If you’re anything like me, the quarantine has left you less than satisfied with the look of your hair or nails. “Gray hair poppin” is NOT a sentence I can get used to uttering, and even though I can rock a wig with the best of em’, nothing beats getting your hair (or nails… omg we won’t even speak of my cuticles) done by a professional. Now that everything is beginning to open up just a little ( hair and nail salons have just re-opened in my state) its time to go back and get that much needed color touch up, sew-in and full set right? YASSSS…. but wait… how can we do it AND be as safe and stay healthy? Make no mistake, we’re STILL in the middle of a global pandemic and Covid-19 hasn’t disappeared. To get glam, we have to be VERY close to and touch strangers and allow them to touch us. There’s no way to know what your beauty pro does in their private life or if they’ve even been tested… but not to worry! We’ve once again got you covered! We’ve compiled a list of red flags to look out for on your next salon visit to make sure they are clean and safe beyond your wildest dreams!
If your favorite salon is doing ANY of these things, steer clear!
Salon employees are either wearing NO mask or they’re wearing it WRONG
Per the CDC guidelines, EVERYONE rendering services of any kind should be wearing an N95 or equivalent mask. This helps to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets that carry the virus from person to person. The mask should fit snugly and securely over your NOSE AND MOUTH. It should not be loose, expose your chin, nose, or face ( ie.it should not be worn as a chin strap… we’ve all seen those people. LOL).
Red Flag # 2
They are allowing Walk in Customers
During the pandemic, less is best. Its HARD to maintain social distancing while servicing clients without an appointment. Its just that simple. Not only that, each stylist or nail tech needs to schedule proper sanitation time between each client they service, and that’s IMPOSSIBLE to do while taking walk ins off the street. If a client isn’t getting a service, they should be waiting in their car or in a different location where they can properly socially distance.
Red Flag #3
They are re-using single use items
Nail files, buffers, orange wood sticks, and similar items are single use only! These items cannot be sanitized and should be either A. Thrown Away/Recycled or B. Given to each client after the service to bring again on their next appointment. If your nail tech is setting these items aside AFTER they use them on you, but don’t give them to you after your service, rest assured they are re using them which is a no no. It would be a no WITHOUT a pandemic, let alone with one. Keep your eyes peeled and stay on high alert for these things during your service. If you really love your nail tech and they are doing this, be sure to collect your re usable items for peace of mind that they aren’t using them on anyone else between your visits. Otherwise, seek out a new manicurist who practices a service that’s EXTRA sanitary.
Red Flag #4
They are still using Pedicure Bowls with Water Jets
Jet bowls are unsanitary anyway, simply because they are impossible to clean due to the sucking hoses they use. Dead skin, dirt, toe jam and grime pile up inside the hoses and jets, which makes them a prime breeding ground for nail fungus… and that’s on a regular day, without the threat of covid-19. When getting a pedicure, it should be done by hand in a sanitary bowl with a liner that gets thrown away afterward, no jets! Many nail salons try to pass off a jet bowl as an upgrade in service (which you get charged more for of course) but in reality those water jet chairs put you at risk for contracting some nasties that certainly aren’t worth it!
Red Flag # 5
They are still offering Dip Powder as a nail option
Dip Powder is not only unhealthy for your nails, it’s also SUPER unsanitary. Hands that go into products can easily transfer germs and viruses between clients because there is no way to sanitize the product between each use. Unlike nail polish (I’m bringing my own colors now… just for extra safety) your actual skin goes into dip powder, making it very unsafe to use during covid. If your nail shop still offers this option, its a huge red flag. Time to look elsewhere!
Red Flag #6
Social Distancing is Non Existent
Each hair or nail station in your salon or spa should be a minimum of 6 feet apart to maintain the CDC recommended guidelines for social distancing. If stylists and nail techs are on top of each other and clients are squeezed in between, it is a recipe for spreading respiratory droplets that carry the covid-19 virus. Make sure that your salon maintains social distancing guidelines in order to keep you safe!
Red flag #7
They allow plus 1’s entry
Long gone are the days where you could bring a friend to wait with you. No one should accompany you to your service because it clearly adds to the amount of people in a closed salon setting. The more people, the more opportunities for spreading the virus. Your salon or spa shouldn’t let you inside until your appointment time anyway, so the option to bring a guest shouldn’t even exist. If your salon allows guests, beware… its a sign that they aren’t properly socially distancing, and that’s a basic rule with this virus.
Red flag #8
The salon isn’t visibly clean
Dust bunnies in the corners. Over flowing towel bins. Cut hair all over the floor… especially if they’re different textures ( that means they didn’t bother to sweep between clients… yuck!) Messy and filmy shampoo bowls. Yea… that’s a no. Even without the virus, if your salon isn’t doing the basics, then they CERTAINLY aren’t doing the newly minted required extras like sanitizing each seat between clients, or providing hand sanitizer upon entry. Keep an eye out for these things that you may not have noticed before, or you noticed but let slide. They could mean the difference between being in a clean safe environment, or a filthy cesspool.
Red Flag #9
They are still offering courtesy drinks
I know that some day, we’ll get back to the luxury experience of being offered a flute of champagne, an ice cold coke or hot coffee with our service. It is, after all, a way to pamper the clients and make them feel like they are being catered to with the highest level of service. Courtesy drinks are SUPER POPULAR in high end salons because it just adds an extra layer of luxury to your experience. However, it’s a no with covid going around. First of all, you’d have to remove your mask to enjoy that drink and that should be a total no. Second, who’s washing those cups or champagne flutes where you’d feel safe using it after another client? Many salons stopped using real kitchen ware before covid, but of course that piles up more trash with disposable cups that strangers lips have been all over. Um… no thanks. Who’s taking out that trash? Your stylist? No way….
Your stylist is too busy
Normally this is a sign of a healthy salon! Busy stylists running around servicing clients. Good vibes, great service, perhaps some good tunes on or a great flick right? Not so in the of the pandemic. Why? Well, when a stylist is super busy, there is NO WAY they have time to sanitize between clients. Believe me, during my salon days it was hard to stop for a sip of coffee or a bite of lunch. I never skipped on sanitation, but it could easily come at the end of the day, or during a time gap. Now, its a whole different ball game. Stylists should be sanitizing the seats, door handles, shampoo bowls, and many other items that are regularly touched by multiple clients. We never had to think of all of sanitizing all of these things to such a high level before, ON TOP of disinfecting our styling tools such as combs and brushes. If your stylist if still juggling 3 and 4 clients at a time, its nearly impossible to sanitize properly in between. If your stylist is too busy, that’s a red flag that there is no time to clean, and ain’t nobody got time for that!!!
Be sure to share this article with friends and family! These rules go for barber shops too! The salon should be a place where we all feel safe and cared for, and your beauty professional should be bending over backwards to ensure that you’re not only looking beautiful but that you are as safe as possible!