UPDATED: Safety guidelines for barbershops re-opening during COVID-19 (by State)

With several states relaxing their shutdown policies, certain barbershops are considering reopening their doors. If your shop is one of them, be sure your business is in compliance with state safety regulations. We’ve linked the respective guidelines for each state below, be sure to read thoroughly as violators can face serious consequences.

ARKANSAS (Phase 1 Guidelines)




















UTAH (Employer Guidelines outlined on Page 7)  

  • Employer guidelines outlined on page 7




















FOR REFERENCE: The following guidelines are courtesy of the Georgia State Board of Cosmetologists and Barbers – however, be sure to also check out your state’s specifically, as guidelines vary!

Temperature checks:

Barbershops should consider use of a touchless infrared thermometer to check the temperature of employee each day and of each client who enters the shop. Any employee or client who has a temperature above 99°F should be sent home immediately and not allowed to return to the shop until they have no fever and no evidence of COVID-19 symptoms.

Ask each client entering the shop the following questions…

  • Have you had a cough?
  • Have you had a fever?
  • Have you been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms within the past 14 days?
  • Are you living with anyone who is sick or quarantined?

Limit people in the barbershop!

  • Barbershops should consider seeing clients by appointment only.
  • Barbershops should consider telephonic or online scheduling.
  • Limit the number of persons waiting area in the shop.
  • It is recommended that clients wait outside the shop in their vehicle until the cosmetologist or barber is ready to serve them. It is recommended that persons not being serviced in the shop wait outside the shop.

Shops are not be used for social gathering places!

  • Maintain social distancing at all times! Spacing between persons in the barbershop should be at least
    six feet, except when staff are servicing clients. Shops should consider additional spacing
    between booths, divider shields, and/or alternate work schedules to accomplish this.

Personal Protective Gear: 

Wear masks – barbers will be required to wear masks at all times. (Shops may want to consider providing masks for employees). Clients should also wear face masks to the extent possible while receiving services.

Face Shields – If available, it is recommended that employees wear face shields when servicing clients.

Gloves – It is recommended that employees wear disposable gloves when servicing clients and change gloves between each client to the greatest extent possible.

Capes – Each client should be draped with a clean cape. Capes should be laundered following the fabric recommendations between each client, or shops may consider using disposable capes and dispose of the cape after it is used.

Smocks – Employees should wear a clean smock between each client. Smocks should be laundered following the fabric recommendations between each client, or shops may consider using disposable smocks and dispose of the smock after use on a client.

Neck strips – Employees should use protective neck strips around the neck of each hair-cut client.

**Hand-washing with soapy, warm water, for a minimum of 20 seconds will be required by employees between every client service.**

Employee clothing:

Employees should arrive at the shop showered and wearing clean clothing (naturally, but especially now!). Employees should change clothes before entering their homes when they return from work.

PPG, such as gloves, gowns, drapes, linens and eye coverings should be changed between each client. These used items should be cleaned and disinfected or discarded in a closed container.


  • All barbershops should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to reopening. Disinfect all surfaces, tools, and linens, even if they were cleaned before the shop was closed.
  • Use disinfectants that are EPA-registered and labeled as bactericidal, virucidal and fungicidal. No product will be labeled for COVID-19 yet, but many will have human coronavirus efficacy either on the label or available on their website. The EPA has approved any product that has tested as effective against human coronavirus. If in doubt of the effectiveness, check the EPA website.
  • Disinfectant for immersion of tools, must be mixed daily and replaced sooner if it becomes contaminated throughout the work day. Disinfectant only works on a clean surface so clean all surfaces and tools with hot soapy water, Ship-shape or cleaning wipes (if using wipes, be sure to cover surface thoroughly) before disinfecting.
  • Contact time on label must be observed for disinfectant to work. Contact time refers to how long the disinfectant is visibly wet on the surface allowing it to thoroughly destroy all of the pathogens. Typical contact time for immersion/sprays is 10 minutes, for disinfectant wipes is 2-4 minutes.
  • Disinfectants used for immersion must be changed daily or sooner if it becomes contaminated (ex: hair/debris floating in solution or cloudy solution.) Disinfection is for hard non-porous surfaces, glass metal and plastic. Porous/soft surfaces can not be disinfected and must only be used once and then discarded (tools such as cardboard files, buffers, drill bits etc.)
  • Launder all linens, towels drapes, and smocks in hot soapy water and dry completely at the warmest temperature allowed and store in an airtight cabinet. Store all used/dirty linens in an airtight container.
  • The use of mask is mandatory.
  • Place a clean towel, placed over the face of your client while at the sink in a good way to protect their mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Minimize to the greatest degree possible, up-close, direct face-to-face contact with clients.

