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Hair Salon & Barber Shop Reopening Frequently Asked Questions/(Today’s COVID-19 Updates)

Day-to-day changes reflect newly reported cases, deaths, and tests that occurred over the last several days to week. All data in this report are preliminary; data for previous dates will be updated as new reports are received and data errors are corrected. Hospitalization data were collected by the Connecticut Hospital Association. Deaths* reported to either the OCME or DPH are included in the daily COVID-19 update.

Q: What do I need to do to open?

A: The State of Connecticut’s Department of Economic & Community Development has developed a set of guidelines for reopening hair salons and barber shops on June 1st. The guidelines can be found at this link:

Please read through this document for detailed instructions. Salons/shops must complete the DECD’s online, self-certification process to receive a Reopen CT badge prior to resuming operations. Once complete, you can post the badge on-site and/or on your social media to advertise your adherence to CT rules and build customer confidence.

Q: How do I send my plan to the WWHD?

A: A plan showing how the shop will operate safety should be submitted to the Westport Weston Health District for review and approval. You may send the plan via email. Please be sure your plan is complete so that we can process it as soon as possible. The plan should demonstrate the following:

  • DECD certification completed

  • Employee training and daily health checks in place

  • Cleaning plan and schedule

  • Personal Protective Equipment for staff and clients

  • Floor plan with adequate spacing requirements

  • Schedule and log for employee screening

  • Waiting area closed (appointments only)

  • Non-essential amenities removed

  • Hand washing sink/sanitizer availability

  • Flow of service and list of services offered

  • Social distancing markers

  • Contactless payment

  • 2-1-1 hotline signage for reporting violations witnessed by staff or clients

Q: The State of Connecticut’s guidelines are vague. What if I still have questions?

A: If you have questions or concerns that are not fully addressed by Connecticut’s business sector guidelines, the State of Connecticut recommends that you also reference the professional associations listed below. Each group offers recommendations for operating safely.

Professional Beauty Association

American Barber Association

Associated Hair Professionals

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Q: How many people can I have in my shop at one time?

A: The number of people allowed in a shop varies depending on the individual establishment because it is based on the number of chairs. You may operate at 50% of your licensed capacity as long as the chairs are spaced in such a way that allows for at least 6 feet in between. This should enable you to maintain the necessary social distancing space.

Q: Can I accept walk-in appointments?

A: No. The guidelines set by the State of Connecticut do not allow for walk-in clients. Your customers must have an appointment. This will allow you to control the number of clients you service each day and for the necessary cleaning in between clients.

Q: Where can I get hand sanitizer, gloves, wipes, etc.?

The CT Department of Administrative Services has issued a list of providers for disinfectants, masks, and hand sanitizer. Follow this link:

Q: What about magazines, games, toys or video games?

A: The guidelines require salons and shops to eliminate these nonessential items, even if you service children. Consider suggesting to parents that they bring a handheld game or a book to distract the child during the service.

Q: How should each stylist clean in between clients?

A: It’s important to properly disinfect your workstations prior to re-opening and in-between clients throughout the day once opened. Elements to clean and disinfect include:

  • Station counters

  • Shears

  • Mirrors

  • Styling tools

  • Brushes and combs

  • Rolling carts

  • Drawers or any storage containers

  • Product on station and any common product

It is also important to clean the chair and headrest with disinfectant at the beginning of the day and in between clients. To help preserve fabric or material, consider adding a cover that can be easily cleaned or disposed of in between clients. All tools will need to be cleaned at the beginning of the day and in between clients, removing all debris and hair.

Q: What about the shampoo station?

A: All bowls should be cleaned and disinfected before re-opening and throughout the day once opened. To start, scrub the bowl with soap and water and rinse completely.

Disinfect the bowl by filling it with water and disinfectant, and letting it soak for 10 minutes. Be sure to clean and disinfect all other components including the faucet. Shampoo stations should be 6ft. apart or staggered to ensure proper social distancing.

Q: What about the reception area?

A: While it is nice to have magazines, coffee, water and other amenities for clients, now is the time to remove these and any non-essential items like candles and other knick-knacks. This will help reduce touch points and client interactions. Other important steps to implement daily and prior to opening include:

  • Wipe down all soft surfaces (couches, chairs) with water and a clean towel. Because these are soft surfaces, they cannot be properly disinfected. You may wish to remove them entirely.

  • Disinfect all hard, non-porous surfaces including the reception counter, phones, computers, door handles, etc. Be sure to follow proper contact time for all surfaces, ensuring the disinfecting products have time to act and work.

  • Thoroughly clean the product area, including all shelving or display cases. Remove any test products. Add signage to let clients know this area is cleaned and disinfected daily.

