'We're ready to get back to work': Local hair salons, barbershops prepare for ‘opening day’

Posted at 2:53 PM, May 14, 2020

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Across Virginia and North Carolina, hair salons and barbershops have sat idle and quiet.

Phones haven't rung and clippers haven't been used, an unnerving feeling for businesses that are usually booming with clients.

They say time heals all, and at the discretion of each state's governor, the hair salons will officially be open for business again starting on Friday.

"A lot of our clients are chomping at the bit to get in," said Gregory Dagres, owner of Gregory's Oceanfront Barbershop & Salon.

The family-owned business has been operating in the Resort City for decades. Dagres said that customers are more like family than clients.

"There’s something therapeutic about what I do and clients seem to be a little bit more inclined to be more open with me. That’s something I miss," Dagres said.

However, the highly anticipated newfound freedom doesn't come without some restrictions.

In Virginia, as part of Phase One of Governor Ralph Northam's plan to reopen the state, businesses that provide personal grooming will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Staff members and customers will also be required to wear face coverings.

Many salons and barbershops are taking it a step further, stocking up on hand sanitizer and making customers wait in their vehicle until it is their turn in the chair.

Down the road in Norfolk, Salon Fringe is equipping stylists with scrubs and only accepting electronic payments.

"We're extending our appointment times a little longer so that we have time to fully wipe down the entire chair the station all the product on the shelf that we used on the client and our styling tools," said owner Kevin Davis.

Davis is also limiting clients from grabbing products off the shelf. They are still allowed to purchase them, but a stylist must take them and ring them up.

Per the governor, the shops will only be allowed to operate by appointment only. On Friday during a press conference, Northam said that Phase One could last two weeks or longer.

To make up for lost time, Gregory's Oceanfront Barbershop & Salon is planning on keeping the lights on longer.

"I think we might be expanding the hours on Sunday - it depends on the demand. During the week too it's possible we could expand the hours until 9 p.m. so we're going to accommodate the demand."

In Norfolk, Davis said these are necessary changes to keep everyone safe so you can feel like yourself again after a fresh cut or color.

"The small personal services make a big difference in how we feel every day," he said.

Since the businesses are operating at 50% capacity, both locations ask clients to be patient. They said they are doing their best to take care of everyone who needs a fresh cut, while keeping the most people safe.

Click here for full coronavirus coverage.