Georgia hair stylist gets ready to reopen

Published 9:10 am Thursday, April 23, 2020

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On Monday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced that some businesses in Georgia would start to reopen. Some businesses, such as movie theaters and restaurants, would be able to reopen on Monday, while others would be able to reopen this Friday.

One of the businesses that can reopen Friday are hair salons.

“It’s kind of a Catch 22 where you’re ready to open, and you’re excited about opening,” Jason Crosson, who owns Hair Masters in West Point, said. “But you’re nervous because cases are still coming up. It’s going to be hard doing someone’s hair six-feet away.”

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In order to reopen, hair salons and other close contact services have to follow certain regulations.

As part of the regulations, salons are recommended to have a thermometer to take the temperature of employees. Clients that are not currently receiving their service are to stay outside of the salon and maintain six feet of distance at all times.

Employees are to wear masks and gloves the entire time they are at work, and they will clean chairs, tools and surfaces after every use.

Most of the recommendations are common sense, but Crosson has already discussed some of the changes with the other three stylists that work at Hair Masters.

He already has a thermometer and ordered another one in order to take temperatures for his employees. The store already has gloves, since they deal with the different chemicals to dye hair, but it does not have a supply of masks. Crosson is going to check with his supplier about masks, but in the meantime, he will wear a mask his sister-in-law made.

Crosson said it might be difficult if a customer wants to wear a mask while he’s doing their hair.

“When you’re doing color, you’re going to get color all over the strap and then that’s going to interfere with the color process,” Crosson said.

“Where the hair swells during the chemical process, [the bands] can cause breakage.”

In order to avoid this problem, Crosson will provide the client with tissues if they want some type of filter.

One of the biggest adjustments for Crosson will be adjusting to the gloves when he cuts hair.

“It’s going to be a challenge with the gloves on because I cut close to my fingers because I feel like I have more control,” Crosson said. “I’ve never cut with a glove on that I can recall, and I’ve been cutting hair for 35 years. It’s going to be quite a challenge.”

Once Kemp made his announcement, Crosson’s phone started to light up with people trying to reschedule appointments.

“As soon as it hit the news, I started getting text messages like crazy,” Crosson said. “I didn’t even have a chance to text any of mine to let them know that we would get them in when we can.”

Hair Masters will reopen on Friday, but Tuesday will be the first day for Crosson. He already has 25 appointments scheduled for his first day back.

“It’s going to be wide open,” Crosson said.

Whenever they schedule an appointment, Crosson will tell the client to wait in their car until they are told to come in.

“In times like this, you have to tell them to stay outside, and that’s what I’ve done when I’ve rescheduled them,” Crosson said.