I don't know if this is really about getting my hair done or just socializing.Stephanie Williams
RINCON — It was easy to sense the depth of relief that Stephanie Williams felt Friday afternoon.
It was very apparent in her roots.
A blonde Springfield resident, Williams smiled broadly Friday afternoon while sitting in a chair at Platinum Hair Studio and Spa. She was receiving an overdue color treatment from her stylist and friend, Kristy Teston.
“I don’t know if this is really about getting my hair done or just socializing,” Williams said.
Williams became frustrated as her thick mane grew darker during the shelter-in-place order imposed by Gov. Brian Kemp in March. Additional restrictions enacted because of the COVID-19 pandemic included the shutdown of Georgia’s hair salons.
“I usually have my hair done every six weeks,” Williams said. “My six weeks were over four weeks ago.”
Teston was well aware of the lapse. Williams, her customer for six years, wouldn’t let her forget.
“She texted me every day for more than a month,” Teston said with a vigorous laugh. “She said, ‘Can you come to my house?’ I said, ‘No!’”
Hair salons and barber shops were allowed to reopen Friday with new safety guidelines issued by the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers.
Williams, a nurse at Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville, S.C., said her worries about the highly contagious virus are for others more than herself. She offered her comments while a mask-wearing Teston put clamps in her hair.
“It makes me nervous for people who aren’t taking precautions and for people who are immunocompromised,” she said.
The feelings of isolation brought on by the shelter-in-place order bothered Williams more than the hairy situation involving her roots.
“I just go to work or go home,” she said. "I’ve been in my home with absolutely nobody so this has been difficult. It’s hard.”
Williams said she never felt self-conscious about her two-tone coif.
“I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything so I didn’t need to look pretty,” she said. “I have nobody to impress and my patients don’t care.”
Williams spent time usually allotted for socializing to do extra studying online.
Teston, who has lots of eager customers like Williams, used a lot of her unwanted vacation to exercise.
“I watched a lot of Netflix and I did a lot of walking in my neighborhood,” she said. “I think my Apple Watch thought it was stolen. It had never seen that much activity.
“I’d get up and walk six miles a day.”
Teston was happy to get back to work. She and Platinum owner Kim Mass expressed gratitude for Williams and other clients.
“We’d like to thank all our clients for being patient with us while we were closed and we miss them all very, very much,” Teston said.
Platinum is located at 408 N. Columbia Ave.