WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Hairstylists across the Piedmont are getting ready to see their clients after closing their shops for several weeks. Salons were given approval to reopen in Phase Two of the statewide reopening plan.
“We haven’t been working. We weren’t allowed to work at all, and it has been a little stressful coming up with ideas to make reopening possible and safely for our guests as well as our staff,” Erin Blakley said.
Blakey owns Glassdoor Salon and Spa in Winston-Salem.
“I think we were one of the first salons to close. We closed early because a lot of our guests were rescheduling their appointments for two or three weeks out. They were like, ‘We’re just going to go ahead and reschedule.’ So I went ahead, I think, six days early and closed the salon for our safety as well as the guests,” she said.
Blakley and her staff have spent the time closed taking lessons, making masks for staff and doing some business online.
“I was able to sell some product online, some hair coverups like powders that were able to extend the life for the clients, and if they were like, ‘I’m going to color my roots, I would say, ‘Please don’t! Please don’t!’” she said.
In recent weeks, she’s focused her efforts on preparing for reopening, trying to plan for any measures the state could require of salons.
“I the past week, I have really gone over everything, every scenario, and every situation I could think of and made a plan for that. So I have done too much but I think it might be enough, it might not be enough,” she said.
At Glassdoor Salon and Spa, that meant setting up a mask and hand sanitizer station outside, buying plastic to line chairs and even create disposable capes for clients to wear while getting their hair colored. They also cleared their shelves of products, are keeping brushes covered in the back after they are sanitized and have cleaning products on every station.
But here, the owner is asking clients to take part in the efforts to keep everyone safe. The State Department of Health and Human Services is requiring employees to wear masks because social distancing is not an option while performing these services. However, clients are only strongly encouraged to wear a face covering.
“When you come to the salon when we are able to open back up, I am going to require that everyone wears a mask. I think that’s important for not only our guest’s safety but ours as well. We all have families at home, none of us live by ourselves, we all have someone we’re in contact with at home. So when you come into Glass Door Salon and Spa you will wear a mask,” she said.
The salon also offers manicures, which will now be set up with a plexiglass divider between the client and the nail technician.
Now the staff is trying to work through scheduling.
“We are trying to book our appointments on the hour, and you can see there’s plenty of room in between our stations, we’ll each have a haircut. When everyone is finished with hat haircut then they leave, we clean the salon for 15-20 minutes to sanitize everything down, and then we will have the next group of people come in.” the owner said.
Even though the governor gave the go-ahead for salons to open up at 5 o’clock on Friday, Blakely said her team needs a few more days to make sure the new procedures are in place to safely reopen for her clients and her staff. The salon will officially open on Monday.
“I’m so ready as well as the rest of my staff. We miss our clients so much, and we are so ready to get back and make everyone feel amazing and look great again,” she said.