PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Barbershops and salons in Philly were cleared for reopening on Friday. But not everyone is eager to open their doors during the pandemic.
Appointments for Newthandz in North Philadelphia were booked up to Tuesday. Barbershop owner Randolph Newton said people were just excited to be back in the chair after months.
“They haven’t got a haircut in four months. They’re excited to get a haircut. They haven’t seen me, haven’t seen their other fellow clients that come and fellowship with us in a while so they’re excited. They’re adjusting to the new rules,” he said.
Newton’s barbershop is taking safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including requiring masks, providing hand sanitizer at each station, and keeping the number of people in the shop low. Customers are also required to wash their hands upon entry.
However, Syreeta Scott, owner of Duafe Holistic Hair Care in North Philly, made the decision to prolong reopening. She and her team are going the extra mile to develop a safety plan that revolves around three S’s: screening, spacing, and sterilizing.
“It still hovers over you. The responsibility of it. It keeps me up,” admitted Scott. “Whatever date they gave me, I wanted to put some some padding around it, because with the protesting and spiking, and people carelessly opening, I wanted to make sure that whatever we did, it was measured and it was well thought out.”
Patrons are now required to fill out a questionnaire and have their temperature checked before receiving service. Scott has also invested in hundreds of dollars worth of safety and sterilizing equipment.
“We have UV light wands, so if we can wand their clothes, we can get everything off of them,” she detailed. “We’re using air filters along the salon. We also have cleaning air plants, snake plants, ferns. We also have disposable capes, touchless soap, touchless alcohol, touchless dispensers, We have a shield for the receptionist. I even went as far as buying a fogger and a new touchless sale system, even bio-hazard trashcans.”
Scott said they’ve even gone as far as remodeling the backyard of the 3,000-square foot salon into an outside waiting room. She plans to reopen on July 7 but said she’s prepared to push it back if there’s a spike from recent protests.