Walnut Creek hair salon embraces new reality of working outside

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ByAmy Hollyfield KGO logo
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
East Bay hair salon embraces new reality of working outside
Now that Newsom's new guidelines on outdoor salons have been released, here's what the first day of appointments was like for a Walnut Creek salon.

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- The staff at Insignia salon in Walnut Creek spent Tuesday morning trying to turn the parking lot into a pretty salon.

They hung curtains to cover the cement wall the client will be facing and placed plants on tables. The salon chairs are under tents to protect from the sun.

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"It's hard and stressful. It is going to take an hour to set up and an hour a day to take down, and it takes multiple people to do it," said Salon Manager Ashley Flowers.

But they decided to go for it when they heard Governor Gavin Newsom will now allow outdoor haircuts.

"I did a poll and found out of 85 people that responded, 84 of them said they would want to come outdoors if that was the only option. So that was our deciding factor," Flowers said.

No color treatments or shampoo is allowed, just haircuts.

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"We can only perform about 20% of our services but this point 20% is better than no percent," Flowers said.

Adam Dee was the first client to try the new set up. He didn't hesitate when he heard it would be outside.

"I was excited. I was like, 'I can finally get my haircut!' They keep opening and closing all these things. I usually get my haircut once a month," Adam Dee said.

Stylists are worried about dealing with the weather-fog in San Francisco, heat in other areas. A breeze in Walnut Creek Tuesday morning knocked over the tent as they were setting up. There are also salon owners who say they don't have outdoor space.

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"I feel for them. If you are told you have the opportunity to be outdoors but you really don't because of your environment then that really does not feel good," Flowers said.

The set-up is a work in progress. They moved two chairs outside but are looking to create more space. They have 12 stylists. They are also busy reaching out to customers to let them know they are partially open. They just recently had let them all know they were shut down again.

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