How Houstonians are surviving without hair salons and barbershops

In the coronavirus shutdown, many people have gone more than a month without a haircut, and we found out from the governor on Monday that we’ll have to continue waiting at least another three weeks for barbershops and salons to open back up.

Phase one of reopening business begins this weekend, but salons and barbershops are left out of that, according to Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

They’re mandated to stay closed.

If phase one goes well and there is no flare-up of coronavirus cases, then phase two would go into effect May 18.

Barbershops and hair salons are a part of phase two.

“No haircut as of yet,” said Oscar Chapman. “Like two months, so I’m way overdue … There’s gonna come a point where I have to do it myself. I dread that.”

Many Houstonians say they’re now resorting to home haircuts.

“My wife gives me a haircut now,” said Fred Behzadi

“So I bought a hair kit online,” said Mark Diab. “Just trimming, you can’t really mess up with your hair. So just trim the ends. Make it look tidy.”

“Oh I’m just letting it grow out honestly,” said Daniel Lozano. “Slick it back a little bit. And then see what happens after there -- maybe a man bun or something.”

At Diva’s Designs Hair Salon on Lawndale, the staff had high hopes of reopening May 1t, until the governor announced they’d have to continue waiting until at least May 18.

“I was pretty upset,” said Rebeca Hernandez, whose mom owns the salon. “We’re all self-employed here, so we don’t get the luxury of getting our weekly, biweekly paychecks. So this has impacted our bank accounts, our pockets a lot.”

She says the salon has an anti-coronavirus plan in place for when they do reopen.

“We sanitize, disinfect, but now we’re going to take extra precautionary measures with wearing masks ourselves and providing a complimentary mask to our clients,” said Hernandez.

She says hand sanitizer will always be on hand, and each salon chair is socially distanced at least six feet from the next one--something that will likely be the new normal at a lot of businesses when they are able to reopen.