Re-Opening Your Salon, Spa Or Barbershop

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FRIENDLY NOTE!  This is an important but BIG read so get yourself a cuppa and please view it on a laptop or PC rather than your mobile.  

we are open for businessThere is no doubt the world will be a very different place when you are allowed to reopen your salon, spa or barber shop, with a firm focus on keeping your clients and your team safe.  

We are closely watching other countries to see how they handle the gradual re-opening of shops and salons and will share this information with you, as well as any Government guidance.  

From what we can see so far, the hair and beauty sector is likely to be given a set of rules and recommendations to follow. People will want to maintain a level of social distancing, protect themselves by wearing masks and gloves, and only visit salons which are observing high levels of hygiene and taking precautions to avoid staff and clients catching and spreading the Coronavirus

Below we have some ideas for you to consider so you can prepare for 'the new normal', with changes that are likely to remain in place for several months and may even result in permanent changes to the face of the hair and beauty industry.  Use this time wisely and view it as an opportunity to reassess all that you do.  


hairdresser wearing face mask

Imagine a salon with fewer clients, all observing social distancing, and enjoying an end to end service at the hands of one stylist. The client has already received a video consultation and signed a document stating they will observe the new rules that have been set in your salon.

Upon arrival they find the salon door locked, but a note with a number they must ring or text to gain access. Their stylist, wearing a disposable mask, greets them with a friendly word but no hand shake or hug. The client is shown where to hang up their own coat, and is pleased to see the stylist using the hand sanitiser and asking the client to follow suit. The client is then given a disposable mask, gloves and a freshly laundered or disposable towel.

The client accepts your salon is no longer offering beverages or magazines and that they must arrive alone for their appointment (no children or pets allowed). They tell you they love the fact you're now open seven days a week with several late night opening options. They also understand why you have had to introduce a different pricing structure for their service.

As the stylist sanitises her styling tools in front of the client, the client notices the list on each mirror highlighting the new standards set in place to safeguard clients and the team at the salon. It's then off to the wash area, where social distancing continues to be applied, before returning to the styling station for a much-needed hair colour and cut!

Thirty minutes later another client arrives and a second stylist appears, having changed into his work clothes in a dedicated room at the back of the salon upon arrival. He follows the procedure with his client. Both clients note how responsible the salon is being as the second stylist wipes down the door handles, sprays the styling station, and cleans the wash area in preparation for a new client.

After the appointment, each client remains seated and pays via a credit card reader at the styling station. The credit card machine is carefully wiped down after each use.

The clients are delighted with the whole experience and remember to leave a 5 star review and tell all their friends that it's now safe to get their hair done at YOUR salon.

What are other salons doing? Listen to this Grow My Salon Business Podcast HERE.


