A Better Day Salon reopens with thorough safety measures in place

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Directional arrows show where to enter the shop

By Donna Hawkey

Bad hair days are soon over with the reopening of hair salons, however the pandemic has put increased responsibility on these mostly small businesses.

Janiece Hoggatt and Douglas Carl, owners of A Better Day Salon in Lake Forest Park Town Center, have been building community partnerships for twenty years through their service to generations of Lake Forest Park families and beyond.

Their mission has always been to take care of local families, and support community building, but they could never have imagined how a pandemic would change their business.

Janiece Hoggatt and Douglas Carl
at an LFP Rotary Auction

Lots of research, evaluating facts, and compiling what Janiece calls her “notebook” now guide A Better Day’s new safety protocols. 

She researched everything she could find from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Washington State Board of Cosmetology, and many labor and industry reviews.

These owners are extremely appreciative of staff members and describe them as “amazing, hard-working, and they brainstorm many solutions together.” 

Dion, who is the salon’s massage therapist and waxing expert, volunteered to become the on-site COVID coordinator. 

 His new responsibility is sanitation and infection control throughout the salon. Massage and waxing services are still suspended until further phases of the reopening. The salon now has converted the massage room into an entire sanitation room.

Sanitation Room: Each guest will have an individual box made up of 
freshly sanitized cape, hair cutting and perm or color tools.

Janiece and Douglas say their responsibility is to provide a safe, sanitary environment to protect their health and the well-being of the staff, clients whom they call “guests,” and the greater community.

And that’s now a different kind of challenge for salon owners. It requires added costs to cash strapped small businesses. After business was shut down for almost three full months, they can't help but be concerned about how they will keep the business going.

Only 25% of client capacity will be allowed during this first phase, and any self-care services requiring direct skin to skin contact is not offered at this time. 

Winners of Rotary coloring contest when 
A Better Day Salon sponsored the Lake Forest Park Farmers Market

During the last three months, they have had almost no income except for small sales of beauty products, amounting to less than 5% of their usual monthly income. Their guests are eager to resume services and have been supportive and patient. But going forward, salons are facing new challenges.

They will need to add a temporary 10% sanitation charge to defray some of these costs. Also, A Better Day Salon operators are employees and not independent contractors, so they receive hazard pay, and service fees will rise by $5 to pay staff.

They plan to drop the sanitation cost when added safety public health protocols are no longer needed. The Administrator of the Washington State Apprenticeship Program for Cosmetologists recently inspected A Better Day Salon. He told Janiece they have the most prepared and well thought out COVID protocol that he has seen so far.

Heavy plastic curtains separate shampoo stations, 
and plastic wrap is used to protect the neck from direct contact with the shampoo bowl

New signage will guide guests into the salon where temperatures are checked and hand sanitation takes place. There is a clear, hard plastic sneeze guard at the front desk and also between each station. Guests are required to sign a form stating that they have no COVID symptoms and have not come into contact with anyone recently diagnosed.

Salon operators will wear both a mask and a plastic shield over the face. The operators have a special mint flavored spray for under their masks. But guests can suck on a mint to help them breathe more comfortably, too. Masks are required, but the salon will provide one if you don’t have it. 

A Better Day Salon is on the lower level of Town Center, 
intersection of Bothell and Ballinger Way in Lake Forest Park

Clients won’t be able to get their hair blown dried when the salon reopens since COVID is airborne, and that could blow a virus invader right into someone’s nose, according to research done by Aveda products' parent company, Estee Lauder. They hired a team of epidemiologists and doctors to research the best protocols for salons.

The owners have charcoal air filters for their salon, and they are advocating for the entire Town Center building that also houses the Third Place Commons and Third Place Books, to have HVAC filters changed regularly.

Janiece has a business degree as well as a cosmetology license. She was the first Washington state board operator certified for the apprenticeship program, and she assisted in designing that programs’ original protocols.

Douglas and Janiece have empowered the entire A Better Day Salon staff, and together, they are all determined to keep everyone as safe as possible, ‘one day at a time.’


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