With the Austin barbershop he's been going to for more than 25 years shut down during the stay-at-home orders, Will Holford nearly waited too long to attend to the situation.
"My barber called me," Holford said. "He must have seen a pic I posted on FB and took pity on me."
Holford's appointment is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, nearly two months after his last hair cut, at Sportsman's Barbershop.
It also comes one day after barbershops and hair salons across Texas are allowed to open under new guidelines set out by the governor and aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus, while opening up more businesses after weeks of economic devastation.
(Ron King Salon)
Waiting impatiently beneath split ends and heavy bangs and scary home haircuts, clients seem to be parted right down the middle on whether they will be going back any time soon.
For every Holford with an appointment, there's a Laurie Felker Jones with an overdue cut and color—or a need to "paint the front of the house," as she jokingly refers to her visits—and no immediate plans to address it.
"My stylist and I have been talking, and we both want everyone to be safe," said Felker Jones, an Austin consultant and mother of two. "The risks just aren't worth it."
For some, the home haircut was a delightful surprise.
"My wife gave all three of us boys summer buzz cuts," said Austinite Arturo Aviles, father of twins. "Feels great!"
Salons are also divided, with some opening immediately while others wait until they deem it safe.
Friday morning was busy at the Ron King Salon near the Four Seasons hotel downtown, where up to 75 clients might cycle through on a typical Saturday.
King expects to see one-third of that, if his appointments fill up, as new capacity rules limit the number of both clients and stylists. So he'll now open seven days a week, instead of being closed Sunday, for 12 hours a day.
Clients wait in their cars and retail products are moved behind the counter. Stylists wear masks and gloves, and money exchange is all touchless—even stylists' tips will be sent through VenMo.
Otherwise, his strict sanitation practices are business as usual.
"This is what stylists are trained to do," King said. "We have to take a sanitation class over and over and over and over, each year … It's the safest place to be."
At Birds Barbershop's nine locations, owners consulted an infectious disease expert and are waiting until next week to open, said Laura Snyder, a shop manager on the East Side.
Employees will have face shields and daily temperature checks, the front desk gets a sneeze guard, and no beard trims or color treatments at first, said Snyder, a student at Aveda Arts & Sciences Institute, which opens later this month.
"I'm scared in general of this virus," she said, "but I'm really appreciative that the place I work vows to be the cleanest and safest place in Austin to get a haircut."
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Austin police are investigating the killing of Moriah "Mo" Wilson after she was found with gunshot wounds inside an Austin home.
Wilson, a gravel and mountain bike racer, was visiting Austin from Colorado in preparation for the Gravel Locos race on Saturday taking place in Hico, a small town 2 hours from Austin.
On Wednesday, her roommate came home and found Wilson unresponsive with "a lot of blood near her,” police said. It is now being investigated as a suspicious death. No further information on the suspect or motive behind the killing are available at this time.
Wilson recently had become a full-time biker after winning a slew of races in the past year.
Some of your favorite Instagram filters can’t be used in Texas anymore and Austinites are sounding off on social media.
Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, announced on Wednesday that certain filters would no longer be available in Texas.
The change is a result of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against Meta, alleging the company uses facial recognition technology that violates laws in Texas. A release from Meta says it stopped using facial recognition tech in November 2021 and denies Paxton’s allegations.
Some Austinites bemoaned the shift, saying some of their favorite filters were now unavailable.
This was my FAVORITE filter on @instagram and they done removed it cause I’m in Texas ! Like wowwwwww pic.twitter.com/uX60hdIC0Q
— Pinkyy Montana (@inkstar_pinkyy) May 11, 2022
i heard that instagram filters got banned in texas? what the actual fuck y’all better give me my favorite filter back
— lia 🤍 (@liatootrill) May 11, 2022
loved this stupid filter sm i hate texas pic.twitter.com/DXr9mmUc64
— birthday boy jeno 🎂 (@beabtox) May 12, 2022
But more often than not, locals joked about the ban.
Texas women seeing the filter ban on IG pic.twitter.com/yDMcP3Qtsr
— Christian (Anabolic) Flores (@christian_flo24) May 11, 2022
So, the state of Texas has banned filter use on IG? THE END IS NEAR. 😂
— THE FRANCHISE! Франшиза (@NYCFranchise718) May 12, 2022
And some in-between chose to show off some natural beauty.
I live in Texas, but no filter needed. 😉 pic.twitter.com/A6teRgYMKn
— bad and bruja (@starseedmami) May 11, 2022
filter, no filter..texas women still reign supreme.
— 🎍 (@_sixile) May 11, 2022
Finally, some are trying to cash in on the opportunity.
Texas IG users- if you want to filter your picture cashapp me $1.50 $ErvnYng
— Gemini (@ervn_y) May 11, 2022
Meta said it plans to create an opt-in system for both Texas and Illinois residents, who are facing the same issues.