What to expect when you visit salons, barbershops in San Antonio

Businesses have been allowed to reopen with restrictions since May 8

Nail, hair salons reopen under statewide order
Nail, hair salons reopen under statewide order

SAN ANTONIO – Have you gotten a haircut lately?

If you have yet to get a trim at a salon or barbershop in San Antonio, here’s what you might expect based on two visits I’ve made to such businesses.

While it’s not a great sampling size, I thought I would share my experiences.

After making an appointment for a haircut at a Northwest Side salon a day in advance (I got lucky), when I arrived at the business, there was a sign outside letting customers know what to expect before entering the establishment.

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You had to call the number to let them know you arrived. A receptionist asked me to remain outside until my stylist was ready. About 5-10 minutes later, the receptionist allowed me into the salon and told me to immediately go the restroom and wash my hands. You had to wear a mask to enter, no exceptions. You were not allowed to have anyone else with you since the waiting area was closed. Other than stylists and customers and receptionists, no one else was in the building.

My stylist greeted me and asked me to sit down. She was wearing a mask and I was told I could take mine off if I wanted to. I did. She cut my hair and I paid my bill on a credit card machine and left. I was very pleased with the experience.

Four days later, I took my 24-year-old special-needs son to get a haircut at a national chain salon on the North Side.

Luckily, I downloaded the salon’s app and checked in prior to leaving the apartment. The check-in feature gets you in line, virtually, but it’s not an appointment per se.

Customers are advised to arrive no earlier than 10 minutes prior to checking in at the salon. My son’s wait time was about 40 minutes, and sometimes the check-in time would fluctuate a few minutes.

When we arrived, there were signs outside that said you must wear a mask and no more than four people were allowed in the lobby. While there were more than four chairs, customers were doing a good job of keeping their distance from one another. Since there were already four people there, we had to wait outside. We waited in a shady area about 10-15 minutes until we were allowed to go in.

We checked in and sat down for a few minutes until they called my son’s name and I gave the stylist haircut instructions. There was also a checklist on the counter asking customers about their health status. All the stylists were wearing masks and customers are asked to wash their hands prior to getting a haircut.

While I waited while my son got his haircut, people would walk in to check-in, but with the lobby full, they were asked to wait outside or monitor their check-in time on their phone. There was one lady who didn’t know about the app and was told it would be more than an hour to attend to her, and she left. So it would be great to see if your salon or barbershop has an app with the check-in or appointment feature. It might save you some time.

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When the stylist was done, she asked what I thought about the haircut, so I was allowed to briefly enter the stylist area. She did a good job!

I paid the bill on a machine, and I should mention there was a plastic shield in the check-out area.

Overall, I was pleased with how both salons are managing their health protocols. I hope you have a similar experience.

Below are a couple of checklists. One for barbershops and one for barbershop customers. The checklists are similar for salons, but you can view those and all Open Texas Checklists by clicking here.

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