Many local salon owners spent Sunday preparing their space for a rush of customers. Starting Monday, hair salons will be allowed to reopen indoors. Under new state guidelines, barbershops will also be able to resume indoor operations with modifications.
“We’re super excited,” said Ashley Gill, owner of Fibre The Salon in University Heights.
“Thank you, governor, for letting us reopen and come inside. Outside was not a viable option. This is so much better and a lot more sanitary,” said Gill.
COVID-19 in California
More on how the virus has impacted business in the Golden State.
During the pandemic, Gill has been frustrated because she couldn’t practice her craft and was unable to connect with her clients on a personal level. It has also been a difficult time financially. Gill received a PPP loan to stay afloat, but she feels for salons that have been forced to shut down permanently.
“I am a mother and I am a primary provider for our household, so it's been scary.," she said. "I’ve been thinking, do I need to move? How do I adjust my finances?"
The beauty industry has been among the business sectors that have been closed the longest.
In Chula Vista, Jocelyn Manalo, owner of Joce Hair Studio, has been able to keep her small business dream alive with the help of her landlord.
“We’ve been closed the entire time. Fortunately, the property owner didn’t charge us rent the whole time. We wouldn’t have been able to keep the business going if we had to pay rent this entire time,” said Manalo.
Salons will have to make modifications in order to welcome back customers, including: face coverings, employee health screenings, disinfecting, and physical distancing. That means Manalo will only see half as many clients as usual.
As her appointment list fills up, Manolo is anxious to welcome back her regulars, but she needs the public to play their part.
“Please don’t come if in you have a cough or a cold or any fevers or been around anyone like that because you not only put the stylist at risk, but you put the business at risk as well,” said Manalo.
There are 621,000 hair, skin and nails professionals and 53,000 barbering and beauty establishments in California, according to the Professional Beauty Federation of California.
Nail salons and skincare businesses will also be able to operate indoors beginning on Monday, but under modifications, as well. To find the status of activities in San Diego County, click here.