How will the pandemic change our salon experience?
The impact of the coronavirus lockdown has bruised all industries alike. Be it a local business or a well-established commercial giant – all have felt the wrath of the countrywide lockdown. But, as the country slowly begins to get back on track, businesses are embracing alterations to accommodate the new normal, and comply better with the heightened need for social distancing and maintaining sanitation.
One of the businesses, majorly affected by the lockdown and the novel coronavirus, is that of salons and beauty parlours. As the new norm lays guidelines for maintaining physical distance, the service of salons is a major question.
Generally, these service providers come in close contact with the clients, making it hard to maintain physical distance. Also, services such as haircuts, grooming and spa, aren't possible to be executed from afar. This makes the resumption of the service difficult.
But, combating the given situation, parlours and salons are gearing up to adapt to the new normal by making their service as safe as possible.
Speaking about the changes that parlours are undertaking, Manali Talekar, an owner of a beauty salon, said, "The highly contagious novel coronavirus has affected a lot of people all over India. As the salon service involves physical contact with the client, strict hygiene and safety protocols will be followed. The last minute-fix are gone."
Manali owns a beauty salon in Mumbai and has been working towards making necessary amendments to ensure utmost safety and hygiene in her parlour.
Throwing more light on the way forward, she suggests that salons will mostly function on an appointment basis, and walk-in customers will not be encouraged.
"The first step is to make a prior appointment. Hence there won't be any waiting given the social distancing norms. The next step will be to ensure everyone's safety by checking the temperature before a client enters the salon. Hand sanitisers will also be available at the door of the salon. The staff will compulsorily be wearing a PPE kit along with mask and face shield for extra safety," said Manali.
"High contact surfaces such as chair, table & equipment's will be disinfected after every 2-3 hours. The staff members will be expected to wash their hands or discard gloves & wear fresh ones before attending to a new customer," she added.
Some services are expected to be halted for the time being due to the contagiousness of the disease. Also, the number of clients a parlous can cater to daily will probably be reduced dramatically, considering the elaborate sanitation measures.
When asked about the expectation from the clients, Manali said that the people walking into the salon will have to remember to carry their mask and only visit the parlour if they are healthy.
"They should preferably carry their identity proof like Adhaar card so it would be easy to register their details. In the case of flu-like symptoms, the client should reschedule their appointments," she elaborated.
Confirming that there was no news from the local bodies on opening up of the salons she said, "No, we haven't received any guidelines from the local civic body, but we hope the salon services will start as soon as possible. We are getting ready behind the scenes to be well-equipped."
While businesses eagerly wait for guidelines from the government, private offices have now permitted to function at 10 per cent capacity. Maharashtra is the worst-affected Indian State and has a third of the country's coronavirus cases. The State government is cautious in planning its way, even as the centre gives the nod to open most activities in the country.