PARKER, Colorado — For the past 48 days, the seven seas Hair Salon had to cease operations.
"This is the longest I've ever gone without hairdressing," salon owner SuZAnne Cortright said.
The doors finally reopened to customers Friday under the Governor's Safer at Home guidelines. Douglas County did not extend Stay-At-Home orders through May 8 like most of the other counties in the Denver metro area.
"May 1, here we are," Cortright said. "Open with trepidation, but we're ready to get started."
May 1 means she may resume having people come in to meet with her and other stylists.
"It was a mixed bag of emotions in anticipation from this day," Cortright said. "We didn't get a lot of guidance on how it was going to look as we opened up."
Unlike other retail stores opening today who can easily keep people six feet apart, hair salons and other personal services like massages and tattoos had to install strict precautions.
"With COVID-19, social distancing is impossible in our industry," Cortright said. "We're touching someone from anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours."
With the help of one of her product suppliers, Cortright said she was able to come up with a plan.
"On the door, we have a big 'Stop' sign. Our clients are waiting for us outside," Cortright said. "We have guests come in, stop right about here, take their temperature."
Masks are required for everyone and Cortright is bringing stylists in on a staggered schedule to keep the salon less crowded.
"Emotionally, this is scary," Cortright said.
No one sick is allowed in at all and each station is sanitized between customers.
"It's a relief to be back home in the salon, but the weight of the expectations and the health make it a difficult place to just be relieved," Cortright said.
She said in her 25 years in the business she has never felt this kind of stress.
"Most moments, I do. It's hard. This is not expected. This is a hard thing," Cortright said.
Even with the safety measures in place, Cortright says her business capacity is greatly diminished.
"We're probably at about 40%," Cortright said.
That's 40% of her normal customer rotation each day even though Cortright said she has a backlog of appointments. For her personally, her earliest availability is June 27.
"I'm expecting to see some crazy bangs, crazy color, and some shaggy hair," Cortright said.
She said that's a welcome notion after 48 days with hopes that everyone stays safe.
"Have a happy hair day and welcome back," Cortright said.
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