Gov. Greg Abbott’s multi-phase plan to reopen Texas does not include salons yet, but a Stone Oak shop is busy installing safeguards to show its clients it will be ready to serve their manicure and pedicure needs when the time is right.
Like other salons, Vinpearl Nails and Lashes, located at 20079 Stone Oak Parkway, hasn’t received approval to open its doors. The husband-wife ownership duo of Tuyet Nguyen and Tuan Do are hoping for mid-May as a possible return. In the meantime, the couple installed guards around each work station in the salon, including enclosures around pedicure chairs. The sneak-peek photos were also shared on social media. Those anxious to fulfill their personal upkeep needs by professionals, shared and commented on the post by the thousands.
Abbott’s current orders for reopening businesses like restaurants, movie theaters, malls and retail stores include minimum standard health protocols for each. During an April 27 update, Abbott said he wants to reopen businesses like salons, bars and gyms as soon as possible, barring a spike in COVID-19 cases. Similar guidance from the state government for reopening those businesses is expected at that point. In the meantime, Vinpearl owners are doing what they can to assure clients they will be prepared.
“We know it’s not the best, but we will do the best we can for all of our safety,” Nguyen said.
The owner said she and her husband took inspiration from shopping at stores like H-E-B, where sneezeguards have been at checkout lanes since the onset of the pandemic.
The couple’s response plan also includes having free masks available for each client, disinfecting furniture between uses, using one-time disposable tools and spacing out customers to ensure they are 6 feet apart.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation oversees cosmetology businesses. Vinpearl maintains a current license, according to records. The department employs cosmetology administrative rules for licensees, which includes sanitation measures.
Nguyen said she and her husband are in “shock” by the response the photos have received online.
The post has more than a thousand shares and hundred of comments, some from users joking about making a trip to San Antonio just for a nail appointment at Vinpearl.
A salon in Georgia, where businesses reopened a few days ahead of Texas, also received attention online this week. A journalist shared a photo showing an unnamed salon using a plastic drape to separate customers from employees. The photo was met with some criticism from online onlookers who considered the desire to book salon appointments during the pandemic “vain.”