It’s been 6, 7, 8 weeks with no hair color, cuts or blowouts. But now, with a third of all states lifting their locally mandated quarantine measures to enable personal care services, you — and your stylist — are ready to go back to the salon. You’ve even booked your appointment. So what can you expect? Will things be different in the beauty industry when you head back into the salon?
Steve Sleeper, Executive Director of the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), the largest and most inclusive national trade organization representing the professional beauty industry, says business is not as usual — for both stylists AND clientele – and expects it to be this way for the foreseeable future.
As the industry’s leading resource, the PBA has crafted a series of Recommended Guidelines for salons and spas to follow including increased sanitization measures, installing plexiglass or acrylic partitions, removing coffee and amenity stations, imparting electronic-only transactions, requiring face masks, staggered appointments and waiting in cars, having clients show up with clean, dry hair, and more — all creating what this new normal will be holistically, and almost counterintuitive to the traditional salon experience, but entirely necessary.
With the $58B+ US salon industry seemingly paralyzed, “back to work” is going to look and feel, both logistically and emotionally, different for everyone. But with these new measures, how can the stylist and client ensure a smooth experience that only heightens their bond and leaves a lasting positive impression? “The most important thing is communication,” shares Sleeper. “By ensuring that clients understand that the post-COVID Safe Salon experience is going to take some getting used to — and that it’s going to be this new, less indulgent moment is a great starting point.” A Safe Salon, according to the PBA, follows its guidelines along with the state-mandated guidelines and ensures that the health and wellness of its staff and clientele come first.
In light of dozens of states beginning their phased reopenings, the professional beauty community still faces many challenges ahead in getting back on its feet. The PBA is entrenched in government affairs, including its active lobbying for the FICA Tax Tip Credit as part of the economic stimulus package, which would create significant savings for salon owners, and collaborating with state-level task forces to establish best practices in reopening, as well as ensuring the PBA Back to Work Guidelines are shared as a state resource, too. Further, the PBA has established its COVID-19 Relief Fund, which has raised over $1M to date with support from top industry brands like L’Oreal Professional brands, Moroccanoil, Henkel Professional Beauty Division, Dyson, and more; additional information available at http://Probeauty.org/relief. 100% of the donations are going directly to support licensed beauty professionals experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The PBA will continue its fundraising efforts to support the COVID-19 Relief Fund, as the more it raises, the more beauty professionals it can help provide for.