The Barber Shop allowed to continue outdoor operations
This time last week, Jorge Salgado was unsure of what the future held for him and his barbershop.
After his pivot to try to move outdoors was quickly shut down by the county and the State Board of Cosmetics, Mr. Salgado said he had a “big weight” on his shoulders.
Luckily, Gov. Gavin Newsom helped take a bit of pressure off Mr. Salgado’s plate when he announced Monday new guidelines for hair and nail salons, barbershops and other personal services to operate outdoors.
“I felt great,” Mr. Salgado told the News-Press.
With the new rules in place, Mr. Salgado did what he could and by Wednesday morning he had barbers, three chairs, and all the equipment needed to cut people’s hair.
“We got a good team here, everyone’s been really supportive to each other. It’s looking good , feeling good, getting a lot of thumbs up, and people are walking up trying to book appointments,” Mr. Salgado said.
The Barber Shop, located at 1233 State St., currently operates from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but because they have to set up every morning and take everything back in the shop every night, Mr. Salgado said the hours will likely change to about 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
He also noted how important it is to make every hour count.
“Time is essential for us and we’re trying to be here and maximize our time as much as we could,” Mr. Salgado said.
To help maximize time, Mr. Salgado also told his barbers instead of disinfecting their equipment after each use, to instead use another tool. They will then disinfect everything at the end of the day.
“It’s costing us more for sure, we have to use more implements than usual. I’m telling everyone here, ‘just buy yourself more tools, let’s not take the time to disinfect, let’s just have a new tool ready because we really want to pump out the volume,’” Mr. Salgado said.
All chairs are disinfected after one patron is done getting their haircut.
Helping keep everything orderly, the barbers also wet the customers hair so when it is cut, it does not go flying everywhere.
With the first day in the book, Mr. Salgado was happy with the turn out.
“We are definitely feeling good and everything is coming along… I got three chairs out here today which got us all busy and we already got about 20 haircuts in today,” Mr. Salgado said.
In the coming days, Mr. Salgado hopes to add a couple more chairs outside, a maximum of five.
As of right now, patrons are asked to keep their masks on while getting their haircut, something that makes things a bit tougher, but Mr. Salgado said this is the reality of the situation.
“I have seen photos from other cities where clients don’t wear masks. We don’t want to take those risks and set that vibe. We just want to make sure everyone is as safe as possible and no one has had an issue keeping it on,” Mr. Salgado said.
He added that in the coming weeks he’d like to see the masks come off, allowing the barbers to also do beard trims and shaves.
Regardless, barbers will have their masks on at all times, according to Mr. Salgado.
And, while he is happy, Mr. Salgado does note that things are still difficult, especially because Victorian Salon, located inside The Barber Shop, will not be joining its counterpart outside.
“It’s a good thing they’re allowing us outside, but also a bad thing, because salons can’t go outside and get their hair colored. It’s going to be uncomfortable for the ladies. I don’t want to have perm services outside,” Mr. Salgado said.
“For salons, it really just isn’t a reality right now.”
Still, it was a relief for Mr. Salgado when he could at least do some haircuts outside — and an even bigger relief for the barbers who were almost out of work again.
“It feels good man because that was three months without work,” Stephen Navarro, a barber at the State Street location, said.
“You have to follow a protocol and not be out there doing illegal stuff and like doing house calls. You want to but you have to be safe. The fact that we’re able to just be back out and cutting hair (is good). That’s why most of us got into this industry, because that’s what we love to do, so it feels good.”
Mr. Navarro added that people were also happy that they were able to get haircuts and were happy to see them in business.
“It is different, but I can’t complain. In a sense, this is the new norm and that’s totally fine. We’re still taking the precautionary steps to implement everything that we were taught. So now it’s just keeping the space and just being on top of everything,” Mr. Navarro said.
He added that while it was tough to stay positive, ultimately, it was his only choice.
“To be honest bro, you just have to. I think a lot of people had to analyze themselves more in this time and they had to grow, so you have to stay positive,” Mr. Navarro said.
For Mr. Salgado, he’s also keeping the goals simple as of right now. All he hopes is to very soon implement five chairs outside at a time and to slowly get back to a normal pace. He even thinks they might move to working seven days a week.
“I think I would be happy with that, but who knows, we are just adapting one day at a time. And everything is looking good, good haircuts are still coming out of the barbershop,” Mr. Salgado said.