Gov. DeWine announces Ohio's plans for reopening salons, barbershops

Reopening date is May 15
Posted at 6:15 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 23:24:05-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday that barbershops, hair salons and nail salons across the state will reopen on May 15, but they’ll have to make changes to how they would normally operate in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A committee of close to 30 cosmetology and hair professionals from across the state worked together to come up with guidelines for reopening:

  • Customers who have appointments must wait in their vehicles until the stylist or technician is ready for them.
  • All customers must come to their appointments alone, except for minors who are allowed to be accompanied by an adult.
  • Barbership and salon lobbies will have social distance markings that customers must abide by.
  • There will be no magazines, beverages or products for sale in the waiting area.
  • Hair and nail technicians will be wearing masks and customers will be asked to do the same.

“(I) already have my text messages already lined up, people calling,” hair stylist Brittani Gray said. “It’s been a fun day so far since about 2 o’clock.”

Clients can’t wait to get back into Brittani Gray’s “Hair Kitchen” and she’s relieved she’ll be able to get back to work

“It has been devastating … 12 to 14 hours a day that you’re working with clients and then you go to nothing,” Gray said. “And then the income.”

She plans to take every precaution possible – including allowing one client in her salon suite at a time.

“Our salon suite is cleaned daily, 2 or 3 times a day even,” Gray said. “That’s just going to be enhanced even more. I also have face shields and face masks to cover. I’m actually ordering some protective garment wear as well.”

Gray is being extra careful because she has a history of respiratory issues.

“I’m very nervous,” Gray said. “My clientele is very well aware of how – like last year I was out for 5 weeks because I had pneumonia, the flu, and bronchitis back to back.”

Gray said she’ll only open once she’s confident her surrounds are safe – even if that’s after the May 15th opening date.

“This has changed the normalcy of how barbering and cosmetology is going to be from now on,” Gray said.

Despite the reopenings, DeWine is still urging people to continue to be cautious.

"This is a good day,” DeWine said. “This is a day when we're opening things up. We have more opportunities. But I just want to caution us, this is high risk. This is a high-risk operation. But it'd be high risk if we didn't do anything."

Salon employees will also be required to clean their workspaces a lot more frequently.

MORE: Taking a 'calculated risk,' Ohio will reopen salons, bars, restaurants