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Salons might end up looking like a medical facility with staff wearing PPEs, gloves, head cover apart from regular temperature screenings to avoid the risk of virus infection. (Reuters )
Salons might end up looking like a medical facility with staff wearing PPEs, gloves, head cover apart from regular temperature screenings to avoid the risk of virus infection. (Reuters )

Branded salons to get a makeover as they reopen for biz

Besides reducing person-to-person contact, the new beauty industry protocols eliminate sharing of products

NEW DELHI : Delhi-based Ritika Changia, an analyst and researcher in the automobile industry, is looking forward to her grooming regimen after almost two months as salons were allowed to open by the home ministry. But she would strictly prefer branded ones over local beauty parlours.

“Since the sanitization measures and protocols would be much stricter in branded salons. I’d feel more comfortable and safe," she said.

But fashion industry executive Shweta Saha, 23, who prefers big salons but is still apprehensive about the safety aspect, said: “I’d wait for one-two weeks to see if any infection cases emerge from salons. You can never be sure."

Sensing the anxiety among customers in an industry that depends heavily on the human touch, a clutch of branded chain of salons, including Lakme, Kaya Skin Clinic and L’Oréal Professional, have started training their staff and launched a sanitization drive before opening doors to customers. Salons might end up looking like a medical facility with staff wearing persona protection equipment, gloves, head and face cover apart from undergoing regular temperature screenings, with limited appointments and preference for plastic money to minimize the risk of infection.

Besides reducing direct person-to-person contact, the new beauty industry protocols eliminate sharing of products, and have detailed protocols that advocate the use of protective gear and disposables, apart from sanitizing the entire premises. Many have also made its staff undergo certification processes for safety norms released by Beauty and Wellness Sector Skill Council (B&WSSC).

Lakme, which operates 490 salons across India, said it has worked with medical experts to review and enhance the protocols for services such as threading, waxing, manicures, pedicures and facials, to reduce chances of transmission.

“Some of the other measures include monitoring of salon teams and customers through the Aarogya Setu app, strict social distancing through 50% staff strength and limited pre-booked appointments, daily deep cleaning and regular disinfection of every touch point throughout the day with a bio surfactant cleaner, protective gear—masks, gloves, visors—for the team, revised processes for skin, hair and makeup services to reduce touch, development of single-use kits, enhanced sterilization protocols, and contactless billing and payments," said a Lakmé Salon spokesperson.

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