It seemed like the cheer heard around Texas last week when Governor Abbott announced that hair and nail salons could finally reopen as a part of the last stage of REOPENING TEXAS at 25% capacity starting Friday, April 8th at midnight. One can't help but wonder aloud if there is any salon in Texas actually opening at midnight tomorrow morning, because with the desperation of friends, both women and men I know, who have more than once lamented in the last few weeks, " I need a haircut," I bet there is.

But as much as being able to reopen Friday morning might seem more than appealing financially, there are still plenty of businesses that are debating if it's truly too soon and even safe with so many unanswered questions remaining about COVID-19,

One such salon owner, Kali Perales, of Imagine Beauty Salon is still combing through the decision to reopen with her staff this afternoon as she takes everyone's perspective in mind. Kali is the first to admit she is still very much on the fence.

"First and foremost our concern is the safety of our staff and our amazing clients. I know it's been highly anticipated for every salon to reopen, but the reopening of everything doesn't mean the end of the pandemic, and that's the hardest part for me." Kali offers. "There is a lot to consider before opening the doors and I wonder if we are going to decide collectively to play a part in this experiment." She laughs. " But it's true. It really is an experiment. We are all healthy right now, so we have to decide today at our 2 pm meeting if it's worth the risk because if we do get sick, we're going to reopen only to close again."

Kali offers that salons are and have always been a lot safer than businesses like theatres as salons are regulated and must maintain impeccable licensing health checks to remain open.

"I can tell that Governor Abbott heard our voices, and I'm glad he heard us. Salon owners have always had to take sanitation seriously."

" Now, understandably nothing is going to be the same with client and stylist behaviors whenever we do reopen. At Imagine Salon, our customers could get a  snack and a drink, even get a hug! And if they come early, they had the option of waiting but often visited with us while we worked. Now there will literally be a shield to protect ourselves and the client. I'm just not sure anyone knows what's low and high risk. So of course safety, and if we can we afford to wait, is on the table today at the salon meeting."

Kali ends with sympathizing with the public about not having the ability to see their salons in the last few weeks. "I understand how having your hair and nails done can affect your mental health. People in the industry, know the importance of self-care for clients. A fresh set of nails and a style with makeup can make you feel like you can conquer the world. It's interesting because I think men are understanding the struggle more now. I've seen so many pictures of men getting impatient and shaving their heads!" Kali laughs. " I get it. I understand and we're going to do our best this afternoon to decide what's best for our staff and the clients."

We will keep you posted as to what Imagine Beauty Salon has decided tomorrow.

To all salon owners, like Kali Perales, we wish you all the best and thank you for your service to others.

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