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story.lead_photo.caption This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

Since the stay-at-home order has been issued in Missouri, several businesses have had to close their doors to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Unfortunately, those businesses considered unessential, such as California's salons and spas, are having a hard time in the wake of these developments.

"In our industry, we had to shut down because there's just no way to socially distance," Studio B Salon owner Brandy Brockes said. "Obviously, having to shut down completely means no income, but then I also think it's just sympathizing with people. I feel like in our industry, when people come to visit you, it's a little mini vacation for them. Right now, (we're) in a pandemic where someone probably needs that and can't (and) has to set it aside until we can reopen."

Since Brockes is unable to continue making her clients feel special during this time, she said she has decided to take a vow to not do her own hair or makeup until she is able to do so for her clients.

With a client base being extremely important in the cosmetology industry, other area owners have been doing their best to stay connected to their clients via Facebook.

"I've been in contact with all of my customers through phone calls and on Facebook," Something Sassy owner Stephanie Stokes said. "I've been doing daily challenges on Facebook to keep my customers engaged, and I've been giving away deep conditioning treatments. Whenever certain people comment on my post, I'll pick three a day as winners and each morning I mail those out."

Though owners are reaching out to their clients and trying to stay positive, some said it's hard when your source of income is cut off.

"It's just a very scary time," Exhale Spa owner Kayle Kiesling said. "It's the unknown that's the scary thing, like how long can you support yourself and your employees and keep your business bills paid when you have nothing coming in? It's scary enough going into business, and when you're starting your second year of business, and you have nothing to really compare it to and then they close your doors. It's been really hard because I feel like the only people who have been deemed nonessential in our area has been the cosmetology field, and that's my whole business."

Some have even had to get a second job and apply for help just to stay afloat.

"Financially, I have lost over half my income having to shut down my shop," Massage by Whitney owner Whitney Crawford said. "Working at Lowe's has been helping in the meantime. I did apply for a small business loan, but I've not heard back from that at all."

To keep things moving, Stokes has continued to come into her salon to prepare for the future.

"I've been going to the salon every week and cleaning and making sure that when we do reopen, we will be able to social distance everybody and keep them safe," Stokes said. "I'm rearranging the salon so when we open, people won't have to be so close to each other. So whenever we do open up, I'll be working Monday through Saturday just to get everybody in. We can't wait to get back to doing hair — that's our happy place and that's where we want to be, so whenever we can start work again we'll be calling everybody and make sure it's an upbeat, positive place to be and we can't wait to start."

In the end, once this pandemic is over, local salons and spas are waiting to pamper and help relax their clients after all the stress COVID-19 has caused.

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