As more salons begin to reopen across Canada, they are relying on their provincial or municipality guidelines to ensure they are able to keep their staff and clients safe.
To help share this critical information, we’ve put together a detailed sanitization guide with tips to help make your opening day as stress-free as possible.
Is your salon already open? Browse through our guide to ensure you’re following these important health and safety protocols.
Uniforms and Personal Protective Equipment:
• Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water or sanitize your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer before putting it on.
• Face masks should be applied by looping the ear loops behind your ears.
• Once it’s on, avoid touching it. If you need to remove your mask, don’t put it on your head or hang it from your chin in order to prevent the potential spread of germs.
• The mask should cover your mouth, nose and chin and there shouldn’t be any gaps in between.
• As soon as the mask is damp (from a cough, sneeze or any other form of moisture), make sure to immediately replace it. Remove it from behind, not from the front, in order to not contaminate yourself. Quickly sanitize your hands right after.
• Face masks are for single-use only. Disposable masks should be disposed of after every use and should not be re-used. Reusable masks should be washed and dried after every use.
• Gloves are not a substitution for hand-washing
• They are still effective in reducing direct contact with potentially contaminated tools or surfaces, but must be replaced frequently in a plastic bag or lined bin to avoid the spread of germs.
• Make sure to properly sanitize your hands before putting them on.
• Avoid touching your mouth and eyes while wearing them.
• Look to your provincial guidelines to confirm whether they’re mandatory
• It’s important to establish a work-only uniform (this may include work-only shoes or shoe covers) to ensure germs aren’t being transferred in and out of the salon.
• Uniforms should include a smock or apron that is disposable or reusable and washed daily.
• Immediately place the contaminated clothing in a plastic bag and then place the garments in a washing machine in warm water (60-90°C).
• Other garments and fabrics that must be cleaned everyday include smocks, aprons, capes, towels, reusable masks and anything else that is used by staff and clients.
• To clean the washing machine between uses, run a short cycle with water and detergent, and then add bleach, which should be left in to sit for 10 minutes.
Before Opening Your Salon:
Make sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect your space:
• Disinfect all surfaces, tool kits, workstations and floors with any of these federally-approved cleaning agents.
• Set up a couple of disinfecting stations (which also need to include supplies to disinfect cellphones and any other devices on hand) throughout your salon, as well as temperature checking areas.
• Make sure to follow social distancing guidelines and maintain a distance of at least two-metres.
• Remove your waiting area or modify your waiting area by removing all communal items, such as magazines or self-serve beverage stations and eliminate any decorative (eg. fabric) pieces of furniture that cannot be regularly sanitized.
• Remove or modify your retail area by using plexi-glass or posting proper signage to discourage clients from unnecessarily handling products without assistance.
• Create a detailed sanitization and procedure guideline that shares your new protocols with your clients ahead of their appointment.
• Only pre-booked clients are permitted to enter the salon, unless a necessary caregiver is present.
• If they arrived early for their appointment, direct them to your socially distanced waiting area (maintaining two metres of distance between each seat), or ask them to wait outside in their car.
• Clients should be asked a health questionnaire, including questions such as have you experienced any COVID-like symptoms in the past 14 days? Have you been in contact with any individual with symptoms? Have you recently travelled? Do you have any underlying medical conditions?
• OPTIONAL: Provide temperature checks in a designated area of your salon to determine if the client is experiencing any fever-like symptoms. If yes, they should be turned away.
• Once they pass these tests, they should be directed to the sanitization area (by the entrance or the closest sink) where they sanitize their hands with a federally approved sanitizer and are provided with a mask (unless they already have one).
• OPTIONAL: Provide gloves as an extra safety measure.
• If they’re already wearing their own gloves, encourage them to still disinfect their hands with your alcohol-based sanitizer and/or put on a new pair.
• If they are wearing a coat, they may continue wearing or hang it on a coat rack that must be sanitized daily.
• When possible, discourage clients from bringing in anything other than their phone and wallet. No extra coats, large purses or other personal belongings.
Tips for Sanitizing:
• Frequently-touched surfaces (tables, counters, telephones, light switches) should be sanitized a minimum of every two to four hours, and door handles every hour with any of the federally-approved hard surface disinfectants.
• Salon windows should also be cleaned daily from both sides.
• Clean the countertop with approved hard surface disinfectants between each client.
