4 tips for narrowing your search and finding the perfect fit.
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Fitness memberships, workout classes, wellness services, beauty appointments and more.
We’re all missing our stylists right now (just ask my 6-inch grown-out roots). In fact, 89% of Mindbody consumers say they plan on returning to their previous beauty routines—including salon visits—post-shutdown, and they’re most excited to get their hair done.
But, many of us may also be a little apprehensive about re-entering brick and mortar salons as they start to reopen. Although many states are still mandating closures and shelter-in-place, some are slowly starting to allow salons to open their doors—with some new adjustments.
To gain some insights into what "the new normal" looks like, and what you can expect from your first trip back to the salon, we chatted with Amanda Collier, a Mindbody Regional Sales Manager and Georgian resident who just ventured out to her first visit. Follow along as we go through her journey at The Salty Mane, in Alpharetta.
The Salty Mane is a very popular salon, with 15.5k followers on their Instagram account. They offer custom color, haircuts, and hand-tied extensions from a number of super talented stylists. I’ve been going to this salon for years, and I was really excited to see a post on their Instagram saying they’d be reopening as soon as the state government allowed it.
The post on their Instagram notified followers to text the salon to make an appointment, so I did that as soon as I saw it. I received a manual text back asking what services I’d like to book and when—and be quick, because they’d have to move along to the next person. According to the owner, they received over 450 text messages and 45 voicemails in a matter of 30 minutes, as well as a list of 275 clients waiting for treatments.
I received a confirmation email 24 hours later with information about their cancellation and no-show policies, and assurance that stylists would be wearing masks. I texted the salon personally to ask if I had to wear a mask as well, and they said no.
They told us to wait outside in our cars and enter the salon at the exact time of our scheduled appointments. No one was in the waiting room, and I didn’t have to cross paths with other clients or sit next to them while waiting. It was a quick, easy, and efficient process.
I had gone seven months without any hair salon visits due to traveling and then shutdown, so I went with a full foil and haircut. It took a few hours to complete, which is expected. They did double book as usual, and the assistant helped so they could get to both of us; however, we were distanced 10 feet apart per the governor’s orders.
They did not wear gloves, but all the stylists wore masks. It honestly felt like COVID didn’t exist for a bit, and it was just a regular day at the salon. I kind of wish I wore a mask myself for extra precaution, but I did feel safe while I was there.
Every time anyone moved stations, everything was cleaned. So, if I got up to go get my hair washed, they would disinfect the area immediately. It is a huge salon, and I believe stations were already 6 feet apart pre-shutdown, but now they were even more spread apart to the 10-foot legal requirement. I did not feel close to any of the other clients.
It was definitely weird being back in a business—which is only natural—but at the same time, it felt totally normal. I felt safe the entire time, and no one seemed especially nervous or anything like that. The only thing I would do differently if I could redo it would be bringing my own mask, just for that extra layer of safety. But again, it was thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, so it wasn’t a huge deal.
Aside from my stylist and her assistant, the only other person I had to be close to was the front desk associate, as she helped me with checkout at the end. I also had to touch the pin pad to pay, which wasn’t ideal, but also expected.
Totally fine! I felt like I was in a little bubble where COVID didn’t exist. Other than it being a little quieter than normal (probably because of the added distance), it felt like business as usual and a regular day at the salon. I’d totally feel safe and comfortable going back. Plus, my hair looks great.
Well, there ya have it—a real-life in-salon experience.
During shelter-in-place, people have been less likely to prioritize beauty/grooming—78% say it’s either low priority, or something they only sometimes prioritize. But now that businesses are opening up again, it's clear there's high demand for beauty. It's time to feel confident again!
Keep these insights in mind when you see salons start to reopen near you and make your own judgment! It’s all about doing what’s best for you and staying safe, happy, and comfortable (but, please. No more DIY bangs).
Have your own at-home beauty stories to share in the meantime? Tag #HomeBeauty and @mindbody on Instagram for a chance to be featured!
And If you’re curious, check out what it’s like for other salons opening in Georgia.
If you’re a commitment-phobe like me, you probably understand the stress of searching for the perfect gym or studio membership. When offices were open and I commuted to and from work, I especially struggled. Do I find a studio near work or home? If it’s near my office, I can go after work, but what about weekends? I don’t want to do that commute when I don’t have to!
Then, add on the fitness type decision and try not to let your head explode. What if I get bored of cycling and want to try something else? What if I get super sore after HIIT and need a yoga class? Do I need to become a member at multiple locations?
