Is Business Booming Again in Northern Virginia?
There's a stir in the world - new dreams and new visions, the hope of the future to come, brush the past away! Those are the words to a song that I was taught when I performed with a high school competition choir. I don't know who wrote it, or the name of the song, but I remember every word and they seem so appropriate right now.
On Friday I had a hair appointment not too far from home. During the toughest times of this pandemic you could have rolled a bowling ball down the roads I take to get to this salon, rolled that ball across the parking lot, and clear through the salon without hitting a single person, car, or thing. To my surprise, on this day, the roads were full, there was a nicely filled parking lot, and just about every seat was filled with a barber or a stylist, fully masked, working. This salon has barber chairs up front and a full service hair salon in the back.
People must really be feeling like we are on our way to societal and economic recovery. You can tell by the boisterous volume of conversations, even from the men up front in the barber chairs talking loud about taking care of their daughters – having to be firm, but going easy on them when reprimanding them. I felt myself smiling at the raucous laughter in between the tall tales I was overhearing. There was upbeat Youssou N’Dour playing in the background and the women stylists, mostly West African, were talking fast, laughing jovially, occasionally sucking their teeth to express disbelief at the men’s stories up front, yelling at their very young children, who were supposed to be doing homework, but were playing games on their phones. The rat tail combs were flicking, synthetic hair was flipping, and every stylist was standing in place behind a customer, dancing, while braiding and twisting hair, just like old times.
Business is coming back, if that can measured by the number of women coming in looking for walk-up appointments and asking how much certain braided styles cost, usually into the hundreds of dollars. It feels like things are swinging back into a good space, if I can measure that by the sound of money cards being swiped for payment and cash exchanging hands for tips.
I am only one Pfizer vaccine in at this time and of course I'm fully masked with hand wipes at the ready, everywhere I go. This is a good feeling.