How ‘personal care’ services like waxing and nail bars are trying to reopen safely, Friday

Updated: May. 21, 2020 at 7:11 PM EDT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - “Personal care” businesses are some of the ones allowed to partially reopen in North Carolina, Friday at 5 p.m.

That includes close up, hands-on services like waxing, manicures, pedicures, and hair cuts. It has some people wondering - can that kind of thing be safe right now?

“The day we heard we’d have to shut down was probably the saddest day of our careers,” Don Do says. “Because our employees depend on us, and this business supports our family.”

​Do owns Mimosas Nail Bar with his wife, Trang Tran. Just months after their grand opening in October, they closed the new NoDa nail bar, because of COVID19.

Friday, they will be one of the first to reopen.

“Basically, we’re thinking of it like ourselves,” Do says. “Ever since this started, we’ve been terrified, frankly. I’ve got asthma so I’m at high risk, I’ve been hunkered down. But we’re ready to be opened up. We’re treating our clients like we want to be treated. So we’re ready to open, but let’s be safe.”

It is a long list of precautions they are taking.

“We’ve been preparing since we shut down,” Do says.

The precautions includes using special UV lights to help disinfect, and requiring employees and customers to fill out health surveys and have their temperatures taken.

They have installed Plexiglas between employees and the customers and will be seating customers at every other chair. They will require customers to wash their hands, and ask them to wear face masks.

The nail bar serves drinks, but asks customers to now bring in their own glasses. Customers can come by appointment only, and wait in their cars until they receive a text to come inside.

It is a similar story for waxing.

​"In this industry, we are a little more intimate," Keke Duncan says. “So we do have to have some precautions.”

The esthetician is limiting services at her business, Get Bodied Wax Studio, keeping facial waxing to eyebrows only. Customers will have to wear masks, bring in only keys and payment, wash hands when they arrive, and fill out forms.

She says she has taken several additional sanitation classes, to prepare.

“Instead of being too afraid, I would rather be overcautious,” Duncan says. “That was my goal in opening back up.”

These businesses are working now toward day one of reinventing their services.

“It’s a rollercoaster,” Do says. “It’s not easy for a small business. They say it’s kind of like jumping on a tiger, or lion and trying to ride it, and it truly is like that.”

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