  • Waiting area chairs should be removed or spaced in such a manner to accommodate social distancing requirements.

  • Weather permitting, consider propping open your door to allow clients to easily open and enter without touching the handle. Offer hand sanitizer upon arrival.

  • Consider adding acrylic shields in the reception area.

  • Clean air ducts and filters to improve air quality.

Q: Do clients have to wait in their cars?

A: Since shops can’t have a waiting area, one suggestion is that customers wait in the cars until their stylist/barber is ready for the appointment. Call or text the client when it is time for them to enter the shop for the appointment.

Q: Can I still display and sell products?

A: Yes. It is recommended that you try to discourage customers from touching displays and products if you can. Consider having a staff member assist with the selection and purchase of the products. Remove all product testers and samples from your retail shelves and front desk counters. Remember to include display shelves, containers, bottles, and products in your cleaning routine.

Q: What is the protocol for restrooms?

A: If you have a restroom within your space, install no-touch soap and paper towel dispensers; add a lidded, foot-pedal trashcan. Clean and disinfect the restroom at the start and end of each day, as well frequently throughout the day. Implement the use of a log for tracking the cleaning schedule.

Q: Must stylists wear gloves?

A: No. Gloves are optional. If they are worn, gloves should be changed in between clients.

Q: How do I screen my employees to be sure they aren’t sick?

A: Ask employees to confirm that they have not experienced COVID-19 CDC-defined symptoms and to monitor their own symptoms, including cough, shortness of breath, or any two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Repeated shaking with chills

  • Muscle pain

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • New loss of taste or smell

Sick employees should stay home!

Q: Do stylists need to wear a mask and a face shield?

A: Yes. Employees must wear a face shield and a mask or cloth face covering that completely covers the nose and mouth, unless doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety due to medical conditions.

Q: Must my clients wear masks?

A: Yes, clients must wear a mask or cloth face covering during the appointment unless doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety due to a medical condition.

Q: What if my client refuses to wear a mask?

A: Clients must wear a mask or cloth face covering. It’s a good idea to inform clients of your policy at the time they book their appointments so that are aware of the expectation. Have a back-up plan if a customer forgets their mask – such as offering the customer the ability to purchase a mask or offer a disposable mask. Remember – this is your store. You have the right to remind them of the rules and politely refuse service. Hopefully, your clients will comply; especially given how long many of us have awaited reopening .

Q: How do I report violations by either staff or the public?

A: Call the Westport Police Department non-emergency number 203-341-6000 to report compliance concerns. The Westport PD will document the situation and work to resolve the issue locally. Staff, clients and/or the public can also call Connecticut’s 2-1-1 hotline to report violations.

Q: Should I prescreen my clients before their appointment?

A: It is smart practice to protect yourself and your clients as much as possible. Before clients arrive for an appointment, consider instituting a process for pre-screening via a phone call or form. Examples of questions to ask a client in your day-before reminder/screening call:

  • Have you had a fever in the last 24 hours of 100°F or above?

  • Do you now, or have you recently had, any respiratory or flu symptoms, sore throat, or shortness of breath?

  • Have you been in contact with anyone in the last 14 days who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has coronavirus-type symptoms?

  • If yes to any, reschedule the appointment.

Q: What should clients do with their coats and/or personal belongings during their appointment?

A: Consider having your client bring personal belongings like coat, purse, bag, etc. with them to the workstation. Have a hard surfaced/plastic basket in which clients can place their personal belongings. This will keep purses, keys, phones, etc. out of the way and help prevent cross contamination of your working space.

Q: How much time should I allow in between appointments?

A: It takes 10 minutes for many disinfectants to effectively kill pathogens. Given this fact, and the other protocols necessary, it is important to allow enough time before your next client.

  • Clean and disinfect all non-porous implements used in the service including brushes, combs, clips, scissors, etc., and store in a closed container.

  • Clean and disinfect all electrical implements used in the service including blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons, and buzzers.

  • Use EPA approved disinfectants to clean anything your client came in contact with including your station, chair, rolling carts, table, doorknobs, implements, storage containers, etc. Follow the product manufacturer’s directions for contact time (or how long a surface must stay visibly wet before the disinfectant destroys the pathogen). For some products, this can be 10 minutes.

  • The CDC recommends that you clean all equipment, devices, and surfaces between each client interaction, including product dispensers.

Q: What type of signage am I required to display in the shop?

A: You are required to post a sign directing employee and patrons to dial the state 2-1-1 hotline if they witness the business improperly conducting operations. You can also post signage that reinforces new policies like social distancing, personal protection protocols for employees and customers, no walk-in appointments, etc. At this time, the State has not directed any specific size, format, or design for this signage.

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