Local salons, barbers waiting for word from Lansing

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Details from Lansing surrounding haircuts and stylings are still fuzzy. There’s been no official word on when or how salons and barbers will re-open.

Many are looking forward to the day they can have their hair cut and colored by their hair dresser. (PxHere / CC0 1.0)

But Tammy Winling, Operations Manager at Cost Cutters Salon in Marquette says her company isn't taking any shortcuts when it comes to safety.

"I think that we have a very solid plan in place, a very safe plan in place. It's going to be a little different at first but we truly feel that we can both our employees and our customers 100 percent safe," Winling announced.

Cost Cutters now has a COVID-19 handbook, outlining all policies and procedures that helps to ensure the safety of all customer and employees.

"We have a whole procedure on opening. We have a whole procedure on what it looks like to close. We are going to man somebody right at the front desk so that they are cleaning the door after every customer. They are cleaning the shampoo bowl after every stylist. All of our stylists will wipe down their stations completely when the customer leaves,” Winling stated.

Walk-ins will be discouraged. Customers should call ahead to make an appointment. You’ll wait your turn from the comfort and safety of your vehicle.

"We will call them when their station and their stylist is ready just to keep everybody safe,” Winling said.

Stylists and customers will be required to wear a mask.
"Our employees’ temperature will be taken every day and logged,” Winling added.

Winling says employees will display documentation to demonstrate they are fully trained in cleanliness.

"We have a whole education series for them. It shows them how to wear their masks correctly, how to work with a mask when they do haircuts, how to remove one side, cut that side, how to remove the other side to cut that side. They will actually get certified in disinfecting. And that will go on their stations," Winling asserted.

Customers should also be ready for a temperature check and a few brief questions designed to keep everyone safe.

Winling says this is all in preparation for that unspecified re-opening date. To be clear. Haircuts and stylings are not allowed in the state of Michigan until Governor Whitmer gives the go ahead.

"Until she tells us that we can reopen we will remain closed. We don't know what it's going it look like coming from the state yet. These are our own policies. So whatever the state and LARA mandate us to do, we will also put those policies and procedures in place,” Winling

Meanwhile, Laura McDonald at Sisters Hair Company in Marquette thinks Lansing still has too many details to comb over.

"It’s not that I don't think it's the right thing to do. I don't think we're going to be allowed to [re-open soon]. The quote I saw last from the Governor is that it's highly unlikely that hair salons will be reopening," McDonald recalled.

Keeping things clean is nothing new for people like McDonald and Winling.

"We've always done sanitation. We've always done disinfectants. We have studied that in school and beyond as far as disease control, sanitation, germs. We've always been good on sanitation as an industry really," Winling advertised.

For McDonald, the added sanitation steps might be too much for her smaller business to handle.

"We already don't use the same combs on everybody. We have to use barbicide to make sure that we're very clean. But now wiping down sinks, wiping down door knows wiping down the bathrooms if somebody used the restroom. How do we have time to do all of that and stay on our schedule is one of my concerns,” McDonald shared.

With only a handful of employees and limited space, documenting those vital pieces of information with each customer may prove overwhelming for McDonald.

“We're looking at every client that comes in asking have you been exposed? Have you been sick? Are you feeling well? Do you have compromised people in your home? We’d be documenting when they were there. That’s just so if something should happen we know who was in and out of the salon," McDonald said.

For McDonald, the benefits of offering haircuts and reopening her business simply is not worth putting her home and her clients at risk.

"When we really look at the difference between a dentist reopening or a hair salon opening, the dentist is helping people with their health. As far as I know, nobody's ever died from a bad haircut. The dentist could be helping someone that's in pain or a broken tooth or an infection. We're just not that important. I Love being a hair dresser but I don't see us as a health issue," McDonald reasoned.

McDonald also understands that other people might not agree.

"I would never tell someone shame on you for going and cutting someone's hair in a garage or on their sidewalk because there are some people that need to do that and I completely respect that but for myself I just really worry about who am I exposing. And I'd feel terrible if somebody got it from me," McDonald concluded.