Rockford hair salons, tattoo shops happy to be open for business

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The stay-at-home order has had many people looking for ways to tame an unruly head of hair.

YouTube is full of “quarantine haircut” attempts, some successful and others…not so much.

On Friday, professionals in Illinois got back into action.

Under the new Phase 3 reopening guidelines observed at The Experience Salon and Spa, 6824 Spring Creek Rd, only 5 of the 12 stylists are able to work at one time.

The salon has several sanitation stations, including one as customers walk in. Prior to that, a stylist comes outside to the customer’s car to administer a temperature check and have them sign a waiver, to make sure they’re not sick.

Masks are worn by employees and clients, and all surfaces are cleaned after each use.

Manager Leah Johnson says stylists are excited to see their clients again, to help give them a little sense of normalcy.

“You’re always going to remember the haircut or service that you got right after quarantine,” she said. “To us, it’s just our job, but to our clients, they’re probably always going to remember this, because it was such a long time before they got to have one, and now they’re feeling really great about themselves again.”

Johnson says the salon is booked solid for the next few days.

Tattoo shop owners say having a sterilized environment has always been a part of being a tattoo artist.

Tattoo Bob’s, 5847 Forest Hills Rd, also opened its doors today and owner Robert Nelson says he’s already had a steady flow of customers.

Nelson said his staff had 40 clients within the first 4 hours.

The reopened shop looks different, with floor markers keeping people 6 feet apart and with employees making sure the waiting area doesn’t become overcrowded.

Nelson says his artists have been going crazy during the closure, without being able to work on their craft.

He also said operating a tattoo shop means keeping the environment clean.

“Everything is one time use. We do spore testing on our sterilizers every month. We’re licensed by the health department and they come in and inspect. It’s just kind of second nature to us,” he said.

Nelson said the hardest part of the new normal was becoming adjusted to the face masks, but says he’s happy to be in business.

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