Newbury St. Stylist ‘Excited’ to Reopen, But Is Treading With Caution

For many across Boston, it has now surpassed the two month mark of working from home and only going out for essentials like groceries and prescriptions, and many have realized that their hair desperately needs to be cut. Some have let it grow out; others have made an attempt to cut it themselves. Governor Baker announced on Monday that hair salons would be part of Phase One of the state’s reopening plan and will be able to open on May 25.

Patrice Vinci of Patrice Vinci Salon on Newbury St. said she is excited to be reopening, but she will do so very carefully.

“For us, Phase One is a very slow and cautious opening,” she told the Sun. “I’ve been watching the news and following all of the guidance and recommendations.”

Vinci said that throughout the past two months, she has been updating her clients weekly or biweekly via email, social media, and video chats. “Sometimes it wasn’t even just for hair,” she said. “Sometimes it was just to connect and see how everyone’s doing.” She said that many people missed the social aspect of going to a hair salon and chatting with everyone there, so Vinci made sure she kept in touch with her clients in every way possible.

She also said she was unsure whether hair salons would be part of Phase One, so she has been preparing all along for when she’d be allowed to reopen. “I’ve really stayed in touch with the regulations all along,” she said.

She said that for the first month of everyone staying home, many people were okay with their hair growing out a little or could deal with their roots showing, but “as the weeks went on, there were more people doing virtual haircuts or virtual color applications,” she said.

“Now that we’re opening…there will be a lot of redos now,” she said. “Sometimes it’s best to leave it to the professionals.”

Vinci said she has even colored and cut her own hair at home. “I’ve taken this time to give my hair a break from blow drying and heat,” she said. She said she’s done a lot of conditioning treatments. She said this time has been good to give hair a break from coloring and heat, and she’s even had time to try new products that she has recommended to people.

Patrice Vinci Salon normally has 14 stations, but come next Monday, that will be slashed to six. Each station will be at least six feet apart, and in many cases, even further.

“We’re going to be mostly doing our own shampoos,” Vinci said. She said that assistants won’t be there for the most part, because “the less contact the better.”

She said there will also be spacing in between clients, and the salon will operate by appointment only. When one client leaves, the next one will be called in. They will not be allowed to wait inside the salon for their appointment; people must wait outside until it is their turn.

Vinci also said that for Phase One, she will be prioritizing clients who are over 60 and those with underlying health issues, as well as some of her clients who are frontline workers—they will be allowed to have the first appointments.

“We’re taking all of the safety precautions,” Vinci stressed. “All of the stylists and clients will be required to wear masks.” She said they are also asking all clients and stylists to use the restroom before coming to their appointments, as the restroom will be used for emergencies only.

“We are going to have a very strict policy and there is not going to be any exceptions for anyone, including my staff,” she said. “I have been very adamant about following all the regulations that the City has put on us and we want to make sure that everyone’s safety comes first.”

She said that while she is “happy to be opening again, we just want to make sure that everything is done the right way.” She understands that everyone wants their hair done at this point, but “we want everyone to be healthy and have a good experience.”

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