Salons open in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane: Why they are allowed to give haircuts but not shaves
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Salons and beauty parlours reopened across Maharashtra on June 28 after being shut for more than three months, even though the state continues to witness a spike in daily cases of coronavirus. While many are surely happy to give their tresses a trim and a cut, salon-goers are disappointed at the lack of skin-related services.

The Maharashtra government had allowed salons and beauty parlours to reopen in the state, but with by following certain guidelines. As per the guidelines, the establishments can carry out select services like haircut, hair dyeing, waxing, threading, among others, excluding skin-related services (like body massage, facial, etc). Shaving or beard trimming is not allowed despite adequate precautions being taken by the salons. The state government has also made it mandatory for employees to wear protective gear such as gloves, aprons and masks.

Social distancing is one of the most important aspect in keeping coronavirus at bay. But, in skin-related services there is no distance between the customer and the service provider. Elaborating on the same, Dr Rinky Kapoor, Cosmetic Dermatologist & Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics, said, “There are certain services, like skincare, where the person who is doing the service and the customer is in close contact and not able to maintain a distance. For example, when one is getting eyebrows done, or a facial where the distance between the service provider and the customer is very less, practically couple of inches away. That’s the reason government has said that skincare services shouldn't be provided. It’s a correct a decision as face is a high risk zone.”

While speaking to The Free Press Journal, Bhupesh Dinger, Director of Enrich Salon said this has affected the business further. "Earlier we had 55% business from hair and 45% skin. This has slightly shifted now due to the above challenges, but is gradually coming back to pre-COVID ratios. The initial fortnight had very high footfall due to pent up demand, we saw this trend across salons and cities, which gradually settled at 50-60% of pre-lockdown."

Dinger also said that after the reopening, the initial trend saw higher number of men visiting the salons, because women could manage with longer hair, while men were eager to get a haircut. “Other services for women could be done at home, though in a sub-optimal manner,” Dinger added.

While talking about company's future plans he said that the company is dealing with this situation in three ways: Respond, Rebuild, Reimagine. "The first part of Response to the crisis has been handled well by the team--staying in touch with clients, team, business partners, cost control. The second part of Rebuild is currently in full swing--every month getting better than the previous despite the start of low season. Festive spikes seen during Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi are encouraging. So we are very optimistic of the upcoming festive season. The third part of Reimagining the business is underway and all processes are being re-engineered," Dinger said.

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