Hairdressers are being advised to adhere to social distancing between clients in salons. Picture: iStock
Hairdressers are being advised to adhere to social distancing between clients in salons. Picture: iStock

Why hairdressers, beauty salons are open

Sweeping new lockdown restrictions have come into place in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus, with pubs, clubs and gyms all closing their doors but hairdressers and beauty salons remaining open.

Given enforcing social distancing is one of the bigger problems health officials face; why are salons staying open and how does this apply to hair and beauty appointments?

Mark Rippon from the Hair and Beauty Industry Association (HBIP) said since Prime Minister Scott Morrison's announcement yesterday, he had been fielding calls from members "non-stop".

"Those calling are being advised of the current government recommendations and that is to actively create distance between clients in salons," he told

Although Mr Rippon can't give a definitive reason why salons can keep operating, he said at this point the industry is taking advice in regard to health and safety from the government.

"We are supporting the government guidelines and ensuring our members are informed, educated and supported in following hygiene, sanitation and distancing guidelines."

Official advice from the Department of Health states a distance of 1.5m needs to be applied between people and stringent hygiene measures are also advised.

These include providing a space where people can wash hands with soap and water; disinfecting all frequently touched objects and surfaces throughout the day and applying hand sanitiser before and after treatments and making this readily available for clients.

When it comes to interacting with a hairdresser or beautician, what processes are in place?

Mr Rippon said current official recommendations are for staff to use personal protective equipment (ppe) like gloves, aprons and masks if a person is sick.

"We are also clearly recommending if you are unwell to stay away from the workplace and if clients are unwell to reschedule appointments," he said.

The issue of whether a face mask should be worn hasn't been specifically addressed by the government at this stage either.

Mr Rippon did note the situation is rapidly changing and the government may introduce new measures at any point.

"The government is currently recommending social distancing guidelines and advising these need to be adhered to between clients in the salon," Mr Rippon said.

"We are passing this recommendation on to hairdressers, beauticians and barbers, pending updates regarding the industry.

"Hairdressers and beauticians have been very proactive and there is a real awareness about creating a very safe environment."


Services such as facials and cosmetic injections are still possible under "social distancing".

Just like the haircare industry, skin clinics are adopting extra safety measures, Marie Enna-Cocciolone CEO and founder Inskin Cosmedics told previously.

"Hygiene and sanitisation is not new to the beauty industry," she said. "The government is taking tight precautions and we support that - but it is still business as usual."

She said extra precautions were in place in light of the pandemic, so if you're visiting a facialist or having a cosmetic top up, you can expect to see extra precautions in place.

"Professionals are now wearing a mask and taking client and staff temperatures before starting a treatment," she said, urging anyone who has booked in for a treatment and who feels unwell to not come in.

With Rebekah Scanlan


Originally published as Why hairdressers, beauty salons are open

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