Abioye Adeniran Oyomesi, Ibadan
With the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic sending the UK into another lockdown, the Nigerian government would do well to take pre-emptive measures to nip the menace in the bud. Keeping in mind that Nigeria lags behind in international standard health infrastructure, adequate measures must be taken to secure the lives of the populace. And one of the areas where decisive action must be taken is the beauty industry, that is, salons. Let us use a densely populated state such as Oyo state and Lagos state as case studies.
The hair salon has always been an especially intimate environment. It is a place where close contact is non-negotiable — a hair stylist massages your scalp with the pads of their fingers; a barber leans in close to shape up your hairline.
In the US there are rules forbidding more than 10 people per 500 square feet in salons, walk-ins are asked to wait off premises until a barber is ready for them, if the waiting area is full. But in Oyo state what are the measures being put in place by the government and the stakeholders to safeguard the health of the citizens? What is being done to prevent the inevitable second wave of the coronavirus? Are there high hygiene and safety standards being enforced on salon operators?
This blogger went on a visit of several salons in Ibadan city and discovered that stringent safety measures are not practiced by salon owners. A lot of peoples’ health is daily being put at risk daily.
Keep in mind that the state government instituted a Covid-19 taskforce months back, which shows that the Oyo state government is a very responsive one. It is on record that over three billion naira has been spent against the fight of the virus.
One option the government should seriously consider against this second wave is that hair salons must be added to the lockdown list and close their doors to stop the coronavirus spread as social distancing cannot be adequately practiced.
Stopgap measures must be put in place to safeguard the health of the citizens and the relevant authorities must keep a watchful eye on the operations of salon owners. Adequate disinfection protocols must be applied on cutting tools like scissors, shears, electric clippers and other tools like combs, brushes etc. must be adequately disinfected. “Scissor slips” can easily lead to lacerations on the fingers and hands of hairstylists. Cuts, punctures and scrapes are the second most common injury group for salon operations and this can lead to a whole array of infections.
Before salons are fully open, Environmental Cleaning and Decontamination must be carried out. The following should also be considered:
Work surfaces and equipment are thoroughly cleaned with soap and water before disinfection.
Surface and equipment disinfectants are used after cleaning, and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Cleaning/disinfection wipes are only used for surfaces and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Disposable covers are discarded immediately after use. Chairs, head and armrests must be cleaned and disinfected between clients.
Frequent and thorough daily environmental cleaning and disinfection is maintained. This includes high touch surfaces such as phones, computer, cash register, credit card machine and door handles.
Capes/gowns and towels are laundered with detergent and dried completely. Ready to use items are stored in closed cabinets or covered containers.
Washroom surfaces are cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day or as often as necessary.
Hair is swept gently throughout the day, and a wet mop is used at the end of the day.