Local salons, barbers booked up for reopening

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 24, 2020

SALISBURY — Above the Collar Hair and Beard Bar, located on North Main Street, was fully booked for hair cuts Saturday after reopening Friday when the state rolled back restrictions on which businesses are allowed to open amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shop is one of many that are seeing higher demand after about two months of the state deeming institutions like barber shops, salons and spas nonessential and requiring them to close to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re pretty much following the state board regulations like we normally do,” owner Shannon Madden said.

The shop has stickers to mark the floor so customers have a visual for standing 6 feet apart. Madden ordered a thermometer to check temperatures when customers arrive and will use a new cape on each client.

Leila Saries, owner of Cut Up-N-Dye, reopened on Friday and said she has been taking it slow, limiting the number of customers in the store to one at a time and hoping her clients will be patient.

The state is requiring 50% of the number of people normally allowed in a business, and Saries said she is keeping the number even lower than that. After about two months out of practice, she joked she needs to make sure she still knows how to cut hair.

“I’m like a fish out of water, baby,” Saries said.

Saries wanted to thank the county for signage and masks.

Made Man Barber and Shave owner Brian Hunt said as soon as Gov. Roy Cooper made the announcement his phone began “lighting up” with people making appointments. The shop moved from West Innes Street to its new 205 S Main St. location two days before it had to close.

Hunt said he feels more comfortable in his shop than inside retail establishments because of how much sanitation work the shop already does.

“The last thing they teach you in barber school is how to cut hair,” Hunt said. “Most of your time in barber school is spent learning infection control and sanitation.”

Barbers are wearing masks in the store and wiping down chairs with disinfectant after each client. The store is encouraging customers to come alone.

Hunt said the disinfecting the shop does between clients should “already be a given.” Barbers break down their stations each night and sanitize everything. The waiting area is sanitized every evening as well.

“Before I did this, I was a firefighter for 14 years,” Hunt said. “I’ve worked in and around sick people. I’m very comfortable with my knowledge.”

Salisbury Salon and Spa is taking a different approach. Owner Leslie Stopper said the salon is currently delaying its opening until June 3 to see how the disease spreads in the coming days.

“If it’s not bad, not getting any worse, we might open early,” Stopper said. “If it gets worse, we might postpone it.”

Stopper said the salon’s main concern is the safety of its customers and employees. She is preparing to reopen by buying protective equipment.

She said the salon stays booked, and clients have still tried to make appointments. The salon has had to get in touch with everyone to let them know they are not opening yet.

“We have a lot of loyal customers,” Stopper said. “We love our customers. We miss them very much. We just want to protect them.”

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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