additional PPE charge should you have used any that the salon provides. Card machines will be frequently and thoroughly sanitised, and some businesses are even expected to request online pre-payments before your service to protect the safety of staff.