How Hair and Nail Salons Are Reopening During the Coronavirus Pandemic

After the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced many businesses to close, some states have started to reopen in some capacity. That means the restrictions on non-essential businesses like nail salons, hair salons and massage parlors, have lifted, and some Americans can visit their colorist, nail technician and masseuse again.

But since these services largely involve physical contact and it was reported that California's outbreak of the virus initially started in a nail salon, beauty businesses are being especially cautious when it comes to reopening their doors to customers.

So far, large franchises like Drybar, Massage Envy, European Wax Center and more started booking appointments in states like Texas, Florida and Georgia after implementing new health and sanitation commitments and employee training practices. Before you book your next trip to the salon, read on to learn about each company's reopening plan and the CDC guidelines they're following to ensure both customers and employees are safe.

Note: The below is not a comprehensive list of guidelines. For the full set of detailed CDC guidelines on how states can safely start to reopen across industries visit


To allow for safe social distancing, European Wax Center has had to limit its daily client capacity and restrict the number of people in its waiting room. "We might not be able to see as many guests at the same time as pre-COVID-19, but we’re working to accommodate as many of our guests as possible," Kobus says. "We also have implemented a contactless check-in process which allows guests to wait in their cars and not be in the waiting room. It helps with traffic flow for the utmost safety."

Clients are already quickly booking up appointment slots at the reopened locations, Kobus says. "We’ve absolutely had full books since centers have reopened. Our customers have a special relationship with their wax specialists and were eager to get back to them and their favorites services."

European Wax Center has prided itself on its rigorous sanitation and cleaning measures pre-COVID-19 and has now expanded on them further. The company's health and safety commitments include (but are not limited to):

  • New gloves used by wax specialists for every service
  • All tools disinfected or disposed after each service
  • Beds sanitized after each guest and fresh paper put on
  • Wax sticks never double dipped
  • All wax specialists wear disposable masks and face shields for facial waxing services
  • Guests will be given a disposable mask if they don't bring one
  • No product testers in waiting room
  • Additional and frequent deep cleaning of highly touched areas
  • Additional hygiene safety and sanitation trainings for employees
  • More which can be found at

Base Coat Nail Salon

While Base Coat was able to reopen its Colorado locations beginning on May 9 based on the state ordinance, founder Tran Willis decided to proceed with caution and is holding off on opening until June 1. "We felt as a company it was too soon even though we felt ready to open with all the necessary new safety and health guidelines and PPE to protect our guests and employees we put in place following the CDC guidelines," Willis tells PEOPLE.

Willis continues: "Like everyone we would love to open as soon as possible. But at the end of the day risking our guests, employees and their families is not worth it without having the right information and protocols in place, especially as we are a non-essential business. For us it was always about listening to healthcare professionals, CDC, World Health Organization and scientists which guided us to make our decisions."

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When the salons do open, the founder says she plans on operating at 50% capacity to start. "In Colorado we can only have 10 people in the salon at one time per business license," Willis explains, noting that there will be four nail artists, four clients and two front desk employees in the salon at once. "Pre-COVID we would usually have five to six nail artists working with eight to nine guests per nail artist per day and now each nail artist will have six to seven guests per day. So it is definitely going to impact us financially," Willis says.

In addition, Base Coat will no longer be able to accept walk-in clients or customers coming in purchase items from its nail polish line.

To ensure the safety of customers and employees, Base Coat is implementing the following changes:

  • Employees and guests required to wear masks at all times
  • Symptom screening required at entrance for guests and employee
  • After symptom screening, guests and employees required to sanitize hands with 70% alcohol hand sanitizer, wash hands and sanitize hands with hand sanitizer again before service begins
  • No personal cell phones, electronic devices or laptops inside salon
  • No extra guests, children or babies inside salon
  • No cash payments or gratuity
  • Acrylic clear dividers between guest and manicurist during service
  • More on updated employee certification and training found at

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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