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Getting A Haircut - At Last!

May 22, 2020
By Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

by Jane Whitmore

As Iowa begins to open businesses to the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic, men and women are clamoring for an appointment to get their hair done. Salons everywhere are working to accommodate as they extend their hours to book their clients and follow the mandated guidelines.

Salons have been closed since March 20. They were cleared to re-open May 15. During the time salons were closed, owners cleaned and sanitized their shops. The guidelines they are following now call for continued "sanitizing on steroids."

"Two months is a long time," said Ken Lang from Ken's Hairstyling in Emmetsburg. "Now, it's a challenge. We want to keep ourselves, and our clients, safe. We all want to do the right thing to take care of our customers."

Lang added, "We went to school for this. We went to cosmetology school, so we know all these things. We are doing all the same things, except on steroids."

After contacting stylists in Emmetsburg, Lang, his associate Deb Kibbie, and Janet Noll from Shear Attitude, offered responses. All say they are happy to be back in business.

After the first days back, Janet Noll says, "Everyone is so appreciative and it's a joy to see the smiles on their faces."

It's difficult to see those smiles behind the masks, but stylists know the smiles are there.

All clients, and stylists, are required to wear a mask. Most bring their own masks, and shops have masks for those who don't. Wearing a mask doesn't stop the friendly conversations. Everyone is happy.

Regulations also require complete sterilization between customers. Everything from shop chairs to pens to door knobs and floors must be sanitized between appointments. The checklist is quite lengthy, numbering one through more than 30, established by the Board of Cosmetology Arts &?Sciences.

Appointments are required. Capes can be used once before laundering and there can be no reading material out for customers.

"We had to get rid of all the books and magazines, so it seems awfullly empty in there," said Deb Kibbie.

"There is more physical work and it's mentally draining to try to get everyone scheduled," said Janet Noll. "We are working longer hours to get caught up. Through it all, everyone has been wonderful and understanding, too."

All agreed, clients are refreshed after getting a shampoo, cut, style, perm, or color. Two months is a long time between haircuts.

To accommodate their clients, Ken Lang and Deb Kibbie are working alternate days. They request people call from their car before coming in so there are limited people in the shop.

"Ken and I don't want to make people wait more than a week when we schedule an appointment," said Deb Kibbie. "Already, we're two weeks behind."

Lang added, "We can't just work someone in to the schedule and a customer can't just wait in the shop. Everything anyone touches must be sanitized before the next customer arrives."

One of the biggest concerns is masks.

Janet Noll acknowledges that masks are very warm, but do-able. Deb Kibbie wants to draw a happy face on her mask. And, Ken Lang says he is amazed how many people don't want to wear a mask.

"Not wanting to wear a mask reminds me of how we acted when we first had to wear seat belts in our cars," he said. "It's all a matter of getting used to it."

"Hairdressers are strong and resilient, so we've got this," concluded Janet Noll.



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