AUSTIN, Texas — After being closed for weeks, hair salons, along with barbershops, tanning salons, nail salons and cosmetology salons, can reopen on Friday.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced the reopening during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Mary Joy Garcia, the owner of Holy Misfit Salon, said she wasn't expecting to hear the announcement today but is excited to open back up again.
"I'm probably just going to take one to two clients a day and space them out really far apart so I have time to sanitize and make sure they have hand sanitizer when they walk through the door," said Garcia. "We'll both wear masks."
R.J. Paulsen, the owner of James Paige Salon, said he doesn't think they'll be opening on Friday.
"Obviously we want to do what’s right by our clients as far as getting them in, but also making sure that we can fall in line with any regulations that are going to come down the pipe here," said Paulsen. "It’s not a lot of time to prepare, whether that be face shields, masks are extremely difficult to come by right now, and the price is jacked up on Amazon, all that. It’s going to be difficult to meet some of those, I think, by Friday."
Paulsen said opening next week is more likely for them.
While he said he never expected to be unemployed, Paulsen said his staff and customers' health is the priority, and he doesn't want to open until everyone is comfortable with a plan in place.
Emily Hankemeier, the owner of Grow Studio in Round Rock, waited six weeks to hear the news that she can reopen again. She doesn't understand why a salon like hers, which can only accept one customer at a time, should have closed.
"I think we should have been consulted. I think we should have had a lot more input. I don't think we were treated like professionals," she said.
Like so many others, Hankemeier had relied on unemployment, and she's thankful her husband, an essential worker, could pick up a few more shifts to help pay the bills. Her landlord was also a saving grace.
"The building owner has been so generous, and she waived our rent for us for this time period. And that was just such a phenomenal gift. I don't know how any of us would have managed without that because the overhead in a space like this is tremendous," she said.
Sharon Gamblin, president of the newly founded Allied Beauty and Barber Association of Texas, told KVUE her group helped offer guidance to lawmakers and the Governor's Office to reopen the industry.
"It has not been easy for any of us, for the clients, for the students. Anyone in the industry that loves the industry. It has been extremely, extremely difficult," Gamblin said. "We're extremely grateful to the governor for reviewing all the information that we have given them due to the fact that our industry is built on sterilization and sanitation."
She, too, is ready to get back to work. But in other to do so, Abbott said people like Hankemeier and Gamblin have to follow certain guidelines.
The guidelines are as follows:
- There can be only one customer per stylist.
- It's recommended to use an appointment system only.
- If walk-ins are allowed or if people are waiting inside, people must be able to wait six feet away from others. If that is not possible, people will have to wait outside.
- The stations must be six feet apart.
- It's recommended that both customers and stylists wear face masks.
Gov. Abbott's update states that people should continue to avoid visiting bars, massage establishments, tattoo studios, piercing studios, sexually-oriented businesses, or interactive amusement venues such as bowling alleys, video arcades, amusement parks, water parks or splash pads.
You can take a look at the complete list of all of the guidelines here.
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