Finally! A Quarantine Visit to the Salon for A Haircut

man using flowbeeNo way around it, people are getting shaggy hair during quarantine with everything closed down. If you’ve been dying your hair, well, now we know about it. If you’re a bored teen or 20-something you might have decided to do a home dye and see how it goes, as my kids have done. Plenty of guys have pulled out the clippers and given themselves a buzz cut or similar, and there are even running jokes about the Flowbee, a vacuum cleaner haircutting accessory from the 70’s that’s still for sale out of some little manufacturing facility in Texas!

Maybe I’m a bit too old school or cautious, but I decided that I’d just wait until I could have my regular stylist cut my hair. After all, I’ve been having her cut my hair almost since we moved to Colorado so many years ago. Definitely longer than a decade. So you can imagine my angst when she texted me to say that she’d decided to close up shop and move to Chicago to live with her Dad for a while. Fair enough, I understand her decision, but finding a new stylist in the midst of a full shutdown? Fortunately a friend came through: her daughter is a stylist at a chic local salon. We connected and once the salon opened up this week in Boulder, I made an appointment.

Getting your hair cut or styled in the era of the ‘rona isn’t quite the same, however. I was given a time slot and told “please wait in your car, we’ll let you know when you can come into the salon for your appointment.” Turns out that they are not just following Boulder, Colorado health protocol but decided to up the ante with some additional considerations.

So, here I am in the parking lot, pre haircut:

dave taylor - needing a haircut

Once I was able to go into the salon, I learned more about their safety protocol: no more than ten people total in the facility, masks required for all, a squirt of hand sanitizer for me as I walked in, a disclaimer to sign with a [golf] pencil that was then discarded, and a quick scan of my forehead temp to ensure I wasn’t unknowingly running a fever. I passed, so they gave me a swanky bracelet to commemorate the event:

no fever hair salon braceless wrist

Not really sure what that was all about since ostensibly I couldn’t go further than the front door without passing the health screening anyway, but that was fine. I figure if they have to err, better to err on the side of too much caution in the interest of their employees and us customers.

Remember, ten people maximum in the entire salon. Here’s how it looked when I walked in:

zinke boulder - empty salon

Very nice salon, but when full, the place would have 25+ people, so limiting it to 4 stylists, 4 customers and 2 support staff is definitely crimping their revenue stream in the interest of health and safety.

My new stylist Tara sat me down and we got started…

quarantine haircut with mask salon studio stylist

It wasn’t a Flowbee, but she is using clippers on my hair. Fortunately, she knows what she’s doing, so it didn’t turn out terrifying. We chatted throughout as is normal for a stylist and customer, so while we were both wearing masks, that wasn’t really the subject of much conversation at all. Instead it was typical “barbershop” chat about families, how long we’d both been in Boulder, etc.

Ten or twelve minutes later, I’m starting to look a bit more human:

haircut proceeds, zinke studio boulder, quarantine mask

And finally, I was done. A quick wash – but no blow dry, that is apparently too risky for reasons that don’t entirely make sense to me – and I paid for the cut (with a generous tip: she’d been out of work for two months) with a touchless payment system. Done.

I walked out feeling like my head was about a pound lighter:

Dave taylor - selfie - haircut

Not too bad at all, really. A new stylist. A new salon. A whole new experience with masks and limited customers, not to mention having someone take my temperature with a touchless forehead scanner as I walked in. But now I should be good for a few more months of working from home!

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