What you can expect on your next visit to a North Carolina hair salon or barber shop

by Gene Galin

Pittsboro, NC – North Carolina is ready to transition to a modified second phase of reopening on Friday, May 22 at 5 pm. This means that your favorite hair salon or barber shop may be ready to start cutting and styling hair. However, things may be a little bit different than they were prior to Governor Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home state-wide lockdown.

photo by Jo Johnson

From an economic standpoint, closures have heavily impacted the livelihoods of North Carolina salon owners and staff who rely solely on income from salons to provide for themselves and their families. As such, many of them are working hard to put safety measures in place to protect themselves and their customers before they open shop.

Susan Lecrone

Susan Lecrone, hair stylist and owner of Uppercuts Hair and Tanning Studio at 204 Sanford Road in Pittsboro, is excited about reopening on Friday at 5 pm.

Susan has been in the hair styling business for over 30 years and has owned this shop for eight years. She has a list of clients that have already booked appointments over the next two weeks.

While Susan may be nearly booked solid, she does have two experienced hair stylists, Hannah Clewis and Kara Thomas, who are taking new customers.

When once walk-ins were welcome, Susan now asks that customers call ahead and make an appointment. When they arrive, customers will be asked to wait outside or in their cars until their stylist is ready for them.

The hair stylists at Uppercuts will be wearing masks and/or face shields and gloves. They will their wash hands in between every customer.

Susan has rearranged the entire floor setup to include space for safe distancing. There will be hand sanitizer at the door. The stylists will be giving out disposable masks to people without them to wear during all services.

Other safety precautions include taking temperatures with a no contact forehead digital thermometer, screening patrons concerning their current health conditions with regards to having flu-like symptoms or not, and asking if they have been exposed to anyone known to have the Covid-19 virus before being granted services.

Susan feels that “the health and safety of our customers will continue to be our priority during this pandemic. We at Uppercuts want you to feel safe enough to come in and get your hair done.”

The salon will be open every day for several weeks, including Sunday and Monday to accommodate the expected pent up demand for services.

You can call 919-542-1216 or 919-740-4813 for an appointment.

Jen Doughry of Hair by Jen at 76 Hillsboro Street at Pittsboro already has a some spots booked for the week as she plans to restart her hair styling business on Saturday.

Jen Doughry

Jen has been a hair stylist since 2008. She has worked some in Chapel Hill before setting up shop in Pittsboro. She’s worked with Redken, Bumble & Bumble, Lanza, Matrix, and Big Sexy Hair. She’s currently certified with Brazilian Blowout, Barbicide, HaloPro Extensions and Olaplex.

She has recently taken the Barbicide COVID-19 certification training and plans to follow CDC guidelines to keep her and her clients safe.

As a safety precaution, customers will be asked to wear a mask during their hair appointment. Jen admits that this may make it a little harder to trim around the ears and to cut and color hair. She asks customers to be patient during this process.

She’s outlined her safety precautions and guidelines as follows:

1. Please have a mask with you upon your appointment. If you don’t have one, I will see what I can do.
2. Please wash your hands before seating yourself.
3. I will disinfect my station before and after appointments.
4. I may or may not have disposable capes available by this weekend. It may be later due to the availability online.
5. If you feel bad, please stay home.
6. I am only taking one client at a time and only by appointment at this time.
7. There may or may not be a sign-in sheet in the salon to determine who has arrived along with the time of the appointment.

Call (919) 818-3613 to make an appointment.

As always, the Chatham Journal encourages Chatham County residents to do business locally and help support our local economy.

Cadle Cooper in his downtown Pittsboro barber shop. (photo by Gene Galin)

N.C. DHHS has issued guidelines for hair salons, massage parlors and other personal care business settings.

What requirements do personal care and grooming businesses need to follow?

