Keeping up with beauty during the coronavirus pandemic

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MACOMB COUNTY, MICHIGAN — Within the time it takes to style hair, conversation can build to the point of friendship. Stephanie Sherman, Hair Stylist at Gracie’s Salon in Shelby Township, explained the bond that she has with her clients, no matter what their age is. Sherman said that keeping herself and her clients safe is extremely important to stylists and their salons. 

While many businesses have been affected by COVID-19, the beauty industry is one that has been having to deal with regulations that impact all ages, while also requiring close contact to perform their work. New regulations have caused customers and beauty professionals to re-think safe approaches to continue. 

The CDC guidelines for beauty salons place emphasis on wearing masks and checking temperatures on a daily basis. To decrease the potential spread of COVID-19 through touch, beauty salons are also told to clean high touch surfaces, as well as parts, products and shared equipment, as much as possible. It is also important that salons decrease in-person traffic as much as possible.

“We started using a texting app through the salon website for our scheduling so that we can text our clients straight from our computer,” said Heather Misiakowski, co-owner and stylist at Paul Mitchell the salon. “They will let us know when they arrive and then we can let them know when to come in so that it avoids anyone sitting up at the front desk or at the waiting area.”

While new appointment protocols for beautician professionals can be one change, another is the growing popularity of do-it-yourself methods. Laura DiMilo Niles, a hair stylist at Tru Luxe Salon and Spa in Macomb, Michigan, stated that “Some [clients] have learned to do their own home hair coloring.”

Those who are returning clients in the industry, but also have underlying health conditions, must be especially considerate of their safety. Although each of these beauticians have said that they’ve seen steady declines in the older age sectors’ attendance, one woman recently decided to embrace its luxuries for a very special occasion. 

“She was turning 100-years-old that day,” stated Sherman. “She is the mother of one of the ladies that I work with in the salon. She has been a client with us since her daughter graduated from beauty school over 40 years ago.”

This 100-year-old comes in every Friday to Gracie’s Salon to get a wash and roller set. Because she can’t do her own hair, her daughter does so for her at the salon. According to Sherman, Gracie’s salon’s older clientele usually come in weekly for a wash and style. 

“It makes such a difference when you look good, because you feel good,” said Misiakowski.

Listen to Heather Misiakowski on COVID-19 cleaning procedures