Even though we’ve all been living in a world with COVD-19 for the better part of a year now, there are still things that feel... confusing, to say the least. Sure, we’ve all (for the most part) figured out that masks work, social distancing is effective, and testing is important. Yes, most of us have navigated how to safely get groceries or go to doctor’s appointments. But when it comes to other, less essential things like beauty appointments, it’s hard to know how to have them safely (or if it’s safe to have them at all).
Of course, following state and CDC COVID-19 guidelines for these types of outings is the most important first step. It goes without saying that if your state or country isn’t allowing these types of appointments that you shouldn’t have them at all. Period. But if they are, then there are still some other questions you should be asking yourself and the trusted beauty professionals in your life before appointments, too. So what exactly are those questions and who should you be asking them too? Byrdie spoke to some experts to figure out the best plan of action.
Questions To Ask Yourself
Have you done your research?
Maria Elizabeth, founder of Salon deZen, explains that one of the most important things people should ask before making an appointment is what their risk tolerance is. After that, though, it’s time to do some research. “Once they have that established they should do some research on the salons before they make an appointment. Some salons are taking it more seriously than others,” Elizabeth shares.
Are you prepared to tip well?
Being financially able (and healthy enough) to go to an elective beauty appointment right now is a privilege—and ultimately, it’s one that puts beauty professionals at risk. Do not make an appointment right now if you are not prepared to tip well for their services. “Tip well and don’t ask for discounts,” Rene, a celebrity brow artist, facialist, and founder of Brow Down Studio says.”Most artists are still recovering from not working for months, and are not receiving ‘hazard pay.’”
Questions To Ask Beauty Professionals/Salons
What precautions are being taken?
Elizabeth also suggests asking the salon a series of questions about the precautions they’re taking. “Are they taking temperatures of not only the clients, but their employees when they come in? How much space is between each station? Are they in a tiny room or is a big open space with lots of ventilation? Are they operating at 100 percent occupancy or are they remaining at a lower occupancy number for safety?" Elizabeth says.
Are they limiting the amount of clients allowed inside at once?
Dr. Ali of Beverly Hills Concierge Doctor shares that asking about the amount of clients in a salon at one time is also key. “Ask if they are limiting the number of clients to create safe distancing,” Dr. Ali says.
Is there sanitation between services?
According to the pros at The Spot Barber Shop, asking about sanitation practices in between clients is key. “We’ve allocated a 15-minute window in between customers to fully sanitize the chair and all the barber’s tools,” a rep from The Spot Barber Shop says of the precautious they’re taking.
Do they require that clients wear masks?
Rene also explains that making sure that the salon is requiring that clients wear masks is critical. “Your service provider should REQUIRE their clients to wear a mask,” Rene says. “If it is a ‘suggested’ situation, that should be red flag [number one].”
How many people is this person servicing per day to limit their exposure?
In addition to inquiring how many people are allowed inside a space at one time, nail technician and Manicurist Anonymous founder Christina Grant says it’s also a good idea to ask how many clients your nail tech, hair stylist, or other beauty professional is seeing in one day.
Are they following guidelines advised by the state?
Every state has guidelines for what is safe when it comes to COVID-19. Nail technician and Maxus Nails owner Dasha Minina says it’s important to make sure salons are following them—and to be prepared to leave if they’re not. “What I would advise everyone to do when going into a salon is to ask for the rules and regulations that were set by the state, since those vary across the lines. So, the main question being: Are you following the guidelines put forth by the state?
"Salons and related establishments should know exactly what they are, and if they don't know then you should leave or not follow through with the appointment,” Minina says. “Once you ask for the rules and regulations then you can easily skim through them and see if they are being followed. Similarly, if they're not then you should leave the establishment, especially if you're not comfortable with the lack of followthrough.”
Minina is also the founder of BeauticianList, a guide that makes sure that every single salon is properly licensed and adhering to safety protocols. Consumers can use the service to check by city and state to make sure where they're going is safe.
Do they have contactless payment options?
Diana Hernandez of blowout bar Blos & Roses says that asking if a salon has a contactless payment or checkout option is a good idea as well.
“We have implemented prepaid appointment or touchless payment in order to keep our clients safe from touching the check out, this allows us to control the common areas,” Hernandez says.