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Fringe Salon in Salem is preparing for a new normal. Ever since he had to temporarily close his salon due to the emergency executive order that required non-essential Massachusetts businesses to close, John William, founder and owner of Fringe, has been imagining ways to elevate safety and sanitation protocols in his salon.

The industry has always had to adhere to strict hygiene and sanitation practices, but the pandemic has elevated the need for even higher levels of cleanliness. William channeled his energy into devising a solution that would make clients and staff feel safe and comfortable. 

While grocery shopping at Market Basket, the entrepreneur had an epiphany. “I saw how safe the cashier felt behind the plexiglass and a light bulb went off,” says William, who designed and cut out a circular plexiglass shield and placed it on an adjustable stand with a flexible arm. The system allows the stylist to safely wash, color and cut hair keeping their face behind a shield of plexiglass. 

William took to Instagram to encourage salon owners to create their safety stations that allow stylists to safely and freely cut, color, and wash hair, while protecting clients. He has elevated his already strict hygiene standards, and is ready to welcome back clients when Governor Charlie Baker gives the go-ahead.

“We recently moved into a generous space in Shetland Park in Salem which allows us to work over six feet apart,” said William. Other measures he will be taking include eliminating all touchpoints when checking in and paying at the salon, continuous sanitation and disinfecting with antibacterial products, availability of hand sanitizers, and having staff and clients wear face masks. 

Williams is also galvanizing stylists on the North Shore to participate in a two-day tribute to frontline workers. He got permission to use one of the garage rooftops to give free haircuts to frontline workers, in a refreshing, open-air setting to allow social distancing.

“Once the Governor gives the green light, we will begin the planning process,” said William. He hopes that all frontline workers come in uniform to get their hair cut. The stations will be set up at least six feet apart and feature one of his adjustable stands.

“I want to say thank you to everyone who has worked on the front line to keep the world spinning around. In these uncertain times, we all have to take a stand and show appreciation,” says William. Follow @fringesalon_salon on Instagram for more details.