Hair salons reopen, but stylists believe they should have been essential during the pandemic

Posted at 3:02 PM, May 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-17 20:27:48-04

BOISE, Idaho — Shari Baber owns Cut N Up & CO; she has worked as a stylist for 44-years, and when the response to the coronvirus forced her salon to close, it broke her heart.

"I cried, I cried all the way home," said Baber. I've never been unemployed, I didn't know what that was going to look like for me or the ladies who work in here."

The salon and their next-door neighbors M.A.C. Barbershop was closed for nearly two months, but they were able to open back up this weekend.

"Oh my god it is like Christmas, it's like the best birthday party," said Baber. "The lady that I'm working on is my very first customer, and I was just super excited to see her, it's like seeing an old family member that you haven't seen for a while."

Being closed during the COVID-19 pandemic certainly hurt financially, but it also hurt to be deemed non-essential.

"Yeah, we were picked on because we are essential," said Baber. "People still had to go to work, people still had to keep up their appearances, some people's job requires them to have their hair cut so I think if this ever happens again, they might want to rethink what's essential."

While Baber and the rest of the salon workers are happy to be back at work, they can't have as many customers as they usually would for social distancing purposes.

They are also wearing masks, gloves and continually sanitizing the salon.

Baber also told us she filed for unemployment back in March but has yet to receive any benefits.

She tells us she got a response from the Department of Labor right before she went back to work.