ARKANSAS, USA — Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Friday (May 1) that beauty salons and barbershops in Arkansas can reopen on Wednesday (May 6).
The restrictions include no walk-ins, appointments only, face masks are required and there should be 10 or fewer people in each facility. Larger facilities can have no more than 30% of stations in operation.
Clients will have to wait in their vehicles until it's time for their appointment. The client's contact information will also have to be recorded.
This includes beauty salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, massage facilities and medical spas.
Cosmetology schools are still restricted and cannot open at this time.
“Those who are working there will be wearing the cloth masks for source control and we also want the customers to wear them when possible we know there are some things where it is not possible to wear a mask,” Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith said.
The announcement is the latest in a series of steps by the governor to roll back the state's COVID-19 restrictions.
“Of course the vulnerable population needs to think about whether they should be out maybe they should still be avoiding places where you go out and could possibly jeopardize your health,” Governor Hutchinson said.
For Elley Lindsey who works at Black Sheep Salon, her first year as a professional stylist turned upside down when the COVID-19 pandemic caused everything to shut down.
She and others went months without seeing clients.
Clients like Vicki Beard say not being able to go to the salon or get a pedicure as been an adjustment.
“Apparently all of my people follow the rules which I guess is probably a good thing because I was being bad trying to get them to come to my house,” Beard said.
Rachel Foshe owns Midtown Salon and says numerous clients tried to sneak an appointment in before restrictions were lifted. But now with opening day on the horizon, some say they won't be opening up their chair just yet.
“My phone has been blowing up with people ready to get in, but I don’t personally feel ready to go back may the 6th," Foshe said.
Lindsey says she will start seeing clients on May 6th, but everyone's health and well being remain a priority.
“Your hair grows back, it can get colored you know your roots can get done any time, it doesn’t matter, just do the safe thing,” she said.
Beard says she has found some positives from this situation.
“There’s a whole lot we can live without and my husband is thrilled with all the money he has saved over the last couple of months,” Beard said.
She says even with the lessons learned, it's time for her to get back in the salon chair.
“Embrace your own natural beauty and like I said less is more, but girl I will be at that salon May 6th,” Beard said.