How beauty salons are preparing for reopening day


For months, we’ve been staring at cracked cuticles, broken acrylic nails and been in dire need of a relaxing massage (a pandemic is quite stress-inducing, you know).

Thankfully, it has recently been announced that nail, tanning and beauty salons, along with spas and tattoo parlours, will be allowed to reopen from Monday 13 July.

However, much like pubs, restaurants and other indoor spaces, these won’t look like we remembered – and not all types of treatments will be offered.

To find out more about what to expect when you go for your first mani-pedi since lockdown, we spoke to four salon owners.

Here’s what they told us.

Don’t expect to socialise…
If you’re hoping for a spa visit with your mates, you might be disappointed – as many salons are only accepting solo visitors, with the exception of children or carers.

In fact, the lockdown beauty experience as a whole will no longer be a sociable one, as beauticians will also be wearing masks and visors.

Sam Marshall, who runs The Beauty Guru in Salford, has eagerly been awaiting the green light from the government.

‘We are asking that clients arrive without friends accompanying, to reduce the number of people in the treatment room,’ she says.

‘Some salons are also asking clients not to bring coats or bags, as these might carry in the virus if they have been contaminated.

‘However it’s down to individuals and their practices, I still have space for my client’s belongings and will disinfect the space after each client.’

…but do expect a wait
Reopening may yet be a few days away, but salons are already taking bookings.

Get on it fast, or you might have to wait quite some time for an appointment.

‘We reopened our online booking system as soon as the government announcement was made and have received lots of appointment requests which is really encouraging’ says Lauren Williams, director of Grace London, which has 10 nail bars across London and Essex.

‘We’ve told our clients we won’t be accepting walk-ins to begin with and are opening for reduced hours with a limited capacity…’

Claudia Fallah, a celebrity aesthetician and skincare specialist, has also seen increased demand in the last few days.

‘As expected, some clients are very desperate to have their treatment after months of going without,’ she says.

‘That being said, others are still quite concerned and worried, and we don’t have the option to be running at full capacity, so it definitely won’t be the same business levels as pre-Covid.’

Share your health status
Similarly to the hospitality industry, people will also be required to share private details on arrival, but in more detail.

Sam adds: ‘We will be issuing health questionnaires on the day of treatments so we have the most up to date information from our clients.

‘We can then understand if they are at high risk, their current health status but also the health status of those in their bubble.

‘This is so if a client is a high risk we can adapt when their appointment is.’

Disinfection is priority number one
No need to bring your own anti-bacterial sprays or creams – salons are stocking up on copious amounts of cleaning products and PPE.

‘I have taken specific online COVID-safe courses to ensure I’m ready to welcome clients back,’ Chloé Bailey, owner of Hush Beauty and Training in Derby, says, who at present can only provide body waxing as facial treatments are not permitted.

‘I have invested in PPE, including visors, gloves, disposable aprons, wipeable couch covers, sterilising equipment sprays etc. I have always worked in a sterile environment before Covid-19, as have many who work in the beauty industry.

‘We will not have to change too much, but ensuring that staff and customers are as protected as they can be is of utmost importance in the current climate.’

Surfaces will also be cleaned between each client visit, as will touch points and other communal spaces.

Sam says: ‘We are cleaning between each client, I have opticide but some salons might also have barbicide.

‘They have different times that they need to be left on surfaces, and we will be disinfecting tabletops, client seats, and every touchpoint that a client might have come into contact with.

‘We are also now opening the window and door to increase the airflow.

‘During nail treatments, we will be using one file per client and then disposing of them.

‘This means buying in bulk, and we are also individually cutting buffers up to make pieces for different clients.’

There will also be screens in place and customers will need to wear a mask.

Lauren added: We’ve always operated with strict levels of hygiene practices such as sanitisation during treatments, thorough sterilisation of tools and thoroughly cleaning our stores several times a day.

‘However, in addition to this, we’ve had bespoke safety screens made to act as a barrier during manicure treatments (there is a gap for the client to pop their hands through) as well as full PPE for our technicians and social distancing measures in our stores.

‘We’ve put together a five-page risk assessment that every team member has read and received training on to ensure they feel confident in welcoming our clients back safely.’

What kind of beauty treatments will be offered?
While many treatments are back, there are some that the government still deems unsafe due to the risk of coronavirus spreading.

As expected, most are related to the face.

Beauty treatments that are not allowed at present

  • Waxing, sugaring or threading of the face
  • Electrical or mechanical facials
  • Dermarolling, dermaplaning and microblading
  • All eyebrow and eyelash treatments
  • Face electrolysis

Additionally, any type of makeup application to the face is off the table.

Claudia says: ‘We’re still offering the usual range of treatments, which includes advanced acne treatment designed to be used instead of steroids, cortisone or antibiotics, bio-revitalising skin repairs, non-surgical facelifts, milia removal, peels for rosacea sufferers and much, much more.

‘Thankfully, we haven’t been forced to remove any treatments from the range as we’re permitted to be using all of our equipment, so long as distancing / PPE / disinfection rules are adhered to.’

No more coffee or treats
Forget about small luxuries, there’ll be none of that (unless you bring your own snacks).

Sam says: ‘Unfortunately we can’t offer drinks or magazines anymore for our clients, so these will no longer be provided.

‘Whilst nail treatments and beauty services have changed to how clients remember them, they are safe and we are ready to welcome our clients back – we have missed you!’