Clean Hands, Safe Salons (Part 3)

Is blow drying safe? Do partitions and UV sterilizers actually work? In the absence of federal guidance, every state has taken its own path to reopening salons. Our new extended interview with Leslie Roste, BSN, RN, the Director of Education for Barbicide, covers the most controversial issues in Part 3 of our series.

Show Notes

Resources:

Barbicide – Coronavirus Information

Barbicide Back-to-Work Plan – Guidelines for reopening and operating safely

Barbicide Certification – Free online infection control course

Barbicide COVID 19 Certification – Free online coronavirus course

Outgrowth – Free signs for your salon business

Behindthechair.com – Your State-by-State Guide to Salon Reopenings

Centers for Disease Control – Special website for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Edited for length and clarity.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

JAIME: Welcome to Outgrowth: A Slice of Pro Beauty with your hosts Jaime Schrabeck.

ASHLEY: And Ashley Gregory. Every state has taken its own path to reopening salons, some moving much faster than others.

JAIME: In the absence of federal guidelines, no other person has likely exerted more influence than our guest, Leslie Roste, Director of Education for BlueCo brands and manufacturer of Barbicide.

ASHLEY: Leslie’s here to explain what to expect and how we can do better. Let’s grow together.

JAIME: Welcome, Leslie. We could not have scheduled you at a better time. Thank you for joining us again.

LESLIE: Thank you for having me.

ASHLEY: Leslie, what goes into writing these guidelines from first draft to release of the final version. Who gets consulted? What’s the starting point? We’re really interested in the process.

LESLIE: So the process varies significantly from state to state. It’s not as standardized as you might think. Oftentimes, the board will try to put together some set of guidelines. They may call me up and say, what are the guidelines that you think we should be putting in place? We’ll go through all of this work. I spent about nine hours with one state, three days in a row, three 3-hour conference calls with some key players in all the disciplines in their state and their executive director of their board, and it got sent to the governor only to find that nothing of it was used. So, it kind of really depends who has the ear of the governor to be quite honest. While some states the board has a lot of say in how those guidelines look, some states it just miraculously appears from the governor. I do know there are some states where the PBA has had quite a bit of influence on what they look like. The funny thing to me about all of it is that it really should be the same in every state. Really, this doesn’t change from state to state. This problem is substantially the same in every single state and in every single salon, barbershop, nail salon, spa, it’s the same problem. And so one set of standards probably should have been drafted and perhaps used throughout all of the states. It might’ve made everybody’s life easier.  But, as we’ve talked about before, one of the big problems in this industry is not having one professional association that everybody, while the associations feel like they speak for everyone, there’s no association that every licensed cosmetologist and barber feels like speaks for them. It’s one thing for the association to think that they represent everybody. It’s another thing for everyone to think they’re represented by that association. So it’s a very crazy process. And one of the other things I would say about it, this approach of we’re just going to write guidelines has become more problematic than is helpful. It would have probably been much more helpful for licensees in every state if their states had just gone and written some rules and said, this is how it has to happen. Because a guideline is so wishy washy that it creates all kinds of turmoil at the actual place of business. Where it’s a guideline, for example, to wear a mask and the business says you have to wear a mask and an individual comes in and says, I’m not going to wear a mask. And there’s really nothing anybody can do about it. So, it’s been a mess everywhere.

JAIME: Starting with the federal government, had the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control, issued guidance early in this process, wouldn’t we be in a better position?

LESLIE: I actually agree completely with you, that the federal government probably could have saved a lot of angst all over the country. Whether it was the government, whether it was the CDC, probably better from the CDC because then there’s no partisanism in that, but if the CDC had released direct specific guidelines that everybody was living under, whether you own a restaurant, whether you own a nail salon, whether you own a barbershop, whatever it is you own, that have all been behaving in the same fashion. You see all over Facebook where someone says, it’s my constitutional right not to wear a mask. And the reality is it has nothing to do with the constitution. You have the right to smoke cigarettes, but you don’t have the right to smoke cigarettes in my nail salon. You don’t have the right to smoke cigarettes because we all agree that for the betterment of everybody, for the public greater good, we don’t smoke in public. And in this case, we wear masks in public, and so had the CDC just made a blanket set of rules, I think we would have all been better off because it’s such a patchwork all over the place now.

ASHLEY: Thank you for that perspective because you have a macro view of what each state is doing and working behind the scenes on that. And so, one of the things we’ve talked about in our past two episodes is that we were very interested in hearing how these guidelines were evolving and how they were forming. Because of that opaqueness of the process, I think that’s where a lot of the frustration stems from. But I was hoping you could expand on your statement about associations that you made earlier and which ones actually represent individual beauty professionals. We would really love to share some of the feedback that you’re hearing from the individual beauty professionals who are actually on the front lines of this.

LESLIE: Well, I think that when I make a statement about associations, I don’t certainly want to say that there aren’t associations out there. There certainly are. This is just my opinion. In this industry, there’s two problems. One is that when you start looking at all of the disciplines. You look at women’s hair. You look at barbering. You look at nails. You look at aesthetics. You look at all of those things. And they don’t all want to own each other. There’s a whole bunch of siblings that don’t like each other in that group. They don’t want to be housed under the same umbrella. And so they all want to have their own association, which that’s totally fine, but when it comes to doing something global like this, how do we get this industry open, it becomes a problem Because while a nail tech and a, let’s say, barber, feel like they don’t share the same world, guess what? The government and the public think you do. It is a general beautification industry or the professional beauty industry. They don’t put you into these little segments. So if you have a really active, let’s say, nail association, but that only talks about the nail aspect of it, when it comes to writing overriding guidelines for the entire country or your entire state, about all of the things that the government thinks belong together, and that’s anything that’s professional beauty, those all belong in the same bucket as far as they’re concerned, that makes it a bit of a challenge. Nobody gets heard. There’s so many voices that literally nobody gets heard. I think it’s one of the reasons that people sometimes will call me because I don’t want to present any particular segment of this industry. I’m just trying to talk about this industry as a whole and in this particular case, about the health and public safety aspect, which I’ve been doing forever. So that makes it less directed at nails or barbers or whatever we’re talking about. The other piece to your question is, you know, I think, like the Professional Beauty Association or NIC or some of these national associations. While I think they think they represent all these individual groups or individual licensees, they may feel like they do. I don’t hear the licensees saying that’s how they feel. I don’t think I would ever go and talk to a licensee and say, what’s your national association? Who represents you on a national level when it comes to things like deregulation and reopening rules? I’m guessing if I asked a hundred licensees across the board, who’s the national organization that represents you. They would be at a loss. I don’t think they associate NIC with somebody who represents them because it’s always been about testing and about the boards, and Professional Beauty Association, I love working with both organizations, I just don’t think that the actual licensees feel like that represents them. So that’s where I think there’s a little bit of a disconnect. I think they’re both trying. I should say those are the two biggest national organizations that are trying to be all encompassing of everybody. Barbering often gets left out of everybody’s world, but I think that they are trying to figure out how to pull licensees closer in and hear what they have to say. 

