Salon Invi closed its doors sixty-four days ago. These have been a heartbreaking, tragic set of sixty-four days, for the state, the country, and the world. As we desperately search for a sense of normalcy in this new world, the reopening of certain businesses like hair salons is bound to boost our collective moral. But things are going to look a lot different, said Chris Kishfy, Salon Invi’s owner.
As part of Governor Baker’s phased reopening plan for Massachusetts, hair salons are allowed to resume operations beginning May 25. Expect waiting in your car instead of the waiting room, facemasks on everyone, and hand sanitizer everywhere.
Salon Invi shut down operations because of the COVID-19 crisis a bit earlier than they had to. “We closed March 19,” said Kishfy. “We were getting to the point where even though we weren’t mandated to close, we felt as though it was something that was necessary.” Governor Baker later ordered all nonessential businesses to close by March 24.
The salon experience will be a whole lot different now. Salon Invi has installed customized plexiglass barriers in between each sink and station, for added physical protection. They’ve installed five hand sanitization systems around the salon, and signs on the floor indicate six-foot measurements so clients and staff can distance from one another. They’ve also brought in three Triad Aer air purification units. The top-of-the-line purification systems have a sanitization feature, killing viruses, mold, and bacteria in the air that filters through the system.
“I think [these physical changes] bring a different energy, a different positivity to the space,” said Kishfy. “We’re exceeding all the guidelines and protocols from the CDC and from our town. We’re fully prepared to have the best health and safety measures in place for our team and our clients.”
They’ll also be requiring staff to wear protective equipment like gowns, gloves, and face shields or masks. Hair has to be tied up, and gloves have to be changed between each client.
So how can you get an appointment now? Salon Invi is firstly keeping standing appointments already in the system, which might have been booked six months ago. Then they’ll start with the clients whose appointments had to be cancelled in the past couple months, and call them to reschedule. When booking new appointments, they’ll also be giving priority to clients with faster services (like a quick cut or a root touch-up) since they’ll be dealing with a large volume of clients who they need to get in and out quickly.
While their seasoned stylists likely won’t have any availability for new clients in the coming weeks, Kishfy sais they do have a “full-time team in place that will always be looking for new guests to come through the door.”
The new guidelines and protocols Salon Invi will now follow for guest and staff safety? “Not really fun, but necessary,” said Kishfy. “If, walking into a salon, you say ‘Wow, they went above and beyond—I wasn’t expecting this,’ then it’s a feel-good moment.” He understands that the majority of the population is nervous to venture back into the real world. “That’s why I say go above and beyond.”
But overall, Kishfy says he and his team look forward to getting back to work. “Primarily, it’s a positive experience because we want to get our clients back in,” he said. “I think everybody is a little shaken by the overall craziness of COVID, but everyone wants to get back to some normality.”
“For us, we miss doing what we love to do—our passion is here.”