Georgia is one of the first states to reopen its hair salons, spas and barbershops amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but it doesn't come without strict rules and limitations. A few days before opening, the Georgia State Board of Cosmetologists and Barbers issued a list of 28 guidelines to ensure safe working conditions. Note: the recommendations should be used in conjunction with the board rules for safety and sanitation.
Salons should consider use of a touchless infrared thermometer to check the temperature of employee each day and of each client who enters the salon/shop. Any employee or client who has a temperature above 99°F should be sent home immediately and not allowed to return to the salon/shop until they have no fever and no evidence of COVID-19 symptoms.
Ask each client entering the shop the following questions:
- Have you had a cough?
- Have you had a fever,
- Have you been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms within the past 14 days?
- Are you living with anyone who is sick or quarantined?
Limit people in the shop/salon
Salons/shops should consider seeing clients by appointment only. Salons/shops should consider telephonic or online scheduling. Limit the number of persons waiting area in the salon/shop. It is recommended that clients wait outside the salon/shop in their vehicle until the cosmetologist or barber is ready to serve them. It is recommended that persons not being serviced in the salon/shop wait outside the salon/shop. Salons/shops are not be used for social gathering places!
Maintain social distancing at all times
Spacing between persons in the salon should be at least six feet, except when staff are servicing clients. Salons/shops should consider additional spacing between booths, divider shields, and/or alternate work schedules to accomplish this.
Personal Protective Gear
- Wearing masks: Salon/shop employees will be required to wear masks at all times. Salons may want to consider providing masks to clients. Clients should wear face masks to the extent possible while receiving services.
- Face Shields: If available, it is recommended that employees wear face shields when servicing clients.
- Gloves: It is recommended that employees wear disposable gloves when servicing clients and change gloves between each client to the greatest extent possible.
- Capes: Each client should be draped with a clean cape. Capes should be laundered following the fabric recommendations between each client, or salons/shops may consider using disposable capes and dispose of the cape after it is used.
- Smocks: Employees should wear a clean smock between each client. Smocks should be laundered following the fabric recommendations between each client, or salons/shops may consider using disposable smocks and dispose of the smock after use on a client.
- Neck strips: Employees should use protective neck strips around the neck of each hair-cut client.
- Hand-washing with soapy, warm water, for a minimum of 20 seconds will be required by employees between every client service.
- Employee clothing: Employees should arrive at the salon/shop showered and wearing clean clothing. Employees should change clothes before entering their homes when they return from work.
- PPG such as gloves, gowns, drapes, linens and eye coverings should be changed between each client. These used items should be cleaned and disinfected or discarded in a closed container.
- All salons/shops should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to reopening. Disinfect all surfaces, tools, and linens, even if they were cleaned before the salon/shop was closed.
- Use disinfectants that are EPA –registered and labeled as bactericidal, virucidal and fungicidal. No product will be labeled for COVID-19 yet, but many will have human coronavirus efficacy either on the label or available on their website. The EPA has approved any product that has tested as effective against human coronavirus. If in doubt of the effectiveness, check the EPA website.
- Disinfectant for immersion of tools, must be mixed daily and replaced sooner if it becomes contaminated throughout the work day. Disinfectant only works on a clean surface so clean all surfaces and tools with hot soapy water, Ship-shape or cleaning wipes (if using wipes, be sure to cover surface thoroughly) before disinfecting.
- Contact time on label must be observed for disinfectant to work. Contact time refers to how long the disinfectant is visibly wet on the surface allowing it to thoroughly destroy all of the pathogens. Typical contact time for immersion/sprays is 10 minutes, for disinfectant wipes is 2-4 minutes.
- Disinfectants used for immersion must be changed daily or sooner if it becomes contaminated (ex: hair/debris floating in solution or cloudy solution.)
- Disinfection is for hard non-porous surfaces, glass metal and plastic.
- Porous/soft surfaces can not be disinfected and must only be used once and then discarded (tools such as cardboard files, buffers, drill bits etc.)
- Launder all linens, towels drapes, and smocks in hot soapy water and dry completely at the warmest temperature allowed and store in an airtight cabinet. Store all used/dirty linens in an airtight container.
- The use of mask is mandatory. Place a clean towel, placed over the face of your client while at the sink in a good way to protect their mouth, nose and eyes. Minimize to the greatest degree possible, up-close, direct face-to-face contact with clients.
