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Nail salons reopen in San Luis Obispo County under sanitation guidelines, community excited for first weekend

Posted at 7:23 PM, Jun 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-21 03:46:39-04

Just days after reopening, some nail salon owners are already fully booked.

Personal care services like nail salons, tattoo parlors and massage therapy got the green light to reopen with modifications in San Luis Obispo County on Friday.

Zabrina Fiala has been getting her nails done since she was 18-years-old.

The Atascadero resident, now 37, says when nail salons shut down in March, it took a toll on her.

"To have to deal with this and not being able to get them done is actually been detrimental to my life," Fiala said. "It to me, it was essential."

According to the state guideline though, nail salons are considered a personal care service which is non-essential, along with spa care, tattoo shops and hair salons.

This change impacted not only her, but the nail salon technicians who rely on their clientele business.

"When we closed the doors on the 18th of March, I didn't know what would happen," said Bianca Helton, owner of Meraki Beauty Bar Salon Owner. "I wasn't sure if we were going to make it out or if I was going to be forced to close my business for good.”

Meraki is located in Atascadero and Helton said before COVID-19 restrictions shut them down, the shop had only been opened for one year.

“We were just kind of sitting ducks for a while until they were allowed us to go back to work and then every time they would be like, 'okay, yeah, you guys can go back to open' and they would shut it down again," she said. "We would be pushed out a little bit longer to not be able to work so it really was emotionally, it was a lot.”

Hive Natural Beauty Collective in San Luis Obispo also opened their doors for nail clients Friday.

Nail tech Ashelee Wickliffe said that although they had to close, she feels the safety concerns were the main priority.

“We are in close contact, there's no way we could be six feet apart, doing nails or doing hair," Wickliffe. "I think that we've been trying to really follow the state and county guidelines with everything, and just making sure that everyone's safety comes first.”

Hive Beauty follows new sanitation guidelines for both the nail and hair services. The salon has dividers in the salon area to further separate clients. At the nail station, Wickliffe has a sneeze guard between her and her clients, and hand sanitizer readily available.

Both salons require their staff and clients to wear masks at all times.

Wickliffe said that are not allowed in the shop unless they are being treated and those waiting for appointments are asked to wait outside.

Meraki and Hive Beauty said they are eager to welcome guests and after one day of reopening, are already fully booked for several weeks.