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What to Expect From Nail Salons Re-Opening After Quarantine


Businesses across the country are slowly welcoming customers back through their doors, including nail salons. Although it might seem impossible to follow social distancing practices while getting a fresh manicure, salons across the country have stepped up their safety precautions to protect their clients and employees.

The CDC has a thorough list of recommendations for nail salon employers, including moving workstations to be six feet apart, installing shields or barriers between the client and employee at those stations, and limiting the amount of people allowed in at same time (say goodbye to walk-in appointments).

They also advise increasing ventilation in buildings and using portable high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration units to eliminate contaminants. Of course, consistent cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched areas is incredibly important, too.

A friend of mine just got her nails done for the first time in months and told me about how her local salon has put those recommendations (and more) into place. Things were very different before she even got out of her car.

“There’s no waiting room — you call when you get to the parking lot and they call you back when they’re ready for you to come inside,” she explained. Along with helping maintain social distancing, this takes away potential exposure to germs from things like flipping through magazines while waiting for the appointment to begin.

There were a couple new steps when she got inside, too. “As soon as you walk in, they take your temperature. If you’re all good, they have you sign a waiver form asking if you are coughing, had a fever recently, been near anyone with COVID-19, etc.” My friend was then told to wash her hands before sitting down at a workstation, which now features clear plexiglass barriers with a small section at the bottom for clients to put their hands through to the nail technicians.

The traditional books of nail color options were also taken away in order to minimize surfaces being touched. Instead, she let the nail tech know what shade she was looking for and they selected a few options for her to choose from. There was a lot of wiping down and disinfecting the station throughout the session, plus having my friend wash her hands again midway through and immediately after it was all finished. My friend said the salon also asked her to follow CDC guidelines to wear a mask the whole time she was there, as did her nail tech (something most salon employees do regardless).

My friend’s nail salon experience happened in New Jersey, but it’s likely similar to what you’ll find at places across the country right now. And frankly, it’s a relief to know salons are taking things so seriously while allowing us to finally pamper ourselves again with a fresh manicure.

Just be sure to check with your local salon to see what precautions they’ve put in place and use your best judgement before making an appointment.

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