On Tuesday, the State of California announced that San Joaquin County and other counties that have met the criteria for accelerated reopening could choose to reopen hair salons and barbershops — as long as they followed new guidelines to protect workers and customers from COVID-19.

Only services where both the worker and the customer can wear face coverings will be permitted, including haircuts, coloring, braiding, lock maintenance, hair relaxing, weaves and extensions.

“Salon activities that cannot be done with face coverings on both the worker and client, or that require touching the client’s face — such as shaving, facial waxing, threading, eyelash services and facials — remain prohibited at this time in all counties. Likewise, nail salons remain closed,” the state Department of Public Health said in a press release.

The City of Lodi has already received calls from at least one salon owner, city spokesman Jeff Hood said.

“We know a lot of people are eager to get back to work, and a lot of people are eager to start looking better,” he said.

However, it won’t be business as usual, he warned. Because stylists and barbers have to work so closely with their customers, they will need to take extra precautions to keep everyone safe, at least while the novel coronavirus is still active in the region.

Along with workers and customers being required to wear face coverings during the entire appointment, stylists and barbers must:

  • Implement measures to ensure physical distancing of at least six feet between and among workers and customers, except when providing haircutting and other close contact services.
  • Provide temperature and/or symptom screenings for all workers at the beginning of their shift and any vendors, contractors or other workers entering the establishment.
  • Encourage workers and customers who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home.
  • Screen customers upon arrival and be prepared to cancel or reschedule customers who indicate they have any signs of illness.

Even with the additional requirements, Salon Envy owner Nicole Winans is excited to reopen.

“I just messaged all my girls and we are going to open tomorrow. ... We’ve been waiting forever,” she said. “It’s been financially and emotionally draining.”

She has had customers calling her regularly for any news about when Salon Envy might reopen, and she was looking forward to giving them the good news.

Winans and the stylists who rent stations at her salon all have masks, and the stations are already spaced far apart, she said. And many of the requirements — such as sanitizing stations and tools between every customer — were already required even before the pandemic, so she feels prepared.

She’s willing to tackle the new guidelines if it means being able to reopen.

“Whatever we have to do, I’m going to do,” Winans said.

For more information and the new guidelines, visit covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-hair-salons.pdf.

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