Professional haircuts are becoming available again at last.
But as states begin to ease coronavirus lockdown orders, salons across the country are reopening with new safety protocols, which in some cases means not allowing back certain hair-care staples.
“We’re not doing beard trims, lip waxes, nose waxes — anything on the face except for eyebrows,” salon owner Ashe Bowen tells The Post of the new rules their Denver salon has put in place since reopening on Saturday.
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One treatment that has proven perhaps surprisingly contentious for parlors coming out of lockdown? Blowouts.
When Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced that state hair salons could reopen on May 20, he included the stipulation that blow-dryers would be banned, as they could circulate COVID-19 particles in the air. On Monday, the state reversed course, saying blow-dryers could be used by salons “as needed.”
Despite likely being allowed to have blow-dry services upon reopening, some salon owners, like NYC’s Sally Hershberger, plan to limit blow-drying to private “blow-dry rooms” to play it safe.
“Though blow-drying has become an almost essential service in a salon, it has potential to spread virus throughout the space. If a client or staffer were to sneeze or cough, the blow-dryer could quickly propel droplets,” Hershberger, whose eponymous salons have three New York City locations, tells Today.
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Bowen paused before ultimately deciding to allow treatments requiring a blow-dryer at their salon, Above Ground.
“We went back and forth, and then I decided if everyone’s wearing a mask, there’s not going to be germs in the air,” Bowen says, adding, “If you’re going to blow-dry someone’s hair in a salon, it’s going to be clean hair.”
Other new restrictions at Above Ground include that patrons must come with their hair freshly washed, wearing an ear loop mask (the salon has a limited quantity available for those who don’t) and ready to get their temperature taken with a contactless thermometer before their appointment. Running on quarantine time will not be tolerated: “Please do not show up early for your appointment,” read the new rules, and “if you’re going to be late there is no guarantee your stylist can still see you.”
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In terms of sanitizing work stations, “we’re treating it like a hospital,” says Bowen, who even bought an ozone purifier as an extra precaution to keep the air clean.
Colorado began allowing retail and personal services to reopen on May 1, under the condition they implement “best practices.” What those are is left up almost entirely to the discretion of owners, with the exception of a 10-person capacity cap on all facilities. So Bowen decided to write a straightforward new protocol for Above Ground’s customers and stylists to follow.
The directions have been adopted by a number of other local salons as well. “A lot of my friends in Denver used what I wrote,” Bowen says.
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Most customers, many of whom have shown up sporting horrible quarantine cuts, have generally been eager to follow the new rules.
“People are like, ‘Tell me where to go,’ ” Bowen says. “I feel like there’s a whole new sense of appreciation now. You don’t know what you have until you lose it.”
This article originally appeared in The New York Post.