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New Nail Salon Safety Guidelines



Nail salons around the world are starting to reopen. No doubt about it, there will be new guidelines for salons and they will differ from city to city. We’re going to find out soon enough what will be expected of us. Sanitization will be on everyone’s minds. It’s quite possible the packed salons of yesterday may be forced to change in order to adhere to mandated regional protocols. What can we expect? How can we adapt our services and behavior for success? Lastly, how will this reshape our vision of a typical day in the salon?

We’ve read about a gym that now requires members to book time on the hour and reserve thirty minutes after each visit for deep cleaning. We can totally accept that in the salon setting, right? Who doesn’t love the certainty of an Appointment Only business? Nail techs have always prioritized sanitization as an essential tool in our work, we can now expect to have to add at least 15-20 minutes between each service. Here’s the breakdown. If you see 10 clients per day you will be spending more than 2.5 hours plus (150-200 minutes) a day on cleaning.

We don't know our local California guidelines will be; except that they’ll be strict. Time will be your biggest issue. You need to really plan your days out. How many hours a day do you plan to work? Note that in a standard 8 hour work day; you will only have 5.5 hours for services. How many clients can you see in that time? What is the max dollar amount you might be able to earn in a day? What is the minimum? Now find the average. This will be your new potential income. Are you going to be able to live on it? If not make the adjustment. Will you work a longer day or will you work an additional day? Prepare. Plan. If you can, buy multiples of your implements and equipment. It will make your service turn around go faster and you will save time. Think about fanatical sanitizing acts as a component of a luxurious spa treatment. Some thoughtful customer service features might include a personal tray, a portable autoclave machine for disinfecting hands and phones, and individually sealed packages for implements.

Sanitize, disinfect, and making sure your equipment is clean will now be as important as your killer smile lines. Book appointments 15 minutes after the hour. Crafting, communicating and enforcing your salon policies about being late, cancellations, mask wearing, and other PPE/health/safety issues are going to now be set in stone. Let your clients know in advance that you’re not messing around. Book and confirm appointments with the locally mandated Covid-19 guidelines clearly stated. If masks are required; post signage on your entry door and advise your clients in the appointment reminder. If you want, you might have some masks and hand sanitizer available for sale. If you’re trying to control waiting area traffic, advise how clients might need to wait outside and text when they arrive. The meter is running and your timing will be everything. See how it goes your first few days back and adjust your schedule as needed so it works for you.

The case for a salon suite is interesting right now. Will they start to blow up? We don’t know. With 6 ft minimum social distancing rules, the packed salon model has its limitations and will have to be revamped. How will the salon you work with handle the issue of limited square footage? Will there be less positions available for nail techs in this kind of environment? Will nail techs have to take turns working in the salon based on the new maximum capacity? It will be a serious exercise in logistics. If you have a good partnership with your salon right now and they treat you well. Stay where you already have it good. But if you want to make a change and you've been on the fence; maybe the time is now to go independent? You will be in a situation where you can control the schedule and make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable.

Real acceptance of this situation is a necessity, too. Things will calm down and we’ll get the hang of it. As a business owner, you will want to put in the hours and do the work to insure you get paid. Accepting the current state of affairs (in terms of Covid-19), do you even consider charging more or an additional cleaning fee? If we were talking about the nail service itself like more length, more color, or nail art product; upcharging still makes sense. For this part of the business; sanitization is an overhead operating cost. It’s what’s going to allow you to get clients back in the door. If it’s required and it’s the law; then we have to do it.

**This is an adaptation from our YN Biz Talk playlist on YouTube, “BIZ TALK: NEW NAIL SALON SAFETY GUIDELINES”.

***Follow our YN YouTube Channel and click here to watch the full discussion: