Life’s getting back to normal, but it’s the new normal that we must embrace. With facilities opening one by one, could salons be far behind? Opening of salons is in high demand, but in these times it must come with loads of precautions.
Right from thermal scanner at the entry gates, pre-bookings to maintain social distancing norms to wearing a disposable N-95/ triple layered surgical face mask, the guidelines prepared by Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council from the Ministry of Skill Development are exhaustive. Minimising the risk of further spread of the virus and loss of lives is one huge priority; no wonder salon-owners are measuring each step rather cautiously and have used the time to put the facilities in place.
“We are turning salons into operations theatres,” laughs Richa Agarwal, founder of Cleopatra. She intends to set up the protocol in line with the Government of India guidelines, “We are constantly receiving calls from our clients to organise home salon services, which we don’t promote because of the hygiene risks they carry. People are anxious to know when we will be re-opening our doors, but we are restructuring a fool-proof safety plan with all measures of health and hygiene in place to provide a safe salon environment.”
Protection gear for her staff and supplies to keep the area sanitised already procured, Agarwal has trained her staff for online procedures. “At such times, we have to be super-cautious; slight carelessness can put our staff and client at risk, so we are ensuring the best possible measures.” Counselling on lifestyle modifications, immunity-boosting diet and self-care steps are additional measure being taken.
Rachit Malhotra, creative director, Femina Plus Beauty Salon & Spa, is all set to offer fresh services. “Ours is personal contact service. We have worked out the timings, shifts and schedules, trained staff on how to maintain distance and work under the new conditions on zoom.” With personal protection kits and others measures expected by the government already in place, Rachit understands that their work comes with a huge responsibility. “We have put procedures in place to ensure safety of our clients as well as staff, what we await is permission to start work.”
Munish Bajaj, managing director, Tress Lounge, offers, “At this moment our biggest profit is going to be ensuring the safety of our clients, staff and our own.” With a 14-station facility, Munish intends to open only seven to begin with. “As a responsible brand, we are proactive in our approach as far as client interests are concerned. In the beginning of coronavirus spread we took decision to close the salons before others, as we were sensitive to the issue of spread.” He wishes the authorities set a date of opening and give time for beauty services’ sector to prepare. At Tress Lounge, he has set up SOP’s (standard operating procedures). Thermal scanners, one-time use protection kits for staff, gloves and mask as mandated; minimum distance of one metre between styling station and back bar, and staggered staff timings.
“We would work on minimum touch model and also keep clients’ information, with follow-up calls on their medical conditions to ensure complete safety for everyone involved,” says Munish, wishing the authorities ensure the needed practices are strictly enforced.
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