Home>Articles>Salons, Barbershops Face Permanent Closures Despite Pleas to Governor

Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Salons, Barbershops Face Permanent Closures Despite Pleas to Governor

We’re the small businesses that they said they cared about.

By Evan Symon, May 11, 2020 5:43 pm

On Friday, California entered Phase 2 of its planned 4 Phase reopening. Many non-essential stores were opened up to curbside purchase pickups, and a limited number of factories restarted production and storage. The second part of Phase 2 is expected to open up even more businesses in the next few weeks, including public safety capacity reduced dine-in restaurants and malls. However, one business sector was seemingly glossed over despite displaying no more risk than restaurants: barbershops and salons.

The delay on reopening barbershops and salons

The omission has confused many salon owners.

“We’re about to go under, and knowing it could be another month has all but killed the business,” Patricia Tran, a Los Angeles nail salon owner, told the Globe. “My mother first started this business when she escaped the [Vietnam] war, and it’s been our families livelihood.”

“Even before everything was shut down we practiced social distancing, and we even had rules in place for wearing masks inside and having everyone use hand sanitizer. But no. We can’t have that. We have no idea how much longer we can last.”

Barbershop workers are also perplexed.

“Why did they skip us,” questioned San Diego barber Jose Hernandez. “We’re careful. We’re around hair all day. We wash our hands a lot anyway. And if we reopened, we’d follow the rules. Masks and [things].”

“We’re the small businesses that they said they cared about. That we’re the backbone of the economy. Why are they keeping us closed if we’re not a health risk and if we’re losing money by staying closed?”

While it was vaguely noted by state officials that it was for “public health reasons,” Governor Newsom gave the largest hint last week when he announced that the first community transmission of coronavirus was spread by a nail salon.

“This whole thing started in the state of California, the first community spread, in a nail salon,” Newsom said at a press conference on May 7th. “I just want to remind everybody of that and that I’m very worried about that. There are, and I know everybody watching understands this, health and personal privacy obligations that are bigger than any public statements that have to be abided by, legal parameters, as it relates to that first case.”

However, Newsom has not said where the salon is, or how he knows this.

Newsom’s decision leaves many businesses in jeopardy

Newsom and health officials, worried about other similar outbreaks, simply pushed back which phase salons and barbershops would be in due to the perceived risk.

“It was a ‘one bad apple ruins the bunch’ sort of thinking,” noted health safety adviser June Worrell, who has helped several businesses meet different county coronavirus safety standards in Southern California. “It should be moved up at the same time restaurants are. In fact, apply social distancing and safety measures, and barbershops and all types of salons are safer than restaurants. Far fewer people go inside.”

“Instead, because of one bad incident, they were pushed back. And thanks to this kind of thinking, barbers and salon workers have become some of the hardest hit small business jobs out there.”

For the last several weeks there has even been a small battle for salons and barbershops to reopen in the state. Salons in recently reopened Yuba County have started back up against Newsom’s orders, with some drawing so many customers that they were forced to become appointment-only. However, according to Governor Newsom during a speech on May 8th, the state shut down 33 salons that had illegally reopened.

It’s been so dire, and workers have been so affected by having a later start date, that the The Professional Beauty Federation of California (PBFC), which represents more than 500,000 industry employees throughout California, has joined up with the Center for American Liberty in suing the Governor.

However, the pleas and lawsuits have not been listened to, with the state insisting on public health above all else. While it will possibly help reduce further coronavirus spread, it may also leave hundreds, if not thousands, without a job or a business in the coming weeks.

“I understand it’s about stopping the virus,” stressed Tran. “But it will be killing a lot of us in a different way.”

Evan Symon
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32 thoughts on “Salons, Barbershops Face Permanent Closures Despite Pleas to Governor

  1. Does Newsom sneak in a hairdresser to trim his locks? If he had to rely on legal haircuts no doubt all barbershops would be open by now.

    1. I WISH YOUR COMMENT WAS FRONT PAGE!! HAVE HIM LIVE LIKE A NORMAL CALIFORNIAN AND LET’S SEE HOW QUICK THINGS OPEN UP!!

      1. Newsom is a snake and needs to be put out of office. He is the face of the reason there will be a public revolt in California.

        1. You are absolutely right, but California elected him! Hope they remember these times when his re-election time comes around…

      2. Yes I agree! There needs to be some aggressive action taken about this ! I was hoping these law suits would be that aggressive action. But why aren’t they listening?

        Health first yes! But hair and nail salons have been trained in sanitization and ate now willing to go above and beyond that protocol. Our standard are greater than what home depot and similar businesses are doing.

        Should we say ALL governors past and future are BAD governors because one has showed up at this time?