Personal care and grooming businesses may open in Phase 2 and they must comply with the following:

• Limit customers to Emergency Maximum Occupancy;
• Arrange seating so that groups of customers are separated from one another by six feet;
• Mark six feet of spacing in lines at point of sale and in other high-traffic areas for customers, such as cash registers and waiting areas;
• Post the Emergency Maximum Occupancy in a noticeable place;
• Post signs requesting that people who have been sick with a fever and/or cough not enter;
• Conduct daily symptom screening of workers, using a standard interview questionnaire of symptoms, before workers enter the workplace;
• Immediately isolate and remove sick workers;
• Perform frequent and routine environmental cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas with an EPA-approved disinfectant for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19);
• Ensure that all equipment that comes into direct personal contact with customers and all furniture in service areas (such as chairs, capes, and the shampooing area in a barber shop or salon) is completely cleaned and disinfected between each customer; and
• Employees of personal care and grooming businesses must wear face coverings at all times while in the business.

It is also strongly recommended that customers at personal care and grooming businesses wear a face covering at all times while in the business, and that businesses institute an appointment process and encourage people wait in their vehicle or offsite before being served.

Personal care and grooming businesses include, but are not limited to: barber shops; beauty salons; waxing and hair removal centers; hair salons; nail salons; manicure or pedicure providers; tattoo parlors; tanning salons; and massage therapists/businesses.

photo by Valeriia Kogan

Here’s what we know from the North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners

Do I have to wear a mask?
Yes, licensees must wear masks unless there is a medical or religious reason to abstain.  Masks for clients are optional and not permitted for children under age 2. 

Do clients have to be six feet apart?
Yes, clients must stay six feet apart when receiving services and when waiting in the shop.

What signs do I need to post in my shop?
The required signs are for occupancy, symptom screening and social distancing.  Spanish signs: occupancy, symptom screening and social distancing.

What happens if my school or shop doesn’t follow the required and recommended guidelines?

The purpose of the order is to help prevent person to person spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Governor’s Orders indicates violations may be subject to prosecution and punishable as a Class II misdemeanor.

BlueCo Brands, manufacturer of Barbicide, a disinfectant solution used by barbers and cosmetologists, has issued health and public safety recommendations for the reopening of the professional beauty industry.

Barbicide is also offering a free COVID-19 Certification course designed to present the most current information that is pertinent to the professional beauty professional

photo by George Bohunicky

Several states have already reopened and here are some of the things we know that they are doing


The stay-at-home order in Texas expired April 30. Hair salons began reopening with restrictions May 8.

The Texas guidelines for hair salons and barber shops are as follows:

  • There can be only one customer per stylist.
  • It’s recommended to use an appointment system only instead of walk-ins. 
  • Additional guests shouldn’t come to the appointment, only those needing services.
  • If walk-ins are allowed or if people are waiting inside, people must be able to wait six feet away from others. If that is not possible, people will have to wait outside.
  • The stations must be six feet apart.
  • It’s recommended that both customers and stylists wear face masks.
  • Retail products should be removed from the shelves.
  • Shampoo bowls and chairs should be sanitized after each client.
  • Stylists should wear gloves or thoroughly wash hands in between clients.

Texas salons planning to reopen should also review the checklist for cosmetology salons/hair salons before reopening.


The stay-at-home order in Florida expired April 30. During phase one of its reopening plan, hair salons can operate at 25 percent capacity.

A list of guidance and mandatory restrictions from Florida’s Department of Business & Professional Regulation were released that include the following:

– All customers will be by appointment only.

– Allow at least 15 minutes between the conclusion of an appointment and the beginning of the next appointment for proper disinfecting practices.

– No group appointments are permitted.

– Masks must be worn by all employees while performing personal services.


While Georgia’s statewide shelter-in-place order expired April 30, hair salons were allowed to reopen and resume business on April 24.

The Georgia State Board of Cosmetologists and Barbers posted a detailed set of safety guidelines that include temperature checks, suggested PPE and disinfecting best practices.

Clients may be told that they must wait outside or in their vehicles until they receive a text that they can enter for their appointment. Only clients being serviced are allowed inside the salon and no walk-ins are accepted. Salons may also require that all customers to wear a mask while being serviced.

Stylists may be available on rotating schedules with a limited number of patrons to allow for safe distancing between work stations.

Salons may include sanitation stations to be used by customers upon entry.