Longtime Northeast Ohio salon owner hoping people slowly ease back into business

Ohio's hair salons working to keep customers and employees safe during reopening

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - On Friday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine gave the salon and barber industry the green light to reopen.

There’s no question that salon owners, stylists and clients have been looking forward to this day, but long-time salon owner, Dino Palmieri, is hoping everyone makes a slow transition to avoid a potentially bigger problem.

Palmieri owns ten salons throughout Northeast Ohio. He has nearly 200 employees and thousands of clients, so you would think he would be ready to fill these chairs on opening day.

However, Palmieri admits when Gov. DeWine announced Friday, May 15 as the big day he “was very nervous, but then I got excited, so there’s that nervous excitement because we have to definitely get back into the business.”

Inside his Crocker Park salon in Westlake, there were more safety signs, sanitizing sprays, and masks than there were people on Friday.

He’s doing a soft reopening with just one stylist taking clients for the first few days.

Palmier said, “At times, you forget that the virus is still around, so you know that sometimes you forget the distance. You forget a lot of things. We personally in my salon are going to do every other chair even though the guidelines are pretty much vague. You can fill every chair dividing a screening in between the chairs, but we decided that wasn't the right thing to do for us.”

The receptionists say they are extremely busy as the phones keep ringing. It’s not a quick conversation to make an appointment. They need to spend time going through all the safety protocols and make sure the client feels safe and remind them they must wear a mask.

“I hope everybody plays by the rules because that’s the way to be safe. There’s a way to do it. I really believe that if we do this right, we achieve the same goal,” said Palmieri.

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