Is it Safe to Get a Haircut During the COVID Pandemic?
Summer is coming to an end and school is starting for a lot of kids across the country. And while school may look different for a lot of people this year, it’s still important to make sure that your hair looks good for that first day of classes.
Whether that first day of class is in-person or virtual, this is likely the first time for kids and young adults to see their teachers, old friends, and meet new friends. While learning to practice social distancing over the last six months, many of us have let haircuts fall by the wayside and are sporting some pretty unruly hair styles. What better way to make a great first impression than with a stylish haircut?
Whether you’re starting school or still working from home, you may be wondering if it is safe enough to go to the barber shop or salon to get a trim. And while the answer is not as straight forward as most people would like, we wanted to put together some of our thoughts on the subject and let you know what you can do to ensure that you’re staying as safe as possible when venturing out of the house for a haircut.
Is Getting a Haircut During COVID Safe?
As we mentioned above, the answer to that question is not as straight forward as it should be. While some states within the U.S. are doing better with their COVID plans, a lot of states are still seeing upticks in their numbers as things begin to open back up and people become more comfortable to the idea that COVID doesn’t pose as big of a risk as the media may be portraying.
While we will not argue the differing opinions of citizens in this country, we, as doctors, understand the importance of basing all reactions on the science, rather than opinions. We structure our business based around the guidelines presented by the CDC, and the majority of businesses in the country are doing the same.
Barbershops and salons were able to reopen with some of the same guidelines that other businesses need to adhere by. These include mask wearing for all employees and patrons of the business, social distancing of 6-ft, frequent disinfecting, and cleansing of high traffic touchpoints, as well as things like staggering appointments and limiting capacity.
If your barbershop or salon is adhering to these safety standards set forth by the CDC, then it should be safe to get your haircut during the COVID pandemic.
However, there are some things you should be aware of when you go to get your haircut.
1. Don’t Remove Your Mask
We understand that it might be hard to keep your mask on while getting your haircut, but for your safety and the safety of those around you, you should keep it on. If the stylist needs to get under the mask strap in order to complete a part of the haircut, just move the strap from your ear so that they can do their work and then put it back in place. Do not remove the face mask from your mouth and nose.
This rule affects beard and mustache trims. In most states barbers and stylists are not allowed to perform these types of services now because they would require removing your mask. Be prepared to possibly finish trimming your beard at home.
2. Don’t Bring Anyone With You To The Appointment (Unless it’s for a child)
Unless you are bringing a child to get a haircut, or someone who is unable to transport themselves to the salon alone, you should not bring guests. Most people don’t normally bring other family members with them when they go to the barber or the salon, but now more than ever, guest are not allowed inside and will be asked to wait in their vehicle.
The number of people inside the building getting haircuts, or waiting for their appointments, should be kept at a minimum. Limiting the number of people in a salon will help everyone stay safe. This also pertains to children that might not be getting a haircut. Don’t bring siblings to another child’s appointment if possible. We know that’s not always possible, in that case they will need to practice social distancing and children will need to wear masks at all times.
3. No Walk-Ins – Make an Appointment
Most salons and barbershops will not accept any walk-in clients at this time, so be sure that you call ahead of time and make an appointment. This is to help minimize the number of people inside the business at a time, and also to allow for time to clean up and sanitation following each visitor.
COVID is still a threat to our country and it’s clear that the elderly are most at risk, but it can affect anyone. If you are in a high-risk age group, have an underlying health condition, or refuse to wear a mask, then you may want to reconsider getting a haircut at this time.
For men with simple hair styles, maybe pick up a set of clippers and give yourself a haircut. Dr. Krejci’s teenage son is quite proud of his fade shaving skills gained from YouTube during this pandemic! If you get good at it, it could help you save some money and reduce your need to leave the house.
For women it’s a little more difficult. Cutting a woman’s hair requires a certain finesse that comes with years of practice and education. So if those gray roots are getting you more depressed, you may feel it absolutely necessary to visit the salon, just be sure to practice safe habits.
Remember, just because you may not be at high-risk of suffering from COVID, you could still potentially infect someone who is. Parents, grandparents, diabetics, obese, and those with underlying heart conditions can become extremely sick from this disease even if you might not.
Practice good hygiene – wash your hands and don’t touch your face – and wear a mask in public when social distancing isn’t an option, and you will drastically reduce your risk of getting sick or getting someone else sick.