The beauty industry is set to drop by 2% in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19 — the biggest decline in 60 years, Globe News Wire reports. After shutting down to slow the spread of the virus, beauty industry professionals across the world are facing uncertain futures. As lockdowns begin to lift, salon owners and employees are adjusting to completely transformed work environments.
Nancy Vo was planning to open her own LA salon in March, only for the state to shut business down that month. Vo is now delivering shampoo to clients and hosting virtual hair tutorials. She’s worried about the potential second wave. “The uncertainty of the future is extremely scary,” Vo said. “With the first round of COVID-19, our livelihoods disappeared overnight. We stylists […] live paycheck to paycheck. I don’t think I can last if we shut down again. I don’t know where my future will go.”
Freelance Hollywood stylist, Ardree Merriweather, has been hurt financially by the halting of TV and movie production. He’s planning on raising costs to compensate for two months of lost income and PPE. “My PPE budget costs will go up by hundreds of dollars,” he said. “I want to make sure everything is disposable. I will also provide masks for my clients. This will be a part of my service. I will likely have to add an additional $5.”
New safety standards
Kristi Goldby, owner of Headlines Salon & Spa in the Bay Area, has been allowed to reopen with newly-implemented safety protocols. Customers must wear masks, use the sanitizing station at the door, and are denied service if they’re sick or live with someone displaying Covid-19 symptoms. The salon is attempting to socially distance as much as possible and limits the number of people occupying certain areas. Workers also continually disinfect surfaces, objects and equipment with hospital-grade cleaner — as per state and county rules.
Ongoing health hazards
Salon workers are no strangers to dangerous working conditions. They’re continually inhaling toxic fumes from acrylics, polishes and removers. In fact, people who work with acrylic nails are three times more likely to get asthma compared to workers in other industries. Many salon workers believe they’ve developed health problems as a result of their job — which puts them at higher risk from Covid-19. Now forced to return to work, salon workers are pushing for safety reforms like ventilation to protect against toxic fumes and viral particles. The California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative wants stricter standards for nail products to limit exposure to toxic chemicals. Fortunately, workers’ comp remains an effective safeguard for employees and employers. Workers’ compensation insurance helps protect your nail salon by covering the cost of medical care and lost wages if employees become injured or ill on the job. It also provides liability coverage to protect businesses from expensive lawsuits.
Covid-19 has undoubtedly turned the beauty industry upside down. Even though salons are beginning to reopen, customers may not be keen to return so soon. At this point, beauty industry professionals are taking things day-by-day without knowing what the future holds.