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Split-ends, shaggy hair and overgrown goatees were all taken care of Wednesday morning as Kittitas County moved into Phase 2 of the COVID-19 reopening plan for Washington.

Tim Raridan was one of the first in line at CW Barbershop on University Way, and still had to wait 2 1/2 hours to get a seat.

“I was going to cut it myself today if she didn’t open,” Raridan said with a laugh.

While hair stylists had 10 weeks off, it didn’t mean they had 10 weeks to plan. CW Barbershop owner Kelsey Schmidt said through a face mask they’ve been working toward how to reopen for maybe the last three weeks.

Part of that plan is keeping the shop’s feel of a walk-in barbershop, while limiting the number of people actually walking in and waiting. Schmidt and her team reduced the number of waiting chairs from 10 to just two, put physical distancing signage on the ramp outside, spaced out their stations at least six feet and started a waiting list so people don’t have to stay there to stay in line.

“We still wanted to remain a walk-in barbershop and we thought this was the best way to do it,” she said. “You don’t have to sit in here, you can run an errand, and we’ll give you a call.”

And people have been dialing that number, with Schmidt saying her phone has rung at least 60 times in the last few hours.

Dougherty said she’s glad to be back. Even though she got quite a few house projects done, she missed working.

“It was terrible,” she said. “I missed working so much.”

Trista Dougherty owns 425 & Company, a Salon on Pearl Street, and said since the Phase 2 announcement came down at 9 a.m., she and her fellow hair stylists barely had time to get dressed.

“We’re not really even dressed properly or really ready to go,” Dougherty said with a laugh, “but we felt people that wanted to get in today didn’t really care what we looked like, as long as we get their hair cut.”

Dougherty said she’s been cutting hair for 30 years, and thinks a salon might be one of the cleanest environments to work in.

“I’m washing hands, we do it all day long,” she said. “We clean, we use Barbicide, we’re the cleanest place you can be, so I’m not concerned about it at all. It’s no different than being at Fred Meyer with 100 people in line.”

425 and Co. has a 4,000 square-foot facility, with six stations, so Dougherty said adjustments didn’t really need to be made to spacing.

“We have masks for all of our employees and clients that come in, it’s all here,” Dougherty said. “All the cleaning stuff, all the stations have spray sanitizers and every 15 minutes we clean the door knobs and the bathrooms. Clients will wait in the car if they’re here early and we’ll text them when we’re ready. … I’m sure all salons are just as excited as we are.”

Jack Belcher contributed to this report.


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