This pandemic has been such a pain in the neck.
It has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths across the globe, rendering millions of people debilitated with COVID-19 while at the same time leaving trails of ravaged economies in its wake.
And to make matters worse, it has resulted in some of the most horrific hairstyles known to mankind. With self-isolation restrictions in effect, hair barber salons, barbershops, beauty parlours and the like all had to temporarily shut their respective businesses down, leaving us with no option but to let it grow or let it be ruined by your own hands… or whoever is living with you.
It was, however, for good measure because a haircut is the last thing you would want to receive with a pandemic raging in the background. First of all, stepping outside of your home in itself is already a dangerous task to undertake. Secondly, there would be no room for physical distancing as a hairdresser needs to be very close to you and your smooth silky locks.
But now that the "new normal" era has arrived, most places of business have reopened – although with safety protocols implemented. Does this mean that we can all look forward to a visit to the hairdresser for a much-needed tidying up? Well, not quite.
You will still have to worry about being in proximity to your coiffeur, who despite wearing a face mask or a face shield could still pose a serious threat to your well-being and vice versa. And there is also the matter of the other customers who will be frequenting the establishment as well.
So, what should you do if your mane is in dire need of a trim at a time like this? Well, perhaps you might want to read on and follow our six-point plan on how to keep yourself safe from COVID-19 transmission at a hair salon:
Ask about its safety protocols
Get on the blower and call – or send a WhatsApp text – ahead of making an appointment to ask about their strategies in keeping their customers and employees from getting infected. They should include the wearing of a face mask being made a requirement, good hygiene practice, the spacing out of appointments and customers, and limiting the number of patrons at one time.
Wear a face mask
The effectiveness of wearing a face mask in reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 has been scientifically proven, despite all the clamour surrounding its use. Keep it on at all times and tell others at the hair salon to do so too.
Go for services and treatments that take less time
The longer you spend time with someone in proximity, the higher the risk of transmission. Yes, even when you both have face masks on. Forego your usual hair colouring or creambath service and just opt for a quick cut instead for the time being.
Keep your chit-chat to a minimum
Your standard cloth face mask can only filter less than 50 per cent of small particles, while surgical masks can filter about 60 per cent. Unless both you and your hairstylist have got your mouths and nostrils all sewed up, less talking and more trimming.
If there is a queue until you are called up for your turn on the hairdresser's chair, choose to wait either outside or in your car. A prolonged stay in a public enclosed environment with other people around is inadvisable.
Look at the number of cases in the area
Some areas may have higher infection rates than others, so do your research beforehand to check whether or not your favourite hair salon is located in a high-risk zone.
Photo: Logan Weaver