ARCHIVED WEBPAGE: This web page is available for historical purposes. CDC is no longer updating this web page and it may not reflect CDC's current COVID-19 guidance. For the latest information, visit CDC's COVID-19 home page.

Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, get vaccinated as soon as you can and wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
UPDATE
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
UPDATE
The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.
UPDATE
Travel requirements to enter the United States are changing, starting November 8, 2021. More information is available here.

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.

When to Clean

Cleaning with products containing soap or detergent reduces germs on surfaces and objects by removing contaminants and may weaken or damage some of the virus particles, which decreases risk of infection from surfaces.

Cleaning high touch surfaces and shared objects once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove virus that may be on surfaces unless someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 has been in your facility. Disinfecting (using disinfectants on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s List Nexternal iconexternal icon) removes any remaining germs on surfaces, which further reduces any risk of spreading infection.  For more information on cleaning your facility regularly and cleaning your facility when someone is sick, see Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility

When to Disinfect

You may want to either clean more frequently or choose to disinfect (in addition to cleaning) in shared spaces if certain conditions apply that can increase the risk of infection from touching surfaces.

If there has been a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in your facility within the last 24 hours, you should clean AND disinfect the space.

Use Disinfectants Safely

Always read and follow the directions on how to use and store cleaning and disinfecting products. Ventilate the space when using these products.

Always follow standard practices and appropriate regulations specific to your facility for minimum standards for cleaning and disinfection. For more information on cleaning and disinfecting, see Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility.

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.