How are nail salons, hair salons and tattoo shops keeping their clients safe during COVID-19?​

Published by Cierra Ward on

How are nail salons, hair salons and tattoo shops keeping their clients safe during COVID-19?

Since the Coronavirus pandemic started everyone, including small businesses like hair, nail, makeup and tattoo shops, have been affected.

According to a survey done by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, about 43.1% of businesses had to either temporarily or permanently close down due to the pandemic. Some opened back up, especially here in Georgia, but with several precautions set in place.

Naja Lopez | Avant-Youth

Embellish Salon in Douglasville, Georgia was one of the small businesses that had to close down during the pandemic’s onset in March. Owner and stylist, Odessia Brewer, has owned the shop for 10 years. She said while COVID-19 has caused changes in the way the shop operates, it has not stopped the productivity of the shop.

“Our business has been sustaining itself,” Brewer said.

At Embellish Salon, Brewer requires guests to wear a mask before entering. She says if a guest does not have a mask on at the door, he or she will be told a mask can be provided, or they cannot come in. Brewer says guests are also required to wear a mask throughout their entire service.

“Due to close contact, [guests] have to keep their masks on at all times because you’re basically a foot away; always up on the client,” Brewer said. 

Other precautions that were put in place to protect Brewer’s employees and clients included requiring a COVID-19 liability waiver, taking their temperature, and having clients use hand sanitizer at the door. Brewer also said that clients have to make an appointment to be serviced.

“We have no walk-ins at this time due to COVID,” Brewer said. “We’re trying to space out our clients, so we can stagger them – that we have no [more] than 10 people at a time.”

Other cosmetic businesses, like tattoo shops, are also implementing several different precautions to keep themselves and their customers safe.

Naja Lopez | Avant-Youth

Long Island Ink Tattoo, also located in Douglasville, Georgia implemented procedures and changed some of their services because of COVID-19. Owner and artist Chris Macko said he has both clients and tattoo artists wear masks before they enter and throughout the session. He also said that he still has to remind people to wear a mask. 

“We work in a business where we’re close to people,” Macko said. “We have to keep our staff safe and our customers.”

Macko additionally “encourages” guests to make an appointment instead of walking in. He said they are only allowing the person getting serviced to come in – no extra guests.

“You can’t bring your buddies and all that stuff,” Macko said. “It’s just not a good time for that; it’s not safe.”

Macko said sometimes clients have gotten upset they had to wear a mask or that they can’t just walk into the shop anymore. He said implementing the “appointment only” rule was one of the biggest changes the shop had to make. 

Besides clients having to wear masks and schedule appointments, Macko said the shop, for the time being, will not be doing oral piercings anymore, due to the personal choice of their piercer. 

Other personal protective equipment (PPE) Macko mentioned were gloves and face shields, in addition to face masks, for the artists. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave guidance to businesses back in May. They recommended that businesses should determine what PPE their workers would need and suggested giving it to them at no cost.

After going in and visiting many different nail shops, hair salons and tattoo parlors, it is evident that some people do feel safe going out to get those different services done. Atlanta resident, Bailey Merritt, recently went to get a tattoo. She said she felt very safe and happy with the procedures the tattoo shop put in place.

“They followed a lot of safety protocols,” Merritt said. “Everyone in the facility was required to wear a mask; there were occupation limits, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies were used.”

Although some feel safe to go and get a tattoo or their hair, nails done, others do not. We ran a poll on our Instagram and Twitter pages and asked: “Do you currently feel safe when going to hair salons, nail salons or tattoo shops?”

On our Twitter account, 69% of those who responded said they do not feel safe when going to hair salons, nail salons and tattoo shops. Thirty-one percent said they do feel safe. Twitter user @IsiahaSaid commented why he doesn’t feel safe going out.

“I see these folks going to the clubs and what not so, I know they are in the barbershop too,” he said. “Can’t even chance it.” 

 Twitter user @IsiahaSaid expresses why he doesn't feel safe going to a barber shop. Cierra Ward | Avant-Youth

On our Instagram, we saw the same results. Seventy-one percent said they do not feel safe while 29% said they do feel.

The Coronavirus has affected many businesses and (until a vaccine is created) is continuously affecting them today. Although no one is exactly sure when the pandemic will finally end, Brewer said that business must continue.

“We cannot as business owners stop what the world is going through,” Brewer said. “We want to make sure we get the economy started back up.”

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Cierra Ward

Cierra Ward is a recent graduate from the University of Central Florida with her bachelor’s in Electronic Journalism. She is originally from Jacksonville, Florida, but plans to travel the whole world before she settles somewhere. Besides telling unique stories of people, her passion is dance, which she has participated in since she was three years old. An interesting fact about Ward is she has a first-degree black belt in Taekwondo.


Kevin W · September 27, 2020 at 7:54 pm

Amazingly written article! Kudos to the writer!

Demetris · September 27, 2020 at 7:57 pm

This article was definitely a good read. Great work Cierra!

    JRiche · September 27, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    Great read! I appreciate the insight on what salons are doing to protect its customers and employees. Its definitely going to be a continued struggle with today’s economy, however staying vigilant and taking precautions will lead us out of this pandemic.

      Esther C. · September 27, 2020 at 11:48 pm

      A very insightful article. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great job Cierra!

      Cierra Ward · October 2, 2020 at 7:35 pm

      I 100% agree. Thank you!

    Cierra Ward · October 2, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    Thank you! I appreciate it.

Cdub · September 27, 2020 at 7:59 pm

Sign of the times. So sad that businesses and the entire economy are being impacted by this virus, but we have to be patience, trust God and allow it to run its course while adhering to the advice of scientists and reasonable minded local and federal officials. Great article!

    Cierra Ward · October 2, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Very sad but, we will get out of it soon if everyone keeps taking the necessary precautions. Thank you!

T. Chantelle Mitchell · September 27, 2020 at 8:01 pm

Great article, Cierra!

James H · September 27, 2020 at 8:08 pm

Dope article a lot of people have been hurt by this pandemic.

Vera C · September 28, 2020 at 1:56 am

Congratulation Cierra! Very impressive❤

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