Just recently, salons, beauty parlors and barbershops were allowed to reopen in Bahrain after months of closure due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
However, the reopening was met with mixed feelings by residents. Some say it’s time to open business while others say closures should be extended; some are also fearful that this might cause more infections on the island.
Salon owners and workers have voiced out their frustrations on social media over losing their years of hard work and life savings over the closure of non-essential businesses. For the past few months, they have stayed home and sacrificed their source of income as a result of the coronavirus. “We’re so frustrated because salon workers have no jobs, no pay but what can we do?”, said Marissa who is an employee at a beauty parlor. A number of people have also advocated for reopening for they believe that the measure has gone long enough.
On 27th May, residents rejoiced as they are now able to get their much-awaited haircut – something that might have been ridiculous pre-coronavirus era. Salon owners also celebrated this “answered prayer” by posting how anxious they are to go back to work.
Not worth it?
In line with the reopening, the country’s health ministry announced the measures to be observed by salons, barbershops and beauty parlors to mitigate the spread of the virus. According to the announcement, customers can only go to the salon if they have a pre-booked appointment; no walk-ins will be allowed.
Several treatments have also been banned including: facials, hair treatments that use a hair dryer (keratin, Brazilian blowout), threading, micro-blading, using needles, spa services, henna tattoos, makeup services, tanning, eyelash application and returnable hair extensions.
Some have raised their apprehensions upon hearing this.
“With the said guidelines, I hope salons will hesitate to open their businesses because it truly is not worth it.” Julie, a resident said. “If salons open, the situation in Bahrain will become more dangerous. It’s better for everyone to stay home and stay safe”, she added.
Meanwhile, others believe that salon reopening is okay as long as precautionary measures outlined by the Health Ministry are being implemented. “Concerned authorities should make sure that all equipment used by barbers are sterilized before and after each and every customer”, according to John.
The process of reopening hasn’t been as simple as going back to business like before. Under Bahrain’s safety guidelines, salons have implemented some changes for the reopening.
“Right now our goal is to service our clients while also keeping them safe”, Lina a salon owner stated. “There’s always mixed feelings but we’re all excited to be back to work and to serve our customers… although there’s always going to be apprehensions until we have the vaccine”, she added.
“It’s worth the wait. There’s no reason to take the risk of catching the virus for hair”, Amal said when asked about her views on the reopening of salons and beauty parlors.
At the end of the day, people will most likely be clamoring to get back to the salon. Our advice is to not be lax in following the health and safety measures to avoid being exposed to the coronavirus. Let’s protect ourselves so we can protect others.
*The names in this article have been changed for confidentiality purposes.