There is no denying it, salon closures have impacted my beauty routine and self-esteem and the Kenyan economy as a whole. The salon industry is a multi-million industry and supports over 50,000 Kenyans mostly women raising a family. A Kenyan woman who did not have easy access to education is able to undergo informal hair training and able to start a business to feed their families. The industry is also informal and goes unchecked
Like all industries, the salon hair care industries took a blow. I was never a big fan of salons but it was always nice to know that they would be there for a quick blowdry, cornrows or box braids.
As a naturalista it was always nice to know that they are there for a quick blowdry, cornrows or braids. Since the easing of restrictions, is it safe to go to the hair salon? Is going to a salon now increasing my chances of contracting COVID-19? I really want to go here’s what Im hoping will change:
Guidelines for Salons
- Most salons are commendable for hygiene because the know it’s important to their clients. However they need to steup the sanitation. Wear masks, wipe down after every client, temperature check at the door etc.
- Place chairs 6 feet apart
- Stylist to wear a mask and eye shield
- They should only provide service to patrons who are wearing
- Services to be by appointment only to space the clients safely in between sanitization. An easy online calender which clients can book can help with this.
- Sanitation should be done after every appointment
- They should have little or almost no one in the salon. Anyone who is not with a client should not be in the salon. If possible have a waiting area outside where clients and stylists can maintain social distancing
- Encourage cashless payment…VISA or MPESA card
- Even though the industry is struggling, they need to avoid random walk-ins for the sake of the health of the stylists and their loyal clients. They should take things slow and only have a small team.
- Remove magazines and drinks from the salon.
- Space out clients
- Work in shifts to get more clients but still ensuring the health and safety of everyone.
- Offer virtual consultation ahead of appointments to minimize exposure time. Virtual consultations to take the guesswork out so they are more prepared and efficient during the actual appointment.
- Provide disposable masks should also be available for clients.
- Cleanliness is key-gowns, hairdressing, equipment should be disinfected after every client. Hand sanitizer should be made available. Single use towels should be washed and disinfected.
- Payment should be cashless…MPESA or VISA Card
- No walk-ins allowed to avoid crowding the salon. Come alone, avoid coming with family. Have a 1 meter distance rule (3 to 6 feet).
- Carry out extra sanitation. staff should wear visors and masks. Gowns and hair-dressing equipment should be disinfected or discarded after every use.
- Stop having tea, coffee and magazines are likely to become a thing of the past
- As a stylist keep yourself updated on the latest health and safty news regarding coronavirus. Its always important to be aware on the number of infections in your area.
Guidelines for Patrons
- Visits to salons now should be taken seriously. It’s no longer a flighty impulsive thing to go to a salon. It should be done with purpose because honestly whenever you are going out of your house you are putting yourself and your loved ones at risk .Before going to the salon, try doing your hair at home. There are lots of videos, tools, products you can order online get to manage your beauty during this time.
- But if you must go here are a few guidelines Im hoping we all can abide by:
- Call beforehand to find out what precautions they are taking and also to discuss your hair and what you want. This will keep your conversation in the salon to a minimum. Talking releasing droplets into the atmosphere.
- Prep your hair beforehand to spend less time in the salon. I.e. remove the braids, detangle with a wide-tooth comb, wash hair, deep condition, blow dry etc.
- Don’t dring fluids before your appointment in order to avoid using the bathroom.
- Wear a mask. Once you to wear a mask wash your hands. Carry eye protection, gloves or disposable tissues, hand sanitizer.
- Cancel your appointment if you feel sick…don’t put the salon’s health and business at risk.
- Wear your face throughout the duration of your appointment. Even at the sink, unhook your mask and hold it to your face.
- Stand up for yourself and others. If you see risky behaviour say something.
- To lower the risk of cross contamination, stick to one hair stylist.
It’s fair to say new hairdressing experience looks a lot different from the one we once knew. And
This is the new normal, a whole new experience to be felt, where now the priority is health and safety for everyone.
So during this global pandemic, which salon in Kenya would you recommend?