Spas, hair salons continue services amid pandemic

Beautifi Spa and Salon in Harlingen re-opened May 8, as soon as the governor allowed for hair salons and spa establishments to open. Manager Anna Palacio, pictured with a client, says the influx of people has been steady and new clients have visited. Courtesy photo

HARLINGEN – After almost two months of being closed, two local salons continue to provide services.

Beautifi Spa and Salon and Desiree’s Spa and Massage provide to clientele what would be considered non-essential services during a time of pandemic.

However, people are in need of their services, which has kept both businesses busy since their re-openings.

Anna Palacio, manager at Beautifi, said the salon was closed for a month and a half, which affected the business.

“We all have bills to pay and not everyone qualifies for loans. So we had a little bit of hardship when it came to rent, keeping up the bills and make sure everything was in great stance for our clients,” Palacio said.

“It was a bit difficult, but we definitely managed through it. We were grateful we still had clients that waited for us and returned as soon as we did re-open,” she said.

The salon re-opened May 8, as soon as the governor allowed for hair salons and spa establishments to open.

However, the business is not taking walk-ins and works solely on appointments, unless someone calls and asks for availability.

Palacio said the business was already used to sanitizing the work areas, but now it is more detailed than before.

“We have to make sure we take that extra 30-minute precaution, and it has been a big change,” she said.

Though clients are coming in, Palacio noticed other clients are hesitant.

“People are scared because of what is going on with COVID. I don’t blame them. People fear of going out anywhere now but that has also played a big change factor. We have to make sure we make people feel comfortable and safe enough it’s okay to come in,” she said. “But there is still a great influx of clients attending.”

“We still have very good client days, and we have been getting new clients. The salon is still going. People still want to look good. We are still pushing that,” she said.

In the meantime, facials have been cancelled and anything with close proximity to the face.

Palacio added she does not think the salon will have to close again.

“We are definitely feeling safe in staying open, but we are taking things nice and easy, making sure we have everybody’s safety at first,” she said.

Desiree Gonzalez, owner at Desiree’s Spa and Massage, experienced a similar situation.

She had to close for two and a half months because of the pandemic and said it was a hard but necessary decision.

“I decided to close earlier than when we were supposed to for the safety of everybody,” she said.

The spa re-opened May 25 and is currently providing its regular services, while screening clients and asking them to fill out a form. The business is checking temperatures and staff wears double face masks.

While conducting facials, a plastic guard is put on top of the clients’ head as a precaution.

“We were disinfecting all the time, but now it has gone up. Everything that is touched we disinfect,” she said.

Clients are also required to wear a mask as they come in.

Gonzalez said business has been slow but she is okay with that.

“We used to post about openings for massages before when it was slow, but now we are not promoting. People do know we are open,” she said.

During the massages, a face guard is worn by the masseuse and a double mask, goggles or glasses and shoes are disinfected before stepping in the massage room.

“We are continuously washing our hands and disinfecting everything, and we have it soaked down. When people are face down, they don’t wear a mask, but we put a pillowcase and have them wear a mask if they are face up,” she said.

Gonzalez said she does not fear about closing again but would be okay with it if she had to.

“I am at fear if it does happen for a long, long time, but we are trying everything we can to be super safe and respecting the medical community. We understand how hard it is right now. We love our community and all our essential workers. We are praying for everybody,” Gonzalez said.

ecavazos@valleystar.com