LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Hair salons and barber shops in New York got the green light to reopen back on June 3. Many barbers and stylists, who have returned to work, have wasted no time trying to make up for lost revenue.
Hair stylist Marla Port will never forget how COVID-19 changed her life and her livelihood during the statewide order to shut down salons.
“I’m missing 10 weeks of income. Then there’s the colossal mess of trying to get through unemployment,” she said.
Port did her best to stay connected to clients and followers on Instagram by posting videos with advice on how to cut your own bangs. Then, at the beginning of June, as part of Phase Two, barber shops and salons in the Capital Region were given the green light to reopen.
Port returned to the space she rents in Latham, and she didn’t waste one second getting back to work.
“So, my average day for the month was about 12-13 hours a day.”
She said that within the first 30 days of reopening, she coiffed the hair of 203 clients. Cuts and color that can often take hours to do.
Many of her clients had been on a long waiting list.
“It’s a lot like slaving over dinner and all you need is one person to say ‘Thank you’ and it’s worth doing all over again. But when you have 12 appointments in a day and every one of them says ‘Thank you so much’, ‘I’m so glad to be back,’ it made it worth it every moment,” she said.
But reopening and staying open comes with a lot of changes:
- Everyone wears masks;
- There is mandatory sanitizing between customers; and
- Temperature checks.
She said she also realizes that the virus is now forcing the temporary closure of some salons and that the future is uncertain.
“It’s very likely that we will end up opening and closing in ways as we figure this thing out. Just, any time someone goes to see your service provider, recognize what they’re doing. If they are doing it right and say, ‘thank you.'”