Everything else.. Tips to Follow when Opening Your Salon amidst COVID-19 with Nayana Karunaratne

Tips to Follow when Opening Your Salon amidst COVID-19 with Nayana Karunaratne

2020 May 8

With Sri Lanka soon to return to normalcy, one of the industries expected to have a surge in demand is the hairdressing and beauty sector in the island. Prioritising the health of all customers, the President of the Sri Lanka Association of Hairdressers and Beauticians (SLAHAB), Ms. Nayana Karunaratne, was contacted to provide an insight on the new health and safety measures this industry is expected to implement.

With the possibility of infection still at large, the aim of these preventive measures is to minimise any potential spread by means of direct contact by touch and respiratory droplets and indirect contact via contaminated surfaces. New laws on hygiene and the functioning of this industry have been established based on close collaboration between the SLAHAB, Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation, and have been summarised below.


Precautions for the salon/beauty parlour

  • All establishments need to prominently display posters of necessary health and safety measures to be undertaken. 
  • Notices of Coronavirus symptoms need to be portrayed at the entrance or reception area and in facial and waxing rooms.
  • A hand sanitizer needs to be positioned in an accessible place for the use of staff and customers. Multiple sanitizers are recommended to avoid crowding. 
  • Wherever possible, salons are advised to leave their doors open at all times to avoid contact with door handles.
  • All magazines are to be discarded from waiting areas until further notice.
  • Immediately upon opening, the entire facility needs to be disinfected with a high quality detergent on a daily basis. A checklist has been provided for convenience. 
    • All floors 
    • All mirrors and workstations
    • All electrical switches 
    • All shampoo units 
    • All chairs and stools
    • All reception chairs
    • All manicure and pedicure units and equipment
    • Reception table and any equipment on it (Computers, Telephones, etc.)
    • All trolleys and trays
    • All equipment such as scissors, brushes and bottles
    • All pantry areas and utensils.
    • All washrooms and washbasins
    • All items belonging to staff (Helmets, bags, mobile phones, etc.)
  • It is vital for all salon owners to conduct a briefing for all managers and members of staff on the newly implemented precautions and safety measures, before reopening for the first time after the lockdown.


Precautions for employees

Image from https://www.timeout.com/sri-lanka/beauty-salons/salon-ramzis
  • All employees need to get their temperature checked before entering the salon.
  • Any employees showing symptoms of a cough, cold, sore throat or fever or undergone quarantine should avoid coming to work and inform the management of their condition. 
  • Employees need to have a separate pair of shoes kept at the salon, and changed into upon entry.
  • Hands need to be washed for at least 20 seconds every half hour throughout the day.
  • If public transport was used for the commute, a change of clothing is compulsory.
  • Fresh face masks and gloves need to be worn at all times and duly replaced after every service.
  • Barbers are expected to wear a pair of goggles and avoid being directly in front while attending to the client.
  • Sharing of equipment (clippers, scissors, etc.) between employees is to be avoided.
  • Face shields and other PPE are to be used as and when necessary.
  • All employees are requested to avoid leaving the salon during work hours and need to immediately shower and wash their day’s work clothes upon returning home. 

Precautions for customers

  • All customers are requested to arrive in salons after a full body wash, in fresh clothing and wearing a face mask. 
  • Customers need to have their temperature taken at the entrance, footwear removed, and hands sanitized before entering. Customers recording temperature over 98.4°F/37°C are not to be entertained.
  • Upon entering, all customers need to wash their face with soap.
  • Greetings are to be carried out only by the traditional “Ayubowan”, to avoid physical contact between staff and clients.
  • Customers are requested to avoid the use of public transport; failing which, a change of clothing is mandatory. 
  • Customers are advised to return home directly after their appointment, and immediately wash themselves and their clothing. 

Precautions for salon operation

  • Salons are requested to operate with a minimum staff force, to help in the upkeep of a 1m distance. To cope with rising business concerns as a result of this, the SLAHAB suggests extending the salon’s business hours with members of staff working in shifts.
  • Salons are only permitted to carry out cutting, trimming and dyeing of hair, manicures, pedicures and waxing of arms and legs. Shaving and trimming of beard and threading of upper lip are to be avoided. This needs to be clearly displayed at the entrance to the facility.
  • All salons are requested to maintain a log of the names, time of visit and contact numbers of all customers for each day.
  • All clients showing symptoms of a cough, cold, sore throat or fever and those who have been quarantined are to be politely rejected.
  • Moreover, clients may also be requested to come at a later time if the salon is busy, in order to avoid crowding of the waiting area.
  • It is mandatory for clients to have their own face masks; fail in which they need to be provided one, with or without a fair charge.
  • Whenever a client enters or leaves the salon, door handles need to be cleaned with soap.
  • After every service, thorough disinfection needs to be carried out for 
    • The chair, mirror and tabletop (or beauty room equipment)
    • The shampoo unit
    • The trolley and its equipment
    • Credit card machine and pen
    • Sanitation of hands after each cash transaction 
  • All towels are to follow a strict single use policy, and are to be stored in an air-tight bag until the laundry procedures are carried out on a mandatory daily basis.
  • Used gloves, face masks and blades are to be properly disposed of into foot operated covered bins.
  • Cut hair and nails need to be collected in a sealed bag and stored safely for a week before disposal.

Ranging from the small hut opposite your lane to large salon chains all over the island, the owners of all these establishments have a crucial role to play in adhering to these measures in the upcoming weeks. Once the above safety measures are in place, salons of all scales are requested to contact the local health authorities for an inspection of their facility. The salon is permitted to reopen their doors for business only after the necessary health certificates have been granted post-inspection. In addition to this, Ms. Karunaratne also requests all salons and beauty parlours in the country to register with the SLAHAB to ensure that the proper training and advice has been conveyed to the owners for the betterment of their establishment and customers. Moreover, professional salons registering with the SLAHAB will simplify the process of receiving bank support for financial recovery amidst the current crisis. 

For more information:

Sri Lanka Association of Hairdressers and Beauticians (SLAHAB)

Tel: +94112596221 / 0771311700

Email: slahab1996@gmail.com