On June 1, salons and barber shops were part of Gov. Tim Walz’s reopening of Minnesota, and people excitedly headed for a new, clean look. The businesses could open at 25% capacity and face masks were required, according to Executive Order 20-63. If clients do not have a mask, they can purchase one for $1 at the salon. As of June 10, salons and barber shops can have 50% capacity, according to Executive Order 20-74.

Moore Sensational Looks

“It’s great (to reopen),” said Kelsey Moore, owner, manager and stylist at Moore Sensational Looks. “When you’re used to working 8-10 hours a day and being on your feet it’s fine but then when you’re off for two months not by choice … and then you get back to it, everybody’s exhausted but it’s so great to feel the happiness and appreciation from the clients, just to make people feel beautiful again is great.”

In preparing to serve customers again, Moore had to remove magazines and coloring books in the waiting room area, thoroughly clean everything, purchase masks and ensure cleaning and sanitizing supplies, neck strips, gloves and paper towels were well stocked. While the cleaning products have previously been used on a daily basis, she is required to clean between each client, from the chairs to doors, light switches, brooms, plugs and the phone and computer. The cleaning takes about 15-20 minutes though Moore leaves 30 minutes between each appointment as a precaution.

While the cleaning has meant allowing less customers in, the opening week “has been busy” with appointments booked for the next several weeks, according to Moore. Whether people are booking with her or at other salons, Moore said the sooner the better.

“They were very much thrilled to be able to get their hair done, so very excited … for us to be back open and get them in,” Moore said.

The timing for welcoming customers back is “absolutely horrible” for Moore as she is now headed on maternity leave until August. Stylist Stacey Neal will have extended hours and days to support the high demand.

Moore said “the biggest downfall” in reopening is the required masks, though she is glad to do anything to reopen.

Glamour Full Service Salon

“I’ll do anything to get caught back up because I just want to have a summer and a life like everyone else, so if I have to work hard right away so I can play hard later that’s what I’m going to do,” said Brittney Ewert, owner of Glamour Full Service Salon.

Ewert’s catching up includes scheduling 10 weeks of appointments in five weeks with extended hours throughout the week and weekends in the month of June. Prior to reopening, Ewert purchased masks and plexiglass. As appointments are required, Ewert asks if people have had a cough, fever or traveled and if so the person will not receive an appointment.

Ewert added 15 minutes between each hair appointment for cleaning, which includes anywhere the client has touched. For massage appointments, the time has increased to 30 minutes. When clients arrive for their appointment, they call the salon and are allowed in once the cleaning is finished. Clients are asked to apply hand sanitizer upon entering as well.

While the Board of Cosmetology previously required “strict” cleaning guidelines, Ewert also stocked up on additional Clorox wipes and Barbicide for cleaning tools. Her policy of using a new comb and brush for each person continues.

“I feel like we should have been able to open up sooner just because we’re already a pretty clean environment,” Ewert said.

Ewert said the opening week was exciting, fun and exhausting. The size of her salon also allowed all five of Glamour’s independent contractors to work at the same time with one client each, although other salons have had to rotate their workers, according to Ewert.

“It was just a lot coming back, everyone was so excited to see us, we were excited to see them. Lots of phone calls for people to get in,” Ewert said.