Barbers, customers abuzz as salons, shops reopen

Adan Gonzalez sweeps up after a haircut at Lupe’s Barbershop on Friday in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

EDINBURG — Barbershops and salons across the Rio Grande Valley opened to the public for the first time in more than a month Friday after the coronavirus pandemic caused widespread closures in March. The reopenings were part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s phased plan to restart the Texas economy.

According to local barbers, patrons were eager to get a haircut.

Adan Gonzalez — a barber at Lupe’s Barber Shop at the Echo Hotel in Edinburg who’s been cutting hair since 1963 — says he was ready to get back to work. Judging by the number of customers he saw Friday, Gonzalez’s customers were ready to see a barber. Some of them tried to cut their own hair while Lupe’s was closed, and Gonzalez wasn’t impressed by their efforts.

“Oh yeah, they tried,” he said. “All my customers have real short hair.”

Adan Gonzalez cuts hair at Lupe’s Barbershop on Friday in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

Gonzalez started cutting hair at 7:30 a.m. Friday and didn’t stop shearing until about 6 p.m. Half a dozen customers he didn’t have time to see are planning to come by Saturday.

“I’m tired already, but it feels good,” he said. “I’ll be cutting again tomorrow.”

Gonzalez said, like other barbers and hairdressers across the state, he is implementing social distancing and hygienic measures like wearing a facemask, using sanitizer and distancing his customers.

“I’m trying to give my customers satisfaction the best I can,” he said.