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The adapted Covid-19 Hair Salon


The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a huge impact on the hair and beauty industry and millions are understandably keen to get back into the salon. In fact, a survey by Treatwell found that a hair salon appointment was among the top three things people are most looking forward to when the lockdown lifts. Before too long haircuts became more of a talking point during lockdown, with many attempting to cut their own hair or relying on friends, partners and family members for an amateur trim. Stories of ‘Dodgy DIY haircuts in Coronavirus lockdown’ started to appear which gave us some light entertainment during the challenging times we all faced. 


There is however some light at the end of the tunnel with hairdressers and salons potentially being allowed to open and trade from 4th July under the government’s ‘rebuild’ Covid-19 recovery strategy, on the basis that the business can meet coronavirus safety guidelines.

Understandably the salon experience will be quite different when you return for your first post-lockdown appointment.  With socially distancing measures in place, stylists will be wearing PPE and customers and styling stations placed two meters apart.

In line with ‘The Adapted Covid-19 Office’ we have created some Before and After visuals of a typical hair salon pre-Covid-19 (Before) and The Adapted Covid-19 Hair Salon (After).

Hair Salon Hair Dressers Pre Covid-19 by Office Reality

Hair Salon Hair Dressers Post Covid-19

So, what can I expect?   

Booking an Appointment

Salons across the UK will have to balance the demand for appointments with the need for social distancing. Prepare to book your appointment well in advance as last minute appointments or ‘walk ins’ are now a thing of the past, well, for the time being anyway! Its possible that you will need to consult with your stylist over the phone or by a virtual consultant to cut the amount of time spent in the salon.

When arriving at the Adapted-Covid-19 salon

In order to minimise the risk and reduce, or eliminate the number of customers in the waiting area you may be asked to wait outside or in your car until you receive a text message asking you to enter the salon. On entering the salon it’s likely you will be greeted from behind a clear countertop protective screen, usually made from plexiglass or safety glass. It is likely that you will be asked to use hand sanitizer from a dispenser which will be clearly visible and accessible from the entrance.

There will not be any magazines, teas, or coffees whilst you are waiting. Shopping bags or other items would be discouraged and ideally you should handle and hang up your own coat. ­­­

The Appointment

Your stylist will greet you wearing a mask and potentially a visor and you will also be asked to wear a mask before you make your way to the basin or styling chair. If all of this sounds a bit scary, don't worry – some of the more family-oriented salons are still taking a safe, but slightly less formal approach. They realise that some children may find these new measures a little daunting, so they have featured balloons and toys to create a more positive and uplifting environment. Additionally, some salons are adopting transparent see-through masks for staff to wear, to enable better communication for those who may have hearing difficulty and need to lip read.

Trainees or Juniors will, generally, continue to wash hair using the same PPE as qualified stylists and only 50% of washing stations will be in use to minimize the risk of airborn germs passing between clients, trainees or juniors.

Your chair should be positioned at least 2 meters away from the person and stylist next to you and if this is not possible, then a floor standing glazed screen should be placed to minimise the risk of harmful transmission. These screens could also be used for informative graphics, branding or signage as shown in the example below:

Hair Salon Glass Acrylic Protective Screens  Hair Salon Glass Acrylic Protective Screens

In some cases where screens have not been introduced, every other chair or styling station will be used, keeping the occupation levels to around 60% or 50%.  In our Adapted Covid-19 Salon we have removed chairs and retail display units have been positioned in the remaining spaces. These display units must be kept neat and tidy, so that regular cleaning can be carried out efficiently.

There will now also be a greater emphasis on the stylist’s storage units to be more organized with their hair cutting equipment and PPE. Hairbrushes, clippers, and comb sets should be sanitized after each use.  

There are additional challenges for your stylist as they will be having to cut hair whilst you are wearing a facemask. The face mask straps or bands which go behind your head will often have to be lifted or moved to one side to cut hair effectively. General conversation with your stylist will perhaps be more limited as face masks can muffle words and conceal smiles or expressions.

Pre Covid-19 Hair Salon by Office RealityPost-Covid-19 Hair Salon Hair Dressers by Office Reality

Leaving the salon

After your post-lockdown trim, you will be asked to take off your mask and gown and place it in a bag to be washed or disposed of. It’s likely that any activity around the reception desk will be limited and some salons may ask for pre-payment, prior to your hair appointment, to avoid congestion in this area. When payment is physically processed in the salon, it will be contactless, and the card machine will be passed to you through a gap in the protective glass screen. On leaving the salon you may be asked to retrieve your own coat and encouraged to use the hand sanitizer station a final time. 

The safety of customers in the Covid-19 compliant salon will of course be top priority, but many people will still be talking, laughing and sharing their experiences of lockdown whilst in the chair. The essence of ‘the hair cutting and salon experience’ will hopefully not be lost among these new measures.

You may even be asked who last cut your hair!

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