NJ Salons and Spas to Reopen June 22

Say goodbye to bad hair days (but hello to new rules and safety precautions.)

Photo via Shutterstock

If you’ve been anxiously waiting for Garden State hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and spas to reopen, you can circle Monday, June 22, on your calendar. That’s when local beauty experts are permitted to offer haircuts, hair color, manicures and other services, as long as they comply with state-mandated standards.

But be prepared for a dramatic makeover of industry practices.

“At our Madison salon, we’re complying with new rules by removing half of our hairstylists’ chairs to ensure six feet between stations,” says master stylist Salvatore Minardi, owner of Salvatore Minardi Salon and a member of the executive board of the Intercoiffure America/Canada professional organization.

Since the state’s new distancing regulations potentially reduce a salon’s daily revenue by as much as 50 percent, and because only half of the staff is permitted to be present on any given day, some hairstylists will opt to work staggered days, with some salons open seven days a week.

Statewide, all salon/spa staff and clients will need to wear masks, and clients will not be permitted inside reception areas. (Most will be notified via cellphone when it’s their turn to enter from the parking lot.) Minardi, like other salon owners around the state, is installing large sheets of clear plastic between stations.

“It’s important for clients to spend as little time in a salon as possible,” says Minardi. “Therefore, some salons will ask clientele to arrive with their hair already shampooed, combed out and still damp.”

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Other significant safety protocols include the proper use of Barbicide solution and/or UV sterilizers to sanitize, sterilize and disinfect all beauty tools. (Barbicide now offers an official Covid-19 certification—expect participating salons and spas to prominently post theirs.)

And when it’s time to settle your salon tab, be prepared to pay a potential Covid-19 surcharge of $3 to $10, assessed by some businesses to help defray the thousands of dollars they are spending on personal protective equipment (PPE) and other safety materials.

Other beauty and wellness providers are also gearing up to reopen. “To make sure our staff is up to speed on all the new policies and procedures by June 22, they’ve been performing guideline-adhering massage and other bodywork services on each other,” says Eric Pallop, owner of Massage Envy franchises in Freehold, Brick and Toms River.

“We’re fortunate here in New Jersey that 70 percent of our nationwide Massage Envy locations have already reopened, so we can optimize those learnings,” Pallop adds. “Already there’s pent-up demand for massage therapy to relieve stress as well as chronic pain, so we anticipate an end-of-June opening for our first wave of business. Whether that high demand for bodywork and skincare services will continue in the long run remains to be seen.”

Pallop adds, “Because of the significant numbers of Covid cases here in New Jersey, we have been extremely diligent to go above and beyond the CDC guidelines to ensure the safest environment for our employees and clients.”

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