JAIME: Ashley talked about the lack of transparency and we know much of this negotiation is happening behind the scenes. We’ve seen many complain that the state boards aren’t representing them as licensees, which I attribute to the fact that they may not understand that the state board, that’s not their job. Their job is not to represent licensees and advocate for them as if they were an association.

LESLIE: That’s exactly right. You are 100% right, and this is the analogy I’ve been using when people say that to me. If I go and get my drivers license from the driver’s license bureau  and they give me a driver’s license, all they’re saying is you are safe to drive a car. Your vision’s okay. You know what a stop sign means. But let’s say I get a bunch of tickets and they’re going to take away something. The driver’s license bureau is not going to come and defend me. That’s not their job. Their job is to ensure that I’m doing my job safely, that I’m protecting the consumer. If anything, if they’re advocating for anybody, it’s for the consumer of your services. They are trying to make sure that person is safe. That is what they’ve been tasked with by their state. So if people want more advocacy for their professions, they need to participate in an association or they need to somehow come together because that is not the job of the state. One hundred percent the job of the state is to protect the consumer of a service. I’ll give you another perfect example. If you go to a doctor and you get injured, the medical board isn’t going to defend the doctor. The medical board is there to defend the person who got hurt, right? Medical boards, they’re not there to defend the doctors. They’re there to make sure that the consumer is protected if there is a bad doctor, and it’s no different in this industry. So I think you’re right. People have misinterpreted what a board is supposed to do.

ASHLEY: Here, here. So we want to kind of get into some of the specifics about the actual recommendations. Jaime and I discussed last week the difference between, or our perceived differences between, a guideline, a recommendation, a suggestion, all of the nomenclature that leads us to go, huh? 

LESLIE: Yeah.

ASHLEY: And if you can shed any light on this, we would be eternally grateful. But can you explain what determines a requirement versus a recommendation?

LESLIE: I can tell you that if you think there is a book of definitions out there that the states are universally using, you are dreaming. Because the reality is, I just last night I got some recommendations from a state that’s still not open. They wanted me to review them and they used the word suggestion, guideline, and strongly recommended throughout. And I’m like, well, which is it? But in the same content, they wrote patron, guest, client. My whole thing is that this language problem is you have to be consistent. And if you’ve ever heard me talk about your rules in your state, one of the things I’m constantly drilling down to boards is be consistent. Be consistent. Be specific. If you ask someone, I, I’m doing a call at 2:30 today with a state that’s also not open. They want me to help them get to the reopening space and they want me to talk about their guidelines, which I have really pressed them on. Are these guidelines or are they just unspoken rules? Can they be cited or can’t they? Is it an education moment? If it’s a moment of education, who’s educating the inspector? So if this is just a guideline for education purposes, then what I’m envisioning is an inspector comes out, and inspects, and says, you’re not doing this properly, as we’ve given you guidelines, here’s the right way to do it. But if no one’s educating the inspector, there’s no education that could occur, right? And one of the things that they’re asking, for example, and I’m probably saying something you’ve already discussed, but they’re asking them to do the health questions. And I’ve seen at least a handful of states right now, at least 10 of them, that say you are required to do either a health assessment or a health questionnaire, they put all these different ways, before somebody is given a service. But they don’t tell you what questions to ask and they don’t tell you what the answer should or shouldn’t be. What is the answer that makes me say to you, you can’t come in and get a service? What are the answers that I can say, okay, you can come in? What are those parameters? And I just told the state I’m doing today, I’m just kind of done with, you know, all these wishy washy things. And I said, if you want to make them ask questions, you have to tell them what the questions are. And you have to tell them what answers allow someone to come through the door, or prohibit someone from coming in for a day, two days, five days, 14 days. You have to be specific. They aren’t doctors. They aren’t nurses. They aren’t public health officials. They’re people trying to go back to work and do their job. So, to your point, the difference between a guideline, and a recommendation, and strongly recommended, it’s just in the eye of the beholder. It’s the person who wrote the rule and it is just a recipe for frustration. And we’re seeing that really, truly everywhere. We’re seeing this frustration. And what ends up happening, unfortunately, is that the decision making for whether this guideline or, whatever you want to call it, recommendation is actually being done is held in the hands of the owner of the individual business. And it can create an unfair advantage or disadvantage if you are following all the recommendations and somebody isn’t, because arguably doing all of the recommended things takes more time and costs more money. So it’s unfortunate that an individual owner is going to have to decide whether they actually take those recommendations and those guidelines, or they choose not to, because apparently there they are just that, guidelines.

JAIME: Leslie, it’s as if you were listening to our last week’s episode and this week’s episode. May I ask if the input of other agencies, particularly public health agencies at the state level,   and perhaps some sort of OSHA agency like we see here in California with Cal/OSHA, might also be contributing to this problem of the language not being consistent? For example, in California, we might have something stated where it references employees and workers, but doesn’t get to the heart of it, which would be the licensees providing the services.

LESLIE: So I do think that when you look at the guidelines around the country, you can actually look at them and see that there have been other people’s hands in this work, so to speak. How they referenced things, how the health department says something versus how OSHA would say something. The language is just different. They don’t actually speak the same language, right? When you look at your rules, for example, from the board in California, there is a language that you understand in those rules. You’ve been reading them for a long time. They are written to what you do and to who your consumer is, right? So those rules are written in a way that they make sense in your place of business. But if you take OSHA or you take the department of health, remember. They don’t just regulate what you do. They regulate hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics. They regulate all these other things. So their language becomes very generic, and you get all these different inputs at these different levels, and some of them, when you read them, it confuses the issue because they don’t speak specific enough to what you do. So that a service you might provide under the guidelines or under the rules of your state, somehow they interpret that service in a way that they kind of turn it around. So to your point, I think there’s too many cooks in the kitchen and not enough of the right cooks. It’s very hard for me to tell you how to do your job. I’ve never done your job. I have gotten services from people like you, but I’ve never done your job. I can tell you about infection control and I can tell you the best practice and how to achieve it, and how to have a safe environment. But the reality is I need to defer to you to say, this is what I think should happen. Is that realistic? I think what I’m saying is maybe not totally realistic in the real world, and that never happens when the health departments and OSHA get involved. There’s not that conversation. And I think that’s what really needed to happen here was that there needed to be in every state, if it wasn’t going to come from a federal source, in every state, there needed to be people from every discipline in this industry saying, well, that really won’t work here. Like that’s really not realistic. We can’t make that happen. So what’s another workaround? What’s another option? And it just didn’t happen. So exactly right. There’s too many people writing the guidelines.

