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COVID-19 Guidelines for Cosmetology and Barber Licensees

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 | 11:12am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The health and well-being of both the professional salon industry and its clientele is a top priority, and the best way to help ensure that is to always practice great salon and personal hygiene -- not just during this public health emergency related to COVID-19, but always.

During this public health emergency related to COVID-19, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance reminds licensees that the ongoing operation of shops and salons is being monitored and determined by the authority of state and local municipalities and health departments working together. We encourage our licensees to stay informed by contacting your local leaders and following all recommended safety precautions.

While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has shared that for most of the American public, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. Out of an abundance of caution, the Professional Beauty Association (PBS) and the Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners Board recommend salon professionals follow these steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as seasonal colds and flu, based on collective information from both the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • Disinfection: Barbering and cosmetology state boards direct that proper cleaning and disinfection are mandatory at all times -- from tools and implements to areas with counter tops, treatment rooms, back bars, reception areas, and styling stations. Be sure to strictly follow this -- wiping down busy areas often with an antibacterial cleaner.
  • Wash Your Hands: The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to help prevent the spread of germs. Wash your hands before and after every client, after eating, using the restroom, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Keep a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer at your station as well.
  • Stay Home: Try to keep your immune system strong -- lots of vitamin C, restful sleep, and drink ample water. However, if you -- or your client -- get sick, the CDC strongly recommends to stay home. As an added measure, the PBA recommends offering your clientele a “sickness cancellation policy” during this time that does not penalize any client for cancelling their appointment due to illness.
  • Well-stocked Salon: Make sure your salon has tissue, soap, and alcohol-based hand cleansers to encourage healthful habits.
  • Hands Off/Social Distancing: During the cold and flu season, shaking hands or giving hugs to your clients and co-workers is not a good idea. Rather, tell your client that you’re practicing good hygiene and following “social distancing” protocol to help keep everyone healthy. Also, keep your hands “off” and away from your face, as that’s an easy path for transmission.
  • Signage and Communication: Post signage at the front desk, as well as in the salon break room reminding guests and employees about the importance of hygiene standards such as hand washing, sanitizer, wiping down stations after use, covering coughs, and hands-off policies. Also, it’s important to share with your clientele the precautions your salon is taking to do its part in helping to prevent the spread of the coronavirus -- during online bookings, on the phone, via text, and in person.
  • CDC: Follow the CDC for facts as they become available -- this continues to be the best source for information; www.cdc.gov.

What are the main symptoms of COVID-19?

  1. The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Find out more about symptoms from the World Health Organization. Further, symptoms generally follow the subsequent path:

    It will first infect the throat, so you'll have a sore throat lasting 3 or 4 days.
  2. The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5 or 6 days further.
  3. With the pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing.
  4. The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you're drowning. It is imperative you then seek immediate attention.

To learn more about Tennessee’s response to COVID-19 visit Governor Bill Lee’s resource page.