Inside the

Cornelia - Gov. Brian Kemp’s shelter-in-place order is expired for the majority of Georgians and businesses are starting to open their doors once again. Among those businesses are salons and barbers. 

Shear Perfection Salon in Cornelia is open for business once again, but customers are being warned to brace for the “new normal.”

“Things definitely do look a lot different,” said Ashley Irvin with Shear Perfection Salon. “We ask clients to wait in their vehicle, we go out to get them to come in, they immediately go wash their hands then they’re seated at our stations.” 

While it is not required, the salon is recommending all guests wear a mask even if the salon has one guest at a time Irvin said. “We’re asking all guests to wear a mask, but all stylists are definitely wearing masks. We have face shields available; we are using clean capes on every guest; we have UV lights we’re using to sanitize all of our equipment and personal belongings.” 

The salon is made up of two units Irvin said, which allows for more social distancing room. “If we are seeing two guests at a time, sometimes they may be asked to wait in their car while the color processes. Thus far, no one has an issue with that,” Irvin said. “They are grateful to be at the salon. They are grateful to have some sort of normal experience.”

Under 10 people in the facility at a time and over 2,000 square feet with plenty of room for social distancing guidelines. 

The shifts are already staggered and Irvin states that the salon does not have a front desk receptionist or an assistant at the moment. 

Irvin says the salon has already gone above state guidelines in the sanitation department but with more sanitation, it has them “back to probably 50% workload” which has “made it more challenging to get guests in for missed appointments.” 

“We’re not able to work at full capacity,” Irvin said. “I feel guilty for not being able to get every guest in immediately even though they’re very compliant and understanding.” 

Along with the added sanitation procedures the salon has implemented, they are even offering clients to put their cell phones in a room temperature UV sanitizer. 

“Just trying to do everything we can to keep the guests safe as well as our staff,” Irvin said. “As a cosmetologist, the major part of our education was sanitation. So, we were already educated and following the state protocols and now we’ve just up the ante.”

“Everyone has been wonderful,” Irvin said. “They’re very understanding and just happy to have the opportunity to come in if that’s what they feel comfortable with.”

Irvin goes on to say that reopening has not been all thankful and smiling faces. “We’ve also had some guests who say, ‘I’m not ready yet’. For every one person that I speak with on the phone, I have another guest who says ‘I’m not ready to come in yet’.”

If you want to visit the salon, your best bet is to make an appointment. Irvin says every guest is asked to stay in their car until a worker comes for them. Those who may simply want to purchase a product can call the salon and let them know what product(s) are needed and the salon will do curbside delivery for those customers. 

“If you don’t have an appointment, you’re not allowed in the building,” Irvin said

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Photo provided by Shear Perfection Salon: Left Whitney Trotter Right Casey Ramsey