Cuomo: Hair salons and barbershops will be part of Phase Two of reopening

Posted at 11:27 PM, May 11, 2020

Bloom Buffalo in West Seneca has been closed for months due to the threat of COVID-19.

“If we were to walk in from my door, [you see] it’s nice and empty,” Bloom Buffalo owner Diana Trent said while showing her now shuttered business over Facetime.

The West Seneca business is a full-service hair and nail salon with skincare services, unique gift shop and photography aspect. It was only open seven months before having to close.

“We were doing really well. We had a really good momentum so it’s a little disappointing having to see that we haven’t had a fair shot so to speak,” Trent said.

On Monday, Trent cleared her first hurdle— unemployment. She saw her claim moved from pending to approved. Her next hurdle is reopening. Something salon owners across the state are wondering too as New York has yet to clearly define where barbershops and hair and nail salons fall into the four reopening phases.

“Obviously, I want to open the doors and continue the momentum that we had…but if it means that my family is going to stay safe and my clients and everyone else, then I’ll wait,” Trent said.

At a Monday morning press conference Governor Cuomo said: “We’re not the first to reopen and that’s a good thing because you can look around and learn.”

What is known is whatever phase these personal services fall under, businesses will have to have safety precautions in place to protect all involved. As for the length of time those precautions need to stay in place, Governor Cuomo said it depends on the facts.

“I’m hopeful that every business in our area that is itching to reopen will have a plan,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said in a Monday afternoon press conference.

Friday, Governor Cuomo announced that hair salons and barbershops will be part of "Phase Two" in the tiered reopening of regions across New York State.

In Western New York, Wyoming, Genesee and Orleans counties have been given the green light to start "Phase One" while Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Allegany counties have not yet met the state's criteria to begin reopening.

“I need a hair cut like so many other people it’s getting pretty long back there everyone is commenting in my office about how much product I’m using to keep my hair in place. Let’s do what we can to reopen it so I can get a hair cut, you can get a hair cut, we can go back to more of what is normal,” Poloncarz said.

But while Trent waits for further guidance, she’s creating her own reopening plan which includes frequent sanitizing, wearing masks and social distancing.

“Everybody needs their hair when this is done, everybody wants a manicure, wants a facial so as soon as we can do those things, we’re going to do it,” she said.