May 14th, 2020
We all heard this week that lockdown measures are still in place for businesses that are “designed for density” which covers beauty professionals. Whether you work in a salon, on set, from home or are mobile, it is unlikely you will be able to reopen before 3rd July.
However there are plenty of things you can do to get ready for when lockdown measures are lifted and social distancing regulations are eased, to allow you to hit the ground running.
We spoke to MUAs Jennifer Jane and Alice Theobald to get their advice on what you can do in advance. These are relevant, whether you’re a makeup artist, hairstylist, barber, beauty therapist or nail technician.
Jennifer recognises that many of us are finding it hard to navigate life right now, but that we have to make the most of the situation and use the time wisely. She suggests:
- Maintaining a current and strong social presence to sustain a relationship with your audience; keep your clients and followers up-to-date with what you are doing, new products, styles or looks and general news;
- Do all the jobs you’ve been putting off! You could update your website with new content, eg images or blogs on various subjects, or you could ensure your filing and accounts are in order or use the time to do a complete stock take, clear out cupboards and check expiry dates.
- Upskill and perhaps offer new services post COVID-19. There are an abundance of online courses available that won’t break the bank
Alice agrees with doing some appropriate training, she’s just completed the Barbicide COVID-19 Certification; a free on-line course which takes less than an hour. It’s designed to ensure you understand infection control in salons, spas and barbershops.
She also recommends doing the online British Master Barbers Health & Safety Course. While you may not run a hair salon or barbershop, this is still relevant to most beauty-related settings, so is definitely worth looking at.
We also asked Jennifer about how to deal with social distancing as an MUA. Here’s what she had to say:
Social distancing will certainly prove rather tricky, especially since our industry requires physical contact but there are certain measures we can take when returning to work, however strange they may feel. On set, It has been advised that makeup artists will be required to wear FFP3 face masks, face shields and latex gloves. As a Bridal Makeup Artist myself, I will certainly be investing in a mask and gloves and hope that this will put my clients at ease. For those clients who feel too nervous to have a trial at this time, I will be offering a Zoom consultation to get the ball rolling then schedule in a face-to-face at a later date.
Jennifer also noted that as beauty professionals everyone should know how to fully sanitize kits and equipment, and again a deep clean is something that can be done during lockdown. She feels that it is even more important than ever that disposable tools are used at every opportunity. When starting to work back with clients again let them see you are using disposable tools as it will reassure them you are doing your utmost to comply and keep them safe.
The FFP3 face masks that Jennifer mentions are respirator masks, with a minimum filtration of 99% and a maximum leakage of 2% to the inside. These masks are better shaped to the face for a more snug fit and typically have a valve to help breathe as the filtration material is much thicker than other types. This type of mask is typically used for handling asbestos and is effective at protecting the wearer from viral transmission. It is not necessarily the type of mask you would want to use in a salon environment. Many different types of mask are available, suitable for a variety of uses, a link to explain the different kinds is at the end of this article.
While it wouldn’t be appropriate to provide FFP3 masks for your clients, they may feel more reassured when having a treatment to wear a face covering. There are mixed views on the effectiveness of non-medical grade face masks, but there is agreement that wearing a face covering can prevent the wearer from spreading infection. You may want to have a supply of disposable or washable masks for clients to use. If so there are many patterns to be found for free on the internet so you can sew some, craft creators are offering them ready-made for sale, or else many print companies are offering branded ones.
Bear in mind that while stocking up on masks, gloves and aprons is something you will need to do before reopening, many medical professionals are still struggling to find surgical or respirator masks and other PPE, so please think before ordering.
Many companies have started to produce hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial soap products so it should be relatively easy now to ensure you have enough stock of these for both staff and clients to use. Remember for hand sanitizer to be effective it needs to contain at least 60% alcohol.
For detailed information on the different types of masks available and their benefits and limitations, see this useful article from the Dental Nursing Journal.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have issued detailed guidelines about opening businesses and provided an on-line risk assessment template to complete. There is also a poster to remind staff about ‘Staying COVID-19 Secure in 2020‘ and show how you’re complying as a business. While you aren’t able to open your businesses just yet, it would be worth spending some time reviewing the guidelines to be able to plan how to minimise risks to clients and staff when you can reopen.
For the latest Government advice click here.
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