The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute
Amelia Benavides, owner of Amelia’s for Hair in Bayou Vista, uses a hair dryer on a client Wednesday.
Navigating the new normal: Hair dressers face decisions about Phase One
One local hair dresser has closed her doors, with COVID-19 playing a role, while two others said last week there have been challenges with new restrictions, but they are happy to be at work.
Bobbie Jo Scully, owner of A Cheveux Salon in Morgan City, said she hasn’t reopened with Phase One and is shutting her doors. She said the decision was due to multiple factors, but a big reason was because of COVID-19’s impact.
She said she plans to continue cutting hair, but she would like to travel more to do it.
“I’ll stay local when I can figure out exactly what I want to do,” Scully said Saturday. “I don’t have those answers right now. I do know that I want to work a little bit in the Lafayette area and just kind of travel doing it a little bit solo and not have all the overhead that I had and have someone else in control of my finances.”
Scully, a single mom who said she never felt it was right to use government assistance, said the current situation almost makes her question why she didn’t utilize it before.
“Why did I work so hard, 10 years of a business, and I’m shutting down?” she asked rhetorically.
Scully said she appreciates her customers and workers.
“I love ’em all,” she said.
Meanwhile, in Bayou Vista at Amelia’s for Hair, longtime owner Amelia Benavides has resumed operations, but with the new regulations, including masks for customers and employees, it’s anything but easy.
“Lots of stress,” she said.
Under new regulations, based on the percentage of capacity allowed per building, Benavides can have 11 people in her shop, including stylists. She said often times she would have many more.
Despite the challenges, she said business has been booming, and she said it’s good to be back working.
“It is,” she said. “It really is.”
Back in Morgan City at Cut’n Up Salon, owner Dana Matherne opened her shop after restrictions were lifted following six weeks of closure.
She said she only can have six people in her salon at one time, which means three hairdressers and one person in each of their chairs.
Matherne said it’s a challenge, because they are used to double booking clients.
“That’s how we make money,” she said. “We have one person processing, and then we go on and we do someone else, and then we go back to that person.”
Despite new restrictions, though, Matherne said that her customers have been understanding.
“They just want to get back to normal,” she said. “A couple of them have told us that we definitely are essential.”
The camaraderie among co-workers has been missed, too.
“We spend more time with each other than we do with our own family, so we were excited to get back to work,” Matherne said. “We get frustrated. That just comes with the new regulations and restrictions, but overall, generally speaking, it’s been really, really wonderful to get back to work.”