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Having your hair cut after the pandemic



Bruce Waight considered one of the new reopening guidelines set by regulators when his Oklahoma City barber shop, Rooted Barber + Shop, opened on Tuesday.

"It is difficult to breathe in these masks," Waight told Men’s Health.com. But he wore them and encouraged his customers to wear them too, although this was not considered mandatory for customers. “I think most people wear them because they want to support the community. Nobody here tries to oppose the system. “

Oklahoma was one of the first states to reopen non-essential businesses such as barber shops and salons. Waight could have opened his store on May 1

st, but said he delayed the reopening to see if COVID-19 cases would increase as other stores opened.

"We received many calls," Waight said, adding that people seemed disappointed to learn that the store was not yet open. But two weeks later: "We didn't have a big top, so I decided to open it."

Oklahoma, as part of its Phase 1 reopening plan, requires beauticians, hairdressers, nail salon workers, and others to wear masks need aestheticians. Phase 2 is scheduled to start on Friday, and masks are only recommended for use in these locations.

Safety Precautions Take Barbershops and Salons

"Hair salons, like nail salons, can be challenging to maintain adequate social distance and infection prevention measures," said Saskia Popescu Ph.D. , an epidemiologist for infectious diseases and an expert in infection prevention. “The close personal contact that work requires over a longer period increases the risk.” But states recommend and businesses often take other measures to reduce the risk.

The few states where barbershops and salons have reopened or are about to establish policies to re-establish security as personal services to reopen businesses. The guidelines vary from state to state and are likely to continue to change rapidly. Therefore, inquire about your haircut before you leave. According to the states where these stores reopened, the following can be expected if you have your hair cut:

Colorado: Temperature and symptom testing for salon, spa, and individual practitioners such as hairdressers. Masks and gloves must be worn by workers. Customers must wear masks and only services can be carried out in which masks can be worn by customers.

Georgia: Only one personal service provider and one customer can work in a company, with the exception of one parent / legal guardian who accompanies a minor. Those who are waiting to be seen have to wait in their car.

Montana: Customers must be examined for COVID-19 symptoms such as “fever, shortness of breath or cough”. Workers must wear face masks, and customers should do so "if possible," and the salon should provide physical barriers between stations.

North Dakota: If possible, use contactless payment systems and, if not, disinfect payment devices. The state also advocates that customers use North Dakota's Care19 contract tracking app.

All these states: No walk-ins. Appointments are mandatory.

Pennsylvania is one of the states that has closed salons and barbershops, although haircuts are allowed in the second phase of reopening, which state officials call "phase green."

"Personal services are in the green because it is almost impossible to practice social distancing while cutting one's hair (and offering massage therapy)," the Pennsylvania Department of Health said in a statement to Men & # 39; s Health . “It's a very difficult balance. We know that people need these services and we know that these people have to work again. However, the governor [Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf] is committed to, and will continue to make, scientific, data-driven decisions.

Maura Scali-Sheahan, CEO of the National Association of Barber Boards of America (NABBA), said the disinfection practices have already been used by state and state guidelines for barbershops and salons, including the ubiquitous blue liquid barbicide. The company even offers an online program for COVID-19 training certification.

Steve Hockett, CEO of Great Clips, said in a statement to Men’s Health that its more than 4,000 franchisees in North America “follow all states / provincial and local policies or requirements related to social detachment, cleaning , Disinfection and other steps to ensure customer care. "

" We work closely with Great Clips franchisees who independently operate and operate salons to provide recommendations and resources on reopening salons as directed by government agencies, "said Hockett.

Regis Corporation – the parent company of Supercuts, MasterCuts and several other brands – declined to comment.

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Other Barber Shop Challenges

While it may be a relief for some to be reopened, stores are not only facing security challenges. According to Scali-Sheahan, the guidelines could halve the number of customers.

"You need to plan more time when you involve customers," Scali-Sheahan told Men’s Health. “You also need to train your customers to book appointments and let them know what to do (to comply with government guidelines). There will definitely be a transition, and that's to be expected. Once everyone gets used to the idea – maybe after the first month or six weeks – things will go a bit smoother. “

To meet these new challenges, some businesses are innovating. In Australia, which initiated a rigorous testing program to limit coronavirus infections and deaths, trade began reopening in large quantities earlier this month. The famous Australian stylist Kevin Murphy whose name the Americans also know from his professional hair care products, told Men & # 39; s Health about a salon owner he knows and who has a thoughtful plan for the rush after the Shutdown

"He told me he was going to get all the men to come in on Wednesday so he could just pop, pop, pop and deal with the men," Murphy said. "Then the women who need color will come on Thursday and Friday. He divides everything up.

" I think communication is the big key here. You have to be able to do a lot more with your customers You have to be honest with them, "says Murphy.

Waight said that in the first two days after opening, the barbers in his shop had to correct some haircuts when shutting down amateurs. The most notable thing he encountered is the appreciation of his customers, who can finally put their locks down.

"The diva has come out of the men," joked Waight. His customers were used to coming up to the closing weekly. After that: "Boys came with uncontrolled hair and pearls here. The roots of the woman may have been revealed, but the boys really couldn't handle it. "

If your business still didn't open t, read our "How To Cut Your Own Hair" guide here and use this guide to get the 12 best hair clippers you can currently buy.

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