Whether you’re as shaggy as Cousin It or currently avoiding Zoom meetings to hide a disastrous at-home trim, the COVID-19 pandemic has many of us fantasizing about frequenting hair salons once more. And manicure fanatics who have exhausted their colour collections are just as keen.
In many parts of the country that are entering new pandemic stages and allowing personal care services to start up again, Canadians can make their dreams come true and visit their favourite reopened beauty salon. But is that a good idea?
There is no such thing as a completely risk-free salon visit while viral cases are still active in your area, population health expert Anna Bershteyn told InStyle. But from a psychological standpoint, expecting all Canadians to stay inside as cases trend downward is a tall ask for those experiencing pandemic fatigue: An Angus Reid poll found that only 36 per cent of Canadians are steering clear of all public spaces, as the majority did in March. More than half of respondents said they are spending time outside, while continuing to practice social distancing.
For those set on making a hair or nail appointment at this time, there are ways to reduce the risk of transmission. Like grocery stores, many reopened salons are enforcing protective rules and changed their operations in order to keep customers safe. Here’s what you should do before booking with your favourite stylist or technician:
1. Read your area’s safety guidelines
Depending on what stage they’re in, rules for how businesses should be operating will differ depending on what their local and provincial health authority has deemed necessary.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit, for example, has a checklist of required measures that salons should follow, which include screening staff for COVID-19 symptoms prior to their shifts, a ban on beard trimmings (as they involve mask removal), frequent hand washing, and using barriers or limiting people inside in order to keep distance in...