2020 has thrown curveballs at every industry, and one of the things that looks very different now than it did six months ago is opening a salon. Gossip Shop salon, led by co-owners Chris Lee and Catherine Lee, discovered this when they opened in late May in North Carolina in America, showcasing how our global industry is adapting to these changes and challenges.

“We’re a brand-new salon, three years in the making, and we opened on May 22nd for the first time. So, we had to adapt all our systems to the current guidelines to keep our staff and clients safe and happy,” Chris said. “We opened at 5pm, the first day our state allowed us to and worked until 2am. Then we started up again at 8:30am the next day and went to midnight…we’re trying our hardest to support our community.”

The salon communicates all health and safety protocols and guidelines on their website and social media, and has to work with the salon industry’s unique COVID-19 issues in the middle of launching the salon. This included the difficulty of working with distributors and suppliers in lockdown, and needing a hefty amount of colour products to deal with colour corrections for all the bored clients who experimented with their hair in isolation. It also extended to America’s important mask policies.

Gossip Shop salon

“I’d say one of the greatest challenges of opening a salon during a pandemic is having to wear masks. It’s a detriment to a consultation because you can’t hear or see each other clearly. To address that, we’re teaching our stylists to communicate more with body language and eye expressions to ensure sound communication,” Chris said.

These are problems we never thought we would face and challenges we couldn’t envision we would work around, but the global hair industry continues to rally in the face of COVID-19’s unique regional circumstances and a communal sense of pride has never been stronger.