• Implement a cashless payment system to restrict extra contact. The debit machine should be sanitized between each use.
• If cash is necessary, set up a bowl or container where clients can place it. The bills or change should then be put into a plastic bag and sanitized with 70% ethyl alcohol.
• OPTIONAL: Plexi-glass may be installed in front of the reception area for added protection.
Waiting Area/Coat Check:
• Chairs, coat racks and the entire waiting area must be sanitized daily with an effective and approved cleaning agent.
Chairs and Stations:
• Make sure you schedule a 15-minute cleaning time between every appointment to ensure there’s enough time to fully clean every styling area. This includes sweeping the hair and wiping down the chair and mirror with an approved disinfectant.
• Use 70 per cent ethyl alcohol (in liquid, spray or wipe form) for smaller areas and 0.5 per cent Sodium hypochlorite for larger surfaces i.e your tool tray or trolley.
• OPTIONAL: Plexi-glass may need to be installed in between sinks or stations when the social distancing (two-metres) cannot be maintained.
• Between every client, all tools should be washed with soap and water, and sanitized with a hard surface disinfectant. This includes combs/brushes, shears, product bottles and accessories.
• When applying any products, make sure your hands are clean and sanitized beforehand, and minimize touching the actual applicator or product. If it’s in a jar or puck, use a spatula or spoon.
• Every client should also be given a fresh cape or smock, and towel if need be. Make sure to have enough ready for the day and have them all laundered after every shift.
• Don’t soak brushes and combs in harsh liquid sanitizers, since this can damage the material.
• To remove hair and any product residue off of brushes, use a cleaning brush with longer bristles.
• Use a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol to clean shears, razors and other metal tools. Don’t forget to also apply some shear or clipper oil on the sheers specifically and allow it to sit overnight.
• Use a moistened towel with water and alcohol, and a cotton swab to thoroughly sanitize hot styling tools and other electrical tools. For extra safely, don’t directly spray with pure alcohol to avoid it seeping in.
• If they don’t already have a fresh cape or towel, the client must be given one once they arrive at the colouring area.
• Stylists must also re-sanitize between clients.
• All tools, chairs, trolleys and any other necessary equipment must also be disinfected between every client.
• The shampoo sink, trolley, chair and necessary tools (bowls, brushes, bottles, combs and clips) must also be disinfected and washed after every single use with the same disinfectants.
• Clients should be given a clean cape and towel, and stylists should also sanitize their hands and wear a fresh cape and pair of gloves between each appointment.
• Breaks should be staggered to avoid large groups congregating in a small space and to respect social distancing guidelines.
• Sharing of any items between staff members should be discouraged.
• The entire space should be cleaned (sweeped and mopped) and disinfected daily, or every hour for door handles, faucets and other commonly touched surfaces.
• Staff should also be asked to keep their hair pulled back and to avoid wearing any jewelry or artificial nails.
• Washrooms must always contain liquid antibacterial soap (contactless is preferred), bathroom tissue and disposable towels (discourage the use of hand dryers to avoid the further spread of any germs).
• Add proper signage on how to effectively wash your hands.
• Door handles and faucets should be disinfected every hour, and the entire bathroom must be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly daily. This includes sinks, toilets, floors and all surfaces.
• Encourage stylists to only use the staff washroom during shifts, and keep an eye on how many clients are using it at once. Social distancing guidelines must continue to be followed.
• The entire retail area should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected daily with approved cleaning agents.
• It’s recommended that only stylists handle products for clients, but if a client is going to touch a product, hand sanitizer must be accessible and applied first.
• Put up proper signage to avoid excessive product handling or if you’d like to ban it entirely, keeping the area locked behind glass or moved behind reception is also optional.
• All garbage bins must be lined with plastic and be emptied daily or more than once if necessary.
• The waste must be immediately disposed of in the proper bin outside the building.
• Between every garbage drop off, the interior bins must be fully disinfected and the plastic interior must be replaced.
• Any staff handling the garbage must also immediately wash their hands with warm soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
Want to make sure you’re using the right cleaning products? Here’s where to check:
NOTE: When working with harsher cleaning chemicals, make sure to wear gloves, a mask and goggles if need be to avoid burning or irritating your skin or inhaling the fumes, which are especially dangerous for individuals with asthma or other breathing-related illnesses. Stylists that are pregnant should also stay clear from harsher cleaning supplies.