The Ultimate COVID-19 Checklist for Your Salon’s Reopening


To the Amazing Art of Business Salon Community,

The beauty industry’s “Grand Reopening” will be upon us soon, following the salon shutdowns from the coronavirus. While the circumstances are much different from your original grand opening, there is no less anticipation, and no one entirely knows what this will look like.

We have compiled a list to contemplate while preparing the salon for this moment. Some of the things in this list are suggestions, while others are simply things to ponder. There is no one-size-fits-all road map, so take from this list what speaks to you:

Sanitation Protocol

These sanitation protocols are just some of the things the salon should consider and adhere to when reopening after the coronavirus shutdowns.

Customers and Employees

• Before opening, have a virtual staff meeting to review new procedures.
• Create a rule that no one experiencing symptoms can come to work or get a service done.
• Conduct daily temperature checks of staff to ensure they’re not symptomatic.
• Require all employees and customers to wear mandatory facial masks.
• Help staff with new dialogue to express the updated flow of the salon to clients.
• Sanitize phones in the salon and keep them away from clients. Ask clients to keep phones in their bags, if possible.
• Wash hands between clients and change into new gloves for each customer.
• Discuss the possibility of face shields for manicurists or stylists who work in close contact with clients.
• No hugs.
• Allow no guests inside the salon except for the client getting a service.
• Consider suspending or altering beverage and food amenities.
• As a part of the check-in process, ask clients if they are experiencing symptoms and document their verification.

Salon Cleanliness

• Customer confidence – salon must “appear” clean, start with a massive pre-opening cleaning. Ensure you create some showmanship to your sanitization efforts.
• Restrict the bringing in of any coats, if possible.
Conduct frequent cleaning of common areas throughout the day (bathroom, doorknobs, payment processor, etc.)
• Ensure stations are 6 feet apart or use every other station
• Consider implementing dividers between stations to ensure cleanliness in highly trafficked areas.
• Sanitize the station area between each client.
• Practice tool sanitation. For example, use soap and water for a boar bristle brush, then blow-dry it dry. Please have at least two sets of tools and brushes to allow for alternation while they sanitize.
• Discuss the potential of using disposable capes, aprons, and towels. If not possible, at least ensure a new one for each client.
• Restrict any congregating in the break room and/or limit number of people in breakroom at given time
• Eliminate the reception and waiting area. Clients can wait in cars or outside. Use door/window signage to communicate new check in process with clients
• Restrict the sharing of the salon’s phones. Assign the front desk to their own phone and sanitize at the end of their shift.


Keep a positive but cautious disposition with guests and customers, communicating with them as much as possible to keep them safe during their appointment.

• Hold virtual staff meetings to review procedures with your team.
• Use email, Facebook, and Instagram to communicate new procedures to clients in a positive manner: “We love you, but it will be different now.”
• Keep signage on the front door of what customers can expect.
• When sending confirmation texts, customize the message that goes out to clients, so they can know the protocol before arriving at their appointment.
• When sending an appointment confirmation through email, add a video of sanitation procedures.

Booking and Scheduling

Iron out a plan for appointments and scheduling before opening. Please consider these workarounds and take responsibility as a salon to protect salon employees and customers.

• Spread out shifts and days if you can. Our recommendation is rotating two to non-overlapping shifts to minimize the number of people in the salon at one time, as well as to reduce the impact of a potential quarantine if one of your team gets sick.
• Adjust or add more salon hours to allow for the above.
• Add more time between clients to allow for sanitization, possibly in 15-minute gaps. It will hurt productivity, so the pros and cons of this one need to be thought through, and the physical setup of your salon could determine the need for this or not.
• Don’t allow walk-ins, or ask walk-ins to call the front desk via a sign on the door vs. walking into the actual salon.
• Rethink 6-foot separation in the salon space—use your area smartly and safely.
• For salons with extra stations and junior stylists and assistants, consider using the additional stations to apply color and task junior stylists and assistants also to perform other services to support work volume.
• Consider minimizing certain services in the beginning weeks, like blow-drys, for instance. For salons with bundled pricing, offer a complimentary treatment instead of the blow-dry as an option for the client if they would like to minimize the time in the salon for safety. This will have an added benefit of allowing you to fit more color clients in so you don’t get stuck doing a lot of blowouts. You could also kindly ask clients to come with clean, dry hair.


As clients have been out of the salon for a few months, they may need special services and corrections, which might call for a change in the structure of salon pricing.

• While it’s generally not encouraged to offer surge pricing, we highly encourage this at this time to ensure you are properly pricing. Some services that were once four-week maintenance services could be more extended and require more product than average.
• Charge all clients appropriately if their service requires extra color.
• Ensure that all clients are booked for the correct service to avoid a situation where a client reserves a 30-minute service expecting one price and needs a one-hour service with a much larger price tag.
• Some clients may have attempted to do their hair color at home. Upon their return, this could require a different type of color service and price as a result. Gameplan how you can positively communicate this to the customers and ensure they are booked accordingly.
• Potentially, stylists could do virtual consultations ahead of time to understand and communicate to clients appropriate services and costs.
• Perhaps the salon creates general videos or communication explaining why things may cost a different amount, as well as what to expect with the new client experience
• In your virtual staff meeting, gameplan how you will charge for these items and how you will communicate to your clients in a positive light.
• Stylists should consider reviewing their clients and pre-determining who will require extra booking time, then communicate to clients accordingly in advance.
• (Disclaimer: This is a contentious one!) Some salons have discussed adding a temporary sanitization charge to each ticket (not commissionable). Other salons believe they shouldn’t pass this onto clients and think they could even out costs by suspending beverage service or another program for sanitization reasons. Lastly, some salons are simply increasing all prices to account for the extra cost of sanitization. Our preference is the latter.


Retail should focus more on marketing and promotion, aside from the standard sanitation protocol.

• Identify top moving products and stock up.
• There is pent-up demand, have a killer promotion!
• Incentivize your team by temporarily raising the commission rate.

Finally, stock up on all retail products, sanitization supplies, and professional-use items. You are going to have your busiest few weeks in the history of your salon or as close to social distancing guidelines allows. Good luck!

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