Barbering and Cosmetology - Hair

COVID19 Prevention Checklist Industry Guidance

Last updated: Mar 5, 2021

The State of Maine has adopted a staged approach, supported by science, public health expertise, and industry collaboration, to allow Maine businesses to safely open when the time is right. The plan is available at

This is one of many industry guidance documents the State is preparing for businesses so they can be prepared to meet health guidelines and reopen safely. Please make sure you pair this document with the general guidance document that applies to all industries, which is available on

Please note: This document may be updated as additional information and resources become available. 

Barbering and Cosmetology - Hair

All existing safety, sanitation and infection control standards established by the Barbering and Cosmetology Licensing Program are still in effect and enforced. Reference, Program Rule Chapters 20 and 26, which is available at

General Guidance (Updated 6/10/20)

  • Require all staff, vendors, and clients to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from individuals who are not part of their household group whenever possible.
  • Require all staff, vendors, and clients to wear a face covering, per CDC recommendations and pertinent Executive Orders from the Office of the Governor.
  • The number of individuals that can gather in a shared space must not exceed the limit established by the Governor’s Executive Order.
    • Maintaining physical distancing of 6 feet and wearing face coverings are the primary tools to avoid transmission of respiratory droplets between individuals. If an indoor space cannot accommodate the gathering limit without complying with the six-foot distancing requirement, attendance must be limited to allow for such compliance.
  • All indoor gathering limits as further established by the Governor's Executive Order are subject to the following limits: (Updated 3/5/21)
    • Effective March 26, 2021 through May 23, 2021: 50% of permitted occupancy or 50 persons, whichever is greater.
    • Effective May 24, 2021 and thereafter: 75% of permitted occupancy or 50 persons, whichever is greater.

Employees (Updated 6/10/20)

  • Employees should consider whether they can work safely if they have any of these conditions and supervisors should discuss potential risks for individuals with the following:
    • People 65 or older
    • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
    • People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
      • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
      • People who have serious heart conditions
      • People who are immunocompromised: Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune-weakening medications
      • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
      • People with diabetes
      • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
      • People with liver disease
  • Workers should stay at home if they are sick. Supervisors should ask all workers to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms using either of the following approaches:
    • Use an electronic or app-based self-screening form, such as the Coronavirus Self-Checker available on the federal CDC’s homepage.
    • Self-screen using the following questions:
      • Do you feel ill or are you caring for someone who is ill?
      • In the past two weeks, have you been exposed to anyone who tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Adjust training practices to limit the number of people involved and allow for 6-foot spacing; use virtual/video/audio training when possible.
  • Provide employees training on:
  • Consider employee training in safe de-escalation techniques.

Building Considerations (Updated 6/10/20)

  • Take steps to improve ventilation in the building.
    • Increase the percentage of outdoor air (e.g., using economizer modes of HVAC operations) potentially as high as 100% (first verify compatibility with HVAC system capabilities for both temperature and humidity control as well as compatibility with outdoor/indoor air quality considerations).
    • Increase total airflow supply to occupied spaces, if possible.
    • Disable demand-control ventilation (DCV) controls that reduce air supply based on temperature or occupancy.
    • Consider using natural ventilation (i.e., opening windows if possible and safe to do so) to increase outdoor air dilution of indoor air when environmental conditions and building requirements allow.
  • Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water.
    • Consider restricting the use of water fountains to refill only with instruction for individuals to wash or sanitize hands after use.

Client Services

This checklist page applies only to hair services.

  • Appointments
    • Schedule appointments with adequate time in between appointments to reduce the number of clients in the establishment at a single time and to allow time to properly clean and disinfect in between clients.
    • Employers should be held accountable for allowing their employees to have enough time to allow for proper disinfection without repercussions.
  • Signage
    • Post a sign that states services will not be offered to or given by anyone who is exhibiting signs of COVID-19 virus.
  • Ask each client the following questions: ahead of time, when they set up the appointment and again when they are entering the shop
    • Have you had a cough or sore throat?
    • Have you had a fever or do you feel feverish?
    • Do you have shortness of breath?
    • Do you have a loss of taste or smell?
    • 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 establishment
    • See clients by appointment only.
    • Schedule by telephone or online only.
    • Maintain physical distancing in waiting areas or consider closing them entirely.
    • Ask clients to wait outside in their vehicle or if not possible, at the entrance of the business with at least 6 feet between clients until their scheduled appointment.
  • Maintain physical distancing at all times.
  • Spacing between persons within the establishment salon should be at least six feet, except when staff are servicing clients.
  • Consider additional spacing between work stations, divider shields, and/or develop alternate work schedules to accomplish this.