ASHLEY: On the flip side of that, I’m sure there are states that are welcoming recommendations with open arms and have at least some sort of a streamlined process in place as far as getting agencies to work together. What are some of the common requirements that you’re seeing from state to state?

LESLIE: So one of the common things, I would say, most states address the limiting of walk-in services, so having some type of a gatekeeper. And one of the things that I’ve been trying to say to states when I talk to them is, don’t make it so hard and fast. Don’t say you have to have an appointment system, right? Because particularly when we talk about barbers and a lot of nail groups, that’s their bread and butter is the walk-in. The person who just walks in off the street and says, I need a haircut. I need my nails done. That is their bread and butter. Having a formal appointment-based system for them may or may not work. And so we really want to get at is you need to have a gatekeeping system. And that is, I need to have somebody whose job it is every day to make sure how many people can be in this business at a time. And how do I ensure that I stay within that number of people? So let’s say you can only have 20 people, based on the size of your salon, in your place of business, and you have 10 people who work there. That means you can have 10 people in there at any given time. It could be as simple as putting a sign on the door and saying, if you want your nails done, if you want your hair cut, you need to call this phone number. And we will tell you if we can get you in, when we can get you in, you know what the timeframe would look like when you should come back. So that you don’t have people a.) standing shoulder to shoulder in a waiting area, but I think b.), more importantly, is, as people are going back, one of the things I keep hearing from people, it’s why we did the thing on mental health, is that it is very exhausting to work right now. There are so many new things that are being put upon you. Wearing a mask is not comfortable when you wear it all day long. It’s very hot. It’s exhausting. And I think you need time to a.) disinfect properly between your clients, but maybe just to go in the back and take your mask up for a minute and just take a deep breath. You’ve been out of work for two months. You’re trying to make up all this time, all this money, make everybody happy who’s coming in the door and it is stressful. So I think the rules around gatekeeping actually are in everybody’s best interest. So that’s one rule that’s consistent, the gatekeeping rule. The other one I’m consistently seeing is around, and I said, rule, guideline, or strong suggestion or whatever the word for the day is, the other one is around face coverings. So the government’s really gone back and forth on whether a face covering is important as I believe it really is actually. And so when you see at the highest levels of government and the federal government where there’s this dispute, whether it’s important enough to actually wear them when you’re out in public, we don’t have a lot of good role modeling for that, in terms of government officials at any level really. That rule has gone into place, but as a guideline as well, so a recommendation. Let’s say you go back to work and it’s your first week or two back and you’re already stressed out. There’s a million people that want to come in and one of your best clients in the past, someone who’s been one of your best clients comes in and says, I think it’s my right. I don’t want to wear a mask. I have asthma, whatever they say so they don’t have to wear a face mask. I think that it puts an undue amount of pressure on the licensee, on the stylist, to have to be the one to say, well, it really would make me more comfortable and there’s this guideline. They’re suggesting this. It doesn’t really give you a great leg to stand on. I would prefer it to be a rule, because then a stylist can say, or a nail tech can say, or a barber can say, I’m sorry. I get it. I’m wearing one. See, I understand how hard it is, but that’s the rule and I could lose my license if I don’t do it. But everyone knows it’s not a hard and fast rule, it’s a suggestion or a guideline, so that around PPE. I’ve also seen a lot of states requiring temperature checks at the door. I think I told you on the last one, I’m not a fan of that. I think it gives you a false sense of security, but that’s a very common rule that we’ve seen, either that or the asking of health assessment questions, but hardly any states to find what those questions are and what the answers are that you’re looking for. What are the answers that say you can’t come in this place of business? And there’s really no way to police that, so to speak. You can’t inspect for that, that they’re asking the questions and what the answers were. No one’s requiring that they be documented. There’s a couple states that require the answers be documented, but very few. Most of the requirements that are changing, or suggestions that are changing, are around PPE, appointments, and then payment. Most states are discouraging cash payments, and are asking people to try to find other mechanisms for payment. But, I mean, everything else you should have been doing anyway, right? Proper cleaning and disinfection, those things should have been being done anyway. Your state already had rules around those and they were real rules. They weren’t even guidelines. They’re rules. I get a lot of people that are upset. Like if I’m on a zoom and there’s a hundred people on there and variably someone will say to me, well, I can’t afford that and I don’t have time for that. And my answer is, what do you mean? That was your rule already. You’re already supposed to be cleaning and disinfecting after every client and buying the disinfectant. So the fact that you’re shocked by the cost of it or the time factor is a little appalling cause those were things you were already supposed to be doing and those are rules.

JAIME: Leslie, you and I don’t always agree on every particular, and I’d like to list off some of the topics that come up in these guidelines, and I’ll start with one and perhaps Ashley will jump in. The first one I want to address are the partitions and whether that’s useful.

LESLIE: I don’t know if you and I are going to agree or disagree on that, but I’m not a huge fan of the partitions. Look, one of the things I’m trying to be realistic about here, as somebody who has literally spent my life studying infection control and studying infections and bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, all of those things. We have to be careful that what we do is not just to make us feel better, to make things look better. It has to really be proven as something that’s going to benefit us. And the reality is that, to some extent out in your community, you’re already running some risks of exposure every single day. And you have to really look at your life today and say, how great of a risk am I willing to take? Where’s my pressure point? Where’s the breaking point where I won’t do this anymore because it makes me too uncomfortable? And sometimes things like partitions, somebody making things today that make us feel better. But I think the reality is, is that if you were to wear a mask and your client were to wear a mask, and your client, let’s say, doing nails, was to wash their hands properly, and you wash your hands properly, and you’ve donned a fresh pair of gloves before you do my service, my opinion in this viral environment is that that is just as safe. It’s way safer than if I put up that partition and now I think I don’t need to wear a mask, or I think I can let the mask hang below my nose. That is one of those things that I’m not sold on yet. I will say that.

ASHLEY: Another hot button issue that we’ve been seeing a lot of questioning and discussion about is blow drying in salons. There hasn’t been a lot of direction or guidelines given, or if they’re given in some states and not in others, it leaves others to wonder whether it’s a recommendation, or a regulation or requirement. Is it safe to do if our state or state agencies haven’t given us direction on it?

