Your Salon Appointments Will Look a Little Different These Days, Face Masks and All

As states across the country go through their phased reopening plans and let nonessential business open their doors for the first time since the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic closed many of them in March, many people are planning their trips back to the hair and nail salons. But before you book your long overdue mani/pedi or hair color touch-up, know that beauty appointments after the coronavirus will look a little different.

Just because businesses are starting to reopen doesn't mean that things are going to go back to normal right away. As a part of many states' reopening plans, strict restrictions and guidelines have been put in place to keep the public safe. What this means is that many salons will be operating at a reduced capacity to allow for social distancing, and walk-ins will not be accepted. Along with keeping a physical distance between yourself and other customers, you'll likely be required to wear a mask or face covering at your appointment, too, to keep yourself and those around you safe.

Ahead, we tapped industry experts to find out what you can expect at your next visit when salons reopen after the coronavirus.

Do You Need to Wear a Face Mask at the Nail Salon?
Getty | Westend61

Do You Need to Wear a Face Mask at the Nail Salon?

While nail salons don't require anyone to touch or look at your face, the beauty service does involve sitting within six feet of another person for the treatment. In short, wearing a mask is a good idea.

"In California, wearing a mask [is] required for everyone, including customers and service providers at all times," said Michelle Saunders James, owner of Saunders & James Nail Care in California. "Service providers have to change masks and gloves after each service."

Do You Need to Wear a Face Mask at the Hair Salon?
Getty | Lisa Romerein

Do You Need to Wear a Face Mask at the Hair Salon?

Most face coverings secure behind the head which poses an issue for hairstylists, but you still need to wear a mask to control the spread of COVID-19. "We have to do our duty at the salon to curate our environment to the best safety habits to the best of our abilities," said Riawna Capri, co-founder of Nine Zero One Salon. "We're requiring all staff members (front desk, stylists, assistants) and all clients to wear a mask. Before clients sit down in the salon chair, we to check everyone's temperature with a temperature gun and we require clients to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer."

Many states are also requiring hair salons to limit the number of appointments they take at once. "Our job cannot be done six feet away, so we book every other station and also book in shifts," said Capri. "People should expect longer appointment times, people should also expect a possible higher ticket than normal."

Do You Need to Wear a Mask at Facials?
Getty | AJ_Watt

Do You Need to Wear a Mask at Facials?

It would be impossible to get a facial while wearing a mask, but that doesn't mean that your appointment will look exactly like it did pre-COVID-19. According to celebrity aesthetician Candace Marino, clients should follow their state's guidelines on wearing a mask when they arrive and leave the salon.

"When I begin seeing clients again I will adhere to the CDC/City guidelines in Los Angeles," said Marino. "We're required to wear masks, and then obviously, the client will unmask during the facial, while the facialist remains masked."

The new face mask policy for specialists will be in addition to the standard protocol skin-care clinicals already follow for keeping the space clean. "Generally speaking, facialists are hyper-sensitive to cleanliness," said Marino. "Not only do we want to protect our clients from all pathogens, but when you work in close proximity to clients all day, you really need to be protecting yourself to ensure your own health and safety."

Do You Need to Wear a Mask at the Dermatologist Office?
Getty | Mint Images

Do You Need to Wear a Mask at the Dermatologist Office?

Many dermatology offices have remained open during the COVID-19 closures because they are medical offices, however, they've only accepted patients for emergencies. As states reopen, those dermatology offices will begin to accept in-person patients for elective procedures. So, should you wear a mask? The answer is yes.

"I would recommend that all patients continue to wear masks from when they leave their home until they return," said Estee Williams, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai. This is especially important for anyone who is considered high risk for COVID-19.

If you're seeing the dermatologist for something that involves your face, specially around your mouth, it will be possible to remove your mask once you're in the exam room. "For certain medical procedure that require mask removal, this can safely be done as long as the other people in the room are wearing masks," said Dr. Williams.

In addition to wearing a mask, be prepared to answer a few questions upon your arrival at the office. "Patients must have their temperature checked and must fill out an exposure questionnaire and fill out a COVID consent," said Michael Gold, MD, board-certified dermatologist for LUMENIS. "This will continue for a while until we are told we do not have to do this anymore."

POPSUGAR aims to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information about the coronavirus, but details and recommendations about this pandemic may have changed since publication. For the latest information on COVID-19, please check out resources from the WHO, CDC, and local public health departments.