What to Expect at Your Next Hair Appointment

Salons around the city are implementing new rules and practices to ensure the safety of both stylists and clients as they reopen.
hair appointments

After being closed for nearly 10 weeks, it’s finally time to say goodbye to those pesky dead ends, gray hairs, and unsightly nails—salons have reopened!

Before arriving at your next salon appointment, there are a few things you should know. Your salon will look and operate slightly differently than when you last visited, as they must now adhere to social distancing and other mandated processes and steps in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. 

Here are some changes you should expect before arriving for your appointment.

You’ll have to make an appointment first.

First and foremost, you’ll have to make an appointment with your stylist. Gone are the days when it might be possible to walk into a salon and make a big change. Of course, you’re probably used to this system already but realize most salons are not accepting walk-ins and are working to reschedule appointments that were supposed to take place during stay-at-home orders. You will probably have to wait a while longer to get an appointment in the books. Salons are in high demand right now as stylists work to catch up.

Be prepared to text your stylist and wait in your car until your appointment time.

One of the biggest change’s clients will notice right away is that they cannot enter the salon as soon as they arrive. Sarah Moscato-Goodpaster, co-owner and stylist at Witch Hazel Salon, has asked that all clients text the salon phone, letting the stylist know they’ve arrived.

“Once the stylist is ready for the client, we’ll text the back and tell them to come in,” Moscato-Goodpaster said.

Stylists will screen you before entering the salon. 

To help ensure the safety of stylists and clients, many salons are checking employee temperatures when they first arrive at work, such as Drybar. Some, like Witch Hazel, are even going so far as checking client temperatures and having them sign a service waiver before an appointment. Any client found to have a temperature of 100 degrees or above will have their appointment immediately cancelled. Clients with temperatures below 100 degrees and who are able to answer a series of questionnaires will be allowed inside to proceed with their styling. 

Masks will likely be required at all times.

Just like grocery and department stores, salons are requiring clients and stylists to wear masks at all times. At Peabody’s Parlor, owned by Steffanie Peabody, face coverings are required by every person for the entire time they’re in the salon.

“We’ll be changing our face masks in-between each appointment,” Peabody said.

A universal rule across all salons in Indiana is that stylists and clients are required to wear a mask at all times, courtesy of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency for correct salon practices. If you forget your mask, don’t worry. Your salon will most likely have extras, but be prepared to pay for it.

Salons may have barriers in between stations and use every other station.

It’s true that stylists cannot properly social distance themselves because of the nature of their job, but they’ve made sure that clients can stay six feet apart from other stylists and clients. At Peabody’s Parlor, they have set up barriers between shampoo bowls and each styling station.

Bring as little with you to your appointment as possible.

Leave all non-essential items at home that you don’t want to leave in your car for the duration of your appointment. Many salons are asking that you refrain from bringing any bags or personal items in with you. You’ll also want to come alone, as most salons are only allowing the client with an appointment inside.

Be ready to have fewer service selections/offerings.

You knew it was coming. In an effort to promote minimal contact, many salons are putting a hold on some of their “extra” services — for now. At Peabody’s Parlor, they are doing away with services that would force the removal of a face mask, including hand and arm massages, express facials, and lip or nostril waxing.

“Everything we’re going to be doing will be minimal contact,” Moscato-Goodpaster says of the Witch Hazel experience.

Additionally, if you look forward to a complementary beverage with each visit, those have been cut because it would require you to remove your mask. 

There may be fewer appointment times to allow extra time for cleaning.

When you call to reschedule your appointment or to make a new one, be prepared to have fewer appointment times available. It’s mainly due to stylists needing 15-30 minutes in between appointments to allow for cleaning and sanitizing their work stations and preparing for the next client.

“All stations, tools, and shampoo bowls will be sanitized between each use with CDC-recommended disinfectants,” Moscato-Goodpaster said.

But don’t worry, most will offer extended hours.

To make up for lost time, many stylists will be extending the number of days and hours they’ll be open. Peabody’s Parlor will be extending its hours for the first four weeks, while Witch Hazel will be open on Sunday and Mondays, depending on the stylist. Check with your salon or stylist to see if new times are being offered.

Bring your debit or credit card, not cash.

In order to limit contact, transactions will typically be limited to credit or debit cards. So before you head out the door to your appointment, make sure your card on file is updated. Some salons are even allowing clients to tip their stylists via Venmo. 

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