Lockdown restrictions are sl̥owly being lifted in most parts of the country, and this means you’ll soon be able to visit your favourite salon to get rid of that unibrow, get a new haircut and even treat yourself to a deep cleansing facial.

We know you can’t wait to book an appointment for some long-overdue pampering, but let’s not forget that the threat is not over yet. Dr. Sneha Prabhudabholkar, a medical professional and the National Creative Director - Skin Care at Lakme Salon says, “It is necessary that the salon you are visiting adopts rigorous hygiene protocols and undertakes safety precautions to ensure your safety.”

Here are a few things to adopt and look out for during your salon visit post lockdown.

wearing a mask

01. Wearing a mask

This one goes without saying, wearing a face mask is the new normal. It is important that you wear a mask before stepping out of the house for your own safety and that of the others. Before you sit down for your service ensure that the staff in the salon are also wearing masks.

02. Pre-booked appointment

As per government guidelines, salons are supposed to function with only 50% occupancy in order to follow strict social distancing norms. Make sure you pre-book your appointment and reach the salon on time. Avoid visiting salons that fail to comply with these guidelines.

Careful screening

03. Careful screening

Ensure that the salon is doing rigorous and continuous screening of the staff and customers through temperature checks.

04. Protective gear

For most beauty services, the experts are required to be in close contact with the customer. Hence, you must ensure that the hairdresser or beautician is wearing the PPE kit - face masks, hand gloves, head caps and a visor - during the service.

Reduce direct person-to-person contact

05. Reduce direct person-to-person contact

Reducing direct person-to-person contact is the need of the hour. India’s biggest salon network chain Lakme Salon has adopted and implemented as many as 55 new hygiene practices to minimise transmission risk. “We have updated the steps in performing services - across basics like threading/waxing, manicures/ pedicures, and even facials and hair services to reduce the chances of transmission,” says Dr. Sneha Prabhudabholkar, the National Creative Director - Skin Care at Lakme Salon. Make sure that your salon is taking similar safety measures.

06. Single-use kits

Before starting the service make sure the experts are using single-use kits if possible. Lakme Salon has adopted this as practice for 90% of their services, including manicures, pedicures and facials. This will eliminate product sharing between customers.

Sterilisation of tools and equipment

07. Sterilisation of tools and equipment

Every tool and equipment used at the salon should be sterilised before and after every service. This includes scissors, dryers, clips, combs, brushes, irons, etc. Dr. Soumya, a practising doctor who also owns four Lakme Salons in Karnataka says, “At Lakme Salon, the operating and service processes have been revised to adopt new hygiene practices. The new practices are comparable to the sterilization methods followed in any hospital and are as per the government guidelines.”

08. Biodegradable disposables

Using fresh, disposable capes, towels, bedsheets and robes during the service is of utmost importance. Make sure that you are given fresh disposables before the service and that they are carefully disposed off after use.

Contactless billing

09. Contactless billing

While making a payment for your service, opt for a cashless and card-free transaction. Most salons might even insist on contactless payments through digital payment and e-bills. Frankly, it’s the best way to go.

10. Contactless home delivery for post-care products

Some services require the use of after-care products to maintain the results. Make sure your salon offers contactless home delivery of post-care products while maintaining social distancing norms.