WAXHAW – If you’re reading this, it’s time to put down the scissors, close YouTube and step away from the store-bought coloring kit because hair salons are open again.
Salons started taking clients at 5 p.m. May 22. That’s when the state officially entered Phase 2 of Gov. Roy Cooper’s three-phased approach to slowly lift restrictions while combating COVID-19.
So what will a trip to the salon look like now?
Brush’d Salon owner Nikki Bourgeault said she turned to the state’s guidance on social distancing, minimizing exposure and cleaning when preparing to reopen her salon in Waxhaw.
“We want our staff and clients to feel safe and that’s the environment we’re creating,” Bourgeault said.
At Brush’d, everyone is required to wear a face mask and sanitize their hands upon arrival. The waiting area is closed, so clients will stay in their car until their stylist is ready.
The salon will be operating at 50% capacity, which means only four stylists and chairs will be in use at one time. Each client will have their own chair and station that will be sanitized after every appointment. Color and cutting capes will be washed after each guest, and the shampoo bowl and chair will also be sanitized.
To take things a step further, Bourgeault has deemed the shampoo area a “no talking zone” because faces are so close together when stylists are washing their client’s hair. She also added a staff member to focus solely on sanitizing high-touch areas around the salon.
“We are like front of the line,” Bourgeault said. “We are touching people and we are with them for a couple hours at a time, so we are taking this very seriously.”
Brush’d was only open for about six months before salons were forced to temporarily close due to stay-at-home orders.
Opening the salon had been a longtime dream for Bourgeault. She had been working in a salon studio for 14 years and styled shows for New York Fashion Week, worked on well-known television shows and was the lead makeup artist for an NFL cheerleading team. She was also a teacher for stylists at Aveda and is currently a color educator for the hair brand Kevin Murphy.
Last year, Bourgeault won Best Stylist and Brush’d won Best Hair Salon in Best of the Weeklies reader’s choice competition.
As an owner, she said it was stressful for Brush’d to be closed for two months, especially with so much unknown.
“Hairstylists are creative people and we have to be doing something,” she said. “It’s hard to stay at home. We want to be at work.”
During that time, Brush’d sold root touch-up sprays to tide clients over and stayed connected by posting hair tutorial videos on social media. Salon staff also participated in training through Zoom and took a Barbicide COVID-19 certification course.
Barbicide is a disinfectant solution used to clean combs and hair-cutting shears. The EPA approves Barbicide for use against the virus that causes COVID-19.
Now that North Carolina has entered Phase 2, Bourgeault said she’s excited to get back to work and to see staff and clients. She said many clients at Brush’d have built personal relationships with their stylists and they’ve missed coming in on a regular basis.
“It’s like being able to go see your best friend,” Bourgeault said. “There’s something comfortable and normal about going to get your hair done because that’s part of a normal routine that men and women do.”
More about Brush’d
Brush’d Salon is located at 9925 Rea Road, Suite 102, Waxhaw. Call 980-339-7230 or visit www.brushdsalon.com for details. Use the online booking portal to schedule an appointment.