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Boise State Public Radio News is here to keep you current on the news surrounding COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

'COVID Hair' Might Come To An End This Weekend, As Salons Look To Re-Open In Idaho

mario..olmos/ Flickr Creative Commons

If you’ve turned on Zoom lately, you probably have noticed buzz cuts grown out to man buns, bangs turned into heavy curtains, and roots that would make oak trees jealous.


But, come Monday, virtual meetings may be a little less hairy. 

Governor Brad Little could start the second phase of reopening the economy this Saturday, letting places like restaurant dining rooms and indoor gyms open their doors with certain restrictions.

Earlier this month, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean indicated salons and tattoo parlors could stay closed in the capital until June 1. But this week, she told Boise State Public Radio that the city will align with the Governor’s guidance for now.

“If we haven't seen the spread, we haven't seen the increased visits to the emergency rooms, we're going to follow the lead of the governor and advance to phase two," said McLean.

Kristi Swanson is the owner of Red Betty Salon in Boise. She wants to reopen as soon as it’s allowed, but the confusing misalignment of the local and state governments has been frustrating.

“That’s really made it impossible to decide when we’re reopening," said Swanson. 

When she does open, she will be the only stylist for the time being. She plans to follow guidelines such as wearing masks and practicing thorough sanitation procedures. She’s just looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. 

"You know, I’m really excited to get back to a new form of normal, whatever that looks like. Obviously, it’s not going to be like exactly what it was before and that’s okay," said Swanson

Stephanie Coyle, co-owner and stylist at the one-chair salon Hairy Styles also in Boise, plans to open May 16, but she’s anxious.

“No one knows what the right answer is," said Coyle. "We're all kind of trying to follow these directions and I think everybody is trying to do the right thing while not really knowing exactly what the right thing is.”

Along with wearing masks, Coyle is booking clients with breaks in between for extra cleaning. She was worried eager clients would be frustrated with her limited availability. 

“It's made a world of difference, my clients being understanding and kind of patient with me and my concerns," said Coyle.

Coyle said the most difficult adjustment will be the change in social interactions. 

“These clients I’ve had for ... some of them since I've been doing hair here," she said. "So they're like family. You know, I see them and we give each other hugs and we say goodbye with big hugs. And it's going to be kind of awkward to have to greet them with these challenges."

As the state continues towards reopening, salon owners and hairdressers will have to balance customer needs, the bottom line and a safe environment. 

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