How to Get a Haircut While Social Distancing
Who knew haircuts would become the flashpoint of the apocalypse? In a world where staying safe involves less running for our lives and more sitting around our houses, the priorities are a little different than we expected from zombie fiction. At this point, we all wish everything could just go back to normal, including our regularly scheduled salon treatment. But how good an idea is that? How safe can it be? And what is the alternative?
Is it Safe to Get a Haircut at a Salon?Let's face it: it's hard to get a haircut from six feet away. That's the biggest risk that salons present in a post-COVID world. Masks reduce risk, but they work much better when combined with appropriate distancing. There's some good news:
- Coronavirus probably can't survive on your hair itself for very long.
- Hair salons are already trained and practiced at sanitation and disinfection of surfaces that DO allow extended coronavirus survival.
- COVID-19 carriers with no symptoms seem to be very good at transmitting the virus – even if salons screen employees and clients for symptoms, infectious people will get through.
- Direct transmission is very likely during the extended close contact required for any salon treatment.
- Masks reduce the risk, but up close, they're far from foolproof, even when everyone wears them correctly.
- On top of the danger close contact presents, even distancing doesn't eliminate coronavirus risk when you're indoors with others over extended periods. If another customer is shedding virus on the opposite side of the room, you could still catch it.
What Are Hair Salons Doing to Protect Customers?That said, some salons are trying to reduce risk as much as possible for everyone involved. If you must get a professional haircut or treatment, you should look for precautions like:
- Mask requirements for hairdressers and clients
- Required handwashing for clients upon entry and frequent handwashing for hairdressers
- Strict screening for hairdressers and clients (for coronavirus symptoms and recent contact with the infected)
- Limits on the number of people in the salon at once
- Thorough and frequent surface sanitation
- Hairdressers putting on fresh gloves while handling each client