The salon experience looks a little different these days, but it’s still just as fab a feeling to have your hair done. This is my pandemic haircut experience.
COVID-19 rather rudely cancelled a much-needed March haircut with the lovely Alix. And if you follow me on Instagram for this blog or the podcast, you know I had The Brit cut my hair with one ponytail chop in April. Yep. That happened. (But he did good.)
But my hair grows like a weed, and it was starting to take on that triangle shape is the bane of most curly-haired women. It’s not a good look for me. With salons open again, it was time to book an appointment.
My friend Alix usually cuts my hair, and she’s been on the ball with the new protocols. But her salon is in Olympic Village, which would mean getting on public transit—which I’m still not quite ready for. (If you’re in that neighbourhood, you should go see her. She’s a fab stylist with a particular talent for both curly hair and colour.) So I needed to find somewhere I could walk to.
Time for a proper haircut
Though I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m brave, I’d say that I’m willing to have experiences and take risks that are worth taking. But when it comes to money and my health, my tolerance for risk is very low. So you can imagine that this pandemic has amplified the anxieties I have around those things.
Related to my health, I have asthma. Ever since I was a kid, when I get sick, it more often than not travels to down to my chest. Hello, bronchitis and antibiotics. In more recent years, everything goes up to my sinuses, which is different but equally uncomfortable. And more antibiotics.
I’m sure you’re with me on this, but COVID-19 is something I have no desire to experience. Particularly as an “at-risk” person with asthma. It’s also not just about me. I come home to someone. So I’ve been super careful.
And when I go somewhere, I want to know that the people in that establishment are being careful, too. This is why I felt confident going to get my hair cut a couple of weeks ago at Refresh Salon & Spa in Port Moody.
Masks, sanitizer and plexiglass—oh my!
Refresh Salon is owned and run by Port Moody entrepreneur Courtney Vieira. The salon is a five-minute walk from my house and they have taken the new health and safety protocols very seriously.
What to expect at your next appointment (GUESTS)
- Upon arrival guests must wait in their car or outside, No more waiting areas, we will contact you 5 minutes prior to your appointment, and meet you at the front door.
- Please arrive alone for your appointment.
- Please arrive on time for your appointment, don’t be late.
- Guests are required to wear a mask. If you have your own, feel free to bring it, or purchase one of ours for a small fee.
- Temperature check at the door before entering the premise, guests experiencing a fever will be asked to seek medical assistance.
- Each guest must sanitize hands upon entering, rub for 20 seconds
- Gloves optional, we have them, if needed, free of charge.
- No beverages will be served, if you bring your own drink, please bring a straw to insure your mask coverage is maintained.
- Pease keep your belongings to a minimum, if possible no jackets.
- All walk in services have been suspended until further notice. Call ahead to book an appointment.
What to expect at your next appointment (STYLISTS & STAFF)
- Every stylist must wear a mask
- Temperature check on all staff before entering the premise.
- Stylists and staff must wash their hands upon entry and throughout the day.
- Tool sanitation after each client
- Stylists must sanitize their station before and after each guest, including the common sink area
- Tools will not be shared and must be sanitized and disinfected after every guest.
- Stylists who are sick will not be allowed to work
What to expect at your next appointment (SALON)
- Stations and sink area 6 feet apart, physical barrier between sink area
- Retail products handled by a staff member only
- All styling products, after use, will be disinfected.
- Staggered shifts, salon capacity at 60%
- High touch surface areas regularly disinfected through the day
- Bathroom is disinfected and sanitized after every guest.
- A $3.00 COVID 19 environmental fee will be added to all services.
Yes, that’s a long list. But the bullet points reassured me and managed my expectations. And when I reached out about a morning appointment, Courtney was able to book me in for the first appointment of the day with the lovely Jaden.
When I arrived for my haircut, I was greeted at the door by Jaden—who has smizing down pat. She took my temperature with the scanner and I sanitized my hands (and phone). I was brought over to the “annex”, which is a recent add-on to the salon.
Courtney had only just added the extra space at the beginning of the year. The main area of Refresh is a very large, open space, but having that much more space to accommodate new capacity rules is a godsend.
“Remodeling and adding four extra salon chairs and another hair wash station on the other side has helped tremendously during this time.” As has the community, whose support Courtney felt through curbside pick and drop-off sales of hair products.
Remodeling and adding four extra salon chairs and another hair wash station on the other side has helped tremendously during this time.
Five-star service with a smize
Can we talk about how WONDERFUL it feels to have your hair washed? With that oh-so-important scalp massage? I swear, my scalp sang. And to have my hair blown out with some sassy bounce? Y’all, I had I Feel Pretty stuck in my head all day.
Immediately after washing my hair, Jaden sanitized the hair-wash station. This is an extra few minutes of time that salon patrons can and should appreciate. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to slow down and be careful. And that things can never be too clean.
While it’s beyond strange to have conversations with a mask on, I felt completely at ease in the salon. This is a testament to how Courtney has adapted everything for the current situation. Masks, hand sanitizer and plexiglass are the new normal, and I’m here for it. But I’m still looking forward to the day where we can safely hug people again! For now, we smize.
Pssst! If you need some washable masks, visit my summer essentials blog post for my favourite brands and a couple #GetThrifty promo codes!
Thank you to Courtney and Jaden for a wonderful pandemic haircut experience! Refresh Salon & Spa is located in Suter Brook Village in Port Moody, BC. You can follow them @refreshsalonandspa on Instagram.
Disclosure: This was a gifted service in exchange for a blog post. As always, opinions are my own.
A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.Coco Chanel