Ten weeks without cutting hair, giving massages, designing nails.
Ten weeks without having a conversation with clients.
Ten weeks without an income.
On Monday, June 1, the 10-week closure ended for hairstylists, massage therapists, tattoo artists and nail techs. Gov. Tim Walz's executive order 20-63 allowed them to return after being closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
AJ Klemm, the owner of Turn North Salon and Spa, said that "it's really hard to summarize" what it was like being closed for 10 weeks.
"I feel like I tried really hard to not have a story that was negative," she said. "God's just always working us to do the praying."
She, like many other stylists and cosmetologists, was happy to be back at work, saying "We're anxious to get back to our people."
The ringing phones showed that clients are anxious to get back to their hairstylists, too. Klemm said that they haven't been answering the phones so they could spend more time with the client in the chair. When there was a break in the day or a few minutes as a client waited under a dryer, then they would return calls.
"Everybody's got ends they need cut," Klemm said.
Usually, when there are many clients that need to get in, Klemm and the other stylists can double-book their schedule and have more than a handful of people inside the salon. But now, because of social distancing and the 25% capacity rule, they can't do that, she said.
"The next month and a half, at least, is going to be really challenging," she said.
The face masks that both stylists and clients have to wear is another challenge, Klemm said. She has to work around the ear loops on the masks and since the mask covers half of the client's face, it's harder to align the hair cut with their features. Plus, it hinders conversations.
"We're all just trying to get through it," she said. "Take it day by day."