Salons as we know it will be changed for the foreseeable future…

Sunday, 26th April, 2020

Salons as we know it will be changed for the foreseeable future…

As a salon owner, trainer and beauty therapist  I for one felt un-easy treating clients for the last few week leading upto lockdown knowing I could be putting clients, staff and myself at risk despite getting through buckets of hand gel, cleaning like we have never cleaned before and antibacterial wiping everything!

I called the shots early and my staff did their last clients on Thursday 19th March and i  closed the salon doors on Friday 20th March before the lockdown was officially announced by the government. With two salons a training academy and 6 employees this is any business owner’s worst nightmare come true.

We were lucky enough to receive two business grants for both the shops and kept all the staff on furlough pay.

We will be sure to survive the lockdown period, I’m not worried, lockdown will be the easy part.

 It will be the coping when the lockdown is lifted- when we are back having to find staff wages, all the over heads and cope with the social distancing restrictions which will be in place for the foreseeable future- this will be the challenging part salon owners will be facing and its best we prepare NOW!

We cannot do any beauty treatment and keep 2 metres apart from our client, that’s FACT and until they find a cure this virus will continue to stay around. Staying at home during lockdown will slow the spread, protect the NHS from getting overwhelmed but it will not kill this invisible virus.

With the beauty industry being so high risk working in such close contact, physically touching people and not being able to work 2 metres away from our clients I believe we COULD be one of the last sectors to re-open and when we do, we will have to adapt to working in a different way.

My salons are busy and buzzy, my staff are used to working at a fast pace with back to back clients throughout the day.  Now we will have to work at a much slower pace and have plenty of turn around time in between clients to thoroughly disinfect everything.

I’ve started putting some COVID-19 Health & Safety procedures in place for my salons which include:

 

Reception & Front of House

  • Clients must arrive alone and wait outside and will be let in 5 minutes before their treatment time to fill in a consultation and health questionnaire.
  • A plastic screen will be placed on top of reception desk to protect receptionist and client.
  • Clients to complete a thorough consultation and health questionnaire on arrival. We will not be treating any clients who have shown any symptoms within the last two weeks.
  • Card payments only. Contactless where possible. We will no longer be accepting cash payments.
  • No More than Two therapists working in the salon at one time- This is to allow us and our clients more space especially at the front of the salon and along the corridors.
  • Staggering client’s appointments so clients aren’t over-lapping sitting in our waiting area, we will be working more on a one client in, one client out basis.
  • Clients must wash their hands-on arrival. Clients to wear face mask and gloves where possible.
  • Staff to wear face masks & aprons at all time and gloves where possible.
  • Markers of floor marking out two metres distance like in supermarkets
  • 15-minute turnaround times in between clients so we can thoroughly disinfect equipment in between each client and avoid clients over lapping.
  • We won’t be offering magazines or drinks during this time.

Manicure Stations

  • Keeping our manicure tables two metres apart from each other.
  • Single use nail files & Thoroughly disinfects areas including gel polish lamps and all tools in between clients.
  • Plastic screen over manicure table to protect client between therapist.

 

Treatments

  • Disposable towels will be used where possible. Where this is not possible towels will be freshly changed in between each client and couch roll will be used on all treatments.
  • Wax strips etc must be disposed off via clinical waste
  • Single use equipment used where possible
  • We will only be offering more ‘essential’ treatments such as waxing, nails, tinting, brows and pedicures when we first re-open.
  • We will be avoiding close up work where clients can’t keep their face masks and where therapists can’t keep their gloves on such as facials and massages until social distancing procedures have been lifted.
  • No double pedicures as we can’t move these two metres apart unless the clients live together.
  • No double room treatments as we can’t move the couches two metres apart unless the clients live together.

Academy

  • Lessons will now be on a 121 basis only for the foreseeable future.
  • We will be looking at offering more online courses- only for treatments we feel are suitable for home learning
  • Student’s with pre-paid courses will have priority over bookings.

 

Prices

As we will not be able to fit in as many clients during the day and with extra rising costs such as disposable towels, single use equipment and not being able to accommodate as many clients each day we will have no choice but to increase our prices for certain treatments in order to survive.

Opening Hours

We will be looking at extending our opening hours to fit as many clients in as we can and to avoid having to cut staff hours of employment.

Priority Appointments

Clients with pre-paid appointments, gift vouchers and out-standing courses of treatments will be given priority appointments when we first re-open.

 

 

I’m sure there will be more things that will prop up as we open and things will be on a trial and error basis until we find our feet with this new way of working!

I feel fortunate in some ways that I have two premises so I can spread the load more during this time! I’m sure we will have a very busy start with lots of clients wanting their beauty treatments done but then some clients may have got used to doing their treatments now from home and others- especially our clients over 70 years or with underlying health conditions may stay away for the foreseeable future and for that I can’t blame them.

Some may feel these procedures are over the top but I like to prepare for worst case scenario. I don’t know all the answers and have no idea what restrictions will be put in place for the beauty industry by the government or when we will be able to re-open safely. But for now, all we can do as business owners is to be informed, be prepared, be smart and be safe.

Love & Light

Sonia Martin 

Managing Director

La Belle Beauty Ltd/ La Belle Beauty Academy Ltd

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