EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Got greys? Flyaways? Unruly poufs that defy the laws of gravity? Well, there’s good news, salon devotees, for the future of your follicles. After three months of lock down, NJ’s approximately 10,000 hair and nail salons are back in business. The state’s beauty shops have been given the go-ahead to sharpen their scissors, turn on their trimmers, and reopen their doors on June 22. But while salons may be open, getting rid of those roots is going to be a decidedly different experience.
Below, Steven Camins, owner of Drama Salon, the popular East Brunswick-based hair salon he has owned and operated for nearly 30 years, explains what to expect when returning to your favorite salon.
Your Salon Might Not Look the Same
“Most salons are going to look and feel very different,” says Camins, who like most salon owners in the Garden State, has already invested thousands of dollars in signage, PPE, protective equipment such as Plexiglass shields, sanitizer stations, disposable gloves, seat covers, towels, robes, face masks, face shields, and the holy shrine of sanitation – cleaning agents. “We’ve spent the last few months stocking up so that our clients can feel secure knowing that when they return, we’ll be sanitizing all day long.”
There’s Going to Be A Few More Rules…
Camins says that due to social distancing guidelines, clients will be seated at least 6 ft or more apart, traffic may flow in one direction, and everyone will be wearing face masks at all times. "We’ll also be taking the temperature of our clients and our staff," says Camins. “We’re doing whatever it takes to make sure we’re following the guidelines and procedures suggested by the CDC, as well as our local and state officials.”
Appointments Are Going to Be Harder to Come By
“There’s a saying that’s been going around, ‘access is the new luxury,’” says Camins, who explains that salons like his are radically changing their schedules to ensure that safety is the number-one priority for his team and his clients – even if it means reducing the numbers of appointments available each day because stylists are working shorter, staggered shifts. Despite the challenging logistics, Camins says one thing that won’t change is the salon experience. “We’re doing everything we can to ensure our clients have a relaxing and enjoyable experience when they visit,” he says.
You’ll Need to Make an Appointment
Like free coffee, water coolers and glossy magazines, “Walk-ins are not possible during these extreme times,” says Camins, who explains since most salons have now removed their waiting areas and replaced them with sanitizing stations. “We’re also asking our clients to call us when they arrive and then wait in their car until we call to let them know it’s their turn. After that, we’ll be happy to welcome them in.”
You’ll Be Asked to Arrive Alone – And Prepare for a Virtual Hug
The days of bringing an entourage along to your appointment are long gone. “Clients should come alone; no kids, friends, or other forms of moral support,” says Camins, who says that although virtual hugs will be offered instead of real ones – the sentiment is still very real. “We’re lucky that our clients are wonderful, they’ve been extremely understanding and patient while we’ve had to reinvent the ways we conduct our business.”
Expect More Services and More Hours to Be Available
To accommodate the safety protocols and new, reduced occupancy limits, Camins says that salons across NJ are pivoting. “We’ve expanded our hours, and are introducing new services such as express color,” says Camins, who says his team of stylists and assistants have spent their COVID-19-imposed hiatus brushing up on the latest safety and sanitizing procedures, and everyone has received new safety-certifications. “Just like hair trends come and go, we know our ‘new normal’ is going to be in a state of constant evolution. But after all this time of being out of work, we’re just really excited to be back in business, and we can’t wait to see our customers again,” says Camins.
For more information, visit DramaSalon.com