Preparing for reopening, Md. salon owner tries to make clients feel safe

Salons in Montgomery County, Maryland, are still not allowed to open due to coronavirus restrictions, but business owners there are getting plans ready for when the time finally comes.

Roe, who owns Gleaming Goddess Hair Lounge in Chevy Chase, is one of them. Roe, who goes by only her first name professionally, said she bought gloves, masks, sanitizers and even a new air purifying system.

“For clients that are in that high-risk category, I have a face shield on top of my mask,” Roe said.


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She has also been emailing customers, letting them know that only one of them will be allowed in her business at a time once she is able to reopen.

“In between each client, I have a lot of time, so I can sanitize the salon until the next one comes in,” she said. “That’s one way to make them feel safe to come back to my space.”

Last week, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that some businesses shuttered by the pandemic would be able to reopen.

Under the first phase of the state’s recovery plan, retail stores can reopen their doors with limitations on crowd sizes, manufacturing can resume, and barbers and hair salons can return to operation by appointment only at 50% capacity.

However, the plan allows individual jurisdictions to make their own decisions on the timing of reopening. Local governments can keep restrictions in place, but they can only act within the guidelines announced by the governor.

Leaders in two of Maryland’s largest jurisdictions, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in the suburbs of the nation’s capital, have made clear they’re not ready to reopen.

“That’s very stressful as a salon owner when you cannot schedule clients because you do not have a firm reopen date,” Roe said. “Everyone is itching to get their hair done. It’s the one thing they feel they have control over.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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