It’s official—after months of wearing a hat to conceal your dark roots and trying desperately to avoid pulling at your split ends, salons around the country are finally beginning to reopen their doors! Whether your appointment is coming up in the next week or you’re on a waitlist, you’re probably eager to sit in your stylist’s chair again.
When you return to the salon post-quarantine, however, you can expect things to look much different. With new guidelines and safety precautions in place that each salon must follow to keep themselves and their clients safe, your salon appointment—and how you prepare for it—will be a completely new experience.
Research Your Local Salon Guidelines
Every salon is different—and depending on your city and state, the protocols for appointments can vary. Whitman suggests researching your state’s guidelines for salons and comparing them to the ones on your salon’s website and social media accounts to properly prepare for your appointment.
Let Your Stylist Know About Any At-Home Hair Services
Your stylist’s time is precious—and on any normal day, they may be handling multiple clients at once. With new rules and regulations in place, however, most stylists aren’t double booking—which means it’s best to let them know exactly what they’re working with before it’s time for you to head to the salon.
“If you have had any at-home hair services done by yourself, a family member, a friend, or a neighbor, really anyone other than your hairdresser, please let us know during scheduling,” Whitman says. “Extra time may be needed...Timing is so important to us right now, and we will need your help and patience to accomplish this together!”
Book A Pre-Appointment Consultation
Whether you’re dealing with DIY bleach gone wrong or at-home bangs that need to be fixed, it may be difficult to know exactly how much TLC your mane needs before your appointment. Luckily, many salons and stylists are offering pre-appointment consultations via Facetime, Zoom, or other similar platforms.
“This visual provides more clarity as to the steps and time required in correction,” Whitman says.
If you need a color correction, Whitman says to try to have the brand of box dye and shade you used prepared for your stylists to help streamline the process and make fixing your at-home hue easier.
Take Your Temperature Before You Go
Even though salons and non-essential businesses are reopening their doors, it’s important to remember that the world is still going through a pandemic. That being said, Whitman says to evaluate the health risk before you decide to make an appointment.
“If you have evaluated the health risk and you decide that it is not in your best interest to make an appointment at this time, call the salon. Your salon or colorist may be able to provide you with an at-home color kit,” Whitman says.
You’re probably eager to run out the door and get to your appointment, but your health and the health of those around you is of the utmost importance. That’s why it’s essential to take your temperature before you head to the salon.
“Don’t run out of the door so excited that you forget to check! Lower fevers can be less recognizable. This is another way to safeguard yourself and others,” Whitman says.
If you don’t have a fever but are still showing mild symptoms, it’s best to wait it out until you’re feeling better before you go to a salon. Your salon experience will be more enjoyable, and you’ll protect your stylist and other clients from potential infection.
Bring As Little As Possible
We get it, bringing a friend to your salon appointment is fun—but in this new normal, you should plan to bring only yourself, a payment method, your car keys, your cell phone, and a face mask that loops behind your ears. This can help limit the spread of germs at the salon and help you avoid taking any home with you.
Make sure that your face mask fits your face securely, fully covering your nose and mouth. Some salons may even require you to remove your cloth mask and wear a disposable one.
“This is for your safety as well as the hairdressers that you love,” Whitman says. “I would recommend a disposable mask for any color service as the ear loops will most likely stain during the coloring process. Save the fashion masks for after your salon visit!”
Familiarize Yourself With The Check-In And Check-Out Process
To avoid the spread of germs, salons are taking various health and safety measures to keep themselves and their clients safe, including temporarily changing payment options and the way you enter the salon. Make sure to reach out to your salon or visit their website to inform yourself of their check-in and check-out processes.
“Some guests may be feeling anxious upon entry...Knowing the next steps makes entering the salon a comforting experience. These protocols are in place to keep everyone safe,” Whitman says.
These are unprecedented times—and while the rest of the world is adjusting to the new normal, so is your stylist. Salons around the country are playing catch up, booking as many clients as they can while salons are in such high demand. Every salon is handling appointments differently, so be sure to check out your salon’s website and social channels or call them directly for more information.
“I personally have been more than happy to respond to clients who have reached out to me on my social channels! Our goal as your stylist is to make sure that all of our clients have the smoothest, safest transition back into the salon...It is so great to hear from all of my loved and dearly missed client family,” Whitman says.
While salons are limiting how many stylists and clients can be in a space at one time, Whitman advises not asking your salon to be “squeezed into a timeslot.
“It is never easy to do as all our work is done by hand...With all of the extra protocols, it is even more difficult to do now,” Whitman explains. “We dedicate our time to each client to ensure everyone’s safety...Know that we are doing our absolute best and that we want to see each and every one of you!”
With Whitman’s tips in mind, your first post-quarantine hair appointment will be safe and enjoyable.