States are slowly re-opening, but what does that mean for the freelance hairstyling community? Although guidelines are being released for barbershops and salons, there is still a grey area for those of us that work strictly on-location. I have compiled a short list to help those of us transitioning feel more confident and prepared.
Prepare a clear list of guidelines and send them to your clients prior to their appointment.
The laws of each state vary slightly, so make sure you do your research. We are in the business of making our clients happy, but now more than ever, we have to ensure we are taking every measure to keep them healthy as well.
The most common guidelines (that pertain to freelance workers) recommend both clients and stylists wear masks, use hand sanitizer prior to service and that the stylist provides thorough sanitation of the working area in between clients.
Find a mask you are comfortable wearing for extended periods of time.
All masks are not created equal. We have been urged to save N95 masks for hospital workers, which leaves a lot of us buying or making homemade masks. Look for breathable fabric, like cotton or linen.
Once again, do your research. Some materials offer more comfort but aren’t as effective at catching particles escaping the mouth. Test out your mask prior to going back to work. This will help you figure out how you should schedule breaks to go get some fresh air.
Consider having your clients sign a liability waiver.
We still do not know much about COVID-19, how easily it spreads, or what the long-term effects of the virus can be. While it isn’t a requirement, many beauty industry professionals are suggesting that stylists provide a liability waiver to clients. A liability waiver states that the stylist will not be held responsible if any illness to the client occurs following the service provided. A simple Google search for “COVID-19 liability waiver” will provide you with examples and references.
Finally, schedule extra time for sanitation.
Make sure to read sanitation product instructions and clean your area between each client. Be sure you know how long it takes the products to be effective, as well as how long you will need to wipe everything down and dispose of unsanitary items. Let your client know beforehand if there will be any schedule changes due to sanitation efforts.
It is a great feeling to go back to doing what we love, but that doesn’t mean that some won’t feel anxious returning to our new normal. The best way to combat those feelings is to be as prepared as possible. Do your research and remember that even with these changes, one thing stays the same: We are in the business of making people feel their best. And in a future that may feel uncertain at times, we still have that gift!