LESLIE: I’m going to go here with it’s very similar in my mind to the partitions. The reality is that we don’t know a lot about this virus. There’s just so much we don’t know, and we’re relatively early into a virus. There’s still things we don’t know about viruses that we’ve known of for 50 years, right? We don’t know all the specifics of how they work, where their reservoirs are, that kind of thing. Now we’re talking about a virus that literally is six months old at best, right? That we have experience with. There’s so many things we don’t know. And here’s a perfect example, like I don’t know. Maybe the partition is the be all and end all. I don’t know. But I do know it’s expensive. I do know most people can’t do it. I do know that it also, if you made it a requirement, it would put some people out of business, and I don’t know if there’s a proven enough efficacy for that to happen. When we talk about blow dryers, here’s another thing. Having virus in the air, airborne versus respiratory droplet, finding virus in the air doesn’t mean it’s transmitted that way. So if a virus, for example, we saw how they waffled last week on surfaces, right? How long can you get it from a surface? Is that a primary point of transmission? The reality is we know that it lives on surfaces like plastic for four full days, all right, four full days. But does that mean I can get it from that surface? Not necessarily, because a live virus and a transmittable virus are two very different things. So that’s where we get with the blow dryer question. Yes, if we can find it in the air, does that mean that we can get it from airborne? There’s no good answer yet. So there’s no for sure answer on that. What I’ve been telling people, if your state does not say you cannot use a blow dryer, if your state does not prohibit it, or say they would strongly discourage it, whatever their wording is, then it is really paramount that you both wear a mask. I wear a mask. You wear a mask, while you’re blow drying my hair. Because on the outside chance that those airborne particles can, for some people, be infectious, we wouldn’t want to take that chance. But the truth is there’s not a good answer. I can’t tell you for 100% it’s safe. I can’t tell you that you should ban it either. So it’s one of those things you have to make your own decision. Again, what’s your risk you’re willing to take? But I think wearing a mask. I went and got my hair colored last week for the first time in forever. I looked scary and we’ll just say that. And when I went to, everybody was wearing a mask, but they still were not blow drying. And I was okay with that. So, changing times, changing behavior.

JAIME: Speaking of taking a risk, Leslie, other than plagiarism, were there any negative consequences for publishing your guidelines for Barbicide so early in this pandemic?

LESLIE: Well, that’s a question I’ve never heard, and I don’t know. Only really negative thing was I had to repeat myself 5,000 times a day on 8,000 Zoom calls for every single person who wanted to have one. But, I guess what I would say is, I’m okay with plagiarism even. I’m okay with someone taking what I’ve said, as long as they’re using it properly. They’re not just cherry picking what they want out of it. But I actually even encouraged some of the states to do that, cherry pick. I don’t care. The other downside, I guess, to publishing it early was there were a lot of things that changed. This is an evolving situation. So for example, somebody got mad because they didn’t think it was realistic what I said about 10 people at a time. I said something around that, but I believe I said was, 10 people at a time in your place of business or whatever, your state will allow. That’s always going to be the overriding thing. Whatever your state says overrides whatever I would even suggest. And so in the beginning, 10 people was the number. And if I were to write it again today, I would just say follow the guidelines of your state. I don’t know about where you live, but where I live, I don’t feel like any guidelines are being followed anywhere. I don’t feel like in stores. I don’t feel like, I haven’t been to a restaurant yet, but my experience has been that everyone’s giving lip service to doing all these things and no one’s actually doing any of them. That’s been my experience.

ASHLEY: I noticed as well that, in addition to the Barbicide certification that you guys are so generous to give because, first of all, I’m sure many myths were dispelled based on how many people have completed the certification. Just as an aside, before we get into the meat of the question, do you have any estimates on how many people have completed certification since, let’s say, March?

LESLIE: So since March, well, if you include March and April and May, we had over 300,000 people complete it.  

ASHLEY: What?

LESLIE: Yeah, in three months. And I think I may have said this before on this podcast, but we developed it for students. So a lot of people will say to me, well, it’s so simplistic. It’s cosmetology 101. well, that’s what it was meant for. It was meant for students. I go out and do a program, and if I can’t get to you, schools can send their students through this program and it just reinforces proper infection control. And what we found is that quite a large number of the people who were doing it were people who have been out of school for 20 years or 30 years, but what they wanted was a.) I want to refresh myself. Make sure I’m doing it right, that I haven’t fallen into bad practices. I mean how many of us could pass our driver exam today? Almost none of us, right? Because they got bad habits that have formed over the years. So I think people were trying to make sure that they knew the right thing to do, but then also, everybody wanted to prove to their consumers that they had done something. So everywhere I went, like the places I went when I went to get my nails done the first time or my pedicure the first time, they had Barbicide certification. Of course, they know what I do for a living, but they had it up. They had the COVID-19 certification up. Where I got my hair done, they had them all up. So it was a way to say to the consumer, hey, while we were all gone, I did some extra education. I know what I’m doing. And if it works for that, I think it’s awesome.

ASHLEY: And that leads me to my next question, which is, walk me through the decision to create a COVID-specific Barbicide certification, cause I’m seeing both of those certificates  displayed kind of side by side, especially on Instagram. I saw the Barbicide certified hashtag has almost 30,000 posts.

LESLIE: Hey, we were never the popular kids, and now we’re kind of the popular kids on the block. It’s incredible the people who have called me and reached out to me want to talk to me that probably would have never answered the phone if I called them six months ago. But I mean, it’s sad that it took a pandemic to get people to start talking about this. But the COVID-19 we decided to do because it is just such a changing environment. And it was really about trying to put out there some best practices as, why would you do this? Why would you, for example, have that gatekeeper, have a schedule? Why would you consider changing your form of payment? What are the things that, in my mind, should be universal through all the disciplines of the professional beauty industry and through every single state? So regardless of what your state says, these, in my mind, were things that are should be best practice. So that was the thought behind that.

JAIME: Do you think that hair salons and nail salons should be held to different standards?

LESLIE: Well,I think there’s different risk levels, different standards in a generic sense. Six months ago? I might not have said that they should be horribly different, but the reality is, when you look at the injuries that are reported to state boards in all 50 states, the top three across the board things that are creating real injury in consumers are, and these not in order, pedicures, eyelash extensions, and waxing. And when you start looking at where injuries actually happen, very few of them happen in the hair world. They happen around chemical services in the hair world, and yes, they can be horrific as people get chemical burns, and that’s horrible, but the sheer volume of injuries that come out of esthetics and nails. In my opinion, if what we’re doing is licensing for safety, if that is what your license is based on, that the state is acknowledging that you pose a risk to a consumer by the type of services that you provide, then we should also be doing the same thing in hours that somebody is required to do to get those licenses and also in the rules that surround them, that they should be much more, not rigid, but they should be rules that are really intended to prevent risk. The problem is the vast majority of people who write rules are people in the hair industry. And so rules tend to be all around hair, just like curriculum is all around hair. And the reality is the risk isn’t really in hair. This isn’t where we see people getting hurt. So I’m always in favor of building up the curriculum around nails and esthetics, which as you know, always are getting a slash in every single state, but that would be my idea of how we would do things better in this industry going forward, is to make rules that aren’t hair and then morphed into nails and skin, but are specific to what these people do and the risk they might pose to a consumer.

