MAUI, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The rest of the state may have to wait for hair and nail salon services, but businesses in Maui County will be able to welcome customers back next Monday with new safety guidelines.
Clients and employees will have to wear masks. Workers must also use a face shield unless there is a plexiglass barrier. No blow drying will be permitted due to concerns about the possible spread of germs.
The phone has been ringing off the hook at Salon 253 in Wailuku since Mayor Michael Victorino announced that salons could reopen on May 25 .
"We're really going to be fixing quarantine haircuts. We're going to be fixing quarantine roots," said hair stylist and owner Adiel Cline. "People think like, 'Oh, you just do hair.' No, we help people's well-being."
At Lehiwa Designs Esthetics & Nails in Wailuku, sneeze guards are up at the register and work stations.
"We've been trying really hard to make sure we have these precautions in place because business isn't going back to normal," said owner Reese Owens Yap. "We do want to reopen, but we want to reopen safely."
During a news conference on Monday, Governor David Ige said he hadn't received requests from other counties to reopen salons. He indicated that with appropriate protective measures, he believed that they could operate safely statewide.
The owners of J Salon and Phil's Barber Shop on Oahu rehired their employees two weeks ago after receiving federal PPP funds, but the workers are being paid to stay at home.
"All we've been hearing is, 'We're looking at a date. We're looking into getting salons open.' We don't have time to look into it. We need to do it now," said co-owner Joe Randazzo.
Once they're allowed to reopen, they'll only be able to accommodate half of their usual clients each day due to social distancing.
"We are still going to be running at 50% capacity and really only generating half of what we are accustomed to, and still expected to pay the same bills and the same overhead and the same rent," said co-owner Gary Casupang.
Salon 253 will be operating at 50% occupancy next week, but Cline said she is just looking forward to seeing her clients again.
“I do miss people and I miss touching them and I miss interacting. It’s very, very weird, especially when you do it every day for a living,” she said.