CALGARY -- Like many business owners, those who run hair salons, are eager to open up again following weeks of being locked down due to the global pandemic.

However, opening back up isn’t going to be easy, due to the restrictions that will remain in place.

Wendy Belanger, who owns Influence Salon on 17th Avenue, says she is responsible for the health and safety of her staff and the clients who put their trust in her. She says extra measures will be put in place since stylists can’t be two metres away from their clients.

"Making sure that we wear masks, making sure we use disposable capes, that we wear gloves while we’re doing our guests," Belanger said.

"We will stagger our stylists as well so we don’t have as many people in the room. We’re going to utilize less stations so we can keep six feet between us."

Over at Jami Symons' boutique salon, which is a bit more intimate, he says his five staff members will have to work different shifts to ensure there isn’t overcrowding in the space.

Symons says calls have been flooding in for appointments and he is making sure there are no double-bookings.

"We’ve had this break where we now have to start thinking a little bit differently as to what the salon atmosphere is going to look like – it can’t be like it used to be," he said.

Premier Jason Kenney announced Thursday a three-stage plan to relaunch the economy. He said if the province’s situation remains stable, that salons and various other businesses can reopen later on in May under strict health care guidelines.

Other provinces have also announced dates to reopen the economy, including allowing salons to resume business. Saskatchewan will permit salons to open on May 19 while Manitoba says May 4 is its preferred date.

Belanger says salons have one chance to get their relaunch day right as the experience clients get on that first day will stay with them. She says with all the extra precautions in place, it will be up to salon owners to find that balance between ensuring clients are safe but can have the salon experience they enjoy.

"They’re going to feel, 'Am I going to a luxury experience or am I going to the OR?' And we what we need to do is try to find a way to make that experience still possible and still be socially responsible.”

Belanger has been hosting online seminars with other salon owners to help them on their business relaunch journey.

She says the best thing for clients to do at this point is be patient while salons work to get things ready for their arrival.