Going to a hair salon has always been an intimate activity. It’s where we go to feel special, to take care of ourselves and to make us feel and look more beautiful. But going to a hair salon in North Miami can be delicate during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

It’s a place where close contact between at least two people is non-negotiable. Your hairstylist massages your scalp or your face using the pads of their fingers; the same goes for barbers, who have to lean closer to shape up your hairline or your beard.

The beauty and cosmetics industry virtually stopped back in March when the first restrictions were implemented. And hair stylists in North Miami were directly affected, as all hair salons were closed.

The effects were immediate and were felt throughout the country, as clients had nowhere to get even a simple haircut. The bond created between the hair stylist and the loyal client was broken in a matter of days. The community of and the sense of camaraderie which is emblematic for the industry was also affected.

Going to a hair salon isn’t just a fad or a quirk. We need this type of service and we rely on it to help us craft the image we show to the world. How we look is a major component of our self-esteem. And without this certainty – that we look awesome, we may quickly go into depression, our anxiety can go through the roof and we rarely want to go outside.

This absence was felt immensely on social media and video sharing platforms, where people from all around the world posted tutorials on how to create a buzz cut at home or how to dye our hair. Many people even asked where to get black-market haircuts.

However, the industry is showing signs of getting back on track. Hair salons in North Miami are slowly opening up and the trend is visible across the country as well. Even in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, France, and the UAE, hair salons are opening up after months of restrictions.

There’s a catch though – hairstylists and barbers will have to follow strict procedures when accepting clients in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Let’s see how will the industry adapt to the new restrictions and what can you expect when going to your favorite hair stylist in North Miami:

Customers will have to call before checking in

Although this unwritten rule was in place before the pandemic, now it is official. If you are a customer looking to get a haircut or have your hair dyed, you must make a reservation beforehand. This means that you have to call the salon or the hairstylist and ask whether you can go. After you arrive at the location, you have to wait to be asked before entering. Customers will likely be asked to wait in the car before entering. This will reduce the number of clients in the salon at any given time. This is a great opportunity to use an online booking system for your appointments. You should offer this system through your website or app.

Try to avoid touching surfaces

Virtually all hair salons have magazines, newspapers, and other items in the main waiting area and many clients enjoy them. However, with the new health risks posed by the coronavirus, salons are advised to not use them. Some states even imposed rules focused on this aspect. All other items should be removed, like candy dishes, fruit bowls, or testers. Customers should avoid touching all surfaces. Tables and other surfaces should be disinfected multiple times per day, preferably after each customer.

Checking for symptoms

The main COVID-19 symptom is high fever, typically above 100 F. Some states require hairdressers to check the temperature of customers and staff on a daily basis. You may be refused entry if you have a fever.

Late cancelation fees should be eliminated

Hair salons often impose this measure in order to avoid late cancelations. This was common before the pandemic, but now hair salons are advised to eliminate the fee. Whenever a customer wants a late cancelation, hair salons should accept it. Ideally, you should offer customers the chance of rescheduling without any penalty.

Encouraging staff to stay at home if sick

Customers shouldn’t be the only ones that have to avoid going to a hair salon if sick. Employees should also be encouraged to take a sick day if they are not feeling well. This is especially true if the symptoms are similar to COVID-19.

Make sure the salon is clean and properly disinfected

By definition, most barbershops and hair salons in North Miami already do a great job in keeping the location clean and sanitized. There are already strict rules in this industry, and most hair salon owners respect them. However, with the threat posed by COVID-19, hair salon owners have to step up their efforts. Tools and work stations as well as other surfaces have to be wiped down with disinfectant after each client. Deep cleaning should be done at least once a week, but preferably once every two days. Also, place cleaning supplies and disinfectants for your customers, preferably closer to the entrance area.

Encourage social distancing

Social distancing measures should be implemented inside the hair salon. Obviously, social distancing measures cannot be implemented while the actual service is performed. In other areas, especially in the waiting area, you should try to keep all individuals at least six feet apart. Also, haircutting stations and other pieces of furniture should be spaced at least six feet apart.

Using face masks

Although not all states have imposed this measure, masks are advised for anyone going to a hair salon. Both customers, barbers, and hair stylists in North Miami should wear face masks when working. Other personal protective equipment should be used as well, like gloves or face shields.