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Local hair salon reopens under Phase I guidelines

Studio B first opened its doors on April 18, 2017. Not quite three years later, salon owner and master stylist Bethany Yurachek found herself closing them, under orders by Gov. Northam in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. “I was totally shocked in the beginning,” Yurachek said. “I did not realize the magnitude of the virus, but quickly realized that the safety of our clients and staff was first and foremost.” 

The temporary closure was difficult for the salon located at 12128 Branders Creek Drive in Chester, and its 10 employees, accustomed to seeing each other and their family of clients every day. Despite not being able to congregate and work in the salon, Yurachek said, “All members of the staff remained in contact through phone calls and social media.” Stylists sent each other pictures of the ways they were spending their time at home during quarantine. “Some of us were gardening, painting, baking, fishing and organizing our homes,” Yurachek said. She credits the regular updates with helping her family of stylists feel encouraged, and feel as if they were still part of a team.

Studio B owner and master stylist Bethany Yurachek applies color to a customer’s hair, both wearing personal protection equipment.
Studio B owner and master stylist Bethany Yurachek applies color to a customer’s hair, both wearing personal protection equipment.

Aside from maintaining social connections, one of the biggest challenges Studio B faced was applying for aid. “There were no clear guidelines,” Yurachek said, but her bank, proved helpful throughout the process.  

With the help of her bank, Yurachek applied for assistance in the first Small Business Administration program, but funds ran out before her application was processed. “I was able to reapply for the second round of funding and was approved, but the funds allotted were not enough to cover all the business expenses.” Fortunately, Yurachek’s landlords were “very understanding, and they were willing to work with us, even though they have expenses as well.”

Now that Virginia has entered Phase I of reopening, Yurachek and her stylists are back at the salon. Before they reopened, Yurachek completed the Barbicide Covid-19 certification to prepare herself and her salon to operate safely in the midst of the pandemic. Upon arrival, clients must call the salon and answer a series of screening questions. After that, a salon employee will greet clients at the door and take their temperature before they are permitted inside, at which point they are required to immediately wash their hands, a practice again required after their service is completed. “We also ask clients to bring their own masks if they have one. If they do not have one, we will provide one for them,” Yurachek said. Clients are required to wear their mask for the duration of their time in the salon. “Our stylists are very talented and can work around the mask with no problem,” Yurachek said.

Despite the extra safety measures, Yurachek is thrilled about “being able to see my clients again. They are more than clients to me; they are family!”

During the weeks that she was unable to see her clients in person at the salon, Yurachek was determined to stay in touch with them. To this end, she produced and posted video tutorials featuring Studio B’s salon mascot, Bentley, who is Yurachek’s seven-month-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. “He loves being in front of the camera,” Yurachek said. When Bentley isn’t busy starring in the tutorial videos, which are designed to educate viewers on everything from styling to proper use of haircare products, he “spends his time practicing his tricks. He knows how to sit, give paw, roll over, crawl like an army guy, play dead, and even can ring a bell.” Due to the pandemic, Bentley currently isn’t making his usual rounds at the salon, but Yurachek is hopeful that the situation will return to normal soon.

In the current circumstances, however, Studio B, normally a full-service hair salon, is not offering beard trims, facial waxing, hand massages, or refreshments. Yurachek hopes to be able to resume these services soon. “I hope the pandemic will pass,” she said, “and we can return to the previous guidelines set by the regulatory agencies.”

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