AUSTIN, Texas - Customers at “A Zany Do Salon and Spa” in Round Rock were not allowed to just walk in on Friday morning. They first had to make an appointment.
Then they had to wait to be escorted inside, where a temperature check was done before getting into a chair.
"Since the announcement, I've been on the phone essentially with clients, texting and calling to reschedule them," said stylist Sarah Johnson.
Johnson said it was great to see familiar faces; even though they're covered by masks. "What was it like having a client back in your chair today? Like riding a bicycle for me, it was, I felt at home, I felt like this is what I'm supposed to be doing, this is what I know how to do best, this is why I enjoy doing, the first conversation, off the back at 8:30 this morning, we were asking how each other's family were. And you can’t put a price on that," she said.
Judy Lindsey was in at 10 a.m. She was Johnson's third cut and style since opening. Lindsey said the visit wasn’t just about getting a cut. "It was more about seeing Sarah," said Lindsey.
The reopening guidelines require more than just masks and hand sanitizer. There must be a six-foot spacing between stations. Areas also must be cleaned after each customer and the use of disposable gloves is encouraged.
"We also have to have a new cape to cover them, for every client, so it’s not that it’s hard, it is just an extra thought to maintain everyone's safety," said Johnson.
The reopening order by Governor Greg Abbott has been criticized by Texas Democratic Party leaders as being implemented too soon. Salon owner Christine Ortiz disagrees with that. "I guess maybe they don’t understand, the things we can do around here to keep things safe, to keep our environment protected for our clients," said Ortiz.
Not everyone is taking advantage of the opportunity to reopen. Some are taking a wait and see approach, while others just simply were not able to get supplies.
The owners of Bird's Barbershop are among those who have not reopened. That surprised some of their regulars who were stopped by locked doors. For those who did get a cut or a manicure, there was no hesitation.
Steve Dunlap said he felt safe when he went in to get his hair cut at Tune-Up The Manly Salon. "It was a month and a half, and to be able to relax and have a good time, it was worth every penny," he said.
A few doors down Sarah Esparaza sat in a chair waiting her turn at a nail salon. "I feel like what they are doing and the precautions, I think it’s going to be fine, as long as we wear masks, they wear masks, I think it will be ok," she said,
That customer confidence had things humming at Tune-Up. By noon, owner Wes Priest said he was booked through Monday. He wore a special T-shirt that read “Straight Outta Quarantine” to mark the day. "Is it a shirt of defiance, or is it a shirt of celebration? Celebration to be back open and be in here, and our customers are absolutely thrilled to have us back in here, and that’s why our phones are blowing up," he said.
The reopening order also allows the return of tanning salons. Workers can refuse service to anyone they suspect may be sick.
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