Local hair salons and stylists worried about coronavirus impact, some considering closing

Local salons are seeing large decrease in customer base, stylists are worried about income

Stephanna Ashwood has worked as a hair stylist at Salon 109 in Neosho since July.
She says since the spread of the coronavirus their customer base has dropped by more than half over the past two weeks.

“Being a mother of two, every penny counts, and it really hurts the business that people are afraid to come out”

Like a lot of stylist’s, Stephanna works on commission and relies on the tips she receives at work.

“Daycare is not cheap and usually my tips pay for their daycare, now I’m, this week, dipping into savings and stuff to pull out just for them to go to school so I can come here so it really hurts.”

She says she feels anxious over what would happen if the salon had to temporarily close.

“I am so worried and like not only if I don’t go to work, my kids don’t have anywhere to go for me to come to work and it comes down to money for rent, gas for cars, lights, how are we going to wash clothes, all that stuff…its affecting every little thing”

The same concerns are being felt in many local salons, Lion’s Den barber shop and hair care in Joplin is typically a packed salon, but is now only seeing a handful of people a day.

“Our little girls who work the front desk this week they went ahead and filed for unemployment you know and so we’re all just doing what we can to hang on” said Owner, Donna Kent.

Kent says they are thinking of temporarily closing.

“I’m just thinking that probably our other kids are going to have to file for unemployment, and I was saying you know maybe if we close down for a week but you’re just afraid of what that’s going to be for long term.”

But for now both salons are doing what they can to keep their businesses, employees and customers safe.

“We’ll hope and pray that people will be able to come back and do business as usual” said Kent.
And for Stephanna, she says they are working hard to sanitize the place so that it is safe and she is willing to do house calls if necessary to get by.

“If you feel sick or something don’t come in and sanitize while we’re here, I’m going to be sanitizing, you’re going to be sanitizing, let’s just be safe.”