- Remove all unnecessary items such as magazines, newspapers, service menus, any other unnecessary paper products and decor. Wipe down all seats and tables; cloth chairs cannot be properly cleaned and disinfected, using a plastic cover should be considered.
- Wipe reception desk with disinfectant. Consider discontinuing use of paper appointment books or cards, and replace with electronic options.
- Employees should frequently wash their hands after the using the phones, computer, cash register and/or credit card machine. Wipe these surfaces between each use.
- Avoiding the exchange of cash can help greatly in preventing spread of virus, but if this is unavoidable, be sure to wash and sanitize hands well after each transaction.
- The use of credit/debit transactions is preferred, using touch/swipe/no signature technology.
- Clean and disinfect all retail areas, daily, including products. Try to avoid client touching products that they don’t plan to purchase.
- Clean and wipe all door handles and other surfaces that are regularly touched by clients and staff with disinfectant wipes.
- Provide hand sanitizer and tissues for employees and clients.
- Consider floor stickers and signage that provide guidance for social distance
- Placement of visible and appropriate signage to communicate to the customer that thorough sanitation procedures are in place.
- Consider placement of sneeze shields.
- Clean and disinfect ALL restroom surfaces including floors, sinks and toilet bowls. Store paper products in a closed cabinet and provide antibacterial hand soap. Place trashcan by door. Remove anything that does not have to be in the restrooms.
- Clean and disinfect all bowls, hoses, spray nozzles, foist handles, shampoo chairs and arm rests. Wipe down all back-bar products and shelves. Discard and replace any products that have not been stored in a closed container.
- If available, wrap shampoo bowls in plastic and discarded between each client.
- Consider asking clients to wash their own hair before entering the salon/shop.
- Limit as much as possible face-to-face contact with clients, and consider using face-shields by those employees providing shampoo services.
- Clean and disinfect all work area surfaces. Clean and disinfect chairs, head rest, arm rests (the use of harsh disinfectants can damage leather chair, and cloth chairs cannot be disinfected, so please use a plastic covering). Clean and disinfect all reusable tools and store in an airtight closed container. Clean and disinfect all appliances, sheers, clippers, clipper guards, clippies, rollers, combs, brushes, rolling carts and any other items used in connection with servicing clients.
- Check to make sure all products such as lotions, creams, waxes and scrubs have always been in a closed container, if not you must discard and replace.
- Remove and discard all single use tools such as paper files, drill bits and buffers, that have already been used.
- Clean and disinfect all linen hampers and trash container and only use such container that can be closed and use with liners that can be removed and discarded.
- Provide hand sanitizer at all work locations for employees and clients.
- Consider station barriers between work stations.
- Remove all parts that can removed.
- Clean all removed parts with soap and water, rinse in clear water and then immerse into properly diluted disinfectant for full recommended contact time.
- Scrub bowl with soap and water and replace removed parts to bowl.
- Rinse with bowl with clean water.
- Fill bowl with again with clean water and proper amount of disinfectant and let stand for proper time (at least 10 minutes).
- If your bowl has jets, allow the jets run for a full 10 minutes with disinfectant.
- Clean and disinfect all surfaces such as, chairs, tables, electrical appliances (don’t forget the cords).
- Clean and disinfect all linens and store in a closed container/cabinet.
- Clean and disinfect all hampers that hold soiled linens and be sure to use one that can be lined and closed.
- Remove and discard any products that could have been contaminated by improper unsanitary use. Replace with new product.
- Empty all wax pots and disinfect before refilling them with new wax. Purchase new single use applicators that can be deposed of in an airtight trash bin. The airtight trash bin should have a lid and should be lined with a disposable plastic bag.
- Employees who are sick will be expected to stay home.
- Salon/shop owner/managers should provide training, educational materials, and reinforcement on proper sanitation, hand-washing, cough and sneeze etiquette, using PPE, and other protective behaviors.
- Ensure break-rooms are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized and not used for congregating by employees.
- Ensure that all sinks in the workplace have antibacterial soap available and paper towels.
- Post handwashing signs in the restrooms.
- Provide alcohol wipes for use at phone stations.
- Be flexible with work schedules/salon hours to reduce the numbers of people (employees and clients) in salons/shops at all times in order to maintain social distancing.
- Provide Barbicide® or EPA disinfectant wipes, liquid disinfectant containers, and Barbicide® concentrate/or EPA approved disinfectant for disinfecting technical implements and work areas.
- Consider discontinuing hand relief treatments as well as scalp, neck, and shoulder massages during the COVID-19 pandemic.