FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) — Hairdressers at Studio 509 haven’t given a hair cut since Governor Larry Hogan issued a stay at home order on March 30th that also closed down non-essential businesses like salons and barbershops to the general public.
“One of the things that really weighed on all of our minds was we’re shut, no income, and we have bills,” said owner of the Frederick salon, Cindee Long.
Long explains that the salon functions like a co-op and the 10 hairdressers there work as independent contractors sharing space at Studio 509.
Since the salon closed its doors, Long has had to postpone appoints until at least the end of May.
“The clientele that you have is precious to you. You’ve formed relationships with people and with this separation from your clients…you risk losing [them,]” Long explained.
That’s why Long was excited to hear that on April 20th, the governor’s Office of Legal Council issued an interpretive guidance allowing salons and barbershops to reopen for essential workers like first responders and military members.
“It’s our second home,” Long said, “I’m just elated to be here.”
On Monday, geared with a mask on, she welcomed her first client in weeks, Maryland State Trooper Corey Rafter.
“I get my haircut about every ten days so it’s been about a month and a half or so since I got it cut. It’s pretty shaggy,” Rafter said.
The interpretive guidance states that staff perform services necessary for a customer to meet their grooming standards. The document doesn’t specifically reference what those services may be, so Long is interpreting as best she can.
“It’s just hair cuts. It’s whatever it takes to be groomed. That’s hard on [clients], the ones who are essential but they want color, they want highlights and they’re just now allowed at the moment, I don’t feel,” Long explained.
All clients have to call ahead to schedule an appointment and wait outside in their cars before being called in.
Only one employee and customer, both geared with a mask, are allowed inside at a time.
Long isn’t yet sure what to expect as far an income from reopening this way.
“Just to open up to do hair cuts, you have to be moving them. With only allowing one hairdresser, one client at a time, it’s difficult to do that. We’ll see how it plays out,” she said.
What matters most during this pandemic is community support, Long says.
Her daughter is a member of law enforcement in Washington, D.C. and says seeing her after a long shift inspired Long to provide free services to fellow first responders.
“Looking at her face from where she’s had to wear the mask all day, it’s a hardship for these guys,” Long explained, “And trying to keep the standards of the grooming on top of all this has been an issue for them. So I’m happy, happy, happy to help out.”
Customers visiting salons and barbershops in the state will be asked to give their contact information so they can be notified if a staff member tests positive for COVID-19.
For more information on Salong 509, visit https://509hair.com/