‘This is what they need to feel good:’ The last day at salon forced to closed due to coronavirus emergency

Credit: Martha Hardcastle Guthrie

Credit: Martha Hardcastle Guthrie

Nina Ferrell likens her 80-something-year-old mom to a "hummingbird on crack."

“She’s all over the place,” the retired Dayton first-grade teacher said of Traci Ferrell. “She’s up, she’s down. She’s got more energy than five millennials put together. She’s a hard worker, a cooker, and a cleaner, and you name it.”

Ferrell said she is worried about her mom. All of her routines — seeing her 90-year-old best friend of 58 years at a local nursing home, hitting the racino with a group of women that includes her hairstylist and now keeping her 1 p.m. Thursday hair appointment — have been disrupted as the coronavirus emergency grows.

As coronavirus cases climbed in the state, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday added barber shops, hair and nail salons and tattoo parlors, as well as 180 Bureau of Motor Vehicle registrar offices and 52 driver exam locations, to the list of businesses ordered to close.

>> Coronavirus: First possible Ohio death reported; order to expand telehealth health services

Earlier that day as word spread that the governor would make the order, Ferrell and her mom received a call that day that her hair appointment had to change.

Credit: Martha Hardcastle Guthrie

Credit: Martha Hardcastle Guthrie

They made their way to see Lauretta Ware at Diversite Salon and Day Spa, 37 Hillside Court in Englewood.

Ware has cut, set and colored Traci Ferrell’s blonde hair for more than four decades, Ferrell’s daughter said.

>> Coronavirus: DeWine asks businesses to take employees’ temperatures 

It might seem like a little thing to some, but Nina Ferrell says that 1 p.m. Thursday appointment was special to her mom.

“This is it. She won’t go out and do anything else. Her hair is everything,” Ferrell said. “She is all about her hair.”

Tammy Greenberg, Diversite's manager, said the closure of the shop means a loss of income for her and the eight others who work at the salon, hairstylist, a nail technician, a massage therapist and an esthetician.

Credit: Martha Hardcastle Guthrie

Credit: Martha Hardcastle Guthrie

She intends to call the California man who owns the business the shop is housed in. She and her cohorts, some of whom have worked together 38 years, will join the more than 111,000 Ohioans that have filed for jobless benefits this week.

>> Coronavirus: Unemployed urged to apply for jobless benefits by phone, online

“This does hurt us because we are self-employed. We don’t have anyone who pays us. The customers pay us,” Greenberg said. “If I have no income coming in, it is going to be hard to pay the rent.”

More than that, Greenberg said the shop’s customers, many of whom are elderly, will suffer.

>> Kroger closing meat and seafood counters, hiring 10,000 workers

“A lot of clients, this is what they look forward to. This is their social outing. This is what they need to feel good, especially if they are depressed about all that is going on,” Greenberg said. “This is a peace of mind for them.”

Stylists, some of whom were scheduled to have the day off— Lauretta Ware, Traci Ferrell stylist for 45 —  called their clients into the salon Wednesday.

Greenberg styled 25 clients alone on the shop’s last day until the governor’s order is lifted, working until at least 9 p.m. She typically has about 15 clients a day.

Ware said the relationships are what she will miss the most, those with her coworkers like Greenberg. They started the business together on tax day when Greenberg was pregnant with her first child. She will also miss the clients like Traci Farrell.

“They became family after awhile,” the stylist of 50 years says of her clients. “And that’s what I am going to miss about not being in the salon.”

She plans to take it all in stride until they can reunite.

“I am going to cook and get fat and drive my husband crazy,” she said.

Credit: Martha Hardcastle Guthrie

Credit: Martha Hardcastle Guthrie

About the Author