ASHLEY: Well, thank you for saying that. Most of the regulation is created by hair. I feel like history is written by the winners and for some reason, a lot of the guidelines I’ve been seeing recommended not only by states, but by individual associations, are also very hair focused to the point where they’re leaving out every other discipline. As far as skincare goes, you mentioned lashing and things like that. We’re seeing a bit of back and forth between estheticians and states about what can I safely perform where my client is not wearing a mask if I myself am wearing a mask and a full face shield. And so do you anticipate, Leslie, there being a second wave of guidelines coming out as each phase, we find our states slightly more open?

LESLIE: Well, my perception of how the states feel is, in one word, exhausted. They’re tired. They’re trying to figure out how to do every aspect of a state without people actually working in offices, with people all spread out. They’re trying to maintain and deal with the crisis. Most of them are having to furlough employees, which is counterintuitive. Technically, you’re having more work to do. I am afraid what will happen is that the states once they get open will be like, ugh, sigh of relief. We’re open. You know, let’s just see what happens. And that is my fear. It’s going to be, let’s just see what happens. It’s going to be something that just kind of falls away, that there’s not really any definition to it. You know what I’m saying? Where I live, for example. it’s phase two, phase three. And guess what, when phase one started, everything just kind of started again, right? There wasn’t as much attention to the details as I would like. I think what will need to happen is that in those types of services, particularly facial, shaving on men, eye lash extensions, all of those things where you have to get very, very close to somebody else’s face, I think it actually is going to come down to the individual practitioner determining what is important to them, what’s important in their world. Can I live without doing, let’s say, facial shaving on a man or facial waxing on a woman’s upper lip, that type of thing? Can I financially live without doing that until I feel like the environment around me is safer? I don’t actually know, but I think it’s unfortunately going to end up right firmly in the lap of a licensee to make that determination. Which is unfortunate, because we have made all these rules forever and ever and ever that everyone has maybe not agreed on or argued upon, on how to do things safely, and then when it really comes down to it, when we really needed to make a good rule, I think most of the states will probably just let it work itself out. If there’s things happening behind the scenes, that’s great, but I don’t think there are. It really does become just a case of exhaustion, I think, on the side of the states.

JAIME: That being compliant would be an individual choice as a salon owner or a beauty pro  may explain why nails, in particular, has been singled out and in our state of California, nails has not been allowed up to this point. We’re still awaiting guidelines. Leslie, without giving away any information you may have been privy to, what’s your opinion about Governor Newsom’s statement that connected the first case of community spread in California to a nail salon?

LESLIE: Well, I think it would be extremely hard to pin down where the first case came from. I, you know, I say this when I speak. Very often I will say, if you go home tonight and you get sick, you can’t blame the restaurant you ate dinner on cause it could have been the place you ate lunch. It could have been the place you ate breakfast. It could have been the touched something and put it up to your mouth, right? It’s very difficult to prove even a simple case of food poisoning. Unless there’s 20 people that got food poisoning from the same restaurant, it’s very difficult to prove. I think that the way that this virus behaves, it’s likely that we don’t even know where the first case came from. We don’t even know when the first case was in the United States is my guess. Because as you hear people talking in the medical community, they’ll talk about cases that, oh, we had all these cases in December and we thought they were the flu, and we tested people for the flu and it came back negative. Maybe it was this. Maybe it was COVID. Unfortunately, we can’t go back and retest all these people. I think it’s not a fair thing to say that you know exactly where it came from because I would think everybody in the medical community would raise an eyebrow and say, there’s no way you know where it came from. So, could it have come from a nail salon? Yes. Could it have come from a restaurant? Could it have come from a gas pump? Could it have come from a relative that came to visit from somewhere else where it was? Absolutely, all those places

JAIME: What you’ve just said may make a number of nail professionals feel better about it, but I would argue that perhaps it’s not so important what’s true, but what governors and officials think is true.

LESLIE: Well, maybe not even just what they think is true, but what they say, right? We are struggling with this on a lot of levels. As a health care person, as somebody who comes from the healthcare environment, and who is very particular to how we talk about science, how we talk about healthcare to consumers. Look, at the federal level, the president’s talked about basically injecting yourself with a disinfectant or getting disinfectant into your body. I am standing at the TV. I’m dying. Because in our environment today, with social media and news conferences every day and everybody looking for answers, I think it is the responsibility of our elected officials, whether it’s your governor, whether it’s our president, to think before they speak, to know that what they’re saying has some validity, has some science behind it. I mean, the minute it came out of your governor’s mouth, I saw it on my TV. I saw it in my news feed that this all started in a nail salon. So it’s the responsibility of our governments to not, potentially, push out information. That’s one of the problems with communication today is that it’s so quick. It’s so readily available. I can send out a tweet. I can see it, the video from Minneapolis. All those things happen so fast, that it’s a flashpoint, right? And I think that what Governor Newsom said about nail salons, I’m not sure where he got the information. Arguably, I mean, he didn’t make it up in his head. Somebody said it to him, right? Somebody fed him that information, gave him that information and he said it and I think it’s unfortunate. Now that said, it doesn’t matter whether he’s right or he’s wrong. All of the environments where this could be passed, and that includes the nail salon, everybody needs to step up their game. The reality is, I just told you 10 or 15 minutes ago, people are appalled that I’m telling them they have to disinfect a pedicure bowl between every single client. And I mean fully disinfect it. I mean, take out all the removable parts. Don’t wait until the end of the day. Do it between every client. It’s the right thing to do. So everybody needs to step it up. Cause when I tell you what you were already supposed to be doing, people are shocked. They’re like, well, I’ve never done that before. Well that was a rule. That’s always been a rule. So whether or not he was right or not, the good news is the news cycle ends in about 24 hours now. There’s always another story. There’s another thing. And while that may be a pain point for the nail industry, particularly the nail industry in California, the rest of the country, that’s old news. They’re way past it. So nobody’s holding the California nail salons accountable for the pandemic in North America.

