Lockdown 6.0 is here, and it’s still a time to be careful and cautious. Though among a few good things that were allowed in the time, salon visits are one of them. And as you cautiously proceed to get your highlights touched up and your fingernails cleaned up, we took note of all the safety measures top salons in Mumbai & Delhi are implementing. It’s all about a strong focus on safety, hygiene, social distancing, and minimal contact. Here’s a list of salon safety measures for those who are looking for that much-needed cut and colour and those who are waiting to get their grooming regimen back on track.
Lakme Salon implements 55 enhanced measures developed in collaboration with medical professionals, for the utmost safety of its customers and staff. “As a Unilever company, rigorous hygiene protocols and high-quality products have always been top priorities for us at Lakme Salon. In the new normal, the safety of our team and customers is the key focus area,” explains Pushkaraj Shenai, CEO – Lakme Salon. First, there is a rigorous and continuous screening of salon teams and customers with the Aarogya Setu app. Clients in high-risk groups will be advised not to get treatments. Then strict social distancing through 50% staff strength and limited pre-booked appointments.
There are protocols for daily deep cleaning and regular disinfection of every touchpoint throughout the day with a biosurfactant cleaner alongside protective gear – masks, gloves, visors for the team. There are single-use kits for 90% of services and revised processes for skin, hair and make-up services to reduce touch. All disposables are biodegradable too. Sterilisation of tools and equipment after every use and contactless billing and payments too.
“We have updated the steps in performing services – across basics like threading/waxing, manicures/pedicures and even facials and hair services to reduce the chances of transmission. The new protocols reduce direct person-to-person contact, eliminate sharing of products and consumables, protect the customer and expert with sanitization protocols built into the service steps and adopt the use of protective gear and disposables to make the service experience extremely safe and comfortable,” adds Dr Sneha Prabhudabholkar, a medical professional and national creative director – Skin Care at Lakme Salon.
“Safety has always been a top priority at JCB Salons even before the pandemic hit us. Superior safety and hygiene measures are being adopted as we plan a bigger, better and safer salon experience with JCB 2.0 and JCB Home Services. Innovative Service Formats, Strict Safety Protocols and Home Services with Salon Experts is what lies ahead in the ‘unlock’ phase. At JCB, we have strictly ensured that all the salons are well equipped with the best sanitization methods, industry-approved PPE Gear including capes, masks, gloves and shoe covers, stringent safety manuals and strict code of conduct for employees and clients. We have sourced efficacious single-use service kits for most of the services and are inculcating contact-less payment and greetings,” explains Samir Srivastav, CEO at Jean-Claude Biguine Salon & Spa India.
All efforts are being made to reduce contact between clients and staff, leading to a change in service procedures. There is now a newly-sourced waterless manicure and pedicure from Brazil that comes with a single-use kit of disposable tools, cream-based moisturizing gloves and boots ideal for observing cleanliness and hygiene. “Deep disinfection of high-touch points, tools and equipment, mandatory temperature/health checks, use of Aarogya Setu App, reduced appointments to avoid overcrowding are some of the other key mandates we are adhering to,” adds Srivastav.
For home appointments, JCB experts have been provided individual service kits that are thoroughly checked by the JCB Task Force – a committee of operational managers, industry experts, doctors and servicing staff to overlook safety at the salons. JCB will, for now, only offer essential home salon services such as haircuts, root touch up, waxing, waterless manicure, pedicure that require minimum skin contact. Services such as massages, nail bar and other spa treatments have been temporarily restricted for home appointments.
“We pioneered the use of automated blinds between every station to maintain distancing as well as the use of sterilised and disposable tools to establish high standards of hygiene or to reduce any risk of infection from the very beginning. In the post-lockdown era, we will be taking this dedication to safety and hygiene further. Before visiting us for their confirmed appointment, clientele will be asked to fill in our Client Information Form for COVID-19 risk as well as download the Aarogya Setu app to track and monitor movement. At the entrance, staff and clients will be tested for fever and other symptoms with an infrared thermometer. At the entrance, clients will be requested to allow the use of the Hand-held Disinfectant Sprayer to decontaminate the surface of their clothing,” explains Sana Dhanani, founder of The White Door India.
With regards to personal safety, clients will be offered disposable shoe covers, masks, and gloves while the staff will be in disposable PPEs and face shields, and phones will be cleaned with a medical wipe and passed through the UV sanitiser. Every station will be equipped with acrylic screens between clients and staff.
