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Busy summer for Northland salons and barbers back in business

Updated: June 02, 2020 06:22 PM

Many Minnesotans across the state are excited to get haircuts with salons and barbershops finally reopening on June 1. It has been a difficult few months for these businesses who were forced to close when the COVID-19 pandemic started unfolding.

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The experience will feel different and have extra precautionary measures to keep people safe, like allowing only 25 percent of capacity.

"It feels amazing. My husband and I spent two months preparing and creating an environment where we could still do our work but also have things be really safe and clean," said Adeline Wright, the salon owner of Adeline Inc.

"It was kinda like being hit with an earthquake. People are just pounding the door now. The phone is quiet now which is good but it has been ringing off the hook," said Michael Hawkinson, the owner of Piedmont Barbers.

Northland salons and barbershops are looking forward to the busy summer ahead but are aware getting a haircut will be a different experience. Wright says they are checking staff and clients temperature.

"The clients put their mask on outside and then they immediately go to the bathroom to wash their hands and then they're able to come and sit in the clean station. We use a new cape on every single person. Everything is laundered on hot," said Wright.

Wright said she made some major changes to her salon like changing the airflow system, moving stations 15 feet apart, adding partitions in between stations, and stocking up on sanitation products and PPE equipment. They are also limiting the number of people in the salon.

"We had to reschedule 600 existing appointments and so we are only booking a couple of weeks at a time," said Wright.

Wright said every common touch surface and door handles are cleaned in between every touch. They added touchless hand sanitizers as well.

Hawkinson said he is booked for the next three weeks and is also following social distancing and sanitation guidelines recommended from the state and board of cosmetology.

"We sanitize the armrest sanitize all the doorknobs, surfaces that we may or may not have touched right here. The restroom doorknobs, get all that done," said Hawkinson.

Hawkinson cleans the clippers, scissors, combs, and stations after each customer.

"We do go 100% by appointment and then what we do is we just say wait in your car and then I'll just go and waive them in when my customer leaves so I don't have any customers waiting inside," said Hawkinson.

After cutting hair for over 20 years, Hawkinson said he is happy to be back in business and help clients look and feel great. He is already booked with appointments for the next three weeks.

"I've fixed some at-home haircuts it definitely has been pretty interesting. I've had guys who haven't touched their hair since February," said Hawkinson.

"All of our clients so far have said that they felt really comfortable here and that makes me feel really good too. It's so good for me to be behind the chair again I've been doing hair for 22 years and two and a half months off is the longest I've ever not been working," said Wright.

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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