Times continue to shift through COVID-19 and salons are moving with those times, with many salons having stayed open, others re-opening and others remaining closed. It’s important to choose what is best for your business, staff and community, with health and safety always paramount.

If you are a salon that is open or looking to re-open soon, the Australian Hairdressing Council (AHC) has important advice on what you should be doing. We spoke to Sandy Chong, Chief Executive Officer of the AHC, about how salons should be operating if and when they open for business.

What extra practices should salons be implementing if they are re-opening or staying open?

Salons need to recognise that reopening cannot be seen as “business as usual”. All Work, Health and Safety (WHS) procedures and hygienic practices must be stepped up and consistent. It’s easier to maintain this in a salon with 1 or 4 operators but it will be a challenge for salons with larger staff numbers to ensure that all staff take these measures seriously and consistently.

Each salon should do a pre open risk evaluation of all client touch points to eliminate risk as much as possible. For example, requesting clients arrive with freshly shampooed hair, leaving the front door open, no magazines. Each salon will identify different concerns.

Does the AHC have an official recommendation of what salons should do or is it individual to every salon? 

We recommend purchasing a temperature gun at the moment. This would be used on all staff on arrival as well as guests. We recommend staff should complete the Covid -19 test at https://covid-19training.gov.au.

All staff should be involved in identifying all risks in their workplace. A WHS meeting should be held and documented. All WHS procedures should be documented and signed by all staff.

What is your main advice for salon owners and hairdressers in this time?

The last few weeks of the health crisis, COVID-19, has been stressful for every salon owner and employee, plus all product companies and all other industry related stakeholders. Mental health has been a concern for everyone, financial stability and health.

The AHC recommends that we all do our best to communicate with each other, collaborate and cooperate with each other and, most of all, care for each other.

What resources can hairdressers and salon owners access that will be helpful? 

The AHC has a complete library on COVID 19 that is updated daily including industry related WHS procedures.  Otherwise the Government site https://www.australia.gov.au is a great resource.