ASHLEY: Well, here’s hoping they aren’t. That brings me to some of the pitfalls, I guess, of your line of work which would likely be what we talked about around deregulation and that is the misconceptions that legislators hold about what it is we do on a daily basis. So are there any myths you’ve had to dispel or misconceptions that were held that you encountered when you were working with the states, and how do you work to correct those with such a short deadline?

LESLIE: Well I will tell you, this industry is not making it easy. It is making it a huge challenge and particularly when we say that most of the rules are made by hair around hair. That hair is sort of the thing that, it really is the big ship out there in the ocean when it comes to cosmetology world. It’s kind of unfortunate, as I’ve said, because the risks in hair are relatively low. But if you look at state boards and they’re widely full of hair people, when we talk about the professionals that sit on a board. Those are the people that have the ear of governors very, very frequently. But when we start looking at deregulation, because everybody is lumped in together into cosmetology, that’s really what they want to say is just cosmetology and in most people who want to deregulate, in most legislators’ mind, that encompasses everybody. It’s the esthetician. It’s the nail tech. It’s the barber. It’s sometimes the massage therapist. It’s everybody that makes you feel good, look good, whatever. Those people are all in one group in their mind. And the hair industry has done some things that I think are going to come back to really hurt this industry as a whole, things like posting on Facebook, drive by my house and I will give you your hair color with instructions for how to do it at home. Allowing people to do facials at home. Giving people all the chemicals and things to do their own things at home. That is happening out there. I don’t know if any of you happened to see this, but on Friday night on ABC, there was a show called the Great American Haircut or Hair, American Hair Cutting Night or something like that.

ASHLEY: Yes.

LESLIE: And it was stars. It was famous people, and they got their hairstylist or their stylist on Zoom and that person walked them through how to cut and how to color their own hair. And while that might’ve been funny and it might’ve been entertainment, the reality is, a year from now, when we go back and try to fight deregulation, guess what’s going to happen? All of the people that want to propose that there are no risks in this industry, that there is no reason to have a license because there are no risks, are going to point to things like that and say, well, you can do it over Zoom. Clearly, you don’t need to go to school and have a license to do it. Can’t be that dangerous. You’re letting someone do it over Zoom call. And everybody, I’m afraid we’ll get swept into that because hair is such a substantial part of the industry. I’m afraid nails and everybody else is going to just get swept right on into the “how dangerous can it really be” situation. So, your question is a good question. Right now the brakes have been put on all those conversations, but those conversations will come back. I’m guessing if there isn’t a second wave of COVID, that by January we’ll be having these same deregulation conversations again and all of the services that people said, oh, you can do it at home. You can come get your facial, all your stuff and do it at home. Somebody is watching that. It’s on your social media and that will come back to hurt the industry.

ASHLEY: I found that show to be entirely unwatchable. My fiance recorded it and thought,   what a cute idea, and I just, I shook my head through the whole thing.

LESLIE: I watched it literally, I watched it because I have a feeling I’m going to see clips of it again when I’m talking with people about deregulation. I have a feeling that the people who want to deregulate this industry, they recorded it too. They’re going to say, well, if it’s okay for them. There was a part of it, if you still have a record and you go back and watch it, there’s a part of it where they’re mixing up color, and they’re telling them that you put the developer and then you do this. That’s something that when I go to testify on behalf of this industry, I say they use professional grade products for professional levels of developers, things like that. I mean, the chemicals are a professional grade. They’ve gone to school to learn how to do that. But it’s very clear that you might not have to go to school to do that when you watch shows like that. And that makes me sad, because we’ve all fought very hard to keep this a licensed profession, and if hair were to get deregulated, I just feel like everything would get pulled right along with it, everything else in the state.

ASHLEY: And that brings up, I think, a topic for maybe a separate episode, but the role of the session artist versus the role of the salon artist. And as a session artist, I was picking out things in that broadcast that I knew from just being behind the scenes what was happening. The very deliberate product label out placement on the Zoom feeds, the very deliberate creation of the backgrounds with the different products, and they were professional products that were sent and professional products that were presented. Now I happen to know in most instances if I, as a session artist, am doing something really high profile like that those companies are paying me to recommend and use their products. Especially in California, I know Jaime and I go back and forth about this a lot, but I just think it’s very interesting that there are these special dispensations for certain areas where filming happens a lot, that you don’t necessarily have to be licensed to do that kind of work, and especially if you’re doing celebrity work. Just the dichotomy that exists between what we as session artists can potentially get away with, and how divested we are from salon culture. But there’s still, I think, the big connection between those two worlds are the brands. 

LESLIE: I think when you talk about like, when you say session artists, so when we were doing,  recently some work with a makeup artist and she was talking about onset, onset onset. And one of the things that I kept hearing in that conversation was, the rules all fall out the window, right? As long as I’m doing something with famous people, if I’m on set or if I’m a session artist, it’s somehow I don’t have rules. So here’s the argument that I’m afraid will come out of that is if I am a smart enough person who’s trying to deregulate, the argument’s going to be, well wait, shouldn’t the rules be stricter with famous people? Why are we letting our guard down and saying, yeah, you can use the same makeup brushes with every single person on the set where out in the real world they may have to use disposables, or they may have to use a different set with each person. The reality is that sort of inside secret of that, once that inside secret is well known, it really could lead to the demise of everybody, right? Here’s my whole thing. If there is a risk, there’s a risk. Own it. Fix it. Make sure the rules are around it. But let’s be realistic. There’s really no risk. if we don’t have rules and nobody gets hurt, then why are we doing this? Like, why are we even regulated? I mean, I think that’s a good point that there are places where we don’t have rules around it, and I don’t know if the numbers of people getting injured are any higher.

JAIME: This same discussion extends to services done outside of an establishment, perhaps in someone’s home, where the rules wouldn’t apply the same way either. We talk about clients not being willing or feeling comfortable enough to come back into a salon setting and requesting services be done in their homes instead so they avoid the issue of being around other beauty professionals and their clients. In California, that’s not an option.

LESLIE: Right. Well, and it’s not an option in most states. Very few states allow for in-home. And when they do, most of them have rules, fairly serious rules around the in-home environment. So I think a lot of states, you know, a lot of that comes out of rural America and also older generations, where more things were done in a home, whether it’s my home and I’m the stylist and you come to my house, or whether I go to your house. And I think those rules kind of still exist. I know California doesn’t allow for those, but a lot of states, they’ll even have a license to do that, a separate license.

JAIME: Interestingly, California allows for that if the person receiving the service is incapacitated, but because that’s not well defined. You could make an argument that anyone’s incapacitated, perhaps are incapacitated by fear or being hung over, who knows? But where  the gig economy and the beauty industry intersect is in on-demand services.

