ALBANY — Next!
Barbershops and hair salons were free to open their doors again in the Capital Region Wednesday after almost three months of coronavirus shutdown, under New York’s Phase 2 economic reopening plan.
“This morning has been hectic!” said Jordan Maynard, 24, owner of Roots Barber Company in Clifton Park, 10 minutes outside of Albany, which reopened its doors to customers on the first day.
“The shop looks like a LabCorps. We need PPE in the sense that we’re never going to be further than two feet from a person. We have a face shield and-or glasses, a mask. Gloves are not mandatory, but they’re recommended,” Maynard told The Post, adding the business has made several changes in compliance with state regulations.
The shop is also operating at a slimmer capacity, with five instead of eight, spaced-out cutting stations.
For now, there’s no beard trimming or shampooing.
They also updated sanitizing procedures, allowing at least 15 minutes of disinfection before and after 45-minute appointments, and extended opening hours to minimize the time all five barbers will be working together.
Clients must book time slots in advance and wait in their cars until their scheduled time.
“We needed to go back,” he added.
His business partner, Wade Blaauboer, 23, said the pair also raised the prices about $5-$10 depending on the cut to make up for an estimated $30,000 loss over nearly three months of no work due to COVID-19 lockdown.
Noan Dugan, 24, of Malta booked a trim with Maynard as soon as he found out they’d be back in business.
“It’s rejuvenating, I’m like a new man,” he told The Post. “I knew I had to get in as soon as they opened. All my boys come here, it’s the only place to go.”
Another patron, Peter Mooradian, 25, of nearby Round Lake, admitted he badly needed a shear after two months.
“I was thrilled because I go back to work tomorrow and I deal with customers,” he said, adding he works in sales at his family-owned business Mooradian Furniture, in Albany.
Julie Occhino, owner of Bar Beauty Salon in Troy, NY, plans to open her salon next week.
“We officially closed on March 21. That day is burned in my brain. It’s been a challenge, so we are hopeful and excited,” she said.
“We have hand sanitizer at every single station, in every nook and cranny,” adding that under new protocols her cleaning budget will balloon from $300 a month, to roughly $200 a week.
There are 130,000 licensed hair stylists and barbers in the Empire State, according to Todd Garofano, executive director of the Salon and Spa Professionals of New York State.
He said all staff must get tested every 14 days, under state Department of Health-mandated COVID-19 testing. It’s offered for free at state-run sites.
Under state metrics, the Capital Region plus five others — the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, North Country, Mohawk Valley and Western New York — have entered Phase 2.
Long Island, Nassau and Suffolk counties anticipate to hit Phase 2 next week, along with the Mid-Hudson region.
New York City, meanwhile, is slated to enter Phase 1 on Monday, June 8, with curbside retail, construction, manufacturing and wholesale business getting the green light.
If all goes well, meaning the infection rate and hospitalization numbers don’t tick back up, by June 22 the Big Apple will become the last state region to enter Phase 2, allowing hair salons to open and restaurants to offer outdoor dining.