Masks may affect how some view facial features

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention graphic featuring appropriate facial hairstyles to have while wearing respirators began circulating when the public was encouraged to wear face coverings due to the spread of COVID-19. It is mainly to assist workers who wear tight-fitting respirators.

With face masks being required at more public places and businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic, some people may be altering their habits - especially when it comes to what takes place under the facial covering.

When COVID-19 hit the U.S., an infographic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing appropriate facial hairstyles was widely circulated. This was actually intended for workers who wear tight-fitting respirators. Still, some men may feel more comfortable with less facial hair under the masks.

But local barbers aren't seeing an increase in smooth shaves.

Shelley Norman, owner of Shelley's Fine Barbering, said she hasn't heard of men shaving their beards to wear masks. The biggest adjustment she's had to face is cutting hair while the client is wearing a mask.

"It's amazing how quick you learn to cut hair around those straps. It was a challenge at first, but now it's pretty easy," said Norman.

A representative of Super Cuts and Amy Carter of Vivid Salon and Boutique said they haven't noticed men coming in to have their beards shaved in order to feel more comfortable wearing masks.

As far as women who normally get facial waxes, Angie Woodson, owner of Glow Skin and Wax Studio, said she hasn't seen a noticeable change in the number of people getting them.

"Most of my clients are women. Men don't usually get facial waxes," said Woodson. "I'm not offering facials as much as I did. I'm trying to stay safe."

She has had an increase in new clients and the number of body waxes. Other clients are still putting off services and not getting out as much.

While face coverings may keep others from viewing food stuck in people's teeth or other more permanent flaws, they also cover up facial piercings.

At Safari Piercing Studio, Burt and Karen Smith said they have noticed an upswing in people wanting facial piercings, and they have been surprised by that.

Burt said more people are coming in because they can hide the piercings under masks while at work.

"It gives it a chance to heal before someone sees it," he said.

Some people deem facial piercings as unprofessional, so having them covered with a mask makes them more tolerated in the workplace, according to Karen.

Karen has been piercing for 28 years, and she said that when they first reopened after the shutdown, they were advised to not do piercings under the masks. They have resumed them, but Karen monitors the positive COVID-19 case numbers and said she may stop doing them if she starts to feel uncomfortable.

The Smiths wear masks, and customers are required to wear them to enter the shop.

"Making money is not as important as keeping everyone safe, including myself and my family. You're not just thinking of yourself," said Karen.

She thinks the uptick in business is due to people having some extra money from taxes or unemployment, and they are staying local for services.

"We missed tax season because we were closed. People are looking for something to do. They can't take vacations, so they are spending locally. It's safer than going to a big city," said Karen. "People deal with emotions and anxiety in different ways. Some enjoy piercings and doing something for themselves."

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