After waiting nearly two months to get his hair cut while barbershops were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, John Weir was glad to be leaving UpperCuts barbershop on Friday with a fresh cut.
“I feel great man, these guys are the best,” Weir said. “We’ve got to come out here and support the community. I’m just glad they’re back open.”
Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that all barbershops, nail and hair salons were allowed to open for business on May 8, with restrictions and guidelines to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
Norma Bowdle, owner and hairstylist at The Beauty Shop in Kingsville, said her phone “was blowing up” before Gov. Abbott’s press conference was even over.
“Everyone was super excited to finally be able to get back in,” Bowdle said. “It feels amazing to be open again and doing what I love and catching up with all my clients. It’s a blessing upon blessings.”
Bowdle said her salon is now booked solid for the next three weeks, and all of her clients are willing to wait and follow her safety precautions to get their appointments done.
“I’m even opening for longer hours,” she said.
UpperCuts barber Earl Wheeler said “it feels amazing” to be able to be back cutting hair for his clients.
“Being at home for so long, it was getting boring and I couldn’t help but just keep thinking of wanting to cut hair,” Wheeler said. “It’s been hard not making any (money) and still trying to get the bills paid because, you know, they’re not cheap. It’s a blessing to be back.”
In the entrance of UpperCuts hangs a sign that states all entrants must be wearing masks.
Wheeler said he is glad the shop has that rule in place, and more, to ensure “the safety of the public.”
“It’s for our health and safety as well,” Wheeler said. “That’s why we’re taking (the guidelines) very serious. And we need to.”
Maggie Salinas, owner of Glamour Studio, said during the last few weeks she continued to clean her workstations and even bought seat covers for easier cleanup after each customer in preparation for reopening her salon.
Salinas said having to keep up with utilities, supplies and security for her salon was “difficult to keep up with,” because of the lack of business after being forced to close in March.
“It was something we didn’t plan for, “ Salinas said. “So we had to use all of our resources that we usually plan to have for Summer. Now that this has happened, and (the virus) is not completely gone, in the event that we have to shutdown again, we have to be prepared. Now we know.”
Now, weeks later, she is glad to be able to open and see the same customers she has been serving for nearly 40 years.
“To finally have (the salon) open for business is fantastic,” Salinas said. “I’m still very skeptical and still very concerned about the virus, but we are taking as many precautions as we can to protect our customers - and also ourselves - so that we can continue (to work). But we’re glad to be back and back in business as usual.”