Hair salons and barbershops prepare to reopen under new guidelines

BOSTON — Hair salons and barbershops now have about a week to prepare to reopen.

“I’m so pumped about it, it’s been two months, I miss my clients,” said Ashley Twitchell, a stylist with the Fantastic Sams in Danvers.

Salons and barbershops were told Monday that they can reopen by appointment-only starting Monday, May 25.

“I got very excited that I’m going to my shop and see all my people,” said Gus Eldayaa, the owner of Gus’s Barber Shop in Norwood, after the announcement. “We are going to be very busy, already a lot of people texting me.”

Twitchell said it has felt like a long wait.

“I can breathe, I can really, really breathe I’m so excited,” she said. “Especially now that I’ve seen the guidelines and I know that we don’t have restrictions on our hair services, which is wonderful.”

Those guidelines include:

  • Chairs 6 feet apart
  • Improve ventilation
  • Require face coverings for customers and employees
  • Require workers to wear gloves, gowns or smocks and prescription glasses, safety glasses or goggles
  • Install physical partitions between workstations where feasible
  • Contactless payment methods encouraged

The guidelines also include sanitation protocols that many we spoke with say they already had in place.

>>>MORE: Baker’s 4-phase approach to reopening Massachusetts: What businesses are open?

“The guidelines aren’t that far off from what we do, other than masks,” Twitchell explained.

Services are limited to hair services like haircuts, color, blow-drying and treatments. Services like waxing, manicures and pedicures are still not permitted. Customers will also have to either wait outside or in their cars before their appointments.

“I’m going to start right away on Monday,” Eldayaa said. “I’m going to have a board outside, people will write their name, number and barber that they prefer.”

However, not everyone will be right back to work. Louis Kim Forte’s Salon is in the Burlington Mall. He has been making online videos at home since his salon closed and hopes his clients remain patient.

“I would say it would be closer to the beginning of June, like I’ve said many times in my videos, please wait for us, we are coming back,” he said.

As other stylists and barbers prepare for their return next week, they admit there are some nerves.

“I think as long as we keep our protocols and do everything we are supposed to do we will be ok,” Twitchell said. “The masks and cleaning and social distancing make me feel a lot safer about going back to work.”

The salons and barbershops opening Monday are asking for patience, they have a lot to manage quickly and said it still might take a while to get an appointment.

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