How much would you pay to make those split ends go away?
The owner of a ritzy hair salon in New York City claims there’s over 1,000 customers on a waiting list for a hair appointment, where cuts can cost as much as $1,000, as the business preps to reopen at a yet-undetermined date amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Big Apple began its first phase of reopening on June 8, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave Long Island the green light to enter Phase 2 of the plan starting Wednesday. In the second phase, some nonessential businesses like hair salons and barbershops can finally reopen their doors once again – making Manhattanites all the more anxious to finally get back in the salon chair themselves.
Julien Farel runs an eponymous salon in the Loews Regency hotel on the Upper East Side, and alleges that more than a thousand clients are clamoring to pay top dollar to put their hair in professional hands.
“We have over 1,000 people on a waiting list,” Farel told Bloomberg in an interview published Wednesday. “85 percent of blondes have disappeared during the pandemic.”
With a celebrity clientele including Katie Holmes, Rafael Nadal and Cristina Cuomo, Julien Farel Restore Salon, Spa and Fitness is doubling down on every effort to promote health and safety once haircare businesses are cleared to reopen amid the COVID-19 health crisis.
Initially, the salon and spa will only do hair; a haircut with Farel will cost you a cool $1,000, while haircuts with other stylists on staff range from $160 to $400, according to a service list.
When the day finally comes, roughly 50 of the salon’s 150 employees will return to work in two shifts during extended hours, Bloomberg reports.
Inside the 10,000 square-foot salon, both staffers and customers must wear face masks, receive temperature checks, and wash and sanitize hands upon entry. High-touch items like phones and eyeglasses will have to be wiped down, and handbags must be placed inside plastic bags to be allowed onto the salon floor.
While at work, the stylists will wear “shields,” as colorists and support staff will be outfitted with gloves. The waiting room in the sofa will be removed, while chairs in the lounge space will be physically distanced.
According to Suelyn Farel, the salon’s business chief and the wife of the head stylist, they could have made extra money by taking appointments in NYC during the lockdown, but felt the risk was too great.
For the time being, her husband has been making house calls in the Hamptons, riding around on a Vespa and charging double in-salon prices.
“One thing they all have in common is they want to do it outside,” Julien Farel explained. “And they all want you to come with gloves, they tell you, ‘Don’t come with an assistant, come alone.’”
“Some give me their own gloves and mask to make sure it has not been used somewhere else. I respect that, it’s OK," he told Bloomberg.