Just Wear a Damn Face Mask If You Go to a Salon

There seems to be some confusion about what “safely reopening during COVID-19” means.

After months of not being able to do anything nonessential or see anyone who didn’t live with us, we in the United States suddenly have options again. As of July 20, restaurants, retail stores, and, most importantly to Allure, salons are open in nearly every state in the country. The reopening of the economy is undoubtedly crucial for anyone whose livelihood relies on working a service job. There’s just one massive problem: Some customers — including at least one columnist who I refuse to give an even larger platform by linking to their op-ed on the topic — are determined not to wear a mask to these newly reopened establishments because…freedom? So, I’m here to remind you: If you get your nails done, your hair cut, or your eyebrows waxed, please wear a fucking mask.

As a person who used to have a monthly root touch-up appointment, get bi-weekly gel manicures, have someone else wax her eyebrows, and occasionally dabble in lash extensions, I completely understand the urge to run out to every salon right now. Even though these services might not be considered “essential,” many people value these appointments as moments of self-care — especially crucial in a time where everything happening in the world can make you feel like you’re one misplaced house slipper step away from losing control over your entire life.

And, as I mentioned, many people who work in a salon want to see their clients again. When Governor Gavin Newsom announced that salons in California would be considered Phase 3 businesses in terms of reopening (compared to Georgia, where salons reopened less than a month after the shutdown) many prominent hairstylists signed a petition urging him to let them open earlier. As California-based stylist Shannon Marlin previously told Allure, rent for these businesses wasn’t being forgiven, and salons already operate under strict sanitation guidelines.

My own colorist texted me the same week a date for salons to reopen in New York City was announced, urging me to book an appointment for as soon as I wanted to come in. (If your regular person hasn’t reached out but the place they work has reopened, ask them directly if they want to be taking customers before you set anything up.) 

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