The pandemic has changed everything about the world, not the least of which is a trip to the salon. What used to be a chance to pamper yourself and enjoy a few hours of a cut, color, and blowout is now reduced to a quick in-and-out experience. The hard part is, there is no telling how long these changes will last. Salons have already changed, with more stringent cleaning processes, no lobby waits, and stylists only working on one customer at a time. But still, the long-term effects of the pandemic remain to be seen.
What do the experts say? Harry D. Wood, IV, founder of Six-Figure Hairdresser and Back to You, said, "I believe that things will be better for us during the fall and spring due to new standards of using hand sanitizer and washing hands more frequently and cleaning stations before and after every client. I also believe that as we continue to reopen states and start to eliminate masks, it would remain in our salon's best interest to continue to serve guests with masks until late summer/early fall 2021."
Here are the other changes you can expect to see:
One element of pandemic salons here to stay, as Wood said, is the sanitation and disinfection of the entire salon. And face it, salons should have probably been doing this all along. Each station is scoured between each client, shears disinfected, chair wiped down, floor swept, etc. This means shampoo bowls, coloring chairs, and anywhere else a client goes. This cleaning time means the stylists will be able to take fewer customers than they usually would.
TIP: If you are taking fewer customers inside the salon, it might be time to improve your online sales game. The FHI Heat Pro Commission Program allows you to team up with FHI Heat and advertise their products through your social media platforms. You’ll get a large cut of everysale you make, and you’ll never have to stock up on any of the products!
Gone are the days of flipping through magazines enjoying a cup of coffee while you wait for your cut and color. And these days might be gone forever. Clients come in when the stylist is ready for them and leave immediately after. Many experts think that this change will stay. You lose some of the camaraderie, but clients and stylists should be safer with less contact time.
Speaking of contact time, in the current conditions, stylists chat with their clients virtually to discuss the cut and color, or whatever service the client is receiving. Every effort is made to reduce face-time in the salon. This might be awkward for some clients who are used to the physical connection, but again this will help people be safer.
One element of the salons that many owners don't usually dwell on is the air quality. But with hair dryers blowing and air conditioning, and the humidity from the sinks, owners need to consider how their air is pumped throughout the salon. Covid 19 can be transmitted through air particles, so ensuring you have a quality air system is paramount. Look at the exhaust system and HVAC with a filtration system, and consider upgrading.
One thing that may not return as fast as other services, is the blowout. Unfortunately, getting a blow out on a Saturday afternoon was a real pampering experience, so that will be a true disappointment to many. If your clients really want a blow out but aren’t willing to come to the salon, you can try promoting this Platform Blow Out Handleless Dryer, and teaching blowout methods on your social platforms to gain online traction!
Each stylist will need to figure out the best way to live with these changes. Obviously, a stylist will need to invest in sanitizer and take more time out of his/her day to clean her station. Another idea is to have a backup set of tools, so that one set can be disinfecting while the stylist moves on to the next customer. Try some of these brushes to have on hand when you are disinfecting your other set, and this is a fantastic set of shears to use on your next customer in line. If you can be more efficient in your cleaning, this will also help you see more customers and help your bottom line.
With all the changes Covid 19 has brought, one of the most difficult to deal with for many people is losing their usual salon time. As a stylist, you might need to work a little harder to make those connections, but you can still offer your customers a great experience by meeting them virtually beforehand, being as safe as possible, and following up with a quick email or call after. No one knows exactly how salons will change, but your human connection can remain intact.
2020 was a grueling year for stylists, with giant obstacles and extreme learning curves. You deserve a pat on the back and a nice glass of wine. Looking ahead, 2021 seems to be shaping up a little differently. Though we don't have a crystal ball to tell us how it'll go, there are some experts with their fingers on the industry's pulse. We want you to have the most fabulous, prosperous, and beautiful 2021 possible. So, we've done some research to investigate the 2021 business forecast for stylists. Here is what you need to know: