On 31st March 2021, the government updated the close contact services guidelines.
Although my last risk assessment factored most of these changes in, the differences have been addressed below.
To avoid transmission of COVID -19 within an enclosed space, as before, all windows in every room will be open. Since my salon chair is in the hallway, there are no windows, and I can not keep the front door open due to neighbours. But when all the windows are open, there is a nice breeze through the hallway. I will also use fans.
The toilet is cleaned before each client arrives and after it has been used. There is always plenty of soap available in the bathroom and paper towels to dry your hands.
Providing and explaining available guidance.
I email each client a link to this post to have clear guidance on expected client behaviours, social distancing and hygiene, as well as a COVID screening questionnaire.
You must be prepared to remove your facemask if asked by a police officer or staff for identification purposes.
Since it's just me, there is no need to worry about queues. But as always, if you arrive early, message me from your car, and I will let you know when to come in.
Inform all clients that police and local authorities have the power to enforce requirements concerning social distancing. They may instruct the client's to disperse, leave an area, issue a fixed penalty notice or take further enforcement action.
I take two rapid lateral flow tests a week. There is no other staff.
Supporting NHS track and trace
There is an official NHS QR poster displayed on the wall as you enter the salon for all clients to use with the NHS APP to check in. So I can ensure your check-in was successful, please show me the green tick on your screen. If you can't use the app due to your job or don't want to use it, I will send you a form to fill in for track and trace. Please note this data must be kept for 21 days and will be given to the NHS Test and Trace if it is requested. Your data will not be used for any other purpose and will be kept safe in line with the General Data Protection Regulations.
Keeping client's and visitors safe
I have a stricked one client at a time policy. So there is no risk to social distancing guidelines.
All clients are sent a COVID-19 screening questionnaire to fill in the day before their appointment.
Raised voices increase the risk of virus transmission. The only time a client or I need to raise voices is when the hairdryer is on. I have bought a new hairdryer and an additional silencer so I can hear client's better. I obviously can’t test it out yet, but I will refrain from talking while blow-drying if we still can't hear each other with the new silencer.
When clients arrive
There is always plenty of hand sanitiser on the wall as you come in and on the desk. At the moment all clients should visit the salon without their children. I will not be carrying out children haircuts for the time being. There is a one in one out policy already in place.
Please make sure you have a face mask on before passing the hedge at the front of my flat and keep it on at all times during your appointment and passing through the communal areas. I live in a block of four flats, wearing masks in the communal area is essential to keep my neighbours and clients safe.
I will continue to use an N95 face mask, visor and apron. All PPE I use will be discarded after each client. I buy biodegradable products where possible, but due to high demand for PPE stock, biodegradable products are not always available.
There is always at least 30 minutes between each appointment. I always have the Nulife sanitising machine and an air purifier running all day. Before and after each client, my work station, all touchpoints, the kitchen and bathroom is cleaned using VIRUSEND multi-surface disinfectant, which was developed in conjunction with the army and is certified to kill COVID-19 and SARS in just one minute. After 15 minutes, everything is then wiped down with soap and water to remove any residue. All equipment and tools are sanitised with barbicide. Washable towels are only used on washed hair and are cleaned on a hot wash after use. They are stored in a sealed bag once dried. I use disposable gowns and aprons and sanitise my clothes with fabric sanitiser in between clients. I change into a set of clothes before my first client, and they are washed as soon as I've cleaned up after my last client.
If you have any colour service, you now need a patch test before your appointment. I know it’s a bit of a nightmare, but there has been a rise in reactions in customers who have had COVID-19. Since anyone could have had COVID without showing symptoms, all insurance providers have warned hairdressers if we don’t patch test for all colour services, our insurance will be void. If anyone has an allergic reaction, we are liable. We can not have clients sign a disclaimer either as patch testing is a legal requirement under section 3 of the health and safety at work act; without the customer being a qualified beautician or hairdresser, there’s no way to prove the customer fully understands the risk involved with not having a patch test. It's a legal nightmare. All patch tests must be done around 48 hours before your appointment.
If you are new to Hair By Ashley, I have set up a temporary home salon. I have decided to work from home for the foreseeable. Let me assure you I won't be washing your hair over the bath I have a portable backwash set up in my kitchen.
Ensuring COVID-19 is not spread between myself and clients is paramount; this means significant changes to the way I usually run my business. These changes are new to us all, but I will try to make your visit as relaxing as possible.
On 23rd June 2020, the government published guidelines for businesses working in close contact services. These guidelines were released to help companies carry out their OWN risk assessment, to keep themselves, staff, and customers safe. So the measures I put in to place for my business may differ slightly from other salons.
Below you will find a list of changes derived from my risk assessment, and these protocols will be monitored and updated at any time if needed. If you would like to see a copy of my COVID-19 Risk Assessment, I will try to attach a copy at the bottom of this blog post, or I can send it directly to you.
Temporary change to my working days
Now I can work from home; I have more appointments available. I will be working Monday to Saturdays. Appointments are limited as I'm so busy so I recommend pre-booking your next appointment as soon as possible.
Making an appointment
I will not answer my phone while I am with a client, so please text me on 07715937205, and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Be sure to include; name, email address, days you are available and what service you would like.
Change to Price List
I'm aware a lot of salons are increasing their prices to compensate for PPE and extra hair growth. I know a lot of people have lost jobs or taken a pay cut over the last few months. For this reason, I will not be raising my prices. In fact, some services will be cheaper (new price list below) But I would like to remind clients to check my prices under book online, there are different rates depending on the length and thickness of your hair. For example, if your hair is above your shoulders, a Restyle at the salon is from £33 (A completely new style). And a Hair Cut is £28 (usual style/trim).
Change to Payments
My preferred payment method would be bank transfer, the day before your appointment.
Bank Transfer - The day before your appointment ONLY.
Name: A FINNIGAN or Hair By Ashley
Account Number: 83652327
Reference: Your name Contactless Card - For payments up to £30. Apple Pay - For payment over £30. Cash - I will accept some money if necessary, but I will not be carrying change, so please bring the right amount. I will open up a ziplock bag for you to place the money in, and it will stay there until I can disinfect it, I will not use this money to give the next client change.
Deposits and Cancellation Policy
New clients will need to pay a £10 non-refundable deposit to secure their appointment. Deposits must be paid via bank transfer within 24-hours of confirming your appointment time. I have a 36-hour cancellation policy. But due to COVID-19, this has changed to 24-hour policy. I understand that situations can arise at last minute; if this happens, please let me know I am utterly sympathetic to these situations. But I am self-employed and a single mum, so to protect my business I regrettably have to take these measurements. Thank you for understanding.
Throughout my risk assessment, I have used knowledge gained from my time at university studying Biomedical science, my NVQ Level 3 in hairdressing, and the latest salon hygiene courses. I have decided it is safer for myself and clients to wear as much PPE as possible. If this causes an issue for you due to health, please let me know.
Some stylists will be charging for PPE, I will not be. I ask that all my clients wear a mask.
Any donations for your PPE will be much appreciated as the prices keep rising. It currently costs £6 per client.
PPE covers; Disposable gowns and towels, air sanitation solution, my disposable gown, gloves, mask and visor. And specialist cleaning solutions.
Please enlarge the below picture, and ensure you know how to wear a mask properly.
A lot of clients were unsure during the first week back, I know its new to us all, but face masks should have no gaps around your mouth and nose. Ensure you bend the wire around your nose, and twist the elastic at the side if you find gaps. There are loads of Youtube videos showing you how to wear one.
Please note I am aware there is a lot of controversy about masks at the moment. My knowledge is that the blue surgical masks and reusable masks only protect from liquids getting in the mask, they do not protect you from COVID-19. To protect yourself from the virus, you would need one specially fitted by a specialist. They use a bittersweet spray to ensure you can not smell anything outside the mask; therefore, no gaps are allowing particles in. But by wearing a mask you are limiting the transmission of anything from your mouth to surfaces and people. Any covering over your mouth and nose is better than nothing if used right, so please fit your mask properly, do not wear a dirty mask and refrain from touching it. If worn right you will be able to talk without the mask slipping down off your nose. If you do touch your mask, please use hand gel. An N95 mask will give you much more protection and are easier to breathe in and fit.
I will be wearing a visor, N95 face mask, disposable apron, and gloves. My PPE will be changed in between clients.
Health and Safety
Please cancel your appointment if you; 1) Feel unwell 2) Develop a rash, cough, fever, diarrhoea, sickness, shortness of breath, or loss or change in your sense of smell or taste. 3) Live with or have been in close contact with anyone who starts to show symptoms of COVID-19. 4) If you have travelled abroad in the past two weeks. You will not be charged for cancelling your appointment. Your £10 deposit will be held till you are able to book again.
I ask clients to not great me with a handshake or hug to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Clients will have to fill in a health screening form before visiting the salon. If you have the NHS Covid-19 app on your phone, I have a QR code for clients to scan.
My temperature will be taken three times a day and recorded. Clients temperature will be taken and recorded as they enter my home salon.
There will be hand gel on the wall next to the front door and on the desk.
Surfaces and equipment will be sanitised in between clients.
I will be making sure people comply with the 2m or 1m with risk mitigation guidelines.
There will be a non-toxic fogging sanitation machine running all day; this will eliminate any bacteria or virus particles in the air. UPDATE - I will also have an air filter running all day.
I have put all of these measures in place to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
It's has been recorded that there could be a potential risk of spreading contaminated air around a room when using a hairdryer. We still know very little about COVID-19, and all I can do is use my common sense and follow professionals advice. A stylist can get very warm while blow-drying. With the added aid of masks and visors, the heat can produce the perfect breeding ground for germs and bacteria. I will be asking clients if they want to opt-out of blow drys, especial those having colours to limit the amount of time.
Before your appointment, please make sure you read through the following;
1) Have you filled in a Health screening questionnaire? Or downloaded the NHS covid-19 app? If you do not have the NHS covid-19 app and/or you have not filled in a Health screening questionnaire, I will not be able to carry out your appointment. If you have any problems doing this, then please let me know, and we can schedule a video or voice call, and I can fill in the form for you. Please download the app before arriving I am on a very tight schedule. The health screening questionnaire must be filled in 24 hours before your appointment, no earlier.
2) For new clients - At least two hours before your appointment, please send me a text letting me know you are still attending your appointment and if you have paid via bank transfer. Include any discount codes, if you have any outstanding rewards or vouchers to claim. This will give me enough time to check your payment has been made and give your appointment to the next client if you can not attend.
3) There will be no magazines or newspapers available, and I ask that my clients do not bring any with them. Please bring a phone or small tablet that will fit into a ziplock bag. This is to limit the spread of bacteria. You will be able to view your phone through the ziplock bag, please don't take your phone out of the bag until you leave the salon.
4) I cannot supply customers with hot drinks at the moment. Clients are more than welcome to bring a drink if needed. There will be disinfectant available to clean the surface of your bottle when you are at the salon. I can offer clients a cold Starbucks coffee, as well as bottled or canned drinks with a paper straw. This is only available to colour clients, while their colour is developing so I can stand way back from them while they drink. UPDATE - I have disposable cups and a separate coffee machine, so colour clients can have a hot drink.
5) Please do not arrive early for your appointment. When you park up or get off the bus, please text me and ill text you when to come inside. Please ensure you have a mask on before passing the hedges at the front of my flat.
6) Please be on time for your appointment, if you are more than 5 mins late we will regrettably have to reschedule your appointment. I will need at least 20 mins between clients to change PPE, disinfect equipment and surfaces and have a break from my mask and visor, especially if its a hot day.
7) Please visit the salon alone, no babies, kids or family and friends. If you need help due to mobility or for health reasons, please let me know beforehand, and we will put different measures into place.
Entering my Home Salon
There will be posters to remind you of the following steps next to the door and on the mirror.
1) When entering the salon, please wait at my flat door, which will be open. I will greet you with a friendly wave. Please refrain from hugging. As an added precaution, you will notice I have a small machine letting off a fog. The fog is a non-toxic, food-safe, eco biocide which is entirely harmless to humans and animals and is BS EN 14476 certified. This machine sterilises everything it touches, ensuring my house is infection-free. For more information, please visit NuLife on Facebook.
2) I will take your temperature using a contactless infrared thermometer. There will be a QR code poster for clients to scan if you have the NHS covid-19 app.
3) I will hold a ziplock bag open for you to place your phone inside. Please don't take anything else out of your bag during your appointment.
4) Please bring minimal belongings with you; I can not hang your coat up at the moment. There will be a pink bucket for you to place your umbrella into and a hook on the door for you to hang your coat.
5) Please disinfect your hands using the hand gel which is located to your right next to the door and above the pink bucket.
6) You will be given a mask to put on if you don't already have one, but I would prefer clients to put a mask on before passing the bushes at the front of my house. Visors that sticks to your forehead are available if you wish to wear one. It would be impossible for you to wear a full face visor while having your hair done. Still, these visors stick to your forehead, minimising potential partials coming in to contact with your eyes.
7)Please take a seat on the salon chair. Disposable gowns and towels will be used on all of my clients.
8) During your appointment, please try to talk to me by facing the mirror and avoid turning to face me unless I am 2 meters away.
You will be sat in my hallway having your hair done. Still, it's not as makeshift as it sounds lol (Pictures throughout this blog post) My son might be in the house, but he will stay in his room or the living room until your appointment is over. So you may hear the odd song being sung or shouts of excitement as he wins a game. Don't worry; I won't wash your hair over my bath! I have a portable backwash and comfy chair set up in my kitchen.
1) If I show any COVID- 19 related symptoms, I will cancel all appointments for the following two weeks and inform the clients that I have seen 21 days prior. If a client contacts me to tell me they have developed COVID-19 symptoms within two weeks of having their hair done, I will also contact all the clients I have seen, and cancel all appointments for the following two weeks.
2) I will check and record my temp three times a day.
3) While working, I will wash my hands and use an antibacterial gel.
4) At my home salon, a deep cleaning sterilisation unit will be on. And all windows will be open to ensure a fresh flow of air is circulating.
5) Before and after each client, I will spray everything with disinfectant and leave it for the recommended 10 mins before wiping it off. The disinfectant I will be using is a bactericidal, yeasticidal, mycobactericidal, tuberculocidal, fungicidal and spectrum virucidal disinfectant spray, and only needs 60 seconds to work.
6) I will be using face masks, face shields, gloves and disposable aprons. I also have fabric disinfectant for my clothes.