“We will also be offering touch-free facials with minimal contact where we will use beauty devices such as the Foreo to cleanse, a jade roller to lift the skin, and the NuFace to tone the skin. All stations will be thoroughly sanitized every 30 minutes. To enforce social distancing, we will be operating at 50 per cent capacity and reserve only alternate chairs for treatments,” adds Dhanani. The spa is solely reserved for clients with confirmed appointments.
“The regular protocols followed by salons are in place. And like most salons, we have limited our intake but we have taken it one step further for everyone’s peace of mind. One client at a time ONLY. We then sanitise and move onto the next client. All our staff has been trained to wear masks, all areas of the salon are sanitised between every client. Temperature checks are in place and we don’t allow walk-in clients without prior booking. We also decided not to use hairdryers as this pushes the air around the confined space too much. Although this is not part of the Indian SOP’s, we feel it’s needed,” explains Rod Anker of Rod Anker Salons.
“There have been ample difficulties before we began. Now, we understand that there are protocols that need to be in place. We first needed the restrict the number of people walking in – we need to manage and maintain how many appointments we take. The way we managed it is – we started with exclusively just two stylists a day, not full capacity. Not more than 3-4 clients per stylist too,” explains Natasha Naegamvala, director at Nalini & Yasmin. The space Nalini & Yasmin work in is rather large and thankfully, at no point do they have anyone crossing paths or bumping into each other – social distancing is being followed.
“We managed the utmost hygiene levels – the highest possible ways to keep things safe for our patrons. Constant cleaning up, disinfecting and sanitising has been the norm for us. We are only using disposables, of course. Discarding disposables had been a bit challenging and I did reach out to the BMC to figure out that part – to dispose or take care of them in an orderly fashion, in a methodical way too,” adds Naegamvala.
Aayna Clinic, a leading cosmetic dermatology and wellness clinic founded by Dr Simal Soin, has put in place the strictest of hygiene protocols and safety measures. They have installed Merv 13 air filters and Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) technology in the central AC unit that thoroughly decontaminate indoor air by killing over 90 per cent of airborne viruses and infections. Fumigation of the entire clinic is done every two days. All surfaces are disinfected every two hours in common areas and every treatment room is sanitized after each treatment.
“My staff has been trained on how to use their equipment, masks, gloves, disposals and also how social distancing is to be followed strictly with clients and also with each other. We have ensured that all PPE gear is changed by therapists and doctors after every procedure instead of wearing one set the whole day. Disposable PPE gear is also offered to all our clients who visit the clinic,” said Dr Soin, founder, Aayna clinic. All employees have their temperatures checked each day when reporting for work and all staff use only personal transport. All appointments are given in a staggered manner to ensure limited contact with other clients. Before physically visiting the clinic for their appointment all clients must fill a self-declaration form online for COVID screening.
The Bandra-based popular salon by founders Dharmesh Hingorani and Zingranwon Shatsang has made sure the essential protocols are in place. The salon has been fumigated and the entire team is certified on safety standards by BWSSC. The team of stylists will be wearing disposable aprons, gloves, masks, and face shields. Clients will be provided with disposable capes, masks, gloves, and towels too. Daily temperature checks are mandatory for both the team and clients. All tools and equipment are disinfected and cleaned. The salon will be disinfected periodically every 90-120 minutes. No walk-ins will be allowed, you will need an appointment first. No BFFs and company allowed with each client, one needs to come alone. One also needs to be honest about your travel history before they step into the salon. Essential services like haircuts and root touch-ups will be prioritised first.
“Small details are taken into consideration like putting up a sanitising station outside the salon, we have an Oxymetre to check oxygen levels. We used to take hourly appointments, now we have moved it to an hour and 30-minute appointments – just to keep it safe and to disinfect the salon etc. Door handles, phones – frequently-used spaces in the salons will be disinfected in the process regularly. Online transfers are encouraged, instead of cash,” explains co-founder Dharmesh Hingorani. “The salon is already equipped for social distancing as we had planned to keep enough space between clients when we started the salon, so that helped us now. We ask for clients to wash their hair and come, so as to avoid too many things to do at the salon. Long process-driven treatments are not being done now – Keratine treatments, hair braiding, Cysteine etc are not being prioritised – it’s only about hair cuts and touch-ups at this point. The only other thing that one should remember is that, with all the safety measures in place and the attention given to every small detail, the service costs will go up. This is the time to support small businesses,” adds Hingorani.