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Hair-raising changes at our beauty salons



Will we be washing our own hair?

beauty salons, haircut, barbers, changes,virus, pandemic


Clients returning to salons in states where they’re back in business should brace for a radically different experience.

As businesses throughout the Hudson Valley get the green light to reopen, many business sectors will not operate in the ways we’ve grown to love. In fact, according to a report released by Moneywatch, a division of Dow Jones & Company, getting your hair done will be a lonelier, quieter experience for the time being.

Some of us have been letting our hair go, or by the look of online videos, trying to cut our hair at home. But most of us are eagerly awaiting the return of our hair stylists. But as salons reopen expect some dramatic new policies, at least, at the beginning.

“First off,” says the report, “beauty salon and barbershop clients should prepare for the possibility of being charged higher prices, or a fee to cover the cost of extra disinfecting and equipment. They should be ready to wash their own hair before their appointment and wait in their car until it’s their turn in the chair. Many salons have ended walk-in appointments, which means the days of suddenly chopping off your hair after a traumatizing break-up are over for the time being.”

In New York hair salons and barber shops will be restricted to three services only, according to the state's rules:

  • Haircuts
  • Hair coloring
  • Hair styling

Anything that is not related to one of those services will not be allowed during Phase 2, which in the Hudson Valley should begin on June 8, 2020

Going to the salon during the pandemic is “going to be a bare-bones experience,” said Steven Sleeper, executive director of the Pro Beauty Association, a trade group representing independent salon owners. “It’s going to be stripped down and back to the basics and getting your service and getting out,” he said. “It’s not going to be warm and fuzzy, at least for a while.”

For many clients, there will be no more browsing through hair serums for sale in the salon, sipping a complimentary glass of wine, or paging through magazines. Those extras have been banned in many states. Cut-throat shaves in the barbershop chair may also be another luxury that bites the dust.

Customers should assume that their salon won’t look or feel the way it did before the coronavirus pandemic swept the U.S. — and if it does, they “should be really concerned,” Sleeper said. In many states, masks are mandatory for salon employees and customers, and so are symptom and temperature checks for both parties.



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