Is it safe to go to the hairdresser during the coronavirus pandemic?

Amidst the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, it’s important to pinpoint what our priorities are – beauty treatments included. Leading hairstylist Joey Scandizzo shares his industry advice.

We’re just about to head in to what could possibly be the eye of the coronavirus storm – more and more of us are working from home, the supermarket shelves are becoming sparse and you’re contemplating putting your gym membership on hold for a couple of weeks (even though the government says it’s safe).

There’s all this talk about social distancing, which the government describes as a way to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases, meaning less contact between you and others. Aside from staying calm, using your common sense, washing your hands and staying home if you’re feeling unwell, it’s hard to know if you’re overreacting or not being cautious enough when it comes to living our day-to-day lives – and that goes for your regular appointments, too.

If you’ve got a hair appointment coming up or you’re desperate to get your roots done you might be feeling conflicted. Unless you know the hygiene practices of your stylist and their salon it’s going to be pretty hard to let someone touch your hair. But before you put a raincheck on all of your treatments, Australian hair heavyweight, salon owner and Eleven Australia’s Co-creative Director Joey Scandizzo has some thoughts.

Like what you see? Sign up to our newsletter for more stories like this.

Conscious cleaning

Although there hasn’t been any official communication from the industry or government – bedsides upping sanitisation – it’s important to note that salons are taking cleanliness seriously. Many businesses and brands are communicating to their clients on social media and newsletters to share their approach to cleanliness and the coronavirus.

“We’re being extra diligent with how we move between clients,” says Scandizzo. “We’re currently not booking back to back clients, moving chairs further apart and taking the time to wipe down after each service area before servicing the next client.”

If you’re worried you can always ask your stylist over the phone what extra measures they’re taking before popping in to the salon. When it comes to offering clients peace-of-mind Scandizzo is offering santisied wipes to wipe down areas and mobile phones before putting them down on benches, as well as having hand sanitiser at every station. “I’m encouraging clients and staff to bring their own coffee or tea along to their appointments and their own water bottles,” he says.

The onus is on you, too

Just because you’ve been sent home for self-isolation, doesn’t mean you have time off work to catch up on errands or appointments. “If you have been sent home for self-isolation, please don’t think that still means it’s okay to get a haircut or colour service as you need to think of the health and safety of everyone around you,” says Scandizzo.

“Being a big salon with a lot of staff coming and going extra precautions need to be made and clients need to help with that, so we are asking them to stay away if they have any symptoms and we’ve sent this message to our clients and staff either verbally, through social media, email or phone.”

Go with your gut

At this stage it’s a personal choice. “Currently, we are trading as normal. We only ask that anyone experiencing viral-like symptoms stay at home and reschedule their appointment with our reception team. We’ve encouraged all staff to do the same,” he explains. “Just remember, we’re all in the same boat so there’s no judgement.”

Skipping the salon?

If you’re going to give this month’s appointment a miss, Scandizzo says a quick fix is as simple as switching up your part line or whacking on a headband.

“If you are going to skip your cut and colour, you can hide regrowth by parting your hair to the side (if you normally part in down the centre) investing in a luxe headband (the wider the better for optimum root coverage).”

There’s also the option of a DIY dye. “You can also look to colour your roots with a root touch up or even mix some make- up like a dark foundation or eye shadow and dust around your hairline! Blondes can make dry shampoo their new best friend as this blends the lines between regrowth,” says Scandizzo.

Joey Scandizzo is an Australian leading hairstylist, salon owner and co-creative Director of Eleven Australia