MI Barbers & Salons Deliver 8-Pillar Safety Plan for Reopening, Urge Lift of Ban

Dowagiac Barber Patrick Bakeman, owner and operator of Bakeman Barbers there, is part of a diverse industry coalition that has reached out to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today appealing for a lifting of the statewide ban on services by barbers, salons, spas and cosmetology providers by offering up a comprehensive 8-pillar plan for the safe reopening of their businesses across the state.

The coalition of more than two dozen cosmetology salons, spa and barber shop owners and workers, representing more than 350 facilities across Michigan, has today delivered a letter formally requesting the governor allow them to implement comprehensive health and safety measures and to lift the statewide ban on their services, allowing them to return to safe jobsites.

Bakeman and his colleagues say that to ensure the health and safety of workers and their clients, the Safe Salons for MI coalition have developed and finalized with officials from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs a reopening plan built on 8 pillars for operating safely.  The pillars include detailed requirements and industry best practices in the areas of worker safety, customer safety, social distancing, hygiene, sanitation, PPE use, case monitoring and facility closure.

Lisa Dennison, a Regional Director for Michigan Supercuts and Cost Cutters salons located across the state, says, “Michigan’s licensed cosmetologists, barbers and their team members are capable, ready, and excited to get back to work meeting the needs of our clients,” and argues, “Our salons have always met detailed health and safety standards, and we’ve developed a comprehensive plan to go even further to keep everyone who walks through the door healthy.  We urge Governor Whitmer to lift her ban on our jobs immediately.”

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The plan is robust and the product of collaboration between professionals throughout the industry and state regulators. It is modeled after efforts in 36 other states, including neighbors in Ohio, that are currently open, operating safety, serving customers and allowing professionals the ability to work more safely open than closed.

Eight specific and comprehensive steps to safely allow workers return to their job sites at barber shops and salons include:

  1. Administrative controls for workers, including daily screening for workers to ensure they’re healthy before starting each shift, requiring workers to stay home if sick, maintaining appointment and walk-in records including date and time of service, name and contact information to assist in contract tracing if needed, and more.
  2. Access control for customers and guests, including staggered entry, prohibiting the return of products, accepting customers by appointment only where possible, asking clients to wait outside in their vehicle until their appointment time, and more.
  3. Social distancing on the job site for both workers and clients, installing barriers between employees where 6 feet of distance cannot be achieved and more.
  4. “Next level” best practices to ensure healthy hygiene on site will include the laundering of work clothing daily, eye protection for workers, limiting the personal items clients can bring with them for their appointment and more.
  5. Sanitation requirements include the cleaning of merchandise before stocking, constant disinfection of work areas and instruments, disposal of single-use materials, and much more.
  6. Personal protective equipment will be used by all workers, including masks. Clients will also be asked to wear masks, and face coverings will be provided upon entry to those without one.
  7. Should a client later test positive for COVID-19, our facilities will work with local health departments to identify potentially infected or exposed individuals to help facilitate effective contact tracing.
  8. Following facility closure each day, facilities will undergo deep cleaning with disinfectant cleaners approved by the EPA as effective against human coronavirus.

Safely re-opening salons, spas and barber shops is important for the health of workers and state residents also because these services are more safely delivered in regulated environments than in places like the homes and garages of their clients. These environments are unregulated and lack professional sanitation standards and protocols.

Caileigh Hoff, co-owner of Xclusive Studio in Brighton, says, “The coalition was grateful for the opportunity to work with state regulators in developing the plan; We now ask the Governor to let us implement it,” and adds, “We work safely because the health of our clients and the health of salon, spa and barbershop workers like me are worth the effort. We’re ready to get back to our salons – regulated, sanitary environments – to properly protect ourselves and our clients.  We’re ready to get back to work.”

The Safe Salons for Michigan coalition includes the owners and operators of more than 350 facilities across Michigan including the Color Box in Birmingham, Anthem Hair and Health in Highland Park, Amari Salon and Boutique in Saginaw, The Woodhouse Day Spa in Grand Rapids, Bombshell Blow Dry Bar in Holland, DyNfy with locations around Detroit, Matthew Ryan Salon and Spa in Lansing, Broadway Salon Studios in Royal Oak, Embrace Salon and Spa in Marquette, JOJO’s House of Beauty, Inc. in Grand Rapids, Chasing Vanity Salon in Grand Rapids, Citrus Salon in Houghton, Salon 130 in Mason, Bakeman Barbers in Dowagiac, six Seven & Mane Salon locations across Grand Rapids, Vision Growth Partners with 81 locations across Michigan, Minevra’s Salon and Wellness Spa in Brighton, Sola Salon Studios with locations across Michigan, Jude’s Barbershop with 27 locations in Michigan, Tacari Salon in Plymouth, The Living Room Hair Lounge in Ferndale, and My Salon Suite in Detroit.