Pictured: Kendall Wightman of Ventura is the second client at The Ivy Mae salon in Ventura on May 27 after salons are allowed to reopen in the county. Photo by Aaron Gaston. 

by Kimberly Rivers

kimberly@vcreporter.com

Yesterday the state of California announced that hair salons and barbershops in most counties may reopen after a forced two-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Nicole is doing her first client as we speak,” said Aaron Gaston about his wife, Nicole Gaston, stylist and owner at The Ivy Mae salon in Ventura. They are open today, May 27, after an early morning of rearranging the stations in the salon to accommodate physical distancing requirements and posting the rules for stylists and clients in the salon. “We were up late last night registering with the county and writing the protocols.” 

Ventura County received a variance last week that has allowed it to be at the forefront of reopening in the state. 

“Together, Californians have limited infections in our state, and because of that work, many counties may make a decision to restart modified hair and barber services,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health. “However, COVID-19 is still present in our communities and we are still at risk. As we venture outside our homes, it is critically important to keep physical distance, wear face coverings in public and wash hands frequently to help protect yourself and those around you.”

Nail salons remain closed and other types of salon activities are not permitted. Guidance from the California Department of Public Health only allows services in which both the stylist or barber and client can wear a mask the entire time, and do not require the client’s face to be touched. This means that facials and other services like shaving and eyebrow shaping are still prohibited. 

“We must continue to practice social distancing and businesses must make modifications needed to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure. This will help keep our numbers low so we can continue to move forward,” said Dr. Robert Levin, health officer with Ventura County Public Health in a written statement on May 26. 

Similar to the reopening procedures for restaurants, salons have to register with the county and attest to having completed a site-specific risk assessment and provide a written plan to adhere to all the guidelines for maintaining safety. This includes staff training and that face coverings are washed after every shift. 

State guidance for hair salons is online at: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-hair-salons.pdf

County-specific information and registration is at www.vcreopens.com

The county attestation form is online at: www.vcemergency.com/business-attestation.

California Resilience roadmap for state reopening at https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/.