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Hairstylists, barbers, nail techs happy to be back

Their clients are too, even with no blow-dry

Paragon Salon stylist Amberlee Teisina colors a client’s hair Monday morning, the first day that Maui County hair and nail salons were approved for reopening under modified operations. The Maui News / DAKOTA GROSSMAN photo

WAILUKU — Hair and nail salons and barber shops are being “more cautious and careful” about how they operate amid COVID-19 as they adjust to the new Maui County health and safety rules required for reopening Monday.

And the community seemed thrilled to finally get their overdue haircuts, dye jobs and manicures after emergency mandates shut down nonessential businesses March 25, The Maui News learned after contacting a few hair salons that opened Monday.

“We’re kind of easing into it, so it’s OK,” Paragon Salon hair stylist Amberlee Teisina said while working with her first client back. “The clients we have for today were more than eager to come in.”

Under the new rules announced by county officials last week, all employees and clients must wear face masks, which can only be removed when trimming or coloring near the ears.

“I will say that having face masks makes it a little bit harder because they can fall off, but that is the only thing that I find to be a little more difficult,” Teisina said. 

Loft 145 Salon owner Marc Tolliver wears personal protective equipment while working with a client Monday. The Maui News / DAKOTA GROSSMAN photo

Face-to-face services, such as beard trimmings or waxing, are not allowed. Teisina said that the no blow-dry rule will also make it “challenging for some salons to entice customers to come in.” 

Work stations also must be spaced 6 feet apart, and some tightly spaced salons may need divider shields and alternative work schedules. Manicurists must have plexiglass or similar dividers between staff and clients.

Paragon Salon, which is located at 1160 Makawao Ave., was one of the many hair, nail and skin care services to reopen Monday on the Memorial Day holiday and will be offering limited capacity appointments. No walk-ins are allowed.

Teisina said that those who do have an appointment are asked to wait in their cars until their scheduled start time. Hours of operation are the same, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

Only Teisina, who had three coloring appointments lined up for the day, and another technician were scheduled to work Monday to maintain social distancing.

After a week of modifying the salon to meet county health and safety protocols, including its new station dividers that are placed 6 feet apart, Three: Sixteen Hair Haven was ready for business Monday. Photo courtesy of Derek Drouillard

Overall, she said that the new health and safety protocols will be doable for the salon, “mostly because we were already disinfecting, but now it’s about making sure you do it after every client and just being extra thorough.”

Regular clients have been kept up to date during the salon’s closure and were notified immediately of the reopening. One client, who wished to remain unidentified, said that she was “just so happy they’re open” as she was getting her hair colored.

To book an appointment, call 573-1300 or visit paragonsalonmaui.com/book-now/.

Down the street, Mai’s Nail Salon sported a colorful “open” sign. To schedule an appointment, call 793-3421. 

Marc Tolliver, owner of Loft 145 in Wailuku, said that the staff and clients “are eager to get back in and get their hair done.” 

Tolliver demonstrated the required check-in procedure for anyone who enters the salon at a table, which has mandatory hand sanitizer or hand washing, disposable masks, gloves, a temperature reader, and a sign-in waiver form for clients.

The salon was also organized in a way that allowed for social distancing.

Stylist Kelly Edwards said that the past two months of being closed was tough financially for the business and herself, so she was relieved to be back working.

As business operations conform to the new rules, Loft 145 will be “as busy as ever,” she said. However, not being able to blow-dry the client’s hair is of concern, especially for coloring appointments.

“Not knowing the exact hair color until they get home has been a worry for some people,” she said.

For now, Edwards is not taking any new clients.

For more information or to book an appointment, call 243-5638 or visit loft145.style.

Other hair salons in Wailuku that were open Monday were Stephanie’s Beauty Salon and Salon 253 — Maui Salon and Wedding Hair Stylists. O’Carney’s Barber Shoppe in Kahului and Lahaina are among those set to reopen today.

“It’s great to be open again, great to have our customers back, and I know my girls are happy to be back working as well,” said Adiel Sneary-Cline, owner of Salon 253. “People say they are grateful to be back and to feel themselves again, feeling human again, you know, and I’m just elated to be doing something purposeful for people again.”

Sneary-Cline said in a phone interview that the salon was more than ready to open again Monday, but “it’s still a learning curve.” As a larger staffed salon with 17 stylists, Sneary-Cline stretched the schedule to seven days a week to allot more time for sanitizing between clients and taking breaks.

Salon 253 went from eight to four styling chairs to allow for social distancing and has a split schedule of 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 9 p.m. everyday.

While business slowly resumes, Sneary-Cline will not be taking clients. 

Customers will receive surveys asking what they like or don’t like about the new health and safety protocols.

“We just want them to feel comfortable and safe, so we’re always looking for ways to improve,” she said.

Sneary-Cline has been instrumental in working with Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino and others in the industry to get beauty salons and barbers reopened safely amid the pandemic. She said that they are currently getting Oahu ready to reopen its wave of businesses in June, as well as creating an extensive and precautionary plan for aestheticians to resume services, which will be presented to Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

Modifications for Three: Sixteen Hair Haven took a month of mental prepping and a week of hard labor, but co-owner Derek Drouillard was thrilled and grateful for the salon’s grand reopening.

Drouillard said the salon removed a station and the waiting area and added more dividers between stations. He wants clients to feel welcome and safe while the stylists work under extra precautions.

“You know, it feels great to be productive and to be back doing what we love, and all the clients are just so happy to be back, and they’re all just really thoughtful and helpful in this time,” Drouillard said via phone Monday afternoon in between appointments. “We are having to operate differently, and I feel like people are just really being positive and accepting of that, and just grateful we’re able to just get back to doing hair and getting people back to looking and feeling better.”

Stylists are also working longer hours to allow for additional cleaning time between clients, as well as other preparations before and after each shift, he said.

Business is already booming for the salon. A couple of customers called to make appointments Monday, but Drouillard said they are fully booked for the next two weeks and had to start a waitlist. 

Three: Sixteen Hair Haven is located on 310 Ohukai Road in Kihei. To book an appointment, call the salon at 727-0030 or visit threesixteenhairhaven.com for a direct link for online bookings. 

“I feel like we received adequate notice, we were given like a good week and a half, so it gave us time to communicate with our clients to let them know what to expect and what is expected of them to let them be able to come into the salon,” he said. “I feel like it really better prepared everybody to be able to open.”

* Dakota Grossman can be reached at dgrossman@mauinews.com.

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