Illinois hair salons, barber shops look for new ways to service clients during COVID-19 'stay-at-home' order

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Veteran hair stylist Lyn Turner says its been a struggle after the salon where she works became one of thousands of Illinois businesses temporarily shuttered in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"Every single day, I'm living by faith," Turner said. "I have to do what I have to do. That's the only way. Its a game of survival at this point."

Turner, who cares for her mother, said that if she is not doing hair, she isn't making any money.

This is the reason some are resorting to trying to figure out how to safely service their clients and avoid financial ruin.

"I'm wearing my mask. I have my gloves and I just try that they have the same thing and I would have to just go and do a house call," she said.

The absence of revenue and community is not just difficult for stylists and clients, but salon owners too.

Barber shops and beauty salons have been dark for nearly a week after Gov. JB Pritzker issued a "stay-at-home" order, which essentially forced the closure of non-essential businesses.

"This is totally different. During the recession, everything slowed down. This is like a complete stop," said Yvenetta "Midge" Welch, the owner of a South Loop salon that employs 29 stylists and barbers.

They took precautions like wearing a mask when they were open.

"I'm an owner with a big heart, even though my big heart doesn't pay the bills, but I know if they don't make money, they can't pay me," Welch said.

Meanwhile, business owners and stylists like Turner are just hoping to be back at work on April 7 when the "stay-at-home" order is scheduled to be lifted.

"Anything after April 7th, that's going into a whole other month. Bills are beginning to pile up and I don't know what I would do," Turner said.
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