7 Things You'll Never See at Your Hair Salon Ever Again

Client cards and multitasking stylists will be things of the past for hair salons after coronavirus.

It's hardly a reach to acknowledge that the coronavirus pandemic will change our lives completely—even when businesses fully reopen. In addition to substantial changes to large-scale environments where people gather en masse—like office buildings and amusement parks—changes will reach into smaller and less dense environments, too, including your hair salon, which is going to look different after coronavirus.

Long considered an intimate environment in which secrets are swapped and relationships are built during the grooming process, look for hair salons to become places where much more distance is practiced between people and their possessions. Experts predict salons will be more digital—and less personal. Here are the other ways professionals expect hair salons will change because of the pandemic. And for more insight into how the world will look in the coming months, check out these 10 Weird Ways Life Will Be Different After the Coronavirus Lockdown.

No more client cards

Client handing card at salon

Although hard copies of client cards were already a relic of a pre-digital age, many salons still used them—but you're not likely to see them again after the pandemic, as reopened salons implement strategies to reduce contact.

"Customers will never touch another client form to fill out," says Kandice ShaRhea, an independent stylist and professional educator for Sexy Hair. She expects that iPads or other digital management systems will collect customers' information, including color formulation and other notes. "You won't be seeing paper documents swapped … from stylist to consumer anymore." And for businesses to avoid after reopening, learn which 7 Places You Shouldn't Visit Even If They're Open.

No more expansive retail areas

Hair products

Many salons have long used a portion of their real estate to sell hair products, tools, and other retail items. But thanks to the impact of coronavirus, you can expect these areas to change, become more limited, or even disappear altogether. "Retail areas may be limited or placed behind glass to prevent touching from clients," ShaRhea speculates. She also estimates that some salons will find creative ways to use technology in their existing retail spaces "to prevent handling of products to minimize the spreading of germs."

As retail areas change, so will waiting areas, reducing designated space for people to congregate, she says. And to find out how other retail spaces will change, discover 7 Things You Won't See at Retail Stores Ever Again After Coronavirus.

No more shared magazines

Woman reading a magazine in hair salon

If you enjoyed getting your fill of celebrity weeklies or aspirational travel magazines while you waited for your color to process, you'll have to get your own subscription to keep up that practice. That's because salons are unlikely to offer magazines for shared use, given the potential exposure to risk from multiple people touching them.

"Many salon clients are accustomed to flicking through a couple of magazines while waiting for their turn with the stylist, but that's going to change post-pandemic," says Adina Mahalli, a hair and skincare expert with Maple Holistics. "Magazines, and any shared items in the salon, are a hotbed for germs. Shared items such as magazines definitely top the list of items that probably won't be returning to salons."

No more cash tipping

Cash tip

If you always made sure to carry cash to tip your stylist—even if you paid for the bulk of your service on a credit card—it's time to rethink that approach. Rather than view it as a courtesy, stylists may now view cash tips as a liability. Sayuri Tsuchitani of Beverly Hills' Headspa EN notes that cash is considered by many to be "dirty," and the additional hand-to-hand contact risky and unwelcome. And for more objects you should avoid touching, here are 7 Things You'll Never Want to Touch Again After the Coronavirus.

No more multitasking stylists

Hair salon

To manage what can be intricate timelines, stylists often work as small teams—perhaps with an assistant taking over some steps of the process, or stylists working in tandem as a way to share products, equipment, space, and manage schedules. But Tsuchitani expects that the effects of the pandemic will eliminate those multitasking processes as a way to reduce contact between people during services. Similarly, chairs will be farther apart, so there will be fewer clients in the space to work on at a given time, anyway.

No more snacking during services

Woman having a cup of tea or coffee at hair salon

If your hair involves a multistep color process, you might be accustomed to blocking out hours of time for an appointment—so you're used to bringing along a snack. Additionally, many salons offer beverages to clients, including water, coffee, tea, and sometimes even wine. But all of those things are likely to fall victim to the coronavirus, Tsuchitani says, as part of new protocols to minimize the potential for virus transmission.

No more intimacy


Overall, you might expect hair salons to become more about the business of grooming and less places to develop personal relationships and exchange conversation. Tsuchitani expects there will be "no more hugs, kisses, and handshakes before clients leave, to avoid touch."

And even contact-free conversation will become more limited. She predicts "less talking to avoid the spread of any kind of virus, which makes me sad." Surely, she speaks for stylists and clients alike. And if salons near you aren't open yet, try these 7 Expert Tips for Giving Yourself a Haircut While in Quarantine.

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Alesandra Dubin
Alesandra Dubin is a lifestyle editor and writer based in Los Angeles. Read more
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