What you should know as you head back into the salon!
After 12 weeks of being cooped up in the house; spring cleaning, Netflix binging and day drinking, California got word that salons were finally set to open. I was over the moon and so ready to get back to some normalcy! I scoured the new regulations and readied my station for the return of my clients. Hand Sanitizer...check. Clean capes for every guest...check. Clorox wipes for sanitizing after every appointment...check. I was ready! But truth be told, I had some learning curves ahead. Here are some things that I learned during my first week back in the salon that could help you before your next hair appointment.
1. Cover Up. California has mandated the use of face masks by all clients and stylists. Guess what? We hate them too! They make both breathing and talking extremely difficult but they are 100% necessary and non-negotiable. Not only do masks ensure the safety of everyone in the salon, they also ensure that we can remain open.
2. Shout it out! I know they say that the eyes are the windows to the soul but many social cues come from our full facial expressions. With the addition of face masks, conversations have become difficult. Communication seems to suffer so be sure to speak loudly and always vocalize any questions or concerns you may have.
Bonus Tip: Often times when I'm blow-drying I can "hear" clients by lip reading. I didn't realize I did this until this week when I suddenly couldn't. So hold off on talking if possible, unless you're really good at projecting!
3. Opt for a disposable mask. Many people have really cute homemade masks but appointment day isn't the ideal time to wear them. Hair clippings can stick in the masks and as any stylist can tell you, picking hair out of fabric is no fun. This goes double if you're going to be receiving a color service, color will stain the elastic around the ears even with careful application. Save your special masks for your Target run and wear disposable to the salon instead.
4. Text your stylist. When you arrive, give your stylist a quick text and let them know you've arrived. If that's not an option, check in with the front desk and they will notify your stylist. In California, we aren't utilizing waiting areas and you may be asked to wait outside. There are strict rules in place about having just one person at a time in our areas and it keeps everyone safe and comfortable when we adhere to the new guidelines.
5. Come in and relax. Many things have changed but this one thing remains the same, this is YOUR TIME to just relax and unwind. Since we can no longer offer magazines, you may consider bringing in your own or a good book or headphones.
This "New Normal" is nothing to fear if you're fully prepared for the changes. Some of the things I've personally picked up are to skip a full face of makeup because, well, it's completely pointless. I also drink lots of water and to take lots of fresh air breaks. In the last week, there were plenty of times that I forgot that I was even wearing a mask, it just felt great to be back in behind the chair and making people feel like themselves again. As you head back into the salon, remember to bring your disposable mask, project when talking, vocalize all questions or concerns, text when you arrive and lastly, enjoy yourself. We've been waiting a long time to see you.
Lorraine Martinez is a hairstylist in Chino Hills, Ca.
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