It is impossible for cosmetology professionals and barbers to work remotely, cut hair over Zoom, or stay six feet apart from clients. That is why we are all home right now. But, eventually, we are going to open. And COVID-19 will require all of us to make changes are so we can get back to work. Let’s talk about what is happening right now and how we all can prepare.
COVID-19 and Executive Orders
If you are still asking yourself, can cosmetologists, barbers, specialists (nail, facial, and full), or braiders work right now?
Non-essential businesses were ordered to close as part of the 30-day stay at home order for all Florida residents. While many people find their salon and barbershop services essential, I do not think that is not the same definition of “essential” the state is referring to when they put this order out. COVID-19 is a life or death situation for some people. Clients will survive without salon and barbershop services.
When Does the Executive Order Expire?
EO 20-91 expires on April 30th, unless extended or ended early.
I Still See Salons and Shops That are Open!
If you own a salon or barbershop, don’t risk people’s health for money. Should Karen shows up at your salon or barbershop and demands a cut and color, you can say “no”. Do not let clients talk you into secret appointments or going over to their house. I do not know the repercussions of providing services during this time and I do not want to find out.
Protecting public health is why we have the licenses we have. Closing your salon was to protect public health in Florida. Protecting public health is our most important job right now.
Replacing Lost Income
Here are the current government programs for the self-employed, those that receive 1099 forms, and for employers to get loans to keep employees on the payroll.
Florida Unemployment (Florida Department of Economic Opportunity)
Much of Florida is worked up over the unemployment website. And rightfully so! If you are spending hours at your computer or on the phone, you are not alone. Hopefully, improvements are made to this overwhelmed system.
The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) Payroll Protection Program (PPP) was established to help employers and businesses provided income to employees during this time and avoid future layoffs. As of yesterday (4/16), this program has run out of money. However, there are rumors it could be replenished. Talk to your bank about this program or visit the Small Business Administration (SBA) website.
If you did not get your stimulus check yet, here is where you can check on it or request it by direct deposit.
I have seen a few other grants and loans for beauty professionals. Just remember, there will be scam artists out there trying to take advantage of people in this situation.
What You Can Do Right Now During the COVID-19 Crisis
Stay in Contact With Clients
There are many professional ways to communicate with clients. You can maintain physical distance and still connect virtually, via social media, or with a card. Sure, sitting in your chair is much better, but some contact is better than social isolation some of your clients are dealing with right now.
Here are some reminders for them on social media:
- Do not buy the box color.
- Here are the costs of color correction.
- No one other than there family sees them right now. It is okay for your roots to show.
- Here are some tips on how to look good for Zoom meetings.
- Put the scissors down. Include pictures.
- Show them the horrors of home hair cut videos like this one.
- Remind them (and yourself) this will not go one forever.
This is a good time to review your business’ website or page. Consider adding online scheduling (if you do not yet have this feature), updating your “About Your Stylist or Barber” page, or posting new salon or shop photos. If you do not have a website, now may be an ideal time to start one.
How does your supply closet look? Does your salon or shop need new towels, supplies, or retail products?
Complete Your Renewal Continuing Education
Did you know the cosmetology board reduced the number of hours for renewal from 16 hours to 10 hours? Here is a post on the continuing education changes.
But here is the not so great news. The board meeting where my course (and all other new 10 hour courses) was to get approved was canceled. However, the 16-hour continuing education course is still approved for the October 2020 renewal deadline. You can buy and completed that course.
Cosmetologists, Nail Specialists, Facial Specialists, and Full Specialists
16-hour Cosmetology Board Continuing Education Course (Cosmetologists, Nail Specialists, Facial Specialists, and Full Specialists)
Barbers, this is your renewal year! The renewal deadline is not far off. July 31st will be here soon.
Here is your 2-hour HIV course approved by the Barber board.
If your license is expired, delinquent, or null and void and you are thinking of re-entering the cosmetology business, read more here about getting it back in good standing.
Learn About COVID-19 and How it Will Affect Your Salon or Shop
COVID-19 will continue to be part of our daily lives for the next few months (at a minimum). We all need to prepare for the changes it will necessitate. We are professionals. And we can do this.
- How will I open? Will I only allow one client in the salon or barbershop at a time?
- How will I greet clients without a handshake.?
- Will I wear a mask?
- Am I able to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19?
- Do I know that many (maybe most) people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and capable of spreading the disease?
- Do I have a plan to contact clients if I expose them?
- What will I use to clean my salon between clients? What will I do if supply stores are out of towels, disinfectants, or N95 masks for nail specialists?
- How will I handle an influx of clients who all look like yetis? Will I need additional help temporarily?
Wash Your Hands Like a Pro!
We all wash our hands between clients. Right? However, many of us need to improve our technique. Handwashing really is one of the simplest and best ways to slow the spread of disease.
When Your Salon or Barbershop Opens
How will we know it is time to open back up? Continue to follow the advice of the Department of Health and CDC about when and how you should open up businesses.
Here are some new cleaning guidelines from the CDC specifically for dealing COVID-19.
As a reminder, just because you can open your business, does not mean you should. Unfortunately, there were many businesses, including salons and barbershops, that stayed open far too long at the beginning of this pandemic and contributed to the problem we find ourselves in right now.
It Will Be Different
Your clients are not the same people we were a few weeks ago. But neither are you. A few clients will have new COVID anxieties or phobias about their health. Others are going to jump into your chair and appreciate you and your unique talents like never before. Be ready for both.
How and What Are You Doing?
What are you doing during this time off? I would love to hear about how you have spent this time. Are you busy crisis-schooling your kids, checking on neighbors or family, or working your way through Netflix?