Salons have always been particularly intimate environments, where close contact is part of the job. As the year comes to a close, employees and clients are navigating a transformed landscape. But are these new salon practices an era or simply an unexpected blip? In the Burning Questions feature in the November issue of SALON TODAY, Harry D. Wood, IV, founder of Six Figure Hairdresser and Back to You, analyzes if the new normal is here to stay.

SALON TODAY: How long do you anticipate this change in service?

Wood: First, let me note that I personally took a minute to adjust to this new way of being open and wearing a mask all day. There are pros, cons and opinions. This is based on opinion in what I have seen happening as a salon coach and consultant.

I believe that some things will never be the same again, and that’s for the best. Like taking peoples temperature before they come into the salon… I think that should always remain a thing! We have always been a busy environment with standards on cleanliness. That said, I do believe that we have always been more susceptible to the flu and common colds during the seasons. I believe that will be better for us during the fall and spring due to new standards of using hand sanitizer and washing hands more frequently and cleaning stations before and after every client. I also believe that as we continue to reopen states and start to eliminate masks, it would remain in our salons best interest to continue to serve guests with masks until late summer/early fall 2021.

It is also better for our salons to remain open and keep higher safety and cleanliness standards so we can elevate our licensure and pricing accordingly. We have a professional license signed off on by the Secretary of State that allows us to practice our trade and craft just like a doctor or dermatologist. If we have the same chair-side manner and cleanliness as the medical profession, our industry could skyrocket due to this shift. Personally, I also think it’s better and safer for our clients and employees with cancer, or any other auto-immune disease, to put a safe layer between germs.

We have learned a lot from this pandemic and continue to reinvent ourselves and our businesses. We all have a story to tell. I am hopeful we will all do what’s necessary to thrive and be successful by serving our teams and clients in the safest ways necessary.

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