A New World at the Salon: Temperature-Checks, Medical-Grade Masks and Release Forms


Inside Jeffery Stein Salon.

By Mariel Priven

After months of homemade haircuts, grey roots, and unfortunate attempts at highlights, Upper West Siders are excitedly returning to their hair salons, which were allowed to reopen for Phase 2 on Monday.

As grateful as many are to finally have their stylists repair the damage of any quarantine attempts, haircuts look different now. “Your stylist more closely resembles a doctor prepped for surgery than the guy who cuts your hair,” shared Amanda Riz from Salon Riz on 82nd in an email to the West Side Rag.


Many salons are operating at reduced capacity for safety’s sake.

At Laura Braunstein Hair Studio on 84th, both employees and clients will be required to wear N-95 masks provided by Braunstein—clients will wait outside of the salon and fit the mask on prior to entering, ensuring that nobody inside the space is breathing without a mask. All surfaces touched by anybody in the studio will be immediately sterilized, and hand sanitizer will be available for all.

Appointments must be made ahead of time at most salons, and waiting areas are to remain empty. Upon arrival, many salons, such as Salon West and Jeffery Stein Salon, will check clients’ temperatures before letting them in, and Jeffery Stein Salon is also requiring that clients sign a tracking/release form prior to their appointment.


A sheet explaining practices at Jeffery Stein.

Before the pandemic, many hair salons provided spaces for socializing, offering beverages and snacks, as well as waiting areas with magazines and other forms of entertainment. For now, those aspects of salons will be put on hold, and only cutting and coloring services will be provided—eyebrows, keratin, and makeup will come with later phases, at least at Salon West.

Once inside the salon, a few more things will look different. Most studios will operate at half capacity, utilizing every other chair and shampoo bowl. There will be longer breaks between clients to allow for cleaning, and some salons are cutting hours. This has resulted in a bit of a hold-up at some salons; Michael Fox, an owner of Jeffery Stein Salon, touched on this, asking that clients “support local businesses, be patient and generous, and come with love.” On his first day back, he expressed that so many clients are thrilled to return to the salon, and the feeling is very much mutual.

At Salon Riz, early morning hours have been set aside for any vulnerable clientele or frontline workers. Riz also shared that all staff members received Covid-19 certification from Barbicide, a leading education service in the beauty industry. “The course was designed to teach stylists and assistants all of the important protocols for creating the safest possible environment in a hair salon,” explained Riz.

Salon VMS, on 90th and Broadway, opened three weeks before the pandemic hit. Owner Vlad expressed excitement to finally reopen. He explained that with few working in the salon, it has been easy to keep distance between clients. Cutting around clients’ masks, however, provides a new challenge for stylists.

Though your favorite hair salon or barbershop may feel more like an operating room than a hair studio, stylists are back at work and excited to help you look your best.

NEWS | 16 comments | permalink
    1. Carolyn Gallogly says:

      Welcome back to all the stylists who have always been front line workers!

    2. blacklikeu says:

      I waited in line – 6 feet apart – to get my first hair cut in 19 weeks.
      It was hot & humid and the line did not move.
      Asked how long it will take before I get in I was told another 2 hours.
      OK, it’s the 1960’s all over again and I’ll let my hair grow to my shoulders – again.

    3. jeffrey goldberg says:

      This was not the case on Monday at City Clippers II
      on 72nd.
      They all wore masks.
      Had masks available for clients, but some clients were not wearing a mask while their hair was cut.
      Operating at full capacity and not 6ft distance.

    4. Tony B says:

      Salon Riz is the coolest, most charming and best hair salon in the UWS. When we’re not social distancing, Mike Riz is also a wonderful social atmosphere. So good to have the salon back!

    5. Rosanne says:

      Unfortunately, my UWS salon Fox and Jane on 83rd Street has closed ! My stylist has moved to their Grand St. location. Have decided it’s too far to travel !

    6. Salon Riz rocked it! Was there Monday. If you’re looking for the ultimate salon experience…. great service, fabulous quality cuts and color, and the coolest ambiance ever, pay them a visit. It’s an Upper West Sige hidden gem!!!

    7. Anne says:

      Everyone is so happy Salon Riz is back!

    8. Marilyn says:

      The place I go, Lucy’s Hair Studio at 711 Amsterdam between 94th and 95th, is also open! Thankfully!!

    9. Beth Kimmel says:

      Too bad that at LePosh (Bway and 83) there was inconsistent use of masks by staff. Couldn’t wait to get out…

    10. Todd says:

      It’s the price-gouging I’m trying to process. One salon has doubled their prices. A new barbershop had its prices posted. When I went by to see how busy it was the price sign was down and they were almost doubled. In this economy I can’t do it.

    11. John says:

      The barbers at 96th b/n B’way and Am’dam were great. I had no wait in the afternoon on first day of Phase 2. They limit to 2 customers at a time, and everyone wore masks. When it came time to cut around the ears, I was simply instructed to remove the string around one ear at a time, while holding the mask in place. Price is the same as it’s always been (cheap). It’s not glamorous, but they get the job done fast and well.

    12. LisaB says:

      I got my hair cut and highlighted yesterday at Dramatics on 72nd St. I made my appt online. about 30 minutes before my appt I got a call to say they were running a few minutes behind and to please show up a bit later. The salon was VERY clean, there were clear partitions between every other chair, everyone wore masks and I felt very safe. Not to mention the fabulous color and cut I got from Redd A. I was thrilled! Thank you!

    13. Nancy says:

      So glad to see these salons opening! Do you know if Jean Louis David re-opening on Broadway & West 75th Street?

    14. Alison says:

      Came to Salon VMS the other day and got highlights and a cut… loved the atmosphere and my hair turned out great. Everyone were wearing masks and the staff were wiping down chairs and surfaces after every client. Would recommend.

    15. Kat_77 says:

      MSalon on Columbus Avenue between 75th & 76th has finally reopened this week. So happy to have them back, they’re my favorite neighborhood salon. The owners & staff are always so welcoming, friendly, & accommodating. All of their stylists are talented & skilled. Had my first haircut there this week since the lockdown. Felt totally safe as they practiced all of the necessary safety precautions.