SANTA BARBARA Calif. - Our news crew found employees jumping into action at one State Street salon just 30 minutes after Governor Gavin Newsom announced hair salons and barbershops can reopen as the state begins to transition into Stage 3 of its Resilience Roadmap.
"We are excited! I know, we are really excited," said two employees at The Color Room at 3003 State Street. The two women were pulling blue plastic wrap off of a large piece of plexiglass headed for the new check-out area.
Minutes later, a loyal customer was at the front door inquiring about making an appointment and was told maybe in the next day or so.
"Luckily we've seen kind of the requirements and regulations for all the other states so we started implementing those as much as we could," said Sean Von Hoetzendorff, owner of The Color Room Hair International. "A lot of the things are similar, state to state, so we’re super excited. We’ve been waiting, it’s almost 3 months now, and we are looking forward to seeing all of our clients and providing the safest, cleanest environment for everybody – the co-workers and for all of our wonderful clients."
Von Hoetzendorff, who owns a salon in Las Vegas, said he expected California to follow Nevada's reopening model eliminating blow dry services for customers.
"We just believe the circulation of air with those blow dryers can greatly spread the virus so unfortunately, maybe having people wash their hair before doing dry cuts, putting color on," Von Hoetzendorff said.
However, it is unclear if that restriction is listed in California's reopening guidelines.
A handful of other salons and barbershops nearby remained closed. However, one owner, who did not want to talk on camera, said their business would remain closed until Congress issued a waiver of responsibility, ensuring business owners are protected from liability in the event a customer contracts COVID-19 while out and about.
Meantime, Von Hoetzendorff and his team spent hours Tuesday afternoon making the necessary physical distancing and safety modifications that are required to reopen.
"We got rid of our front desk, our retail and we’re gonna do every other chair," Von Hoetzendorff said. "We’ve had to create some plexiglass up here to protect all of our front desk. We'll have a sanitation area, we’ll be cleaning and we got all of our cleaning supplies, took all the took all the mandatory testing for use of this disinfection and sanitation."
Von Hoetzendorff said he's owned The Color Room for 10 years and has a staff of roughly 20 and 15 stylists. He anticipates the salon will service a third of its normal clientele but said "half would be great."
Meantime, once the guidelines are figured out and his co-workers are all comfortable with the salon modifications, the business will reopen.
"I’m just asking the public to be patient with us. We're going to be learning new things and we’re not gonna be able to have that much clients coming in at once. And, I’m sure there’s people I’ve seen in town that have had roots and needing their hair done and are really wanting to rush in but .... we’re gonna be doing it as safe as we can."
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San Luis Obispo County has released the following guidelines for barbershops, hair salons and places of worship.
Santa Barbara County released an updated health officer's order which outlines guidelines for barbershops, hair salons and places of worship.
Ventura County posted their updated requirements, which can be found here.