Scarlet Salon on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley had only been open for a little over two months when shelter-in-place orders came down on March 16, closing all non-essential businesses.
Like many other business owners in the city, Scarlet Salon willingly closed its doors and prepared to wait out the mandate, anticipating maybe a month, or two months without seeing clients. They watched restaurants reopen with takeout and outdoor dining, retail stores resume operations, and stylists eventually welcome back their clients in neighboring counties.
“It’s all so very, very confusing. Being in limbo is definitely very hard emotionally, and stressful financially.” — Hannah Perea
But in Berkeley, where the city estimates there are more than 100 hair salons, their time has still to come. Alameda County salons and barbershops are still closed over four months into the Bay Area’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with nail technicians and massage therapists, hair stylists are among the last group excluded from re-opening during the pandemic.