Reception area: 

  • Remove all unnecessary items such as magazines, newspapers, service menus, any other unnecessary paper products and decor.
  • Wipe down all seats and tables; cloth chairs cannot be properly cleaned and disinfected, using a plastic cover should be considered.
  • Wipe reception desk with disinfectant. (Consider discontinuing use of paper appointment books or cards, and replace with electronic options.)
  • Employees should frequently wash their hands after the using the phones, computer, cash register and/or credit card machine. Wipe these surfaces between each use.

**Avoiding the exchange of cash can help greatly in preventing spread of virus, but if this is unavoidable, be sure to wash and sanitize hands well after each transaction.**

  • The use of credit/debit transactions is preferred, using touch/swipe/no signature technology.
  • Clean and disinfect all retail areas, daily, including products. Try to avoid client touching
    products that they don’t plan to purchase.
  • Clean and wipe all door handles and other surfaces that are regularly touched by clients and
    staff with disinfectant wipes.
  • Provide hand sanitizer and tissues for employees and clients.
  • Consider floor stickers and signage that provide guidance for social distance.
  • Placement of visible and appropriate signage to communicate to the customer that
    thorough sanitation procedures are in place.
  • Consider placement of sneeze shields.



Clean and disinfect ALL restroom surfaces including floors, sinks and toilet bowls. Store paper products in a closed cabinet and provide antibacterial hand soap. Place trashcan by door. Remove anything that does not have to be in the restrooms.

Shampoo Bowls:

Clean and disinfect all bowls, hoses, spray nozzles, foist handles, shampoo chairs and arm rests. Wipe down all back-bar products and shelves. Discard and replace any products that have not been stored in a closed container.

  • If available, wrap shampoo bowls in plastic and discarded between each client.
  • Consider asking clients to wash their own hair before entering the shop.
  • Limit as much as possible face-to-face contact with clients, and consider using face-shields by those employees providing shampoo services.


Work stations:

Clean and disinfect all work area surfaces. Clean and disinfect chairs, head rest, arm rests (the use of harsh disinfectants can damage leather chair, and cloth chairs cannot be disinfected, so please use a plastic covering).

Clean and disinfect all reusable tools and store in an airtight closed container. Clean and disinfect all appliances, sheers, clippers, clipper guards, clippies, rollers, combs, brushes, rolling carts and any other items used in connection with servicing clients.

  • Check to make sure all products such as lotions, creams, waxes and scrubs have always been in a closed container, if not you must discard and replace.
  • Remove and discard all single use tools such as paper files, drill bits and buffers, that have already been used.
  • Clean and disinfect all linen hampers and trash container and only use such container that can be closed and use with liners that can be removed and discarded.
  • Provide hand sanitizer at all work locations for employees and clients.
  • Consider station barriers between work stations.

Administrative Controls:

  • Employees who are sick will be expected to stay home.
  • Barbershop owner/managers should provide training, educational materials, and reinforcement on proper sanitation, hand-washing, cough and sneeze etiquette, using PPE, and other protective behaviors.
  • Ensure break-rooms are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized and not used for congregating by employees.
  • Ensure that all sinks in the workplace have antibacterial soap available and paper towels.
  • Post handwashing signs in the restrooms.
  • Provide alcohol wipes for use at phone stations.
  • Be flexible with work schedules/shop hours to reduce the numbers of people (employees and clients) in shops at all times in order to maintain social distancing.
  • Provide Barbicide® or EPA disinfectant wipes, liquid disinfectant containers, and Barbicide® concentrate/or EPA approved disinfectant for disinfecting technical implements and work areas.
  • Consider discontinuing hand relief treatments as well as scalp, neck, and shoulder massages during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Work smart and stay safe!

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