The Coronavirus pandemic has completely shifted the way we do things in everyday life. As a hands-on industry, the beauty community is tasked with learning to adapt to these changes rather quickly. While we don't expect all of these changes to be permanent, they have altered the way hairstylists do business right now.
American Salon spoke with Robert Ham, vice president of global education for Moroccanoil, to discuss what the beauty industry looks like moving forward.
COVID-19 is nowhere near over, but the industry is adapting to the “new normal.” What do you think will be the biggest change for salons moving forward?
The biggest change is going to be the disinfecting and the sanitization that has to happen after each customer. Customers are going to be much more aware of the cleanliness of the space. I think in salons, sometimes people tend to reuse capes, combs, etc. and they are not necessarily sanitizing as they should be.
Taking extra time to clean and sanitize will cut into the time stylists have to work on clients, and as a result, stylists will now be working longer and harder for some of the money that is going to be spent to maintain that daily disinfection and sanitization.
We recommend salons add on a cleaning fee, or a COVID-19 fee, to make up for fewer clients that you are going to see in a day, as well as the costs of the products you will have to have on hand to disinfect after each client.
We've seen some states suggest that stylists “lessen their conversations in the salon” to prevent the spread of germs. Do you think the pandemic will lessen the “intimate” part of the job that allows stylists to really connect with their clients?
I think the time we get to spend with customers in the salon will be more valued and cherished than ever before, and you will really get to see who your dedicated clients are. I think the conversations will start to become more intimate and honest in terms of caring about each other, and this is an opportunity for the stylist and customer to become closer. That said, we suggest that you follow the government guidelines, and if you are required to wear masks you should do so to prevent the spread of any germs.
If it were up to you, do you think salons should have waited longer to open?
I think right now it is a case-by-case scenario—it depends on where you are located and the number of cases in those areas. As a member of the Professional Beauty Association, I would encourage all salons to research the back-to-work guidelines that are provided to ensure your salon opens safely and successfully.
What is your biggest piece of advice for salon owners and stylists returning to work?
Follow the guidelines and listen to what the local and state government officials are telling you. Engage with your product manufacturers for daily inspiration and education, and stay engaged with your clients to keep them satisfied through this period by offering digital consultations. Work smarter, practice social distancing and be safe!