Wellness Wednesday: Kieran McKenna Salon's Salon2Go Program
Despite the fact that New York hair salons were allowed to reopen in July, some people are still unable to return to normal. Whether you’re nervous about venturing out into the world right now or you just prefer the maximum level of convenience, there’s a new service on the East End that’s bringing the pampering to you.
Upon learning that some of his regular clients are immunocompromised and understandably apprehensive about scheduling a hair appointment right now, Kieran McKenna, owner of Kieran McKenna Salon, launched the Salon2Go house call program.
“These are our clients, and we need to take care of them, especially with everything that’s been going on right now. If they can’t come to us, we should go to them,” McKenna says. “We are a creative industry, first and foremost, but we’re also the service industry. And if this is a service that our clients require, then it’s a service we need to provide, otherwise we’re not doing our job.” With this in mind, he first offered Salon2Go only to current clients, and the feedback was so positive that it encouraged him to widen the net to cover most of the Tri-State area, including the East End.
While some hair stylists have been known to do at-home appointments during the pandemic, McKenna believes that he is the first to bring the entire salon experience to the client, including a stylist, colorist, keratin expert, portable shampoo basin and chair, hair dyes, sanitized robes and towels, depending on what his team and the client decide is needed to achieve the desired look. “It’s a luxury being able to have all the amenities they’ve come to expect from us at the salon, but literally in their garden or on their patio,” McKenna says. “If you’re a brick and mortar business, such as we are, you have to be creative, you have to be flexible. As a salon, we’re a small business, so we can be more nimble. We can change direction quickly depending on the demand from clients.” He is quick to note that the team also packs an abundance of PPE such as masks, visors and gowns to match the client’s comfort level.
To best accommodate clients and to avoid driving from New Jersey to the Hamptons to Connecticut in a single day, the team coordinates dates that work with clients and lines up appointments in a semi-linear path within a given region—starting, for example, with a morning appointment in East Hampton, then one in Bridgehampton, then Sag Harbor, then Shelter Island. The team can even drop off a colorist or a stylist along the way for less-involved appointments then pick them up after both groups have left their clients looking fabulous. “It’s a lot of time looking at maps, seeing where people live and working out the most efficient route to take to accommodate as many clients as we can,” McKenna explains. Those looking to color their hair also receive a virtual color consultation where the colorist and client can discuss what dyes to bring over video chat.
Currently, Salon2Go is offered to individuals and groups of up to 15 people on Sundays and Monday, but McKenna is considering adding Tuesdays to the schedule very soon. “It makes sense for us, as a salon, to be in line with what our clients are doing, so that means some days in the salon, some days going to people’s homes,” he says. “I think as more and more people are working from home and spending more time out East, it makes sense for us to be more available to accommodate our clients.”
For McKenna, the goal of Salon2Go is to provide a much-needed hair service, yes, but also to help improve people’s wellbeing through social interaction and confidence boosting. “When you look better, you feel better. How you look is hard-wired to your self-esteem, so it’s not just about making people look good, it’s also about making people feel good,” he says. “For some of our clients, we’re the first people outside of their immediate family that they’re inviting into their homes, because they’ve been quarantining and social distancing. That’s a big privilege for us–that people trust us enough to allow us into their homes.”
Appointments can be arranged online at kieranmckennasalon.com or via phone at 917-254-4454.