The One Thing You Absolutely Have to Do Before Visiting a Salon

This is what the CDC recommends you do before you book that manicure or pedicure.

Even states that were under the strictest lockdowns have begun to slowly reopen, which means non-essential services that were temporarily unavailable are an option again—like getting a manicure or pedicure. Many Americans who enjoy regular nail salon visits had to give them up due to coronavirus precautions. If you're desperate to get your nails done, you're certainly not alone. Salons in several states are subject to certain requirements, including having both employees and patrons wear masks and limiting capacity. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also provided guidelines for salon-going, to mitigate the risk of infection. Among those guidelines is a very simple first step that essential to follow: If you plan on visiting any kind of salon amid coronavirus, you should call ahead to make an appointment.

Under its recommendations for visiting nail salons, the CDC first advises, "Book services in advance to remove the need for waiting in a lobby with other people," a rule which should be extended to other businesses as well. While you may be in the habit of pre-booking haircuts and color sessions but walking in for manicures, the pandemic should change that behavior. Chances are, your salon isn't large enough for clients to be able to maintain six feet of proper social distance while they wait on a technician to be available. And as social distancing is key to a safe reopening, you should still be making every effort as you go about your errands. The CDC also notes that you should confirm over the phone that technicians will be wearing masks, wash your hands frequently, and avoid paying with cash, if you can.

woman getting a manicure

Also keep in mind that salons have a long list of clients who want to be taken care of right away. Remember that they've probably been inundated with requests for appointments and try to be patient as they catch up with demand—especially if they're operating at a fraction of their usual capacity. "We are trying our best to accommodate everyone, considering," Veronica Tapia, owner of Jersey Curl Salon, previously told Best Life. "It's as if we are opening a whole new salon under different guidelines, while being as careful as we can for both our staff and clients."

Tapia also noted that the pandemic has impacted the supply chains that bring salons like hers the products that they use. While her salon is just for hair and waxing, nail salons are experiencing similar demand. Booking in advance helps salons to be able to plan as best as they can for the business day ahead.

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In addition to being courteous to the salon employees and other patrons, calling ahead to make sure you can be seen is also practical for you. In some states, salons are forbidden from letting customers use their waiting area, so you may just be sent right back out the door if you arrive unannounced. Getting an appointment on the books may require some patience, but at least you can be confident that you won't waste hours of your day waiting for a walk-in slot, or put yourself in harm's way. And for more changes in your beauty routine, here are 7 Things You'll Never See at Your Hair Salon Ever Again.

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Sage Young
Sage Young is Best Life's Senior SEO Editor. Read more
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