Updated: May 25
If you run a hair salon (or a barber shop) you know only too well what effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on your business. The risks of coronavirus infection are real for people whose occupation requires that they get up close and personal with many customers, but the economic hit of staying closed is often a scarier prospect.
One of the major problems is that we don’t know when this contagion will end, or when the various state-mandated lock-downs will end. Some medical experts say it might never disappear; that it might be with us forever, in much the same way that seasonal flus and allergies refuse to go away. Whether that’s true or not we’ll just have to wait and see!
In the meantime, however, many states and counties around the country are beginning to relax their COVID-19 restrictions and are allowing businesses to reopens, albeit slowly. In fact, many state and local authorities are now issuing safety guidelines for businesses that plan to reopen.
So, will the virus come roaring back as a result? Again, hard to say. But you can do your part in reducing its effects.
How to Disinfect Your Hair Salon Before Reopening
Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself, your staff, and your customers. Please read this comprehensive guide of how to clean and disinfect your hair salon before you reopen, and then on a regular basis.
Coronavirus Safety Tips for Hair Salons
There was a time when the only people wearing masks as they went about their daily business were the inhabitants of smog-ridden cities like Beijing, Mumbai, or Tokyo. To us it looked a little odd. Not anymore! Now it’s standard operating procedure, especially for those of us at high risk. Ideally, you should wear a mask or face shield at all times, and also ask your clients to keep their mouth and nose covered.
This is what the CDC has to say on the matter:
“Face coverings are an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when
combined with every day preventive actions and social distancing in public settings.”
There are a couple of other measures that are also important for your own safety. Wear gloves when washing and dying hair and, if possible, while cutting and styling.
Wash your hands with soap and water as many times a day as you can, and be sure to dry them with a single-service paper, a cloth towel, or an air dryer before providing any service. You can also use an alcohol-based hand rub (containing at least 60% percent alcohol) instead of hand washing, but to guarantee effectiveness be sure that you don’t have any lotions, creams, ointments, or dirt on your hands. And by the way, sanitary gloves and hand wipes are not substitutes for thorough hand washing.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Hair Salon
There are two things you must do before you open your salon.
First, you should clean absolutely everything, thoroughly. Use soap and warm water, and don’t miss a corner. Particularly if your salon has been closed for a while, there will be plenty to do.
Second, you should disinfect.
And cleaning really does come before disinfecting!
So, inspect your place and dispose of any debris, disposable parts, rubbish, or anything else that has been discarded during the previous business day. Then wash every item you intend to use that day and dry it completely. Then disinfect. The same goes for surfaces, which should also be washed down and carefully disinfected.
When you are disinfecting your place, you should make sure that the product you use is not only EPA-approved, but also functions as a bactericide, a viricide, and a fungicide. Don’t rely solely on alcohol.
Most authorities don’t consider it an acceptable disinfecting agent.
Whatever product you use, remember to always follow the manufacturer’s usage instructions and not deviate from them in any way. This is especially true when it comes to dilution requirements (if they are called for), and disposal.
When you’re disinfecting your tools or implements, remember to completely cover or immerse all of the surfaces ̶ including handles and grips. Then rinse and dry. Finally, always wear gloves (or employ tongs or forceps) to avoid coming into contact with the disinfectant itself.
Don’t Miss a Thing: Routine Cleaning at the Salon
Let’s face it: It’s easy to forget a step in the cleaning process, particularly in a hair salon where there are so many different tools that you work with. Between scissors, hairdryers, combs and brushes, it’s easy to overlook one of your work items. Here, then, is a list of the tools that should always be on your ‘must clean and disinfect list:
It’s a lot to remember, but there are other important items that must be cleaned and disinfected daily with disinfectant wipes or sprays. They might include chairs at hair-cutting stations and shampoo areas, as well as sinks and shampoo bowls (including faucet and spray handles).
When you clean electrical and electronic tools (which should be after every use) be sure to first unplug them and then detach all the removable parts, including plastic guards, nonmetal removable parts, metal guards, and clipper blades. Remember, too, that you should remove any hair from non-detachable clipper blades with disinfected brushes or a blade washes.
Once you’ve cleaned and disinfected all your tools, make sure they are stored in sanitary, uncontaminated, waste-free environments such as closed cases or air-tight drawers.
Finally, don’t forget that you now need to pay special attention to the way you launder such items as towels, linens, as well as capes and aprons. They can be washed with detergent and hot water in a washing machine, then dried on the hottest setting in a clothes dryer. After that, they should all be stored ̶ immediately ̶ in a clean, covered container.
Choosing the Right Disinfectant
When it comes to picking the right disinfectant, we strongly suggest Sterifab. You can use it anywhere in the salon (except on leather), and it is nonresidual and odorless. 15 minutes after spraying, it leaves everything clean, disinfected and ready to use. You can spray it on the floor, counters and on chairs and tables. In addition to taking care of viruses, it also disinfects and - bonus! - gets rid of any kind of bug imaginable. With cleaning more important than ever, it’s worth getting an all-in-one product that’s ready to use and easy to order and refill on Amazon.