LESLIE: Correct. And I do think that everything that has happened with COVID, we are going to start to see the sort of uptick in this gig economy. We’re going to see an uptick in ways that you can do things outside of the norm. How do I reopen my salon because none of my stylists want to come back because they’re making more money on unemployment, right? That’s something I hear all the time. So now what do I do? How do I figure that out? How do I figure out a way to do my services somewhere else? I think that the states are going to be grappling with this for the next few years. I think there will be a lot of push to identify if these services can be done other places. How can that happen safely? But, to your point, how can that be inspected for? If I don’t know where you are, you’re out driving around doing nails at people’s houses or at their place of work, how do I properly inspect? And then how do I have rules if I can’t inspect? I mean, it’s a very slippery slope to try to figure out how to make all of that work but I do think we will see some people pull away from the salon environment. I think we’ll also see the suite environment probably get a little bit of an uptick here because it’s a one on one type of a scenario, typically in the suites, and so I think we will probably see a little uptick in that as well.

JAIME: I have one thing I want to share with the both of you. Since the pandemic started, we have seen any number of companies, many of them coming from outside of the beauty industry, trying to take advantage of this moment. So I want to read to you an ad that I received for some wipes. So mind you, I’m not going to name the company but, the tagline for the brand says, products you can trust. I’m looking at a label on a white container and, skipping the name of the company, I’ll just start reading what it says on the label: alcohol, antiseptic, 75% topical solution sterilizing wipes, non-sterile solution, latex free, and the copy says: sanitizing and disinfecting wipes, FDA approved, lemon scent.

LESLIE: Well, you’ve hit all my hot buttons in one label. There you go. I cannot tell you the number of bogus products, claims, labels that people have asked me about in the last two months. It is very disappointing for me how the second there was an opportunity for people to make money, they were right on it. I’ve gotten a million probably emails about UV light boxes and, in one paragraph, in much like you just read, you will read that it claims it sanitizes, disinfects. It sterilizes. Oh wait, it doesn’t sterilize. Oh, yes, it does sterilize. And I think that what they’re playing on is your fear, your desire to get back to work quickly and safely. And so they will say things that are not true. So when you take the wipes, for example, that you’re looking at, it says, sterilizing. Well first off, you’re not sterilizing anything. Sterilization is the destruction of all microbial life. It is done typically in your environment in an autoclave. If you’ve ever used an autoclave, you know that it is extremely time consuming to do because it takes a long time to do that properly. Sterilizing is something that you expect in the OR at a hospital, but very few other places in life would you ever expect a sterile environment. And oh, by the way, the second you put that wipe down, let’s say it did sterilize magically, that surface is not sterile the second air from your environment, probably, hits it, but for sure anything else that hits it. So, they say 75% alcohol and I don’t know that they told you what kind of alcohol, but suffice it to say, it’s either isopropyl or ether and both of those have contact times of around 20 to 30 minutes. That wipe would have to keep that surface visibly wet for 20 to 30 minutes to kill whatever’s listed on the label. And the fact that it says FDA approved, the FDA has nothing to do with those wipes. That would be an EPA requirement. The EPA is who registers disinfectants, or pesticides as they call them. The FDA registers medicinal things, things that make a claim to cure, or to treat, or to prevent an illness. So, anything that’s a pesticide would have an EPA registration on it. It’s just a bunch of words that they think sound important, sound like they make a great product, make it sound safer. And you’re going to buy it, unfortunately, and you’re going to think it’s doing something that it probably isn’t going to do. And eventually, they may or may not get caught.  Right now there’s so much chaos going on, people will just buy it. They’re going to make a boatload of money. They’re gonna make a boatload of money off these UV light things before somebody recognizes that, hey, they can’t sell that, and they send them a letter and then they just quit selling it. They’ve made all their money. They’ve already done their damage. UV light bothers me a little bit more because those wipes, once they’re gone, they’re just gone and then you’ll probably go find something that really does work. But UV light is a little more concerning because if you buy a UV light box or UV light anything, you’re gonna keep it cause it’s probably expensive. But the reality is that UV light is not approved for disinfection in any environment right now in the US, other than in large volumes of water, so water treatment plants, so to speak. And UV light, while it can have disinfecting properties, it has to be done exactly in a specific environment. So that is, the watt of the bulb has to be appropriate for the type of material. It’s a different watt for metal than it is for plastic. It has to be a certain distance, so the distance from the bulb for metal is different from the distance from the bulb for plastic, and it has to be for the right amount of time to kill whatever you’re looking to kill. When you see all those different varying factors, what am I trying to kill? What does the watt of the bulb have to be? You realize it’s not just a simple UV light box. Just a UV light box isn’t going to do it for every single thing you’re talking about. So it might kill a few things on the surface of your sunglasses or your cell phone when you put it in that box. It’s likely not going to kill the things that you’re the most concerned about because it’s not the right watt bulb for what you’re trying to do. And by the way, most states ban UV light boxes in this industry. So, there’s another thing. But yes, lots of charlatans out there trying to get your money.

ASHLEY: I was just going to say, you know, if the wipes have a long contact time, why don’t we just turn on one of those room UV bug lights and just bask in the glory? If I had a dollar for every time I got into a fight in a Facebook thread about those UV lights, I would be able to buy several UV lights. 

JAIME: One of the more interesting lines, and it was the last line and I neglected to read it, was that it reinforced that it was 75% alcohol sanitizing and disinfecting wipes for surfaces and hands. Even worse.

LESLIE: Oh, 

ASHLEY: Oh boy.

LESLIE: What is made for a porous surface like your hands is not what is made for a nonporous surface, like your countertops. And so just drawing that line, that if it is mild enough to be used on your hands, that’s probably not going to work very great on your surface. And let’s be realistic, the gold standard for your hands is hand-washing. If you listen to any of the medical experts stand up at a podium and speak, they never say hand sanitizer. They never say anything other than wash your hands. So, that’s the gold standard and it’s super simple.

ASHLEY: On that vein, what can salon owners and beauty pros do better, knowing that we have this new level challenge as far as PPE? Something I was thinking about potentially doing when I’m on set next is just making a little log for myself where every hour I just go through and I disinfect everything anybody could have potentially touched in addition to in between services. But are there any resources that you can recommend or things that they should be really keeping top of mind?

