The Services Beauty And Wellness Entrepreneurs Are Rushing To Get—And Why Some Are Holding Off

With all adults in the United States eligible for a coronavirus vaccine, beauty service providers hit hard by the pandemic could be due for a major rebound. To suss out whether that rebound is already starting to happen, we decided to check in with beauty and wellness entrepreneurs and executives about their readiness to return to spas, salons and other aesthetics destinations. We asked 26 of them the following questions: Do you feel comfortable getting beauty services now? If so, what is the first beauty service you have gotten or will get?

Christen Dominique Founder and CEO, Dominique Cosmetics

Going anywhere in public is always a bit scary these days, but I feel more at ease if the places I’m going have taken proper precautions and follow clear guidelines. The first service I received was a pedicure! I really needed it after doing it at home for over a year. Mine wasn’t as professional looking! It took me a year to be comfortable going to the salon, but I feel at ease at my salon because of the safety precautions they are taking. I’m back to my routinely scheduled appointments!

Kate McLeod Founder, Kate McLeod

I am still extremely cautious, but, if all the proper precautions are taken, I am OK with it. We all need a little pampering! I recently ventured out for a facial. It's been a long year and working from home led to more days than I would like to admit where I skipped washing my face. I was craving a good cleanse and a little time on my own. I started the pandemic with a 6 month old who couldn't crawl yet and, after a year, being on the receiving end of care was magical. I left feeling completely rejuvenated!

Mackenzie Hill Founder, LumiBloom

With the rate of vaccinations increasing everywhere, I am finally comfortable getting beauty services. Even with the end of the pandemic in sight, I’m still drawn to easy, low maintenance beauty solutions, so my first foray into the outside world for beauty services was to get micro braids in my signature black and teal. They are incredibly versatile, can be worn long, loose and casual, in a pony tail or a classic updo for a night out on the town, assuming things return enough to normal for a night out on the town. In the meantime, I feel beautiful, which is enough of a reason for me.

Cindy Kang Founder, Hey Dewy

I feel comfortable getting beauty services now. I think first up is the hair salon. It’s time for some much-needed cut, styling and maybe coloring. I can’t wait to see my hairstylist again, although he is totally going to laugh at the haircuts I gave myself! There’s nothing quite like walking out of the salon with silky hair that feels nourished and a fresh style that just makes you smile with confidence.

Cindy O'Brien Founder, Liv + Grace Skincare

Yes, I feel comfortable with getting beauty treatments as long as they continue to use the COVID sanitation protocols. I am fully vaccinated now and think my risk of getting COVID is much lower than others who are not vaccinated. Since I am in Napa Valley and we are more open, I am really looking forward to receiving a full day of spa treatments, especially a lovely facial and full body massage. It has been too long!

Zain Pirani Co-Founder, No, Thank You

After vaccination, I feel fairly comfortable getting beauty services. Massages! I can't get enough of those and missed them dearly during quarantine! Double-masking and PPT allowed me to be fairly comfortable getting eyebrow threading, waxing and haircuts, especially since salons have done a good job of keeping traffic to a minimum and by appointments only.

Michele Gough Baril Founder and CEO, Iris & Romeo

The only service I've had is a haircut and blow-dry. My stylist had her entire setup outside in her garden—including a sink!—and we both wore masks, so I felt she'd taken great strides to protect us both. Until I got vaccinated, which was last Friday, I didn’t feel comfortable doing more than that.

Kimberly Dillon Founder, Frigg

I am getting a facial and going to the acupuncturist as soon as the studios open. My skin needs a bit of professional TLC, which is one way I nurture myself. I know that many of them have undergone so much training in their SOPs [standard operating procedures] and protocols for cleanliness and safety.

Liz Kirby Founder, Betoken

I am comfortable getting beauty services now. Mostly because I have known my practitioners for years, and trust that they are taking all of the right precautions to keep both me and them safe. I actually have been getting my hair done since last May. I have known my stylist for years, and the salon she works at was even in the news for how safe they were being, going above and beyond what was required by the state. Since I could trust them and they could trust me, it's worked out really well. I haven't gotten any other services yet, mostly because there isn't such a necessity as with my hair—and covering my grays!—but my next stop is to my facialist to prep my skin for summer in Maine.

Victoria Flores Co-Founder, Lux Beauty Club CBD

I have actually been getting facials and massages since November. My go-to spas Skin + Tonic and The Spa at Litchfield Hills in Connecticut have been taking the CDC and state guidelines so seriously that I have felt completely safe and comfortable going with all the precautions they have in place. It's also my duty to support small business in any way that I can as soon as we were given the green light.

Erin Simon Co-Founder and CEO, Simon Wolff

I do feel comfortable getting some beauty services now. I was vaccinated in February and in the past couple of months I have seen my vaccinated hairstylist at my home and at his salon, and I have had a couple of manicures and pedicures outside and masked. I haven't had a facial or any super up-close services yet, but I think that's next.

I believe in science. I believe in facts. Simon Wolff's consulting physician, Dr. Angelique Campen, aka @GlamErDoc, and the CDC say that vaccinated people are at low risk to one another. My feeling is that, as long as the beauty professionals I am seeing are vaccinated and we are using safe practices, it's OK for me to get back to the business of self-care and beauty.

Heidi Ackerman VP of Marketing, Epicuren Discovery

I do feel comfortable getting a beauty treatment now that the numbers have gone down with COVID-19. The first service I will be getting is an anti-aging facial. I tried really hard to take care of my skin over the last year, especially with all of this mask wearing, but nothing compares to a professional facial from an aesthetician. Spas in California are using multiple precautions to be sure they are as safe as possible, and I love that.

