UPDATE AS OF 5/11 at 9PM EST: CONNECTICUT HAIR SALONS WILL BE ALLOWED TO USE BLOW-DRYERS WHEN THEY REOPEN
Connecticut salons planning to reopen on May 20 will have to follow a strict set of guidelines when business resumes. In addition to 50 percent capacity, requiring face masks and gloves for both staff and clients, and six feet between workstations, the newly-released list of rules for salons and barbershops suggests "limiting conversation" and prohibiting blow-drying.
Caitlin Dugan, stylist at Bowl & Brush Salon in Rocky Hill, CT, is questioning if it's even worth reopening under these parameters. "The worst part is that the state has not given us any clarification as to why blow-drying is prohibited," Dugan says. "It seems to be 50/50 in terms of clients who are fine with it, and clients who aren't," she adds. "Thankfully, they've been extremely understanding for the most part because they know we didn't make this rule."
For colorists like Dugan, the blow-dry is is one of the most rewarding parts of finishing a color service. "It goes far beyond just losing out on the last part of the service for me, it's losing the whole emotional part of my job," Dugan says. "It's watching your client walk out the door satisfied. You both know what the color looks like, and you know that you provided them with a service to the best of your ability," she adds.
While eliminating blow-drys will undoubtedly save some time for stylists, Dugan also worries about the need to alter pricing if she's only doing part of the job. "I'd rather give my clients the full experience," she says. "That's what they deserve after all of this chaos in the world."
Dugan and a few other Connecticut-based hairstylists have reached out to local government officials in hopes of receiving some clarity on the new guidelines. "I know Georgia was discussing a similar rule initially, but that was so they could get more clients in during the day. It seems like it's a choice in most places—I don't know of any other states that have actually enforced it," she adds. "Right now we're just trying to figure out if it's worth opening our books or not."