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What Beauty Salon and Barbershop Employees Need to Know about COVID-19

What Beauty Salon and Barbershop Employees Need to Know about COVID-19

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness (see list of symptoms) caused by a virus (SARS-COV-2).

COVID-19 can sometimes cause serious complications. People at increased risk for severe illness include:

More Info for Beauty Salons and Barbershops

How COVID-19 Spreads

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about it. Here’s what we currently know:

  • It mainly spreads from person-to-person.
    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when a person who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • You can get the virus from people who don’t seem sick or have symptoms.
  • You might be able to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your face, mouth, nose, or eyes. 

As a hair stylist, barber, massage therapist, hair braider, cosmetologist, or esthetician, you might be exposed to the virus at your job when you:

  • Provide services to clients.
  • Are in close contact with clients, coworkers, vendors, service-providers, or delivery people.
  • Touch or handle contaminated surfaces (e.g., with respiratory droplets from someone who coughed) or frequently touched items, cash, or merchandise and then touch your face, mouth, nose, or eyes.

How You Can Protect Yourself and Others

Stay home if you are having symptoms of COVID-19.

Stay at least 6 feet away from clients and coworkers, when possible.

  • Be aware of close contact with your fellow employees. Stagger times to use the break room and enter and exit the building.
  • Limit the time that you are close to others, to the extent possible (e.g., shorten appointment times, limit gatherings inside the salon, discourage clients from bringing additional people to appointments).

Wear a cloth mask in public and at work, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Cloth masks may prevent people who don’t know they have the virus from spreading it to others. Cloth masks are intended to protect other people—not the wearer. The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when cloth masks are used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing. A universal face covering policy can be effective in preventing the transmission of the virus in close-contact interactions, including within a salon.

  • Be careful when putting on and taking off cloth masks:
    • Don’t touch the cloth mask while wearing it.
    • Don’t touch your face, mouth, nose, or eyes while taking off the cloth mask.
    • Wash your hands before putting on and after taking off the cloth mask.
    • Wash the cloth mask after each use.
  • Consider carrying a spare cloth mask. If the cloth mask becomes wet, visibly soiled, or contaminated at work, it should be removed and stored to be laundered later.
  • Cloth masks should not be worn if their use creates a new risk (for example, interferes with driving or vision, or contributes to heat-related illness) that exceeds their COVID-19 related benefits of slowing the spread of the virus. Cloth masks should also not be worn by children under the age of 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unable to remove the mask without assistance. CDC provides information on adaptations and alternatives that should be considered when cloth masks may not be feasible (e.g., people who are deaf or hard of hearing, have intellectual or developmental disabilities, or sensory sensitivities).
  • If you are concerned about the use of cloth masks at your workplace, discuss your concerns with your employer.
  • Encourage clients over the age of 2 to wear cloth masks.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

  • Continue to follow applicable state regulations for health and public safety in addition to these recommendations.
  • Clean and disinfect the following items between each client:
    • Styling chairs, hair washing sinks, massage tables, credit card devices, keypads, and other items that clients routinely touch.
      • Consider using reusable chair covers. They should be laundered or cleaned and disinfected after each client.
    • All non-porous multi-use tools, such as shears, clippers, nippers, brushes, combs, etc.
  • Clean and disinfect the following areas or items on a routine basis or at least daily:
    • Countertops, doorknobs, toilets (including handles), tables, light switches, phones, faucets, bathroom sinks, keyboards, etc.
  • Use single use tools and supplies (e.g., salon capes) where possible.
  • Launder reusable fabric supplies after each use.
  • Follow the directions on the cleaning and disinfecting products’ labels, paying particular attention to proper dilution and contact times.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water afterwards.

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You don’t need to wear gloves if you wash your hands regularly (unless they are already required for your job).

  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available.
  • Wash your hands at these key times:
    • Before, during, and after preparing food
    • Before eating food
    • After using the toilet
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • After putting on, touching, or removing cloth masks
    • Before and after work and work breaks
    • Before and after each client
    • After cleaning and disinfecting

Do not touch your face, mouth, nose, or eyes.

Cover your coughs and sneezes.

  • Use tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

How to Cope with Stress

Mental health is an important part of worker safety and health. The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges in the ways many people work and connect with others, which may raise feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Information and resources about mental health, knowing signs of stress, taking steps to manage stress, and knowing where to go if you need help are available here.

How Your Employer Can Protect You

Your employer or the salon owner should develop a COVID-19 response plan and share it with you. We created a fact sheet to help your employer.