Salons and spas are resilient businesses. While the last 60 or more days, have been difficult for the owners in terms of salary disbursement, inventory planning, rentals and more, they have emerged wiser as the time in quarantine has been utilised well. Some have seen this as an opportunity to get back to school by educating themselves and their team via social media platforms, others have voiced their concerns and strategised, there are still several others who have just waited and watched patiently.
For salons and spas to re-open, three golden rules of social distancing, hygiene and safety, and communication with customers and among themselves must be adhered to. While it appears to be a challenge salons and spas are leaving no stone unturned to win back the trust of their customers. Apart from working with less staff, only a few customers to service and sticking to lots of hygiene-related parameters is an uphill task. Moving along, appointments will need to be made in advance as only a handful of customers will be entertained in a day, payments will be contactless, PPE gear will have to be in place, and so on. In other words, life as we had known it to be before lockdown is over, and this is a welcome to life after the lockdown – the new normal which is regimented and deliberate, but safe.
Neeraj Senguttuvan, Business Head, Godrej Professional shares, “Coronavirus has impacted every aspect of normal life – the way we eat, personal hygiene, the way we interact, the way we work, our leisure activities, and so on. Expectations on personal and space hygiene are now heightened and will remain so for a while to come. Practices such as washing hands for 20 seconds, regular use of a sanitiser which is a new norm today will gradually become ingrained in our psyche and become a habit going forward. Clients will be more discerning in their choice of commercial establishments and filter their choices basis the perceived hygiene standards that are maintained. Overall, this heightened hygiene awareness and protocols will not only help minimise the virus threat, but also help keep other viruses and bacteria at bay.
“To that effect Godrej Professional Suraksha guidelines recommend that a day before the salon is opened, it should be thoroughly sanitised with a disinfectant – take 5 ml of TN8 and mix in 1 litre of water and spray it in on every inch of the salon, wipe all the high touch points, products and sterilise metallic tools such as clippers, tweezers, and so on. Wipe the electric gadgets with an alcohol-based sanitiser. There must be enough stock of masks, gloves, sanitiser, disposable kits – capes, aprons, combs, wipes, tissues, and so on. The salon staff should be prepared to work at 50 percent capacity and in shifts to follow social distancing norms.”
Coronavirus has created a new normal that will remain with us for a while. Shares Pushkaraj Shenai, CEO, Lakme Lever, “The dynamics of the salon industry has changed – there are new methods of working, new patterns of consumption, and new ways of interacting with people which is the key to our business. Safety and hygiene will be top priority – stringent, detailed hygiene measures will be the new norm and salons will be judged on these as much as their professional skills. The reluctance for any form of contact will lead to a completely different set of expectations from the salon industry. Not just in the processes followed, but also in the visible display of safety and hygiene measures. It is not just about being clean, but about being seen as safe and assuaging any fears in the mind of the customer.
“As a Unilever company, rigorous hygiene protocols and high-quality products have always been top priorities. We have used the lockdown period to digitally train our team –housekeeping staff, experts, salon managers and business partners – on these new methods to ensure complete adherence to protocols. Our 4,500 team members have also attended a cumulative 300,000 plus hours of high-quality education during the lockdown to enhance their skill and execute the highest standards of hygiene and safety.
“Lakme Salons are a class part and taking hygiene very seriously. We have implemented 55 enhanced measures developed in collaboration with medical professionals, for utmost safety of our customers and staff post lockdown. Some of the measures include monitoring of salon teams and customers through the government’s Aarogya Setu app, strict social distancing through 50 percent staff strength and limited pre-booked appointments, daily deep cleaning and regular disinfection of every touchpoint throughout the day with a biosurfactant cleaner, protective gear – masks, gloves, visors – for the team, revised processes for skin, hair and make-up services to reduce touch, development of single-use kits, enhanced sterilisation protocols, and contactless billing and payments. Dr Sneha Prabhudabholkar, a medical professional and the National Creative Director – Skin Care at Lakme Salon, has reviewed and enhanced the service protocols, to ensure highest levels of safety during services.”
Spoorty Shetty, CEO, BBLUNT opines, “Great leadership is all about successfully moving from a place of comfort to embrace the unfamiliar. We, at BBLUNT, will access our salons depending on the green/orange COVID-free zones and sanitise the salons, do a ‘fire drill’ exercise and ensure that all the hygiene guidelines and norms released by Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council are in place before we actually open our doors to clients.”