LESLIE: Well, I definitely think you should always keep a log, whether it is an appointment book, whether it’s an appointment app, whether it is a piece of paper that you just jot down, what you have done, and who you have been in contact with, partly because I do think there is a need to be able to do contact tracing if you were to get sick. You’re asymptomatic today. You feel fine. You go on set. You do 10 peoples’ makeup or hair or whatever you’re doing, and then tomorrow is the day you don’t feel so good. And you go and get tested, and lo and behold. You are COVID-19 positive. You were likely shedding the virus the most heavily yesterday. So we want to go back and look at all of those people. So keeping track of those people, keeping track of what I have done. That is for your own peace of mind that I did everything I could. At one o’clock I disinfected. One of the things I tell people on calls, if you used to disinfect your bathroom, let’s say in your place of business once every morning, maybe now you do it at noon and halfway through the afternoon. You make sure there’s plenty of paper towels. You do all those things that you knew you were supposed to do for a safety reason, but you’re doing them more frequently now. You’re being more conscious of it. And the one thing that I think salon owners above all, above everything, that would make this situation better for everyone is to be more comfortable with communicating about things like this that actually matter. I want to come in and talk to you about what my kids are doing, and what new recipe I tried, and I want to do all those things. But what I want today is I want to come in and I want you to communicate with me that you understand I might be apprehensive. Other people have come in and they’re apprehensive and this is what you’ve done. I want you to be able to communicate with me. I didn’t use to do this thing. Like for you, Ashley, I didn’t use to disinfect three times during the day, but you know what? I started doing that because I realized a lot of people are touching this stuff. It doesn’t make you bad at your job. It just makes you more conscious and more aware and you communicating that to me makes me feel better. I will tell you, I went and got my hair colored. I told you this last week. And I used to go to somebody who was in a suite and it was just a one on one thing. She went on maternity leave and it was very extensive, and she was gone for a long time and the person that was using in between, I started going to her. And I went back to get my hair colored, and I went in, and I was uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable with how they were giving lip service to all the rules they were going to have, all the things they were going to do. The very first thing, I had to come in and they made me sign a release that said I wasn’t going to sue them if I got COVID. And you know what they had? They had a stack of them sitting there on a clipboard with one pen. And what was the first thing that went through my mind? Everybody else has touched this pen today. Now, I got to touch this pen, right? That was the first thing that went through my mind, and then it was almost like they were trying to act like nothing had ever happened. It was way too crowded. There was double booking going on, so none of that had changed. Once I got back there, other than masks, nothing had changed. You know what the first thing I did when I got home? I texted the person who I used to go to a suite and it was just her and I, and I made an appointment with her. It will affect your business. Be open to talking about it, but don’t just give lip service. Do the right thing. Even if it takes more time or if it costs me more money, do the right thing because your most valuable customers, look, I am like clockwork. If I get my nails done with you, you can expect that I will be sitting at your pedicure chair. Every three weeks she can count on me. I tip well, I show up on time and the customers that you want to keep will appreciate that you’re communicating with them and doing everything right, even if it takes more time, even if it costs more money.

JAIME: Last question, Leslie, what can regulators do better?

LESLIE: So if you’re talking about regulators in terms of the people who write regulations, the boards, I think that regulators could do better by having more conversation with other states, by coming up with some standards that everybody can agree upon in this industry. It doesn’t mean that other people are telling you what to do, but it does mean that there’s consistency. And I think we have a very mobile society, so having some consistency would be important. I think the second thing in terms of regulators is that we need to better train our inspectors. Inspectors have a tendency throughout the country, in my opinion, and a lot of inspectors in a lot of states are not from this industry. This is not their native industry. They come from police work and other things like that. So they don’t really actually understand sometimes exactly what they’re looking for or looking at. And if the role of a regulator is to, the first time I come in, educate you and say, you know what, this bleach doesn’t disinfect, that, you know, not all bleach disinfects and you’ve purchased one that doesn’t actually disinfect. That’s me educating you, showing you where on the label it tells you that it doesn’t disinfect. It says it right there. That’s education. But that inspector has to have been trained on how to educate you. And then, the next time they come and you’re still buying the bleach that doesn’t disinfect, to actually cite you for that. And quite frankly, they need more training. They need, probably in most states, more inspectors, because some places, I do know, people are willing just to pay the fines and keep doing business the way they have, because who cares, right? I’ll just pay the fine and I’ll move on. And so that does become a problem. If we had some consistency from state to state, I do think that actually would help.

JAIME: Ashley, are we going to bundle this as a giant episode?

ASHLEY: A super bonus episode. No, but it’s all such good info that everybody needs and you’re always so generous. So thank you, Leslie.

LESLIE: Yeah, no problem. 

JAIME: Leslie, these conversations always end up taking us in unexpected directions and we certainly hope that you come back and join us for another episode.  

LESLIE: Yeah, if you want me to. I’ll be back. 

ASHLEY: Thank you, Leslie.  

JAIME: Ashley, I’m so glad we started this series. I believe that we’ll be doing this for many episodes to come under Clean Hands, Safe Salons.

ASHLEY: In this evolving landscape of reopening, getting back to work, and dealing and coping with COVID, I’m so thrilled and thankful that we have such a fabulous resource in Leslie.

JAIME: And that she acknowledged that we weren’t doing everything right even before all of this means that there’s a lot of education that needs to happen.

ASHLEY: Exactly. And many thanks to Leslie as always for bringing her wealth of information to all of us through Outgrowth. We couldn’t be more thankful. In other great news, I have another phenomenal testimonial from a listener. Would you like to hear it?

JAIME: Yes, please.

ASHLEY: Okay. Audra Renee said, “I’m picky about podcasts and I am impressed. If anyone is looking for a high level professional podcast to follow right now, I feel I’m learning as I’m listening. They are interviewing very relevant professionals in our industry, Barbicide’s Leslie Roste. Two episodes just launched about liability insurance. They’re straight shooters. You’ve been warned. They believe we should follow the law.” So thank you, Audra, for that. It continues on, but I won’t bore you with all of our heaps of praise, but if you’d like to leave a review for us and have it read on the podcast, you can do so on Apple iTunes.

JAIME: And while you’re listening, be sure to please subscribe, rate, and review Outgrowth on your favorite podcast platform. It helps us reach more listeners like you.

ASHLEY: As always, you can follow us and comment on recent episodes on Instagram at @outgrowthpodcast, and we have a brand new website that I encourage you to check out. Outgrowthpodcast.com. You can listen to the episodes, grab any episode freebies or bonuses, and I really hope that you take a look at our lovely website.

JAIME: You’ve worked so hard on it, Ashley. Thank you so much.

ASHLEY: Yeah, thanks. I really enjoyed doing it.

JAIME: Until next week 

ASHLEY: Stay safe.

JAIME: And be smart.

ASHLEY: Bye.

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