Indoor operations for barbershops and hair salons are allowed as of today, Aug. 31. 

In San Luis Obispo County, 4.2 percent of COVID-19 tests come back positive, allowing hair services to reopen indoors under new guidelines from Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“We’re happy to be inside, our clients are happy to be inside as well. I think it’s a good thing,” The Ritual’s receptionist Brittnay Brown said.  

At The Ritual, a barber shop on Higuera Street, barbers sanitize their tools and the client’s chair between haircuts — including combs, scissors and clippers, Brown said.

Per state guidelines, The Ritual has been giving haircuts outside for the past six weeks, and they were happy to move indoors, Brown said.

Working indoors shelters hairstylists from the wind, allowing them to give haircuts with more precision. They’re also able to control the temperature indoors, which Spoke SLO Salon hairstylist Maggie Lewelling said is important while processing hair color.

“If the temperature raises too much, it can really alter what you’re doing with a client’s hair,” Lewelling said.  

Like the barber shop, Spoke SLO Salon has sanitation methods in place. Stylists and clients are required to wear a face mask, and stylists sanitize their station and tools between clients, Lewelling said. 

Sanitation is not new to stylists, Lewelling said, as they were required to clean their tools and chairs between clients before COVID-19 to keep their license. 

What is new to everyone, however, is social distancing. 

Spoke SLO Salon has ten stations in the building, but in order to keep clients six feet apart from one another, they’re only using three stations inside, Lewelling said.

Moving the salon back indoors has improved business for Lewelling, she said. 

When the salon moved operations outdoors, she only saw about three clients a day, because the salon had less space to work with.

Now that the salon is operating indoors, Lewelling was able to see five clients today, which is similar to the five to seven clients she’d see a day before the pandemic. 

With more clients and a more comfortable workplace, Lewelling said she’s happy to be back indoors. 

“I’m ecstatic,” Lewelling said. “I can’t believe it’s happening again.” 

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