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As hair salons and barber shops gradually reopen across the country and restrictions begin to ease, standard appointments for cuts and colors might be vastly different experiences than they were before the outbreak.
As of late May, estimates indicate that between one-half and two-third of hair salons in the U.S. have been reopened in some capacity, according to Steven Sleeper, executive director of the Pro Beauty Association, a trade group representing independent salon owners.
Though state and local orders vary in their evolving guidance on salon occupancy limits, face masks and temperature checks, most hair appointments will be a “bare-bones experience” for the foreseeable future, Sleeper told MarketWatch.
“It’s going to be stripped down and back to the basics and getting your service and getting out,” he speculated. “It’s not going to be warm and fuzzy, at least for a while.”
In conversation with Fox News, Great Clips CEO Steve Hockett shared his predictions for the future of hair salons and barbershops across the country amid the pandemic, as well as his ideas for how clients can protect themselves when getting groomed.
As the world’s largest hair salon brand, Great Clips franchisees operate 4,500 locations through the U.S. and Canada
“Salons are different than many other businesses because salons are licensed. It is not new in a COVID-19 world for salon professionals to have an intense focus and understanding of their personal health and safety, and that of their customers,” Hockett explained.
Because all licensed hair professionals in the U.S. must be extensively trained on safety and sanitation, new health and safety protocols like social distancing, face masks, frequent handwashing and enhanced cleaning protocol will translate well to being enforced in the salon space, he said.
As Great Clips salons reopen their doors, the executive emphasized that the well-being of customers and stylists will always remain the company’s top priority. Recommendations and resources are being provided to all Great Clips franchisees, who independently own and operate their salons, in accordance with guidance from local authorities.
“Proper sanitization has always been an important cosmetology industry practice for Great Clips salons, and franchisees are following all federal, state/provincial and local guidelines or requirements related to social distancing, cleaning, disinfecting and other steps to help ensure customer care,” Hockett said.
Ahead of visits, customers are also being encouraged to use the haircare chain’s online check-in system to put their name on an appointment waitlists and confirm a salon’s operating hours, in order to reduce time physically spent inside.
To keep yourself safe while during appointments with your stylist or barber, it’s critical for customers to heed all federal, state and local requirements as salons slowly resume operations amid the ongoing outbreak.
“Many local authorities are requiring that customers wear masks or face coverings in salons, and some salons are independently requiring masks,” Hockett said. “So we’re encouraging Great Clips customers to bring a mask or face covering to the salon.”
“In accordance with guidance from the CDC, we recommend customers use hand sanitizer or wash their hands before and after their visit to the salon. We’re also asking customers to make responsible decisions about when to visit and, if they aren’t feeling well, to visit their local salon another time.”
In early April, 4,484 Great Clips salons closed to the public as a proactive response to the global health crisis. Now, over 2,300 Great Clips salons through the U.S. and Canada have reopened for business, albeit with restrictions, the company confirmed.