Phase 1 is Here: Is Hair Really Essential?
If this pandemic didn't teach me anything else, what it did teach me as a beauty service provider is that Americans are vain AF. People were literally willing to risk their lives for a hair cut and root touch up. Now I understand that I can be biased because I can do majority of my own services being a licensed cosmetologist so let me put that out there; but man, people were seriously choosing hair over life. With this virus being asymptomatic, it is so risky because we can have it and not even know it. Live everyday just fine and then spread it to someone who won't be so lucky. That is how I viewed it - but there were a lot of people who couldn't care less about all of that. The only thing that mattered were their own vanity in that moment; or the money stylists and barbers were losing because they couldn't work. Well the vain and the unemployed can be united again because salons and barber shops are included in Phase I of re-opening.
So what does this mean? Well, nothing more than everyone who wanted services to feed their ego can now get them. Ok, it means more than that but that is the main part. Here is what else most can expect:
Longer Wait Times - salons and shops are opening but have a TON of things to do to make sure everyone is safe and their space and tools are disinfected and sanitized (even sterilized). You can expect at LEAST 10 minutes before and after each client to be up to code. Checking temperatures, spraying and wiping down everything, waiting for products to properly sanitize, etc. It will take a ton of extra time which will cause longer wait times.
Increased Rates for Services - with all the PPE needed to keep up with the demands put out by the State Board of Cosmetology, this will cut in profits MAJORLY meaning the increase in spending has to be made up somehow; this means increased rates (if they are smart). No business is in business to take losses everyday so having to buy touchless thermometers, disposable capes and smocks, extra disinfectants and tools, masks, etc. is just going to cause stylists and barbers to spend a lot more money on top of the money they were already spending to be in business. With all the things outlined in the previous point, this also means less clients can be taken in a day which equals less money being made in a day. Less money made + more money spent = increased rates. It only makes sense.
Providers Being Booked + Busy - people have been waiting MONTHS to be rescheduled or scheduled period and that will reflect in the calendars of every barber and stylist out there. New appointments will have to wait at least 3 months and if the provider was already someone who was booked 6+ months out, you're now looking at 9+ months to get in some chairs. You thought pre-pandemic was bad? Post-pandemic will be a nightmare for getting on the books (unless you were already on the books).
Clients Jumping Around - we service providers like to believe in client loyalty, and most of the time is exists, but desperate times call for desperate measures. People who can't get an appointment for months will absolutely go to whomever is available to get their vanity fix. Let's just hope they are jumping to people who are following the guidelines to keep people safe.
A Raise in Cases - let's be real here, every service provider will NOT be following guidelines to keep people safe. They didn't care about sanitation before so you know they won't care much now. The reality is, most of these things should have been in place before (outside of a few exceptions) and a lot of service providers are simply nasty. They will spread the virus and cases will rise. Period.
For myself, I won't be offering services this month but I also work solo in a private studio so if I did, I am certain my space would be easier to keep clean and sterile. There are many eager to open just as there are many who are waiting. So chime in, how do you feel about the salons and barber shops opening? Do you think beauty services are worthy of being open in Phase I? Is vanity that important? Let me know!