Is It Safe To Get A Haircut Right Now?

Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images.
During uncertain and emotional times, many people turn to a haircut for a fresh start or a feeling of control. But, as appealing as some fresh layers might sound right now, it's not the best choice for the health and safety of yourself or the community at large as we work together to curb the spread of COVID-19.
To abide by the evolving public-health measures set in place by the CDC, many salon owners are making the responsible choice to close their doors in the coming weeks to protect their staff, their customers, and all the people they might interact with following their appointments (including the elderly and immunocompromised who are most susceptible to COVID-19).
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That being said, the decision to close up shop is not a light one, and closures like these will impact many people in the service industry. That's why, if you are in a position to help, it's important to find ways to lend support to small-business owners and their employees, including your trusted hairdresser and colourist. We talked to a salon owner and consulted CDC guidelines for the best ways to protect yourself, others, and hairstylists during this time.

Skip The Salon, For Now

To support the social distancing measures in place, health experts now recommend canceling all non-essential appointments, including haircuts. The CDC's directive encourages all citizens to keep a distance of at least six feet from others to prevent furthering the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which travels from person to person and through respiratory droplets.
Of course, it's impossible for your stylist (no matter how skilled he or she may be) to trim your hair from six feet away, which is why the safest move — in the interest of avoiding all person-to-person contact and protecting your community at large — is to delay your appointment until further notice.

Consider Pre-Paying For Future Appointments

Of course, skipping a salon appointment might be a small sacrifice for you, but it can have devastating economic implications for small-business owners and stylists who have to suspend operations. If you're looking for ways to support your local salon, while still abiding by the CDC's health precautions, there are a few ways to do it, according to Krista Depeyrot, co-owner of Salon Bisoux in Washington D.C. (which has voluntarily closed its doors in the interest of public health).
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"The most helpful measure we've seen is from clients who have canceled or postponed appointments, but prepaid for them" says Depeyrot. "Buying salon gift cards helps, too, and so does bulk-buying your salon's products," she adds. "If you know you need anything — shampoo, conditioner, a hair mask — and your salon has an online platform, you can stock up there. It keeps money in the salon, so they can survive during this difficult time."

Use The Time At Home To Give Your Hair Some TLC

No one is immune to the anxiety and uncertainty that has resulted from this global pandemic, but Depeyrot says the best advice she can give, as it pertains to hair, is to make it a part of your self-care routine. "This is a terrible time and we are all stressed, but we can take this extra time at home to focus on caring for our health, and the health of our hair," she says. "When you aren’t going to your stylist to get a regular keratin or shine-gloss treatment, do a deep-conditioning hair mask at home. Or, simply take the time to gently brush through your ends after you shower."
For those wondering how to trim or colour their hair in the interim, Depeyrot cautions against the DIY approach. "Your hair will be fine without a cut for a few weeks," she explains. "I wouldn't recommend box colouring your hair at home — especially if you've never done it before — because you could end up with a costly repair job when you're able to see a professional. Instead, try a safe root touch-up option, like a powder." After all, the only people who are likely seeing your roots are the people you live with — and whoever you're talking to on Zoom — and they're all in the same boat, too.
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.

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