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Monday, June 17, 2024
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Buzz, Clip, Shave and Chop!

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Hair salons and barber shops have been closed since March, but our hair hasn’t stopped growing! It’s been two months since the closure, so it’s safe to say we’re all in dire need of a hair makeover. Hair salons have been open for about a week now, if they follow FL CDC guidelines. I stopped into a few shops around Hernando County to see what safety measures they’re taking and how they’re adapting to the new norm. 

I first went to the Leaf Aveda Salon Spa located at 7199 Coastal Blvd. Here I talked to my personal favorite hair stylist Sam Brooks and owner Lori Sohu about what they’ve been doing. During the closure this past month, Aveda took the time to research everything about COVID-19 and the measures to take to stay safe during this time. They did this so that they could be prepared for whenever they got word to reopen. They informed me that when customers arrive at the salon they’re instructed to stay in their car until their hairdresser is ready for them. Before entering the building, Aveda staff checks customers temperatures, offers sanitation, and asks that they wear a mask (provided). Stylists are required to wear a mask, so they ask that customers do so as well as to be able to continue to stay open during this pandemic. There is a limited number of customers that can be in the salon at the same time and they must stay the mandated 6 feet apart. Aveda adapted their stylist stations to accommodate the distance requirement and they’ve discontinued spa rituals like hand massages to avoid touching. The salon is allotting 15 minute intervals in-between each customer for sanitation. This sanitation includes wiping down all tools and products used as well as the chair the customer sits in. All handles, bathrooms, and supplies are cleaned every hour if not more. Capes used to cover clients are washed after every use, which is done normally as well. 

Lori is very thankful for the customers that have remained so loyal during this shutdown, it’s because of them that Leaf Aveda Salon Spa is having such a successful reopening. Lori herself has been calling customers to reschedule during the past couple of weeks, she has kept with them as she didn’t know when they were going to reopen. Now they are so busy they are booked through the first week of June!    

I then talked to Janie Wiley, who is the owner of Mr & Ms Salon & Day Spa located at 7199 Coastal Blvd. She informed me that they are the oldest salon in Hernando County, serving us since 1960. Janie herself has been with the salon since 1971. Recently she downsized and did so right in time, because of this and her loyal customers, she was able to stay in business during this closure. Janie expresses how fortunate she is for patient and loyal customers. Her stylists have been working very hard to accommodate customers and catch up on appointments. All the while following FL guidelines and keeping safety first. Limited customers are allowed in the shop, as well as none in the waiting room. Stylist stations and products are cleaned after each customer, in 15 minute breaks. Stylists are required to wear masks and customers are offered one, but it isn’t mandatory. While this time is hectic, business has been very good since reopening. People are in desperate need for hair cuts and Janie’s salon is booked through June as well. 

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I lastly went to Davinci’s Barber Studio Inc. located at 3061 Anderson Snow Rd and spoke to Efrain “Nino” Cabrera who is a barber there. They are following FL CDC guidelines as well as other studios. 15 minute intervals between customers for sanitation of products, tools, and workstations. No one is allowed to wait in the waiting area and masks are required for both customer and stylist. Stations are also adapted to keep 6 feet mandatory distance from one another.  Davinci’s is going above and beyond and having their barbers complete the Barbicide certification, which ensures safe practices during COVID-19. They are trying to be the leaders right now in the barber shop industry. Customer safety comes first and they are showing the community that they are essential and can continue to work safely during this time. Because of guidelines, shops are by appointment only, so Davinci’s is trying to make it as convenient as possible for customers. Appointments can be made using an app called booksy or by calling the store. The closure has had a big impact financially on the shop as well, they’ve gone from an average of 20 customers a day to now around 10. You have to take into account the cost of cleaning supplies as well. They are trying to go above and beyond to try and create a safe environment for their customers. Their phones are ringing off the hook, so appointments will soon fill up fast!

Staff at each salon and barber shop I visited expressed how thankful they are for the people of Hernando County. Because of customer loyalty, shops are able to continue to stay open and do business. We have all been patiently waiting for haircuts and now our fashion heroes have arrived and are ready to take on the challenge. Sanitized and safe, salons are open and ready for customers. 

If you were thinking of changing up your look for summer, now’s a perfect time. Be sure to make an appointment and show your community support!

Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil is a reporter for the Hernando Sun as well as a business technology developer, specializing in website development, content management systems, and data analysis.
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