Kelly D’Anna is the owner of Strandz Salon in Newington CT, a full-service hair salon that can accommodate eight stylists at independent stations while sharing two shampoo stations. Like most small businesses, she saw everything come to a screeching halt during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When word came that Reopen Connecticut plans were underway, she reviewed the list of requirements for new physical space setup, personal protection protocols, additional cleaning, and operator training.
The more challenging aspect was implementing the new physical space setup requirements, which require six feet of distance with physical barriers in place, where possible. With fixed stations for stylists at less than six feet apart plus the shampoo stations roughly three feet apart, she needed to find a way to create separation without isolation.
D’Anna worked with her local fabricator who recommended Vintec® Clear PVC sheets from Vycom because of its excellent chemical resistance to common cleaners and disinfectants. Designed for industrial applications, Vintec Clear can withstand the multiple daily cleanings required by the new guidelines without clouding or scratching.
With only a two-week window to prepare for the initial reopening date, the fabricator was able to acquire the material quickly. Vycom had immediate availability of Vintec Clear as the company was operating as an essential business providing materials to create barriers, partitions, and furniture for temporary and semi-permanent field hospitals and other builds. Vintec Clear in standard 4-foot by 8-foot sheets (3/16” thickness) was acquired and easily fabricated using basic tools, including a circular saw, drill, and a deburring tool.
The panels were cut to four-foot square pieces, small holes were drilled at the top edge of the panels, and they were hung throughout the salon using steel chains and S-hooks.
“The whole installation process took us under two hours,” said D’Anna. “We have panels in the reception area, at the check-out desk, between the stylist stations, and between the shampoo stations. It was a simple installation, but the result is stunning.”
“I like that even though each station is protected, I can still see the entire salon,” continued D’Anna. “While I can see through the panels, the slight blue tint means that anyone in the salon intuitively knows where the panels are, and won’t accidentally bump into one. Our customers also like the additional privacy afforded by the panels.”
The panels are easily cleaned with the same solution used on all other hard surfaces in the salon. Vintec Clear is designed to be chemical-resistant and can withstand repeated contact with cleaning solutions that might scratch or degrade other plastic surfaces. Another benefit is the density of Vintec Clear— for a comparably thick sheet, it’s heavier than commonly-used acrylic products, which means the panels won’t sway when blow dryers are in use.
“Our stylists are very pleased with the way it looks: clean and professional,” said D’Anna. “Our customers are appreciative as well. Before they even enter the salon, they can see the barriers and be confident that we’re doing all we can to keep everyone safe.”