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A New Look: A Trip to Your Local Barbershop, Salon

May 12, 2020

Does anyone’s things-to-do list when Connecticut’s economy reopens not include a haircut?

If barbershops and hair salons open June 1, as now scheduled, things will be different. Do not expect, or ask for, “the usual.” You won’t get it. Your experience is going to be much different, probably for a long time.

In Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan, barbershops and hair salons will open at 50 percent capacity and require an appointment. No walk-ins. Waiting rooms will be closed. Your barber or stylist can offer services limited to hairdressing and eyebrows. You must wear a face mask, which means no beard-trimming or lip-waxing. But blow-drying is OK!

Here are more guidelines:

  • Hand sanitizer at the entrance.
  • Employees must wear a face mask or other cloth face covering and a face shield.
  • Tools must be disinfected between customers.
  • Work areas must be spaced at least 6 feet apart.
  • Gloves are optional, but when used must be changed between customers.
  • Increase ventilation rates and the percentage of outside air circulating into the system, when possible. If no air conditioning, try to bring in outside air by opening doors and windows.
  • Install social -distancing markers to encourage customers to remain 6 feet apart.
  • Employees must not share equipment, whenever possible.
  • No magazines, newspapers or other waiting-room material.
  • No refreshments, such as coffee or water, for customers.
  • No coat rooms. Customers should bring all belongings to the workstation where they will receive service.
  • Signs, clearly visible, that include the new policies.

The state is also encouraging contactless payment and touchless appliances such as paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers and trash cans. It’s asking employers to stagger work shifts, breaks and lunch to minimize contact among employees. It also wants employers to maintain a log of employee work shifts to support contact tracing.

To increase confidence in public safety, barbershops and hair salons are being asked to complete self-certification through the state Department of Economic Community Development. Business owners can then post a Reopen CT badge in their workplace and on social media.

The bottom-line guideline remains adequate personal protective equipment. Any business that does not have it cannot open.

For the customer, the biggest change might be a restriction on a barbershop-salon staple we’ll call spirited conversation. The state would like to limit communication between the customer and employee within 6 feet.

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