Many have been looking forward to salons and barbershops reopening as soon as May 20. But what will that be like, even with coronavirus pandemic presumably past its peak in Connecticut?
People in the salon, nail, and barbershop businesses have been shut down for roughly six weeks since the pandemic struck. Anyone caught doing any of this work could face the loss of their license in Connecticut.
Adam Broderick Salon and Spa in Ridgefield and Southbury, has been talking with industry groups, plus state and local leaders, to formulate a plan for reopening.
On May 20, gloves, face masks, and other coverings will be worn by stylists. So far, the state has not issued any other guidelines other than that. The Connecticut Department of Public Health said they will be coming soon.
Broderick has served as the North American vice president of Intercoiffure, a global organization that has salons around the world as members. Intercoiffure recently created an alliance with hair industry sanitation and disinfection giant Barbicide. Among other things, Barbicide has developed clear steps for salons and barbers to standardize and identify gaps in sanitary practices in the personal care arena.
At Broderick’s business, which has been planning a soft opening May 20, every other hairdressing station will be empty for social distancing.
“There’ll be plastic, soft plastic partitioning, almost like drapes,” Broderick said.
Broderick’s salons will also have regular hospital-grade decontaminations. Each day upon arrival at work, employees will have to ask a series of health-related questions, and temperature checks. They will also get some reorientation of safety practices before the reopening.
“First and foremost we need the coworkers to feel safe and be comfortable”, Broderick said.
Customers will be seen by appointment only. No one will be sitting in the salon waiting to be seen. Customers will be urged not to bring a lot of personal belongings inside the salon. Stylists may not do as many blow drys and shampoos if customers just want to get a haircut and leave.
At the same time, Broderick said, “We still want to be calm, relaxed and welcoming so that it does become a little bit of a reprieve because I think people just need a little bit of normal activity.”
You might see longer hours at some salons and barbershops to handle the backlog. In Broderick’s case, he’s already open seven days a week.
“Access is the new luxury”, Broderick said.
Some hairdressers across the state have reached out to NBC Connecticut and said they’re not comfortable with returning to work until coronavirus is under greater control.