In Phase II of Governor Abbott’s gradual reopening plan salons, nail salons, and barbershops were allowed to open Friday with some social distancing stipulations and our area stylists are excited to get back to work.
Gov. Abbott’s guidelines for the reopening of salons included a limit of one customer per stylist and a reminder to continue practicing social distancing. He recommended the use of facemasks but made sure to mention that it was not a requirement. Abbott also recommended salon workers work on an appointment-only basis but suggested that customers waiting for appointments do so in their vehicle. For any customers waiting inside salons and any that come in on a walk-in basis, the six-foot social distancing space must be practiced.
Reflecting on her feelings regarding the initial closure and Friday’s reopening local stylist, Trina Patterson said, “I am ecstatic to get back to work! I’m not going to lie it was very tough and scary in the beginning. I didn’t know how I was going to continue to feed our family or how we were going to pay bills. It was also frustrating because you felt helpless.”
Even the increase in unemployment benefits for those furloughed or terminated due to COVID-19 wasn’t a help for her family, in the beginning. Patterson said, “Unemployment seemed like a joke. You couldn’t get through the phone lines nothing was changing on the site. The unknown is always scary. But it worked out. Unemployment finally came through. After knowing I could get help until I could return to work eases my mind.”
Once employment benefits started and the immediate stress of snowballing debt was sated she was able to focus on spending quality time with her family. “Me and my husband began to work on things around our home,” she said, “It was nice to be outside every day and to spend family time. It made me realize how much we miss out on our family or even just being outside due to working so much.”
Having experienced every emotion from anger and fear to joy and jubilance in her time away from her career, she is ready to get back to her station and start undoing her client’s COVID-19 induced style choices.
This forced time away from our offices, salons, gyms, schools, and our favorite retail spots may have opened our collective eyes to the joys of spending quiet time with our loved ones. It may have reminded us how good it feels to have the sun in your eyes, grass under your feet, and your family within arm’s reach in comparison to the noise and hustle of our regular lives. “Some of us hairdressers have even discussed how we may adjust our schedules once this all slows down,” Allen said, “But for now the goal is to get everyone in and feeling amazing.”