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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.
February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.
While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support.
Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.
The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.
At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads.
Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.
Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins.
Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days.
Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.
Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well!