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Local hair salons 5 months since reopening after COVID-19 shutdown

"In the beginning we were working on a lot of days that we were normally closed, like Sunday's and Monday's, just to take care of all of those different needs."

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — It's been over 5 months since barbershops and salons could reopen across Arkansas after COVID-19 shut their doors.

Two local salon owners said the last five months have been full of long hours, extra precautions, and gratefulness for their clients. 

Raye Brady, co-owner of Style Studio Hair Salon and Gift Boutique in Little Rock, said her team of stylists have this "new norm" down to a science.

"We've been able to follow all the regulations and we haven't had any major problems," she said. 

Regulations like six-feet apart, temperature checks, having clients wait in their cars before their appointments, and of course, Brady said, a lot of cleaning.

"I feel like that's probably the cleanest the salon's ever been, which is great," she said. 

According to Brady for awhile the stylist worked in shifts, but now lifted restrictions allow them to all work at the same time. 

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She said sales aren't the same, but they are opening early and staying late for those clients who feel more comfortable inside an empty salon.

"In the beginning we were working on a lot of days that we normally were closed, like Sunday's and Monday's, just to take care of all of those different needs," Brady said. 

At PHD Day Spa in Argenta, co-owner Melissa Thompson said their story is similar.

"I'm technically working longer hours, it is much harder than it ever has been and you just can't do the same amount of clients that you used to do in a week," she said. 

According to Thompson, her space is running at 50% capacity with stricter restrictions, like only blow-drying upon requests, changing shirts in between each client, and purchasing UV sanitization lights. 

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"Our business and our guidelines have not changed, basically since we opened," she said. 

Both owners echoing the need to stick together with their clients, who are just like family.

"At the end of the day, we just have to keep everyone safe and make them feel that little bit better," Thompson said. 

Both Thompson and Brady said they will keep all of these safety measures in place and believe these specific precautions could be the future for their business.