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Salon, barbershop owners ecstatic to open; talk safety plans

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, in a surprise move Tuesday, gave hair salons permission to return to business Friday (May 8) after initially leaving the industry out of the first phase of reopening.

A week prior to the announcement, Polished Image salon owner Jaclyn Vice pleaded with government officials to overturn the extension for the sake of her, and many others’, livelihoods.

Her prayers were answered.

“First and foremost, I want to thank Gov. Abbott for hearing all of our voices,” Vice said. “I especially want to thank (State Rep.) Dade Phelan and Judge (Jeff) Branick for supporting us and taking our small but powerful voices to the governor. In all of this, I am just thankful to finally be reopening.”

Jaclyn Vice prepares her store for a Friday reopening with a colorful display of balloons.

Abbott’s announcement said all cosmetology salons including hair, nails, tanning and barber shops must ensure at least six feet of social distancing between operating work stations. Professionals can also only work with one customer at a time.

Polished Image, 1002 Magnolia in Port Neches, is taking it a step further.

All chairs are spaced 11 feet apart with the nail technician station including a Plexiglas cover. Customers will have their temperature taken, hands washed and given proper protective equipment before proceeding to their assigned chair.

The salon will open for the first time in two months Friday at 8 a.m. Bookings are appointment only.

Strands Hair Spa and Boutique, 2918 Nall St., owner Rochelle Jeane said she when she first heard the news she was nervous.

“I wanted to make sure the information was correct,” Jeane said. “We got a ton of calls and texts of people wanting to book before I even verified the information. As we found out I got super excited.”

The eight-employee shop is already entirely booked for its first-day open.

“We are thrilled,” Jeane said. “We are just super ecstatic and thankfully we already had a lot of things in place to comply with social distancing and TDLR (Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation) standards.”

Stylists will work from every other chair. All employees will wear masks and a sanitation station is available at the door.

Bookings are by appointment only.

“The announcement was just a shock to us, but in the best way,” Jeane said. “Everyone is super thrilled and I’ve never had my employees this excited to come to work ever.”

Down the road on 11th Street, Spruce Barbershop will also open Friday.

Owner Brooke Bellanger made a statement Sunday with a COVID-19 Cruise, from Nederland Avenue to Port Neches Avenue, advocating for small businesses originally closed.

Bellanger also launched several initiatives to help local stylists during closure by setting up a donation website.

The barbershop will open its waitlist Friday and Saturday at 8 a.m. at https://sprucebarbershop.square.site/. Limited services will be offered. Check Spruce Barbershop on Facebook for more information.