How One California Salon Is Adapting to Outdoor Services

photo via Instagram (Tribez Salon)

Like many California stylists, the staff at Tribez Salon was less than thrilled when they got word that they’d have to close for the second time during COVID-19. Their frustration only worsened when Governor Newsom gave personal-care services the green light to operate outside—many questioning how a parking lot in sweltering temperatures could be more sanitary than a deep-cleaned salon. 

With little indication of when things may return to normal, Tribez Salon decided to make the most of the situation and turn their adjacent outdoor space into a socially distanced salon less than 24 hours after the announcement was made. American Salon chatted with Jessica Klaus, editorial stylist and educator for L’Oréal Pro Artistic Team and Tribez Salons, to get the low-down on how the team made things happen so quickly, how clients are reacting to the sudden change and how they’re navigating their new normal. 

How did you make this outdoor oasis come to life less than 24 hours? 

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Both of our salon locations—Danville and Blackhawk—have outdoor spaces that could accommodate [operations] without having to venture into the parking lots. Luckily the salons have good bones, and the stations at both locations were designed to move easily for classes and photoshoots. When we were given the green light by our property managers, who said they would do anything to help us, we immediately rolled our sleeves up and got to work. There is something to be said about hairdressers when we’re giving problems—it’s our nature to find a solution.

Many stylists/salons are against the idea of moving their space outdoors. Why did the staff at Tribez decide to go for it?

We’re definitely not happy about the move, but our location has made it a bit easier. Since we’re right outside of our salon, we can still plug into our building, we’re protected and covered, and we have a lot of space that isn’t affected by moving cars or traffic. With so much uncertainty surrounding this virus, we realized it was time for us to make a change and adapt to this “new normal” everyone keeps talking about. We couldn’t bear the pain of closing completely again. 

How are you navigating around the new guidelines, like no shampooing or on-site chemical services?

Let’s just say, where there’s a will there’s a way. We ask our clients to wet their hair at home and wrap it in a towel before coming to see us. We can then re-wet it with a spray bottle, if needed, cut and blow-dry. Services are limited, but clients have been so happy to support a small business during this time. Right now, we offer braids, hair extensions and anything else that doesn’t require a full wash, but we’re looking into how an outdoor shampoo area would work. 

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