We have a date! The 4th of July is officially the day salons will be able to operate again after 3.5 tough months in lockdown. The government new guidelines are out and available to everyone so we are now deep into a preparation and booking period. We’ve caught up with members of the Great Lengths education team who are in the midst of preparing their salons too and talked about the ‘new normal’ coming. From invaluable advice, tips on new procedures and shedding light on the changes that need to be made, Kirby Hickey, Edwina Hayes, Aileen Barnby and Nicky Marcar share their insight on what’s next to come for their salon business.
Safety and hygiene is going to be paramount when salons re-open. Some clients may be quite apprehensive returning to the salon whilst others will have pre-booked their appointment as soon as lockdown started. The safety precautions and guidelines are strict and there is a lot to do to make the salon safe.
“We feel we’ve gone above and beyond by re-thinking the whole business model. We have created an outdoor garden waiting area with heaters for people to enjoy while their colour develops. More stations have been added and waiting areas removed for social distancing. We have put up screens between stations so people feel they have their own area to relax. We’re using all disposable equipment and have sourced where possible biodegradable equipments” says Kirby Hickey from Hair by Kirby Blythe, Scunthorpe
“I thought perhaps we would get safety screens and after a month they might not be needed. But I have concluded that perhaps these changes will be with us for a long time so I have put some screens in place. One at my reception and also between my backwash. Luckily or unluckily I am in the middle of a big move to a larger salon. The fact I was at the pre-planning stage allowed me to make my seating area quite spaced out. The other most important task I have worked on is creating health and safety statements and client and staff disclaimers so that everyone knows exactly what is expected” shares Edwina Hayes from Streetlife Hair, Kilkenny
“In our salon, we have worked out rosters so that we won’t all be working at the same time. This limits the amount of people crowding between clients and staff. We have put in divider screens on wheels so if it happens that one person is beside the other and can’t social distance, it could still be a safe environment.” Aileen Barnby from Barnby & Brennan
“We are planning to start with a no drinks and no magazine policy and this has been taken well by clients as they completely understand, they are in a way just happy to be getting their hair done. We have a strict hourly cleaning rota of the hotspots in the salon. All staff have their own products and brushes and won’t cross share, this helps with sanitising workstations. We have used disposable equipment as much as we can (we always have used disposable towels) but we have kept our Great Lengths gowns and we will wash on 60 degrees after each use. This leaves the client with a little normality; plus less plastic going into landfill in accordance to the ethos of our salon and our concern for the environment” shares Nicky Marcar, Salon Ten, Shropshire
Planning is key and safety is everything. Though it’s only normal for many salon owners and hairdressers to feel a bit overwhelmed and unprepared right now. Start planning as soon as possible but also try to stay calm and educate your clients and staff about the new changes; things will be a bit different but they will be alright. Keep in mind that other countries are already doing it successfully. In case you need some extra advice on the matter, here’s what the educators say:
Kirby: “Be cautious and safe and try to plan everything out beforehand so you have plenty of time. It’s going to be so important to now rebuild our clients confidence in salon life again, as many are expected to be apprehensive to return straight away.”
Edwina: “I would try to keep a positive head about the situation, break tasks down into small jobs and try our best to embrace the new changes. A little more time with a client can be a good thing, so make the most of it.”
Nicky: “If the client knows you are taking all steps possible and making changes to keep them safe they will be happy and if staff are aware of the rules then they can make the day as close to normal as possible. I want my clients to still feel special in a bubble away from the madness!”
Aileen: “Remain positive and remember why people love coming to you in the first place. Don’t panic, it will show when your first client comes in so just relax and prepare everything in the salon beforehand. Remember, people love us for our talent and your clients can’t wait to see you.”
Client Prep Kit
As salons are expected to be fully booked and services will be limited, Great Lengths just launched an at-home Client Prep Kit to help salons save time through their busiest period.
Great Lengths wearers will be able to order the Client Prep Kit directly from their salon and prepare their own hair at home for application before heading into the salon for their new set of Great Lengths. Handy! Time in the salon can be minimised for Great Lengths wearers, and as applying bonds is going to be one of the longest services offered, the at-home prep will reduce time allocated to extension wearers, keep the backwash area free and allow for a quicker workflow.
The kit includes the Great Lengths Clean Remover Shampoo (50ml) and a dressing out brush. Clients should simply apply the shampoo as normal on the day of their appointment and avoid using any conditioner. The Clean Remover shampoo works to provide hair with a deep cleanse, removing build up of oils and residue from styling and provides your Great Lengths stylist with a clean canvas to work on. Using the Clean Remover Shampoo is a mandatory step before application and ensures the longevity of the extensions. Time to catch up with your clients who will need this, then!
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