When it comes to reorganising your salon, your focus should be on keeping clients a safe distance apart and maintaining a spotless salon.  Tell your clients what you are doing and that this is for the safety of them and your team.  Listen to their feedback and adapt quickly if further changes are required. 
  • Can styling stations be moved so they are further apart? If not, seat clients so there is a vacant styling station either side
  • Consider adding markings to the floor (particularly for larger salons) to show clients the no-go areas
  • Think about opening seven days a week and with more late night openings
  • Do you still need a waiting or reception area or will you show clients directly to a styling station instead?
  • Consider how you can best use the wash area so there is distance between clients
  • Try to ensure your salon is adequately ventilated as this may reduce airborne droplets in the air
  • Remove magazines and stop offering refreshments or use disposable cups
  • Invest in hand sanitisers and place them strategically around your salon and in the toilets
  • Invest in disinfectant so you can keep your salon spotless between clients 
  • Create mirror sticker explaining the hygiene and distance rules everyone must abide by.
Some countries are not insisting that salons use face masks, so we will continue to monitor whether this has any effect in these countries.  However, you may want to consider investing NOW in disposable face masks, gloves, towels, hand sanitiser, disinfectant and a reliable thermometer. 
  • Invest in biodegradable disposable face masks and gloves for your staff and clients (in Germany these have to be changed after EVERY client)
  • Invest in disposable gowns for clients. If using non-disposable gowns, machine wash them between clients
  • Sanitise each station, kit and tools between every client appointment 
  • Sanitise the salon throughout the day, disinfecting key areas (door handles, credit card readers, WC areas)
  • Ensure each staff member has their own tools.  It will not be acceptable to borrow a colleague's kit 
  • Create mirror stickers which list the new rules you have put in place to safeguard clients and your team
  • Create a front door sign encouraging people to STOP - DO NOT ENTER.  RING THIS NUMBER xxxxx 
  • If testing staff for high fever, buy a reliable thermometer and sanitise it between use.
Keep talking to your team so they feel appreciated, supported and part of the team.  Ask for their ideas on how your salon, barber shop or spa should operate when you re-open.  This will make it easier for them to 'buy into' the new policies you put in place.  Also bear in mind that some staff may feel unsure about returning to work, fearing for their safety.  Treat each staff member individually.
  • Ask your team for their input into how you can ensure everyone adheres to social distancing and hygiene rules
  • Consider washing the outfits your team wear to work (washed at 60 degrees+ with a detergent and dried completely)
  • Come up with a safe practice policy which can be shared with your team and clients
  • Consider keeping your team's uniforms at work (washed at 60 degrees+ with a detergent and dried completely)
  • As a result of any new policies you may decide to open seven days a week and have several late night opening evenings
  • Make sure your staff are kitted out with face masks and disposable gloves
  • Change your staffing rota with morning, afternoon and evening shifts so fewer staff are in the salon at any one time
  • Remind staff of the need to stay at home if they experience any Coronavirus symptoms such as a high fever and/or dry cough
  • Think about changing staff roles e.g.  'Manager of Hygiene,' 'Shift Manager,' 'Customer Satisfaction Manager'.
  • Consider taking your staff members' temperature twice a day to test for fever (this will reassure them, you and your clients)
  • Consider the best way in which you can pay your team in their new roles and shifts.  Will you offer remuneration packages or monthly contracts or something else? 
  • Ensure team members are trained and understand the new way of working, how to answer client questions, and how to deal with unwell clients who turn up for their appointments
  • Make sure you have a full complement of staff ready for your re-opening.  Salon Guru can help you with this by setting up Facebook and Instagram Recruitment campaign to reach stylists, barbers or beauty therapists in your area.   This is low cost and these adverts are much more likely to be read and followed up by potential new recruits during lockdown when so many are reliant on social media for entertainment.
Experience from other countries tells us that you are less likely to see older clients as they may remain in lockdown (or choose to continue self-isolating).  There is also evidence that you will be extremely busy in the first few weeks upon reopening. Clients will want to see that you are acting professionally and focusing on keeping them safe. They will NOT want to see a busy salon full of people.
  • Keep clients updated to make sure they understand the precautions you are taking AND consider asking them to sign an emailed agreement before their appointment
  • Let clients know that they MUST pre-book their appointments. If you have set up a Priority Booking List, book these clients in first
  • Offer clients consultations - via FaceTime or phone - before their appointment to assess their needs and prepare for their visit
  • Clients may be expected to wear disposable masks, gloves and towels, so have a large supply available
  • Ask all clients to use hand sanitiser which should be visible and available upon their arrival
  • Stagger your appointments every 30 minutes so clients do not arrive at the same time
  • Open seven days a week and several late nights to accommodate as many clients as possible in the first few weeks
  • Reassure clients upon arrival and point out posters showing the steps you have put in place re social distancing and hygiene
  • Attract new clients! As soon as you have a firm date as to when your salon, spa or barber shop can re-open, let Salon Guru help you.  We can help position your salon as THE best salon to visit once the Coronavirus lockdown is over.   As soon as you know your salon will be allowed to re-open, talk to Salon Guru about running a comprehensive, low cost facebook and instagram advertising campaign to attract new clients. We can also create newsletters to send to your clients, update your website, and help with social media campaigns.  Contact your Client Manager or email
Looking at other countries, it is highly likely you will be extremely busy during the first few weeks upon re-opening.  You will also have to limit the number of people inside your salon at any one time to ensure social distancing.
  • Look at your pricing structure.  Will you need to put your prices up?  Is it time to price by the hour rather than by service?   Whatever you decide, make sure you communicate this to your clients and remember to update your website too
  • Your online booking system may struggle to cope with the initial demand, so consider setting up a Priority Booking List now. How do you want this booking list to work?  Perhaps consider offering hair colour appointments first
  • Don't forget to check your website OFFERS page as you may want to remove any offers for now (especially hair colour offers). Salon Guru can help with this
  • Priority Booking Vouchers have worked very well e.g. Salon Guru can set this up for you
  • Consider reorganising your team so they work in shifts, to comply with any social distancing rules
  • Consider opening seven days a week, with lots of late opening evenings, to accommodate the expected flood of clients
  • Communicate with clients, using social media, your website, texts, calls and newsletters, to reassure them that you are being responsible and taking precautions to safeguard them and your team.  Explain your new opening hours, any new pricing, what they can expect when they visit and how to book them in.