It’s been seven weeks since Scottie Etheridge, 48, of Key West, Florida has had a haircut.
But that changed on Monday (May 11) when Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed hair salons in most of the Sunshine State to open, the Miami Herald reported.
Rolando Liz reopened his BB’s Barber Shop in Key West as customers filled the chairs while others had to wait outside.
“A lot of growth,” Liz told the newspaper of his customers’ hair after the statewide salon shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Too much. They probably went without a haircut before that, too. Yeah, and their wives cutting their hair. Not too good.”
Liz and his crew had a different look when the doors opened at 5:30 a.m. They donned masks, and also beefed up the practice of disinfecting chairs and tools of the trade between clients, who also must wear masks. And they can only accept customers by appointment.
One-third of all states have lifted their locally mandated quarantine measures to enable personal care services, including nail salons, according to the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), an Arizona-based trade group.
PBA Executive Director Steve Sleeper said the nation’s $58 billion salon industry is not conducting business as usual for stylists and clientele. He expects it to be this way for the foreseeable future.
The PBA has crafted a series of recommendations for salons and spas to follow including increased sanitization, installing plexiglass or acrylic partitions, removing coffee stations, use of electronic-only transactions, requiring face masks, staggering appointments and asking clients to arrive with clean, dry hair.
“The most important thing is communication,” Sleeper said in a statement. “By ensuring that clients understand that the post-COVID safe salon experience is going to take some getting used to and that it’s going to be this new, less indulgent moment is a great starting point.”
A safe salon, he said, follows the PBA guidelines along with state-mandated guidelines, and ensures the health of staff and customers comes first.
Randall Lail, who opened his Key West Headlines salon in January, said he had no reservations about reopening during the coronavirus crisis. He said he takes plenty of time between clients to disinfect everything.
“I’m doing one person at a time,” Lail said. “Less money for us but it’s money.”
Stylists could take a lesson from Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Shanghai Disneyland reopened on Monday (May 11) and the park may provide a roadmap on how to greet the new normal, PYMNTS reported. The park checks the temperatures of guests, who must practice social distancing.
Operating costs at theme parks are expected to rise as more stringent cleaning and disinfecting efforts are implemented.