Kim Wellen Founder and CEO, Mantra Mask

I have had a pedicure and facial. Both places have been above and beyond with precautions, and I felt completely safe. I am really eager for all of these beauty industry workers to get back to business. It’s been such a tough time.

Autumn Shelton CEO, Autumn Brands

I started getting a haircut and highlights outside at my house about six months ago, but, now that we are fully vaccinated, I feel more comfortable going to the salon with a mask. But since I have small children, I will probably wait for non-mask beauty services such as facials, massages, etc., until children can also be vaccinated.

Alexandra Mulconnery Co-Founder, Cure Crate

I’m so iffy on it! A few months ago, I did end up getting my hair done because I was really struggling with being on camera so many hours a day not feeling so hot about myself, but I haven’t done anything since then and am unsure when I will. It personally has had me reflect on my vanity and where I’m spending my resources, especially time. So, now I’m really looking into at-home options as a way to feel more empowered.

A great hairstylist I follow gave a paid class the other day on how to cut your own bangs at home, and it was super fun, so I think there’s still a growing market for at-home beauty even as salons open! I’ve never been able to figure out doing my nails at home though, so I’m really excited to feel comfortable doing that and getting a facial again sometime soon (fingers crossed).

Manna Kadar Founder and CEO, Manna Kadar Beauty

I value down time and alone time. It's a chance for me to reset and get energized for the new week. Actually, just last week I went to the Spa at the Pasea Hotel in Huntington Beach, and it felt super safe because cleaning is continuous and heightened, and masks are still required walking around, but I like how the capacity is low, too.

I got a massage there last weekend. Then, I went to Facial Lounge in Corona Del Mar for a custom vegan facial. I choose that location because it's more of a boutique vibe, and it's a custom facial for my personal skin needs. Amber there is amazing. Next, I want to try their lymphatic massages. I see celebs like Gretchen Rossi doing them ther,e and I want IN! Also, side note, since I own Manna Kadar Beauty, I try to set a spa experience for myself on Friday nights in my master bathroom. Did this a lot during quarantine. Bubble bath with some of my favorite products and scents, and a glass of wine. So, I create my at-home spa.

Julius Few Founder, Aforé by Dr. Few

With safety measures in place, safety should not be an issue. Xeomin for frown lines between my brows. I don’t want to appear angry when I am not, but I am still left with enough movement so that you know when I am.

Chris Cabrera Founder, Naturally London

So far, the two types of services I have received are hairstyling and a facial. Both are mentally reassuring to me because they are done with just two people in the room. The boutique spa I attend in DC, Take Care, has this state of the art device allowing you to remove your mask because your breath is captured by a vacuum. It's genius! Parameters like this are essential for me to feel comfortable getting beauty services.

Lexi Atkins Founder, Tely Organics

I do feel comfortable getting beauty services. My No. 1 full body beauty secret is getting lymphatic drainage massages. They literally have been a game changer for me not only aesthetically, but to reap all of the health benefits as well.

Joan Sutton Founder and CEO, 707 Flora

Since the pandemic, like everyone else, my beauty services came to a screeching halt. I started having a few of what I would consider essentials in August, but very few and very far between. I was and continue to be very diligent with sanitizer, etc., and feel safe in my choices. Now that the world seems to be opening slowly, I’m still not getting a weekly mani/pedi, but I am also not holding back when it’s time to color my roots.

One thing that does concern me is that many of my beautician friends’ lives were like yo-yos for so long. The salon is open, then closed, then open, then they do clients outside, then inside with masks, then closed again. Oh, how I feel for them!

Jessica Ebert Account Executive, Tara Ink

I do feel comfortable getting beauty services done at this point in time because of the safe COVID precautions that most salons and spas are taking now. The first beauty service I got done since COVID was manicure/pedicure, and the salon was sanitized frequently and everyone was wearing masks, so I definitely felt comfortable and have been routinely going for this service for the past few months since the nail salons first reopened. I eventually see myself going back to getting other services soon again as well like facials and more.

Paulina Vega Founder, Mind Naturals

I am not in a hurry right now, but looking forward for a facial when the time is right.

Martha Van Inwegen Founder and President, Life Elements

We were fortunate to get our second vaccine here in our area and, as I write this, my husband and I are one week away from the 14-day mark, and I will definitely book a spa day with a much needed massage, mani/pedi and my hair cut!

Hannah Chon PR Associate, Luxie Beauty

The first beauty services I received most recently were an eyebrow threading appointment and getting my acrylic nails done. Both followed COVID-19 safety guidelines for the state of California, and were so clean and efficient. Feels good to be back to my normal beauty routine!

Jamie Lea Founder and CEO, Toastyy

I have been getting beauty services during the pandemic such as hair services, lash extensions, threading, nails and preventative aesthetic services. I attempted to do certain services like my nails on my own, but found it was very difficult. I don't find all these services to be "essential" so to say, but, as long as I could book the appointment and I could do it safely, I was there.

At first, it was pretty much impossible due to places being closed, but most transitioned to at-home services, i.e., lashes, nails, hair services and threading. As soon as that happened, I started to book right away. Other services have started to be added on as state regulations allow permission. Now that we are pretty much open, I am back on my routine schedules amidst the pandemic still going on.

Kat Burki Founder, Kat Burki

I feel cautiously comfortable. So, not too often and where they have particular COVID protocols in place. I have had a massage once and a handful of manicures.

If you have a question you’d like Beauty Independent to ask beauty entrepreneurs, please send it to [email protected].