No End In Sight for a Hairy Situation

Lindsay Holt, owner of Main Street Barbershop, is eager for her shop to reopen. Barbershops and hair salons have been shuttered with no end in sight since March, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

HERSCHER PILOT photo

Barber shops and hair salons have been considered non-essential businesses during the past weeks since the Covid-19 shelter-in-place order began. 

Unfortunately, the Governor’s easing of restrictions on May 1 did not include the re-opening of those businesses. 

The Herscher Pilot reached out to local barbers and salons for their input.

Lindsay Holt, Main Street Barbershop, states, “I definitely understand the need to social distance right now. But, the second they allow me to open I will be back in the shop ready to go!

 I have had phone calls and even people stop by my house asking for cuts, but it's just not worth the risk until I get the "ok".

 I miss my regular clients and I am definitely interested to see what these two plus months have been like for them and their hair!”

Trista Botta, Salon 180, shares, “I love my job. Those are not the words you hear very often, however for me it is so rewarding.  I love putting smiles on people’s faces and I miss it so much. 

I miss not just the work aspect where I am able to provide for my family, but the close relationships I have built with my clients. They inspire me. THEY bring me so much joy. That is what I miss.

During this shelter in place I have been staying quite busy spending time with my beautiful children and my husband, as well as finishing up some projects around the house. When we are able to reopen (which is hopefully soon) I will ask that everyone please have patience as there will be many new precautions taken such as: spaced out appointments to allow us to clean and sanitize before and after each client, having only one client in a chair at a time, and no unnecessary people in the shop that are just “along for the ride”. 

Again, I miss you all and hope to see you very soon. Stay healthy!”

Lennie Wagner, Hair Effects, relates, “For me it is a loss.  I know that sounds silly but it is a loss of doing something that I love to do. I feel that my clients/friends keep me going.  I usually work 6 days a week but only 2 of them are doing hair, (Thursday morning at Miller in Kankakee).  

 At Hair Effects I am there Thursday afternoon and Saturdays.  So many clients are not just clients they are friends.  I hear about happy times, sad times, troubling times, new houses, new babies, new relationships.  It’s heartbreaking not being able to just go up and do a "quick cut" on a 27 year old kid  that you have been cutting since he was 15.  And don’t get me going on PROM.  This would have been that last school dance for some of the girls that I have been doing since 8th grade graduation.  So many weddings moved and I can’t imagine all the changes that the grooms and brides are having to deal with. 

 Financially it’s hard because most stylists are not able to collect unemployment. It will be a scary time when we are able to open. We are going to have to rely on our clients to be truthful and forthcoming with how they are feeling.”

Tayler Blanchette, Salon 180 shares, “With my time off I have been doing lots of little things just trying to keep busy, cleaning, puzzles, watching way too much TV! I miss my routine, my clients, and doing what I love! I’m a schedule person, so this is throwing me off! 

As for getting back to work, I’m just going to take it one day at a time and do my best to get people in as soon as I can but also keep things more spread out to sanitize between each client! As far as us not being able to work, I understand. But in the same sense, I feel in our salon personally we could follow social distancing by spacing out clients and having them and us wear masks and gloves and just limit what is touched! I feel that there would be more of a chance of someone getting exposed in a grocery store!”

Dawn Deany, Hair Effects, says, “In my time off I have done cleaning, yard work, rearranging furniture throughout the house, cooking and baking, many new recipes, puzzles, many “sleepless nights, and anything to stay as busy as possible.

 I miss my people!!! The ones that want a change, big or small. The ones that want to talk because we trust each other with life. The ones that share the news of becoming a wife/ husband, or new parent, a college acceptance, if they made the team, a new grandparent, or a job that they have been wanting, or the ones that are not sure they can make it through the life in front of them at that moment. I miss the laughter and the tears. The first haircuts and the last ones too. I miss the smells when I unlock the door every morning. Mostly I miss the feeling of making a difference in someone’s life, even if it was a smile and a thank you because what we do is for them personally!!”

As we all wait impatiently for barbershops and hair salons to reopen, keep in mind the wisdom on the sign at Main Street Barbershop: “Stay healthy and refrain from box color and kitchen shears.”