Local salon, barber, spa owners push for a reopen date of their own

Published: May. 4, 2020 at 4:54 PM EDT
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It's been nearly two months since salons, spas and barber shops were forced to close due to COVID-19.

Now there are plans in the works for reopening. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine created an advisory group of personal service professionals from across the state, including multiple people from Toledo.

Carmen Wigmans, owner of Reve Salon and Spa in downtown Sylvania, is one of those serving on the panel. She said the group has already met via conference call three times to talk about how the service industry can reopen while protecting employees and clients.

"That is our biggest concern, protecting the health and safety of the employees and the clients," Wigmans said.

At this time, the group is working through recommendations for the Governor. Wigmans said nothing is set in stone yet but things will look different when salons and spas get the green light to reopen.

Customers will likely be required to wear a mask, and stylists will do the same. Clients will also most likely wait for an appointment outside of the salon to keep the number of people inside the salon at one time to a minimum.

But in an industry that focuses on touch, keeping a safe distance is impossible. Ashley Hirzel, who owns Open Arms Wellness Center in Oregon, has spent nine years growing her business and said a majority of her clients use her for pain management.

Right now she is frustrated with the latest order that allow LMT's (licensed massage therapists) that work inside medical facilities the ability to return to work, while private businesses must remain closed.

She is hopeful that when she can reopen, the clients will come back. For everyone in the service industry, it is a waiting game and everyone is trying to get creative to stay afloat.

At this point there is no official reopening date set for tanning, nail and hair salons, spas or barber shops. Wigmans anticipates the advisory group should have recommendations for the industry to the Governor soon and is hopeful that these businesses can reopen in the coming weeks.