On reopening and welcoming clients back, therapists will have to follow strict sanitisation practice. This blog will help to reassure your clients that you are taking the precautions necessary to keep risk to a minimum.
Before reading this article, be mindful that it only covers a small topic within salon hygiene. To learn more about cleaning equipment and surfaces, take a look at our ultimate hygiene blog.
Start by checking your own personal hygiene standards. Follow best practice and change in to your salon wear as you enter and leave your place of work. Before entering the salon, tie long hair back so you don't have to touch your hair while performing treatments.
It should go without saying, it's essential before touching anything that you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing the words of the happy birthday song twice). Wash hands at least up to the wrists. If you're performing pedicure treatments, you should wash your forearms too. Make sure that you follow the recommended handwashing technique.
If you have long nails, take a manicure brush and brush along the nails and underneath. Dry hands with a paper towel and dispose of once finished.
If you need to cough or sneeze, then cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Again, should this happen, wash your hands thoroughly.
How is sanitising different from sterilisation and disinfecting?
The definition of sanitisation is to make something sanitary 'free of germs'. It refers to the process of keeping your environment clean, safe and healthy.
Tools should be sanitised with hot soapy water, dried and kept somewhere clean.
Once tools have been sanitised, it is safe to disinfect them. The purpose of using disinfectant products is to prevent the spread of bacteria.
You will also need to have a sterilisation process within your salon. Sterilisation is the strongest form of cleaning so may not be necessary on a day-to-day basis.
How can you prevent germs from spreading?
Preventing germs from spreading in the first place is key to good salon hygiene. Below are some tips to help you to take precautions.
Signage - Position a sign on your salon door to ask clients to cover their mouths when coughing and sneezing.Perhaps ask clients to use antibacterial hand gel on arrival and before exiting your salon.
Give flexibility to clients - Make the process of re-booking appointments easy. This way clients who aren't feeling well will have the opportunity to change their booking. Always encourage people who feel under the weather to cancel their appointment.
Questionnaires and surveys – In this current climate, you should ask clients to fill in a questionnaire about their health. You may also wish to ask about their recent whereabouts to ensure they haven’t been in close proximity to large groups of people.
Encourage good health with your team - Working in a salon can be challenging. But even if you're busy you can maintain a good healthy routine and encourage others to take breaks, eat well and get rest. This will all contribute to a strong immune system and reduce the spread of germs.
Get rid of magazines, newspapers, flowers and service menus - Non-essential items which you usually store in the reception area cannot be disinfected and should be disposed of.
Prepare additional trolleys - Use a different set of tools for each customer, ensuring they're sanitised after each appointment. An additional trolley will stop you from accidentally cross-contaminating combs, scissors and other tools.
Keeping a hygienic daily routine
Before your clients arrive, take some anti-bacterial disinfectant wipes. Make a routine of cleaning your surfaces. This includes everything from desks, chairs and stations through to all visible surfaces of your equipment.
Create a cleaning schedule which all your team can refer to. This should be clear and easy to follow, Keep reminding your team at the start of every day, particularly if you have part time staff working on a rota. Instruct people about sanitising between each client or if this isn’t possible at 30-minute intervals.
You could give responsibility to certain team members for different areas of your salon, including:
- Front desk
- Credit card machine
It's best to follow Government advice on wearing gloves and masks. More guidance is likely to follow before salons reopen.
Repositioning your salon space
Arrange your workstations before you reopen with chairs at least 2 metres, or six feet apart. Use a measuring tape to ensure that you're accurate.The Government's distancing requirements provide a challenge for salons. But while spacing between clients may pose a challenge, organising furniture is more straightforward. Doing so will help to encourage good salon hygiene.
Finally, ensure your salon space is well ventilated by opening doors and windows where possible. Customers will need to have access to toilet facilities as before, but only one person will be allowed to use them at any time. Antibacterial hand soap, warm water and disposable paper towels should all be easily accessible. Toilet lids should be closed after use and before flushing. All toilet surfaces including floors, sinks and toilet bowls should be disinfected regularly.
We hope you’ve found this blog useful. If you feel that you need to stock up on sanitisation products then we encourage you to take a look at the personal protective equipment section on the Ellisons website.