After months of women and men being able to do nothing with their hair except watch it grow and go back to its original color, whatever that may be, salons and barbershops across the country are now finally opening up. However, you may want to embrace your long hair or have a family member cut it because hair salons, though they are taking many safety precautions, are still considered quite risky when it comes to the transmission of COVID-19. And there is one particular activity at a hair salon that is very dangerous.
Hair salons and barbershops are considered high risk because it involves people in close contact directly breathing near you and breathing in a shared air supply for 30 minutes or more. Robyn Gershon, MHS, DrPH, a clinical professor of epidemiology at New York University’s School of Global Public Health, says to expect that salons will look quite different when they reopen as your stylist will be wearing a face shield.
And one major thing that may not even happen in a salon again for a long time is getting your hair dried with a blowdryer. Coronavirus lives on surfaces and it can live in the air for up to three hours so there is a theory that supports a blow dryer spreading the germs around even more. Michael Ben-Aderet, MD, told Prevention.com, “A blow dryer does have the potential to spread contaminated air around a room,” said Ben-Aderet.
However, he was sure to say that the hairdryer will only have this adverse effect if there is an infected person in the salon. “Unless someone coughs into a hairdryer and that spreads the droplets, it’s very unlikely.”
So in other words, go the hairdresser at your own risk but hopefully, all businesses of this nature are taking the necessary precautions like DryBar, a nationwide chain of salons that just provides blowouts. Their new regulations include:
- All employees and customers required to wear a face covering in store
- All employees and guests will get temperature checked before entering store
- Guests with a temperature above 100 degrees will be asked to cancel appointment at no charge
- Twelve hours before an appointment, guest will get a health questionnaire to ensure they don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms
- Counter will be disinfected after each guest as well as tools, products and chair
- Beverages will no longer be served
- Virtual check-in
- No walk-in appointments