‘They want to look good for Florence’: Columbia hair salons full ahead of hurricane

NC dunes destroyed after Hurricane Florence batters coast

A once-healthy section of dunes in Avon, North Carolina, was wiped out as Hurricane Florence battered the eastern coast of the U.S. on Sept. 14, 2018.
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A once-healthy section of dunes in Avon, North Carolina, was wiped out as Hurricane Florence battered the eastern coast of the U.S. on Sept. 14, 2018.

There may be a hurricane on the way, but that hasn’t stopped locals from wanting professionally windswept hair. Some hair salons in the Columbia area have been busier than usual in the days leading up to Hurricane Florence’s arrival.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but Five Points Salon owner Mark Ziegler says it makes perfect sense: If the power goes out, you won’t be able to blow-dry your hair, so you might as well get it done first.

Ziegler’s salon is usually pretty busy, he said, in part because it’s located in Five Points near the University of South Carolina. But the past few days have been “extremely busy,” he said.

“This week has actually been the longest week ever,” he said, with the salon’s four stylists having to rely on partners and family to get storm supplies while they’re booked morning to night.

The salon has averaged 30 clients per day. Ziegler said the short periods of down time stylists usually get while waiting for hair color to permeate or styles to set have been wiped out this week because there has been so much to do.

“We’re coming in early, we’re staying late,” he said.

Capelli Salon at 701 Gervais St. saw a similar increase in clientele this week, including double the number of new clients walking in.

Receptionist Kaitlyn Rose said a lot of those new clients were people who had evacuated from the South Carolina coast. Like Five Points Salon, Capelli will be closed Saturday, so it rescheduled those clients for earlier in the week, booking up its four stylists.

Rose said despite the incoming storm, many clients have called to book last-minute appointments for Thursday or Friday.

Studio 02 salon at 801 Gervais St. had 15 appointments lined up for later Friday afternoon. With just two stylists and one leaving early, it’s going to be busy, said receptionist Amberleigh Donahue. But if there is a demand, Studio 02 will try to meet it.

“People still want to get their hair done. They want to look good for Florence,” she said.

Metropolis Salon & Dry Bar at 1218 Taylor St. was completely booked until 6 p.m. Friday, which means its usual number — at least 60 clients a day — has not dropped in the face of Hurricane Florence. The storm has only brought in more first-timers.

“It does look like a lot of these clients are new clients,” said receptionist Jessica Meek.

Studio 02 and Metropolis plan to be open Saturday, unlike the other two salons. Back at Five Points Salon, Ziegler and his staff were pampering a bridal party (among other customers) but with that done, it was storm preparation time.

He said he has been watching the Weather Channel constantly while at work and had sandbags ready to go so he could protect his store, at 2000 Blossom St. in flood-prone Five Points, before he left Friday night.

But for his clients, he said, “at least their hair looks good and colored.”

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