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We’re all missing our stylists right now (just ask my 6-inch grown-out roots). In fact, 89% of Mindbody consumers say they plan on returning to their previous beauty routines—including salon visits—post-shutdown, and they’re most excited to get their hair done.
But, many of us may also be a little apprehensive about re-entering brick and mortar salons as they start to reopen. Although many states are still mandating closures and shelter-in-place, some are slowly starting to allow salons to open their doors—with some new adjustments.
To gain some insights into what "the new normal" looks like, and what you can expect from your first trip back to the salon, we chatted with Amanda Collier, a Mindbody Regional Sales Manager and Georgian resident who just ventured out to her first visit. Follow along as we go through her journey at The Salty Mane, in Alpharetta.
The Salty Mane is a very popular salon, with 15.5k followers on their Instagram account. They offer custom color, haircuts, and hand-tied extensions from a number of super talented stylists. I’ve been going to this salon for years, and I was really excited to see a post on their Instagram saying they’d be reopening as soon as the state government allowed it.
The post on their Instagram notified followers to text the salon to make an appointment, so I did that as soon as I saw it. I received a manual text back asking what services I’d like to book and when—and be quick, because they’d have to move along to the next person. According to the owner, they received over 450 text messages and 45 voicemails in a matter of 30 minutes, as well as a list of 275 clients waiting for treatments.
I received a confirmation email 24 hours later with information about their cancellation and no-show policies, and assurance that stylists would be wearing masks. I texted the salon personally to ask if I had to wear a mask as well, and they said no.
They told us to wait outside in our cars and enter the salon at the exact time of our scheduled appointments. No one was in the waiting room, and I didn’t have to cross paths with other clients or sit next to them while waiting. It was a quick, easy, and efficient process.
I had gone seven months without any hair salon visits due to traveling and then shutdown, so I went with a full foil and haircut. It took a few hours to complete, which is expected. They did double book as usual, and the assistant helped so they could get to both of us; however, we were distanced 10 feet apart per the governor’s orders.
They did not wear gloves, but all the stylists wore masks. It honestly felt like COVID didn’t exist for a bit, and it was just a regular day at the salon. I kind of wish I wore a mask myself for extra precaution, but I did feel safe while I was there.
Every time anyone moved stations, everything was cleaned. So, if I got up to go get my hair washed, they would disinfect the area immediately. It is a huge salon, and I believe stations were already 6 feet apart pre-shutdown, but now they were even more spread apart to the 10-foot legal requirement. I did not feel close to any of the other clients.
It was definitely weird being back in a business—which is only natural—but at the same time, it felt totally normal. I felt safe the entire time, and no one seemed especially nervous or anything like that. The only thing I would do differently if I could redo it would be bringing my own mask, just for that extra layer of safety. But again, it was thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, so it wasn’t a huge deal.
Aside from my stylist and her assistant, the only other person I had to be close to was the front desk associate, as she helped me with checkout at the end. I also had to touch the pin pad to pay, which wasn’t ideal, but also expected.
Totally fine! I felt like I was in a little bubble where COVID didn’t exist. Other than it being a little quieter than normal (probably because of the added distance), it felt like business as usual and a regular day at the salon. I’d totally feel safe and comfortable going back. Plus, my hair looks great.
Well, there ya have it—a real-life in-salon experience.
During shelter-in-place, people have been less likely to prioritize beauty/grooming—78% say it’s either low priority, or something they only sometimes prioritize. But now that businesses are opening up again, it's clear there's high demand for beauty. It's time to feel confident again!
Keep these insights in mind when you see salons start to reopen near you and make your own judgment! It’s all about doing what’s best for you and staying safe, happy, and comfortable (but, please. No more DIY bangs).
Have your own at-home beauty stories to share in the meantime? Tag #HomeBeauty and @mindbody on Instagram for a chance to be featured!
And If you’re curious, check out what it’s like for other salons opening in Georgia.
Tipping. While it can be a taboo topic that no one really wants to talk about publicly, the fact is, it’s a very important one that shouldn’t (and can’t) be avoided. This is all too true, especially now, when it comes to beauty services. Even before, “all of this” happened, there appeared to be some ambiguity about exactly how much to tip, when, what’s a respectable amount, and why. Now that we’ve tried our best at #homebeauty, it’s time to head back to the salons, spas, and other boutique beauty businesses (if you haven’t already). We’re here to guide you through gratuity in the new normal and why tipping a little extra to show your stylists and service providers you care during this tough time is the right thing to do.
To make sure we get you all the right answers, we asked around about it (so you don’t have to). Turns out, our Instagram followers had a lot to say about how to tip your stylists and show them some extra love right now.
Here’s what you think:
79% of you said you’ve been tipping more for beauty services recently. We’re all so grateful for our stylists—with split ends, grown-out roots, out-of-control brows, and terrible home-cut bangs to prove it. And now that many of us can return to our salons and spas, we’re appreciating the ones who help us feel beautiful even more right now.
We got a range of responses to this question. Some said they tip 5% more than they previously did, and many said 25%-35% total! Not only are these stylists actual artists, but they’re providing services we just can’t do ourselves. On top of that, many had to close their doors for several months, many were displaced as their salons shut down for good, and all of them are trying their best to get back to a sense of normalcy and do what they do best—help us look and feel beautiful. So, take this as a guide. Tip what you can but remember how much these wonderful people do for us.
When it comes to trying new services, 69% of you gave it a big fat NO, while 31% remain intrigued. It makes sense that many would stick to their go-tos right now, as salons are just starting to reopen in some areas or may not be open yet at all.
Depending on where you live and your overall health, you might be sticking with the bare minimum for now. But if your city has put in place safe reopening guidelines and measures, and you feel ready to head back out there, you can do so safely at a Mindbody salon. And you may be interested in trying out some new services right now as a way to show your local salons some extra support. If that’s you, browse beauty on the Mindbody app—and filter your categories to find out what’s out there.
Another way you can support your stylists right now? Shopping. It’s the safest way to show them some love without actually going in for a treatment. Many salons offer pre-payment on the Mindbody app and curbside pickup or a plethora of shipping methods, so you can keep contact to a minimum as much as possible. Plus, they have some pretty great stuff. If you need to invest in a good shampoo—especially because you haven’t gotten your hair done in months—so why not buy it from your stylist? According to our poll, it’s a pretty even split. 55% of you haven’t bought any products yet, while the other 45% have been shopping away. If you’re part of that 55, consider checking out your salon’s product offerings (you might see something you like).
Finally, we asked you all open-endedly how else you’re supporting your stylists right now. We got a lot of great answers. There was a lot of overlap, but we thought you might like to see some of the ones that stood out. So, if we didn’t cover it all so far, we’re about to—because you all are awesome and you did it for us. Here are some of the great ideas you had:
• “Paying in advance!”
• “Being more diligent about scheduling appointments versus letting my hair grow out”
• “Referring friends!”
• “Being flexible” (this is a good one—check out the 5 things your stylist wants you to know before you book)
• “Scheduling my next cut before I leave!”
• “Sharing their photos on Instagram and telling friends!”
So, if you’re a stylist reading this, thank you. We all want to continue showing you support during this time and beyond. And if you’re a regular person like me who really needs her highlights done, just schedule the damn appointment already (if you feel comfortable) or buy some purple shampoo from your favorite salon.