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Salons and barber shops operating after COVID-19

Galen Hawes

During the pandemic, social media posts were circling of people wanting to get their hair cut or styled up to the point where some even cut their own hair in their houses.

A person’s hairstyle is important to them in today’s time.

While many salons throughout the country have had to close permanently due to COVID-19, most of the salons and barber shops in Pottawatomie County reopened on April 24 when Phase 1 of Governor Stitt’s Open Up and Recover Safely Plan began.

At this time, the following salons and barbershops in Shawnee are among those that are now open: Dazzle Hair Salon, Gentry’s Hair Studio, Tangles salon, Southern Swank hair salon, Smart Style Salon in Walmart, Ron’s barber shop, and Del Plaza Barbering.

“We are only allowing one client per stylist in the building at a time because our waiting room is closed due to social distancing and customers must wait in their car until we are finished with the deep clean sanitation between each client,” said Melody Gentry, owner of Gentry’s Hair Studio. “We have had less clients per day and we are not accepting walk-ins, but we are doing our best to accommodate as many call ins as possible. We are working longer hours to get more people in.”

According to the CDC guidelines, people must stay six feet apart or wear a mask. Masks are not required at any of the salons or barber shops and hand sanitizer is provided.

“We were closed for six weeks from March 24 to May 1. Since May 1 our client base has stayed pretty steady even though our numbers are not what they were this time last year. When we first opened up, we were appointment only, checking temperatures, and asking customers the CDC authorized questionnaire,” said Tina Samilton, Smart Style Salon manager. “Now that we are fully open, we are using hand sanitizer and have masks for customers if they would like to wear one, stylists are required to wear a mask.”

Tangles salon doesn’t have their open sign on again yet because stylists are only accepting appointments at this time, said Katrina Ware, owner of Tangles salon.

“Since reopening business has been a lot slower than usual,” said Allen Hubbard, barber at Del Plaza Barbering. “We are sweeping and cleaning the area after each customer. Hand sanitizer and masks are available but not required, appointments and walk ins are welcome.

Salon and barber shop owners have noticed that since June 1 a lot more people have been willing to come in and get their hair done.

“Some are still scared so they haven’t come in, but most customers come in with masks. We started out really busy because we were closed for a month. We are taking safety precautions such as sanitizing after each client and replacing cloth chair covers,” said Steve Golden, Ron’s Barber Shop owner.

Dazzle Hair Salon has been very busy since reopening and continues to take measures to protect customers by social distancing and sanitizing workstations stricter and more purposeful, said Mark Acock, owner.

“We reopened and our business has been steady,” said Tammy Reece, owner of Southern Swank hair salon. “We have been putting extra emphasis on cleaning and keeping traffic flowing to ensure social distancing.”

Salon and barber shop owners say some the biggest changes are wearing masks, cleaning the station after each customer leaves before bringing in the next client, allowing no more than 10 people in salon at a time and keeping workstations six feet apart.

All of the above mentioned salons and barber shops are currently accepting appointments.