Local Hair Salons Get Back To Styling Hair Upon Re-Opening
by James Coulter
After more than a month, Melanie Brown and her fellow hairstylists are back to work cutting and styling hair at their salon, Melanie’s Cutting Edge in Winter Haven.
However, with the threat of COVID-19 still looming, they have needed to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of their clients and themselves.
Currently, they attend to only one client per stylist at a time. In-between clients, they keep their doors locked and require their other clients to wait patiently in their cars.
Everyone wears a mask, and after they finish with a client, they thoroughly sanitize the chair and sink before attending to their next client.
“We give them enough time,” Melanie said. “Whereas I used to take in walk-ins, now we only take appointments only so we can keep one person in the store per stylist.”
Melanie and her staff have been taking these extra precautions for the past week and a half. In their second week, they finally permitted two people to come in at a time and for others to wait in the lobby.
On May 8, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis permitted hair salons, barbershops, and nail salons to re-open. Before then, they were required to close down along with other non-essential services due to the statewide stay-at-home order.
After having her salon closed for seven weeks, Melanie and her fellow stylists are exceedingly glad to return to work doing what they love best. With so many people having forgone haircuts during the quarantine, their business has been booming since then.
“We have all been non-stop with appointments,” she said. “We have done very well. God has blessed us, along with other hair salons. That people have been waiting to get their hair done for so many [week]…we are all busy.”
Dawn Miller of Cuttin Up Salon in Winter Haven has also been busy styling and cutting hair. Her salon has also taken extra precautions attending to their clients—or rather, client, as they only take in one customer at a time.
Every stylist wears a mask, and only one client is allowed in the building at a time. After every appointment, they thoroughly sanitize their chairs and sinks. No new customers are allowed in while they clean.
“It is nice to have the salon back since the COVID situation,” Dawn said. “It’s a little bit of a challenge, especially with sanitation and protocol.”
With so many people unable to get a haircut before or during the quarantine, their business has been busy, especially with seasonal customers coming down for the summer.
“We are super busy,” she said. “It is beyond our expectations due to people getting their hair done. We have been keeping super busy, especially since this is a slower time of the year, usually people go home.”
As for Melanie, she receives new messages and phone calls daily from clients old and new. She updates her Facebook page daily to ensure that people know that her salon is open and ready for business. She even stays up late scheduling her appointments to ensure her books are full.
“I take my book every night and I am up until one in the morning making appointments just to keep our books full, and to help people because we all need to get back on our feet and we are trying to make our clients happy and get them all in,” she said.
Though times are tough, she and her fellow stylists believe in sticking together and helping others with their challenges. As a local businesswoman, she especially believes in supporting local businesses, especially in a time when many are forced to close due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We are supporting our community and small businesses going,” she said. “I want to say we are all in this together, and we should all support each other, whether it is a small business or restaurant and another thing is I am about small businesses.”