Hairdressers suggest protocols for new normal in urgent appeal to reopen salons, barber shops

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 23 2020 10:02 PM

Salons and hairdressers are some of the small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture taken in Mandaluyong City on April 29, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Leaders of the hairdressing industry have submitted a list of proposals to the Department of Health and the COVID-19 Interagency Task Force in the hopes of saving salons and barber shops in the country, which remain closed due to quarantine protocols. 

The proposal includes mandatory use of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for haircutters, setting a 10-person occupancy limit at any salon or barber shop at any given service session, the use of disposable gloves, and the ban on long conversations between client and salon personnel. 

The need to reopen is urgent, according to Ricky Reyes and Evelyn Alvaran Cruz, heads of PhilHair and Hair Asia Philippines, respectively, which have an estimated half a million members nationwide. 

“This is an emotional issue for us. Dito ako nabuhay at napag-aral aking mga kapatid,” said Reyes, an industry pioneer who spearheaded the Gunting Isang Suklay livelihood campaign in the 1980s. 

“Maraming mga kapwa ko hairdresser na halos di na kumakain dahil walang hanapbuhay, kaya nag-aapela kami na buksan na kami. We will make sure na magiging maingat kami sa aming mga kostumer.” 

Alvaran-Cruz deplored the seeming discrimination against hairdressers amid the decision to allow reopening businesses such as dental and optical shops, flower, antique and pawnshops. 

“Anywhere in the world, salon is an essential service, not a luxury. It also promotes mental health. At this time maraming depressed at takot. Kung makita mo sarili na maayos at least you feel good, nakaka-release ng stress.” she said. 

“We heard we’ll be allowed to reopen by July? Huwag naman sana. Sana marinig boses namin. Kailangan na talaga kaming magbukas muli dahil ang dami nang nagsa-suffer na pamilya. Kung di COVID-19, kawalan ng trabaho at kita ang papatay sa kanila.”

In documents sent to ABS-CBN News, Reyes and Alvaran-Cruz detailed their proposed protocols for the new normal in low and moderate quarantine areas. 

The consolidated list of the safety protocols can be seen below: 

  • Restricting occupancy to a maximum 10 persons at any given time including staff, regardless of size of salon 
  • Wearing of PPEs for all employees with face shields and washable face masks
  • Wearing of disposable gloves per customer
  • Sterilizing scissors, combs, brushes and other hair maintenance items right in front of customer
  • Nail services can only be availed of customers who bring their own tools
  • Implementing contact tracing per client service
  • No threading, waxing and other similar services
  • Regular sanitation and disinfection of salon or barber shop premises
  • Avoidance of close verbal contact between customer and personnel