Salon owners adapt to COVID-19 pandemic, noting different service models for vaccinated and unvaccinated patrons
Salons and other personal care services have implemented additional safety measures in order to adapt to the pandemic.
Pomegranate Salon is a hair salon in downtown Davis that hopes to “make your experience exceptional in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere,” its official website reads.
Owner of Pomegranate Salon Stacia Rusakowicz explained that her salon averaged about 35 clients per day prior to the pandemic and also sold products for retail.
When salons were allowed to reopen, Rusakowicz described how her salon had followed strict safety measures for indoor operation. Clients enter the salon and proceed to the sanitation room adjacent to the entryway. After changing into a robe and washing their hands, they then head to the stylist’s room, which is rigorously sanitized in between clients.
“I think that the salon business changed a lot in terms of what the client experiences,” Rusakowicz said. “It felt a little bit less fashion and fun and a little more clinical in a way.”
Picasso Salon is another hair salon in downtown Davis that offers various hair services.
Owner of Picasso Salon Steve Quesada described how business before the pandemic was busy. His salon was open seven days a week, and students would regularly come in as customers, but the pandemic severely disrupted his business.
“When [the pandemic] first hit back in March, it first hit us like a bomb,” Quesada said.
In order to ensure the safety of both the staff and customers, Quesada noted how they now sanitize the salon about four times per day and also provide an outdoor station for people to be more comfortable.
“We’re taking all the precautionary measures to make sure that the salon is just super clean and safe,” Quesada said.
Lee Mee, the owner of Makeup Lee Mee, is a makeup artist based in Davis who offers event makeup, permanent makeup and eyelash extension services.
Mee noted that before the pandemic, about 30 to 40% of her clients were UC Davis students. When the pandemic began, Mee explained how she had to close and open several times and spend extra money on added safety precautions.
Rusakowicz noted how her salon is transitioning to a hybrid model of operation that includes both indoor and outdoor service depending on whether or not clients are vaccinated.
“It makes it an incredibly safe space and just allows us all to relax a little more,” Rusakowicz said. “The open air makes us all know that with our double-masking, we are [likely] not going to transmit the virus.”
Quesada noted the importance of salons feeling clean, since cleanliness contributes to comfort and relaxation.
“Cleanliness is very important,” Quesada said. “We want the customers to feel relaxed and safe.”
Rusakowicz noted that while salon visits are not essential, they help to instill a sense of normalcy.
“There’s a lot of connection that happens at a salon that’s really good for the soul and for the spirit and just to feel better about the world,” Rusakowicz said. “It creates a little bit of normalcy, and I think that that feels good too.”
Quesada added a final note of encouragement regarding the future of the community.
“We’re such a close-knit community that if we all do our part, I think we’ll all be okay,” Quesada said.
Rusakowicz commended the community for their strength amid the pandemic.
“[The pandemic] has just shown us what a truly great community we live in, and we have all taken really good care of each other, and I really appreciate it,” Rusakowicz said. “I think that it [has] built strength in our community.”
Written By: Jelena Lapuz — email@example.com