Maybe this is just a me problem... but I don’t think it is. I mean, that’s why the Mindbody app exists in the first place—so you can try out different classes and studios, commitment-free. Although it’d be nice if one membership could cover multiple fitness types, at some point, picking your favorite and committing just makes sense.
So, how do you choose the perfect gym membership for you?
What are you looking for in a gym, studio, or health club? What do you care most about? Is it a smaller, intimate workout setting with instructors who know you by name? A larger studio with tons of fitness classes throughout the day, so you can always find one to fit your schedule? What about the staff? Are there certain qualities you’re looking for in your instructors? Do you prefer soft encouragement while you exercise, or instructors who aren’t afraid to push you harder during training? Think about your routine. Do you prefer morning classes or evening? Are you looking for 30-minute, high-intensity classes you can squeeze in on your lunch break? Or longer, slower-paced classes to wind down after work? There are so many different factors that can affect your choice in studio, and with so many options, you can get pretty specific.
What do you want from a studio that you just aren’t quite satisfied with at home? Think about your fitness goals. Maybe you get your cardio in the form of running outside, and you need some help with strength training. Maybe you invested in a fully decked out weight room in your garage when COVID-19 hit, but now you’re looking for a yoga studio to help with recovery.
With all those options out there, it can be hard to even know where to start. So, asking yourself questions like these is a good first step.
When it comes to picking a monthly membership, of course, budget is important. Sit down with your spreadsheet, or app, or whatever the hell you use to budget your monthly spending and see what you can afford to shuffle around. Wellness is an investment, not just a one-time purchase, and weaving it into your monthly budget will help you prioritize it.
Once you’ve determined how much you’re willing to spend per month, decide if you want any of that to be left over for the occasional drop-in class. You may want to spend most of it on a membership but keep a little extra for those days you’re feeling adventurous and want to try a new workout. Or maybe you’re a creature of habit, and you’re fine with just sticking to your favorite. That’s fine too! Just be sure to make those decisions early and factor them in while budgeting.
Lots of studios on Mindbody provide Intro Offers, or special deals for new clients only that allow you to try out some classes at a lower rate. For example, some studios (like VibeFlow yoga in San Diego) offer your first class free, and others give discounted rates for your first 2 weeks or a month. When I was looking for a yoga studio to join, I tried just about every Intro Offer in my area. It’s a great way to save money and try out local studios before committing. Plus, it got me out of my comfort zone! I got to try so many different types of yoga before deciding which I liked best. Every instructor, studio, and class is so unique and different—it’s fun to get a feel for all the different mini fitness communities within your own larger one.
For those that don’t have any new client deals, you can check to see if they have Last-Minute Offers. These are drop-in deals for one-time classes, that fluctuate in price depending on timing, number of spots left, etc. So basically, if there’s a class in your area that starts in an hour and still has several spots left, odds are, you’ll be able to join that class for a lower drop-in rate!
And if you’re not quite ready to head back into the studio—or if those in your area have not yet reopened—another great way to try before you buy is virtual classes. Many studios offer live stream and on demand workout classes on Mindbody, so you can get a feel for the classes and instructors from the comfort (and safety) of your home.
I know I told you to identify your needs in step one. Find out exactly what you’re looking for a studio to provide. But, when it comes to picking a membership, it’s important to be flexible (and I’m not just talking about your yoga class). While identifying your needs is a great first step to narrowing down your options, you may find that while trying out different studios, those needs totally change.
In my case, I thought I really wanted a membership to a hot yoga studio, but when I branched out and tried one that didn’t offer heated classes, I found a different kind of yoga environment I really enjoyed (and, of course, this made it really difficult to choose). On top of that, I was new to yoga and a little nervous about how I looked in class. I wanted a larger studio where I could hang in the back and try not to be noticed. But then, during my second or third week of class using an Intro Offer at a smaller studio, the man at the front desk greeted me by name, and my perspective totally changed. I went into class and laid out my mat in the front row, ready for the instructor to give me tips for improvement—and I’m better for it.
All of this to say, you never know what you’re going to find when it comes to trying new things. Have your list of wants and priorities, but don’t be afraid to tear it up and start over—and enjoy learning about yourself along the way.
So, if you’re ready to face your fear of commitment and settle down with your soulmate studio, now you have somewhere to start. Whether you’re trying to be more cost-effective, craving a community, or just need a good old-fashioned routine your life, a membership is a great way to consistently prioritize your wellness. Not only that, but you get the awesome benefit of joining a fitness community where you’ll see faces you recognize, meet some workout buddies, and be encouraged by instructors to keep improving in your practice. So where do I sign up?
Book classes on Mindbody to get started.