COVID-19 has made some people weary of doing everyday things like going to a beauty salon. Because of that, many would argue this is the most inopportune time to launch a beauty service business.
But one new salon owner, who got the brakes put on her grand opening when the pandemic began, dares to do just that and claims the extra time actually gave the business an advantage.
Carla Oliva is the founder of DashBar -- a blowout, lash and mani/pedi salon in Brickell. She intended to open months ago, but the pandemic arrived. The delay allowed her to rethink health and safety measures related to COVID-19 and build them into the physical space, so she could make it as "COVID-proof" as possible.
“We are an ethical brand, and as such, it became quickly apparent that we needed to take care of the health and safety of not just our customers, but also our employees, above anything else,” Oliva said.
DashBar’s stringent safety protocols go beyond what people have seen at most beauty salons. Oliva says they own two electrostatic sprayers to disinfect the salon with nightly. The fine mist that comes out of a large spray gun is more effective than a standard disinfectant wipe in reaching the nooks and crannies on surfaces.
Clean air is also a big deal to this salon owner. Oliva says she installed UVC lights in their HVAC system, which ASHRAE — the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers — confirms kills up to 90% of airborne bacteria and viruses.
Because the facial rooms are the one place clients will take off their mask, Oliva installed a separate exhaust system in each one of the rooms, so the air that circulates in those spaces does not mix with the air in the main area of the salon.
Each beauty station is separated by a glass divider and has an air purifier, which Oliva claims eliminates 70% of pathogens every 12 minutes.
Then there’s the “Poly-Dash Chair,” which Oliva invented and says is patent pending. It was designed so multiple beauty services could be performed simultaneously, but the sanitary benefit is that it requires no plumbing.
“Every single time that someone comes in and sits into the chair and has a pedicure performed, they will be receiving clean, sanitary and sterilized water,” Oliva said.
The laundry list of protocols and device installations were run by frontline doctor Yana Delkhah, who serves as DashBar’s medical consultant -- further proof that this businesswoman has thought of nearly everything.
“I would describe DashBar as one of the first post-pandemic salons, and without a doubt, we are one of the safest salons in the country,” Oliva said.