By Kiet Do

NAPA (KPIX 5) — The reopening of barbershops and hair salons is providing relief for some North Bay business owners as well as some residents in need of a haircut.

Salons and barbershops across the state were given the green light to reopen by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday as part of Stage 3 of California’s COVID-19 response.

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At Country Cutters on the north side of Napa, stylists were ready to go at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Kimberly Phelps, the owner of Country Cutters, said her phone was ringing nonstop since before sunrise.

By the time KPIX 5 cameras caught up with her at 8:30 a.m., she was already on her third customer, Steve Snyder.

Phelps said Snyder came in looking like Bozo the Clown and left behind a giant pile of hair. 

When asked if he could have had his wife or someone else do the haircut for him, Snyder replied with a laugh, “They offered, but I said no.”

As part of Stage 3, customers may have their temperature taken and must wear face coverings.

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Workers will wear masks, gloves and eye protection, maintain social distance from other clients and encourage customers to pay with credit cards.

Phelps wipes down everything after every haircut. Her customers wait outside in their cars and are called in one at a time.

Phelps said the modifications required by the health order were not much trouble.

“No, it’s not a burden at all. I mean, you just try to be safe for everybody. It’s no problem,” said Phelps.

Another consideration: all the new procedures take more time and consequently reduce the number of customers that Phelps can see in a day.

That means she has to extend her work hours to try and make up the difference. But she said she was happy to just be back on the job.

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“That’s OK. At least I’m working. I don’t care,” Phelps said.