Personal Protective Gear, Supplies, and Clothing (all practitioners) (Updated 10/9/20)

  • Wearing masks – not face coverings
    • Establishment employees, including practicing owners must wear surgical masks at all times (as long as there is not a face mask shortage situation for healthcare).
    • Provide workers with up-to-date COVID information and training on safe donning, doffing, and disposal of personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks.
  • Client face coverings (Updated 10/9/20)
    • Discourage, or remove from service offerings, any services on the face that would require clients to remove their face covering. If such services are offered, advise clients that removal of face coverings increases the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and confirm with the client that they consent to such services.
    • All procedures requiring a customer to remove their mask must be performed by a single attendant wearing a mask/face covering that completely covers the nose and mouth, and a face shield that extends below the chin. Employees who for medical reasons or otherwise cannot wear a source control mask and face shield cannot perform these services.
    • Time-limited procedures of less than 15 minutes in length (e.g. beard trimming, limited facial waxing, piercing, etc.) can be performed provided removal of the customer’s mask only occurs for the time necessary to complete the procedure on the parts of the face covered by the mask. For example, if upper lip waxing is to occur, the mask may be removed only for the portion of the service that involves the upper lip and must remain on for the other portions.
    • Extended-time procedures (e.g. services that take more than just a few minutes to perform such as facials, make-up services, facial tattooing, electrolysis, etc.) significantly increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission. They can be performed provided removal of the customer’s mask only occurs during the active time of the service. Customers must wear facial coverings inside the spa until the service begins and must replace them immediately after the procedure is finished. These procedures must be performed in a completely separate room with doors closed, and are limited to one attendant and one customer per room. Appropriate cleaning, disinfection, and air exchange inside the space need to occur between customers. Schedule adequate time between customer appointments for cleaning, disinfection, and air exchange.
  • Face Shields
    • Employees should wear face shields when servicing clients, if available. If face shields are not available, in order of preference, use goggles, or eye glasses.
  • Capes
    • Drape each client with a clean cape.
    • Launder capes between each client, or consider using disposable capes and dispose of the cape after it is used.
  • Neck strips
    • Place protective neck strips or a clean towel between the client’s neck and cape or smock when hair service is performed.
  • Personal Protective Equipment
    • Clean and disinfect reusable items or discard in a closed container.
  • In accordance with Barbering and Cosmetology Program Rule Chapter 26, all tools, implements and equipment must be cleaned and sanitized in accordance with required standards.

Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Wash hands with soapy, warm water, for a minimum of 20 seconds between every client service.
  • Ensure that soap and paper towels are available at all sinks.
  • Each establishment shall be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to reopening and then daily.
  • Disinfect all surfaces, tools, implements, equipment, and linens, even if cleaning occurred prior to the closing of the establishment.
  • Disinfectant for immersion of tools must be mixed daily and replaced sooner if it becomes contaminated during the 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 refers to how long the disinfectant is visibly wet on the surface allowing it to destroy the pathogens.
  • Typical contact time for immersion/sprays is 10 minutes, for disinfectant wipes is 2-4 minutes.
  • Observe contact time on label to allow disinfectant to work properly.
  • Change disinfectants used for immersion 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 cannot 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 a closed cabinet. Store all used/dirty linens in an airtight container.
  • Provide Barbicide® or EPA disinfectant wipes, liquid disinfectant containers, and Barbicide® concentrate/or EPA approved disinfectant for disinfecting technical implements and work areas.

Reception Area

  • Suspend “self-service” food stations. (Updated 5/27/20)
  • Remove all unnecessary items such as magazines, newspapers, service menus, any other unnecessary paper products and decor. Wipe down all seats and tables; since cloth chairs are difficult to properly clean and disinfect, consider plastic covering.
  • 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. Plastic shields on keyboards and other high-touch devices can help with ease of cleaning.
  • Clean and disinfect all retail areas, daily, including products. Place a sign prohibiting clients from self-serving in the retail area and to ask for assistance. Remove and discard all “Test” products.
  • 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 and trash bin for disposal.
  • Consider floor stickers and signage that provide guidance for maintaining 6-foot physical distance.
  • Placement of visible and appropriate signage to communicate to the client that thorough sanitation procedures are in place.

Transactions (Updated 5/27/20)

  • Limit cash and paper receipt transactions; Promote “contactless” payment options (e.g., online payments, pay by phone options, RFID credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.)
  • Wash hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) after handling cash.
  • Where possible, card readers should be placed in front of physical barriers so visitors can swipe their own cards and enter their codes. Card readers and keypads should be cleaned and disinfected frequently. Hand sanitizer should be made available for visitors before and after transactions.


  • Clean and disinfect ALL restroom surfaces including floors, sinks and toilet bowls.
  • Place trashcan by door. Remove anything that does not have to be in the restrooms.
  • Post handwashing signs in the restrooms for both employees and clients.

Work Areas

  • 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, or cover the area of the shampoo bowl where the client rests their neck either with a clean towel or a disposable plastic cover. If using a towel, immediately place in the dirty towel receptacle or discard if using a plastic cover.
    • Consider asking clients to wash their own hair before arriving to the establishment. .
    • Limit as much as possible face-to-face contact with clients. Face shields need to be worn throughout entire duration of the hair wash service
    • Place a clean towel 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.
    • Laundered capes, towels, and smocks should be stored in covered or closed cabinets or containers.
  • Work Stations
    • Clean and disinfect all work area surfaces and inside open compartments.
    • Clean and disinfect chairs, headrest, and armrests (the use of harsh disinfectants can damage leather chairs, and cloth chairs are difficult to effectively disinfect, so plastic coverings should be used).
    • Wipe down chair and headrest between clients and consider disposable covers that may be discarded.
    • Clean and disinfect all reusable tools, implements and items 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.
    • Clean and disinfect all linen hampers and trash container daily and only use closeable containers with disposable linings.
    • Provide hand sanitizer at all work locations for employees and clients.
    • Consider station barriers between workstations.

COVID-19 Prevention Form

In order to open, businesses must commit to complying with requirements of these checklists by filling out this short online form. Please note that religious organizations and licensed health care providers are not required to use this form.

If you have questions, please contact us at or 1-800-872-3838.