While most county businesses are still barred from operating indoors due to the novel coronavirus, barbershops and hair salons have been given the go-ahead to do so — albeit at limited capacity.
As approved recently by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s newest state guideline, it has been deemed safe to reopen indoor operations for barbershops and salons.
This is largely due to their history of following strict hygiene guidelines, Dr. Henning Ansorg, the Santa Barbara County health officer, told the News-Press Tuesday.
“I think that just by virtue of their training and licensing, they are really well poised to accommodate customers in a safe way,” he said.
Dr. Ansorg noted that barbershops and salons are being careful about wearing masks and keeping social distance between the barbers’ or stylists’ chairs.
Jorge Salgado, owner of The Barber Shop and Victorian Salon at 1233 State St., agreed with Dr. Ansorg’s assessment.
“Sanitation is pretty much our number one priority when it comes to our business, so sanitation protocol affects every part of our business and we have been doing that for a long time,” Mr. Salgado told the News-Press.
Mr. Salgado moved back indoors for the first time in months on Monday. He received the news late last week.
“I am just really excited,” Mr. Salgado said. “Not just for myself, but for other salons and barbershops and specifically salons. You can’t go outside and do color services, so I am just especially excited for them.”
Summer Vesey is a stylist who works at Victorian Salon. Her initial reaction to finally seeing the salon open back up was simple.
“I am never taking working in an actual salon for granted again,” Ms. Vesey said with a laugh.
Ms. Vesey has been a stylist for years and specializes in men’s cuts, so she has been able to work during this time.
Her hope now is that the business that was going well outside can transition back inside.
“During our working outside, we had a huge rush of people just because I think we were one of the only barbershops or salons operating outside. I think being back inside, our goal is to get back into our routine and expand our services,” Ms. Vesey said.
The shop can again focus on hair coloring, and even shampooing, for clients.
“I did a women’s cut and it felt so good to be able to shampoo and blow her out and style her hair like a regular hairstylist,” she said.
In the few days back in business indoors, Ms. Vesey said the salon is getting more calls for things such as hair coloring and other services the shop can now provide.
“I am just so grateful to be doing everything as opposed to just men’s haircuts and doing dry cuts,” Ms. Vesey said.
“It’s nice to know that we are able to operate outside as a team, but I’m optimistic about the state of our salon.”
Since resuming operations, Mr. Salgado has seen his shop get busier and busier.
Several barbers have departed due to the pandemic, though Mr. Salgado is open to having out-of-county barbers step in to help.
“Some specific counties still can’t open fully, so if anyone would want to come up here, we need some assistance,” Mr. Salgado said with a laugh.
“We are open seven days a week and I want to keep these doors open with open arms.”
The pandemic has made things a lot harder for small businesses, including Mr. Salgado’s. But, like with everything, he has done his best to overcome the pitfalls, and now, he is happy to be serving the public.
“We are going to be sticking around. We are going to be here day after day, so I am just trying to do my best to get that message across,” Mr. Salgado said.
“It’s a privilege to be here and even as the owner, I’m just thrilled to be here every day and put on a good show and see people give us thumbs up and really admire us.”
News-Press Managing Editor Dave Mason contributed to this report