How to Respond to New Mask Guidelines as a Salon Owner

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As a salon owner, the return to “business as usual” can result in some critical decision-making to maintain health and safety while avoiding conflict and discomfort. In this time of exciting reopenings and shifting mask regulations, we want to make sure you are equipped as a small business owner with options for communicating new salon rules to clients amongst varying comfort levels and circumstances. 

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced new mask guidelines, loosening the mandate for vaccinated Americans. Fully vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks indoors or outdoors unless required by rules or regulations set locally or by a place of business. 

In the words of the CDC:

  • “Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
  • “If you have been fully vaccinated, you can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

What does this mean for you as a salon owner? Well, as the owner of your business, you have choices to make about how you will decide to relax or continue to enforce masks in your salon. Different communities and demographics have varying rates of vaccination, comfort without masks, and COVID counts, which makes matters complex at best, and controversial at worst. 

We understand the complexity of this time and we are here for you. As long as your salon policy is within the regulations of your state or local government, the CDC gives local businesses the power to determine their own policies as needed. Whatever you decide is best for you and your clients will ultimately be up to you. 

There are several routes that you can choose to take in managing updated mask policies for your salon: 

1. Follow State/Local Guidance: 

First and foremost, make sure that your salon’s mask policy is in alignment with the state and local regulations governing your business. Just because the CDC guidance has shifted, that does not mean that all states, cities and counties are going maskless for immunized citizens. Be sure to stay up-to-date as state and local regulations change. 

If you are following mask guidelines based on state or local guidance, please make sure to communicate that to your clients to maximize receptivity and cooperation. We recommend sending out an email or text message (or both) to your clientele explaining the local governance, and reminding them that it is for the safety of the community as a whole. 

2. Continue Mask Policy 

As a local business owner, the CDC grants you permission to set your own mask policies for your salon. Different communities have varying levels of immunization, active COVID rates, and vulnerability, which means some people may be more or less comfortable with going maskless. If you are not yet comfortable working with maskless clients or going maskless yourself, it is your right to refuse service to anybody that does not comply with your salon mask policy. 

If you choose to keep your salon fully masked for the time being, we recommend sending out communication via email or text to your clients as a whole and/or to upcoming appointments. 

3. Survey Your Clientele 

If your state and local mask guidelines follow CDC regulations, yet you are still not sure if you want to keep your salon masked or loosen policies for the immunized, another option is allowing your clients to determine what is best for your salon. After all, they are the foundation of your business and determine the comfort level of your salon. 

Surveys also provide an opportunity to avoid the immunization conversation with clients, simply stating that you are working to create policies that the majority of your clients can get behind. If you decide to leave the decision up to your clientele, we recommend sending out a short survey via email or text message asking the following questions. 

4. Email and/or Text Clients Individually 

At Sola, you have the freedom to run your salon as you see fit. So, if state and local regulations allow it, you also have the freedom to decide to address masks on a case-by-case basis. If you choose to go this route, please make sure to take necessary precautions to continue sanitizing your salon between visits for maximum health, safety and comfort. 

Click here to see some samples of messaging you can use to communicate with your clients.