Since reopening in mid June, Huntingdon County hair stylists have been fighting off the pandemic-induced “corona cuts” one client at a time.
With filled schedules, they’ve also been working within guidelines set by the state Department of Health and Gov. Tom Wolf’s office, which asks businesses to promote social distancing, enforce mask-wearing and clean surfaces.
Jo Davis, who runs In Style Styling Salon in Huntingdon, said business is okay, but could be busier. In addition to being limited by the amount of clientele, Davis said her salon has had to make several changes to accommodate the guidelines.
Davis installed plexiglass between each station and her stylists disinfect all surfaces between clients. They also take clients’ temperatures when they arrive.
“It’s a whole different ball game,” Davis said.
However, masks present one of the biggest challenges — keeping stylists from cutting hair around the ears and getting around the mask straps that often cover that hair. To deal with this, Davis uses surgical tape to attach the mask to the customer’s face. She can then remove the mask straps long enough to be able to cut the hair behind the ear, then replaces the mask straps.
“I came up with that one on my own — anything to help,” Davis said. “We have a lot of older customers, too, so they’re concerned.”
Peg McMahon, a stylist for Designer’s Edge, also in Huntingdon, explained the limited occupancy prevent them from getting to as many clients as they can in a day.
“We’ve kind of worked through it all,” McMahon said. “We try to be as accommodating to the clients as we can.”
Additionally, Designer’s Edge has had to make its schedule more rigid. All appointments must be scheduled so that stylists can build in extra time to sanitize equipment and surfaces between clients.
“Everyone is required to wear a mask,” McMahon said. “Once you are sitting in chairs, you can take them off so we can do around your ears, if you’re comfortable with it.”
McMahon said Designer’s Edge is attempting to follow the state’s guidelines as closely as possible.
“Honestly, we pray a lot and we try to be very encouraging to everybody,” McMahon said. “There’s a lot of discussion about schools and work.”
Rhonda Dell of R. Dell’s Design Team in Huntingdon said the pandemic has affected her business, but despite everything, she’s doing okay.
“We’ve had to cut down on some of the clients and stagger the girls so there’s not too many of us in here at the same time,” Dell said.
She explained that although staff sanitized equipment before, they need to do so more often and clean surfaces more frequently to keep the salon as safe as possible for customers.
As they are cutting their customer’s hair, Dell’s stylists have the customer temporarily remove the mask one ear at a time to work around it.
“We’re doing the best you can do,” Dell said. “Be patient with us and hopefully all will be back to normal soon.”
Jon can be reached at email@example.com.