Salons across Oahu were able to re-open for business on Friday, May 29, with restrictions.
Many new and regular customers went on the first day, many said they were in dire need of a haircut.
“It was hair-raising,” said Aunty Jojo, a customer at Salon Nanea in Kakaako. “Oh boy, never in my day could I make a ponytail, it was so long! But I’m so happy to be here.”
Skylar Gomez, 8, was also happy to be sitting in a professional salon chair again after his dad attempted to cut his hair last month.
“It didn’t come out great, but it lasted a month,” said Skylar’s mother Kanoe. “So, I’m glad the salons are open again.”
Under the new guidance, no waiting areas are allowed and appointments are required, all salons must arrange stating to be six-feet apart, everyone who can must wear a mask but can temporarily remove it when necessary to complete a personal service issue, and all salons must enhance their cleaning.
“I walked in and they stopped me and I had to sanitize my hands and they took my temperature,” explained Joey Gomez. “It’s something I’m not used to but good too that they’re taking measures to keep everyone safe.”
Other salon owners said they didn’t have enough time to get the proper supplies and also can’t reopen for financial reasons.
“The main factor is I owe three months back rent and I have not received my disaster loan as of yet, today,” explained Gina Walker, owner of La Sirena Salon in Waialua.
“I also didn’t receive five weeks of unemployment so I can’t walk in there without paying the landlord for one,” she said.
She also worries that her clientele won’t return for a while.
“My oldest clientele wants to stay home until there’s a vaccine, some of my clients have left the island because they can’t afford to live here anymore, some have been touching up their roots themselves and aren’t ready yet, some can’t afford it, so it’s going to be extremely hard getting back the clientele I built,” Walker said.
Hawaii County can reopen its salons on Monday.
Kauai and Maui have already been given the green light to reopen their salons.