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As beauty businesses re-open, professionals and clients will be focusing on safe, sanitized services more than ever. One step that many salons and spas have taken is completing the Barbicide COVID-19 Certification Course, and displaying their official certificate at their work stations and on social media. We spoke to Barbicide’s CEO, Alan Murphy, to find out what the course entails, how they recommend that salons proceed, and what the certification does not cover.
The Backstory on Barbicide
Launched in 1947, the brand considers itself “the original symbol for professional beauty and barber disinfection.” They sell various disinfecting and cleaning products, but you likely know them for their most iconic sku: that tall jar of clear blue liquid that stylists and barbers use to sanitize their shears, combs, and other tools.
Even though they’ve been around for 73 years, the brand re-imagined itself 15 years ago, when Murphy’s investment group purchased the company. “We wanted to be the industry leader in safe, sanitized salon practices, and offer resources to support stylists,” Murphy explains. “In many ways, we started preparing for what’s happening today 15 years ago.”
The Certification was Created to Help Stylists
“In the start of March, COVID-19 obviously became a really hot topic,” Murphy says, explaining that they had more inquiries from beauty professionals looking for guidance than ever before. “Stylists were scared. They were also confused by the information they were receiving,” says Murphy. “There were days when the WHO would say one thing and then the CDC would share contradicting advice.” Knowing that they had the experts, the resources, and the reach to provide information, they decided to create a program specific to COVID-19. They also launched a Safe Service Establishment option for owners and managers.
The Course is Free and Open to Anyone
You don’t need to be a beauty professional to complete this (in fact, we got certified as research for this story). You can just head over to their website, review the information, and take a brief quiz to confirm that you understand the necessary safety measures. Here are some of the insights we learned:
- The virus lives on plastic and stainless steel for up to 4 days, but it’s unclear if this is a substantial mode of transmission.
- Hugging, kissing, and hand shaking is considered direct contact. Direct contact is a known route of COVID-19 transmission.
- As a precaution, you should proceed as if everyone is COVID-19 positive.
- Barbicide recommends setting aside “high risk hours” for clients who are over 65, or have immune-suppressing medical issues.
- Masks should be worn by staff and clients (and should be provided for clients).
- New gloves should be worn for every client, and you should wash your hands before putting on new gloves.
- Always communicate what you’re about to do (for example: I’m going to go wash my hands and grab a clean towel) to demonstrate your knowledge of virus control.
Beauty Pros Must Still Follow Reopening Guidelines
As explained on Barbicide’s website, “this information changes daily, but the guidelines for the Professional Beauty industry are likely to remain consistent in the short term. All rules and guidance of individual states must be followed.” Murphy explains that it’s likely their recommendation will go above and beyond what many states mandate, but there’s no guarantee that it’s inclusive of every single state's unique requirements.
Proceed With Caution
“The program we created certifies that they’re trained to do it. It’s up to the professional to do what they’re taught. Or up to state to revoke a license, if they’re not following safety guidelines.” So while it’s definitely a good sign if your beauty pro flaunts their certificate, it’s a good idea to keep asking questions and be aware of what steps they’re taking to keep you and other clients safe.