Healthy Habits for Salons and Spas: 8 Tips for Keeping Stylists and Clients Well
Everyone loves a day at the salon or a trip to the spa.
Spas and salons are places where clients can relax, forget their cares, and focus on feeling good. When wellness is your business, you may assume the focus equates to healthy employees, too. But as any spa owner knows, keeping employees happy and healthy is a challenge for every business. When employees are well, customers receive better service and leave more content. Keep your staff focused on health with these steps.
Wellness has always been essential to the beauty, esthetics, alternative health, and cosmetology industries. After all, there’s nothing quite so personal as massage, hair care, waxing, or any of the other beauty treatments found and salons and spas. It’s all about helping clients look and feel their absolute best.
But for an industry focused on health, it’s easy to let healthy habits slide, especially when it comes to practicing what you preach. Many stylists and therapists work tough jobs on their feet all day long. The environment can be punishing and competitive. They interface intimately with customers and must be friendly and “on” even when they might not feel it.
Keeping employees and staff well is crucial to the success of your operation. Because of those intimate, close connections with customers, it’s vital that employees feel their best for optimal performance. This means following best practices and adopting some healthy protocols to keep everyone safe and feeling well. Follow these 8 tips to ensure your spa or salon is staying focused on healthiness.
1. Set Up a Safety Plan
If 2020—the year unlike all others—taught us anything, it’s that we must have a safety plan in place for any business. Spas and salons are no exception to this rule. Chances are that dealing with the COVID outbreak resulted in a robust safety plan for your operation, but it’s essential to continue keeping up your plan in the future.
Natural disasters, building emergencies, and regular flu season can all take a toll on your business. You must have a safety plan to ensure that no matter what comes your way, you and your employees are prepared. Consider your evacuation procedure. What would you do in the case of an accident? A health emergency?
Many salons and spas employ practitioners who have had some first aid response during their training. When doing bodywork, it’s not uncommon to see minor injuries. Some services, like massage and acupuncture, require a great deal of familiarity with body systems and health. All services require licensure and adherence to state safety guidelines.
But if it’s been a while since you’ve discussed these topics with staff, it’s a good time to revisit them. Identify who is in charge during emergencies and make sure everyone knows exactly how to handle a crisis.
2. Communicate with Your Employees
As in almost any business, communication is critical. Even if practitioners rent a chair or a table in your facility (and technically aren’t employees), it’s important to communicate clearly with everyone under your roof. Your business should have standard emergency procedures and steps that everyone follows, regardless of their employment status.
Regular communication helps to ensure that there’s no confusion in an emergency. If your practitioners are all employees, you should convey your policies for scheduling, cancelations, and any other client processes. Let employees know what they should do if they aren’t feeling well.
Communication also helps build a sense of teamwork and camaraderie—important factors in creating a healthy work environment. Healthy habits for salons should include mental health measures too. Avoid toxic cosmetology culture by building community ties at your facility.
3. Follow Health Official’s Instructions & Guidelines
No matter the situation, it’s crucial to follow the guidelines put forth by health officials for a public health crisis, which typically means the CDC. OSHA and even FEMA may also offer guidance during weather emergencies.
Beauty industry publications like Salon Today may also be great resources to help you plan in a crisis. Check with your local government office for rules and regulations surrounding salons and spas. The Department of Safety is the typical overseer of licensure, so they may offer additional information about emergency guidance.
No one can prepare for every possible crisis, but when your employees work so closely with the public, it’s important to follow regulations. Plan as much as possible, and make sure your employees are adequately trained and always licensed—this step will prevent many issues.
4. Keep the Environment Extra Clean
Salons and spas must be extremely clean, regardless of the situation. If you want to create a healthy spa or salon environment, hygiene is crucial. Proper sanitation requires hot water in any industry. You may also need to have sanitized tools, work areas, massage tables, and more in the beauty industry.
Your salon should have a strict policy on sanitizing all the tools of the trade. Employees should keep their hands washed regularly and even wear gloves for certain procedures. Linens should be sterile, and even an air purifier can help cut down on irritants in the cosmetology and beauty environment.
A clean facility is also critical for customer satisfaction. Your clientele will feel at ease when they know they’re visiting a hygienic, clean, safe salon. Comfort and cleanliness go hand-in-hand, and hygiene should be a vital part of the spa experience.
5. Inform Clients of Expectations and Protocol
During the COVID-19 outbreak, we all learned the importance of masks and other PPE. Many salon and spa owners also learned how important it is to share policy information with their clientele. This lesson on client communication is useful in any situation, though.
When clients understand the expectations, they are more likely to be friendly and satisfied with their experience. Often what upsets clients is the unknown and the misunderstood. When a client doesn’t understand why they need to use the salon’s tools, or why they might need to follow safety procedures during their treatments, they can become frustrated and upset. Inevitably, this leads to a less-satisfactory day at the spa.
Preventing customer misunderstandings is as simple as posting your regulations and rules clearly and sharing them widely. If you require customers to wear a mask or limit the number of clients on the floor, explain the policy on your website, via social media, and to your customers when they arrive.
6. Keep Stress Levels Low
How do you create healthy habits at a salon? Lower the workplace stress levels! Make work a fun, enjoyable place to be.
Many bosses can worry that if they let up on the reigns, employees will run amok. This is rarely the case, especially in a job-driven by tips and customer satisfaction. In the beauty industry, it’s critical that clients are happy, or they will go elsewhere. Stylists and practitioners know this, and they work hard to keep their customers satisfied.
So let your employees have a good time. Encourage dance parties on the floor. Offer discounted services and special activities. Even small healthy treats like coffee or fresh fruit can give employees a little pick-me-up during the day. Find ways to blow off steam and make work a positive, low-stress experience.
7. Encourage Wellness
Many salon and spa employees are so busy during the day that they rarely have a minute to eat, let alone to exercise. But working on your feet all day and leaning over clients can take a toll on anybody. Plus, working with certain beauty products can present many health hazards.
Help employees focus on their health by offering wellness resources and even workplace activities. Offer breakroom guidance on mental health, quitting smoking, eating well, and other healthy practices. You may even want to create a game out of it or set out a health challenge to create friendly competition.
Wellness can take on many different forms, but when people feel good, they often work harder and present a friendlier face to clients. Encourage employees to practice self-care and to pamper themselves as well as their customers!
8. Foster a Healthier Workplace
Little additions to your facility can make a big difference. Switch to organic, healthier products to keep your facility clean and fresh. Spas and salons are known for their calm, relaxing scents, but diffusing natural essential oils rather than synthetic fragrances can keep the air healthier.
Many spas aim to use as many natural, “clean” products as possible, but of course, information on these products is always evolving. Be sure to keep up on the latest research to know which products are safest for both your practitioners and your customers. It’s imperative to practice hygiene around footbaths, hot tubs, and other water-based tools at your facility.
Finally, consider the air quality in your salon or spa. Ventilation is crucial, and with product residue all around, filters need frequent changing. Don’t neglect the HVAC at your facility—keep the air clean and flowing freely so everyone can breathe easy.
It’s essential to build healthy habits and practices at your salon or day spa. With a few minor changes and adjustments to your practices, you can keep employees and customers healthy and happy. At Reliable Water Services, we know hot water is an integral part of hygiene, and we’re here to ensure your salon or day spa has access to hot water 24/7.