Throughout California hair salons and barbershops have been gearing up to offer indoor services once again.
"I have a lot of clients that have been loyal for years and they text me, they reached out to me on social media and said, 'When are you going to reopen? I’m a shaggy dog and I need you." Dennis Ogas Salon owner, Dennis Ogas said.
The much-anticipated reopening will finally give people the chance to get beautified.
On Friday Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state's new plan to handle COVID-19 moving forward. A 4-tier system categorizes counties based on case rate and test positivity. Riverside County remains in the highest risk level. Despite restrictions, hair salons and barbershops were given the green light to open statewide.
Dennis Ogas Salon sits at a prime location on El Paseo in Palm Desert, but without being able to service customers inside, his business has faced some challenges in the past 5 months.
"It's been pretty devastating to my staff and my clients and so we’re just hanging in there," Ogas said.
The industry was forced to close twice during the pandemic. One closure came with the exception of offering outdoor services, but Ogas along with many other stylists said it's virtually impossible in the desert heat.
Through perseverance, passion and a loyal clientele Ogas' business is still going strong.
"I’ve been doing it for over 40 years, there’s nothing else more that I want to do," Ogas said.
On Sunday, the salon owner was onsite preparing for the big day.
"I have a sanitation crew- they'll be coming in once a week whether people are here or not."
Even with the state's new sanitation guidelines for COVID-19, Ogas said he's always followed a strict sanitation regimen.
"Ninety percent of state board testing was all about sanitation and disinfection. I’ve been doing this for 40 years, I went to beauty school back when I was 19 years old and all I remember them telling me, 'wash your hands constantly, sanitation is above all that’ll take us over the edge.' I’ve had that training all my life. I’ve practiced it and my staff practiced it so I really feel I have a safe space and I’m ready to go."
Ogas will require masks, conduct temperature checks and have guests fill out health questionnaires. Clients will also be given disposable gowns.
Staffing among his 5 stylists will also be limited, and only every other chair will be used.
"At the most it will be 3 stylists with 3 clients. It will be 6 people maximum."
Ogas said he's prepared to meet stringent requirements as he looks forward to the best part.
"I’m excited to see my clients, hear their stories and give them some encouraging words and make them beautiful."