        1. I agree!! Why does he think that opening dine in restaurants is safer then letting salons open. Why do they get to open first. We have over 1,600 hours of training goin disinfection and sanitation. Where as restaurant employees have had only several hours or a few days of training. We as hair stylists keep things clean and sanitary for a living and we are going to go above and beyond. Governor makes no sense. He must have a personal vendetta against our industry. Who ever does his hair need to stop. Every stylist should black ball him!!!

    2. Most Californians are liberals hopefully this outcome will change the views of the demo party . Vote republican. If look across the board more republican states are opening everything. Ca Libs are wishing they never voted him in by now!. Not to be political, but……….time for change ! MAGA 2020

    3. As a professional stylist I have been keeping an eye out for those in higher positions who speak but do not do. I must say, Governor Newsom seems to NOT have gotten a haircut. He clearly has been using more product and slacking his hair back. Someone mentioned he had lowlights as well. Despite my personal feelings on our current status, and despite my choice for election, I will say that his color is very much his own. I have several clients with his color pattern, and it is completely natural. At least he is abiding by his own recommendation about barber shops and salons. I too am eager to open back up, but I respect the decisions being made, despite my personal beliefs. Guess being in the military years ago made me understand that there is a method to the madness and there’s a lot that happens behind closed doors. Unfortunately civilians would never understand, just as my privates didn’t understand when I was making decisions as their superiors. Patience is a virtue. Wishing everyone the best in these times and May God bless!

      1. Thank you Aneli, for your thoughts. You seem to understand and have experience in leadership.

        It is hard not to get ahead of ourselves on this, but we sure are waiting for some guidelines.
        I am a property owner and lease to a great beauty salon. We have given free rent now for April, May, and probably June. We want these folks to stay – they have been at the same location now for over 30 years and of course have invested lots of time, energy and money in their salon. We have shared some of the improvement cost.

        I think the salon may be asked to do at least the following. We are trying not to go overboard on this, but could use comments on what is likely to come out of the Governor’s guidelines and what is likely to not come out.
        Here are guidelines I think may happen to reopen.
        Minimum requirements for PPE (personal protective equipment) for hair salons may be –
        -Appropriate face covering for all employees and customers, maybe also face shields for operators
        -Disposable gloves for employees, changed at each customer, after station cleaning
        -Chair spacing and max number of customers in the shop (to be determined), probably by appointments only?
        -Daily temperature checks for all employees (recorded) and all customers (before they enter).

        Also, to assure customers and the health dept that the salon is ready to operate when they finally give the go-ahead, I believe they will ask for:
        -Training on PPP, cleaning, interaction guidelines for each operator.
        -Virus testing and tracking for all employees (now available in our county- you don’t have to suspect you have the virus and do not need a doctor’s order)
        -Enhanced and daily cleaning routines of the space and equipment
        -Signs outside the shop (County Health Dept will specify)- safe distancing, etc.
        -Minimum air changes per hour in the salon- to be sure the air in the salon is exchanging with fresh air a certain number of times?
        – Other ideas?
        Many thanks, we are wanting to prepare in Santa Rosa, CA

  2. Saw some haggard shaggy seniors out there…..not pretty…..sorta like characters in those B Euro Nazi resistance movies from the 50’s and 60’s.

    I watched parts of 5 different media sources throughout the day….ya go from elation to feeling surges of patriotism followed by a beat down with a Commie hammer/sickle to “what did they say”? And on to “ I gotta lay down for some reason, now”.

  3. Good question. Where are the politicians getting their hair cuts ? None of them seem to have missed an appointment with a barber or the beauty salon.

  4. It can become a black market industry. It won’t disappear no matter how hard they try to make it and it’s going to be another example of the hypocrisy of politicians because they will never look as shaggy as they expect the rest of to look. Why hasn’t somebody asked Newsom how many trims he’s had since he placed us on house arrest?

  5. For the Governor to say that this all started in California in a nail salon is not only irresponsible of him but shows his ignorance. There is NO WAY to definitively prove when/where California got CoVid19. The workers in nail salons have been wearing face masks & gloves for YEARS before this pandemic ever reached our shores.

  6. A plan to reopen salons should make it where all hair and barber salons are by appt only. No walk-in at all. Salons must follow state guidelines for what they use for cleaning and they can keep all tools needed in a solution that is a broad spectrum disinfectant… including killing Corona virus. As for the governor getting haircuts, I believe he is getting what my husband is getting, wife cuts.

  7. As a salon owner why be governed by a board who has yet to step up and lead us to a way to get back in business. They should have new sanitation and sterilization protocols in place so we can get back to business. We need help NOW not LATER. Lisa Thong it’s time to do your job and get us open!!!

  8. There is a thriving underground haircut culture in California going on right now and there are no safety precautions being taken because they are done in private homes. This stupidity by our Governor is actually putting more people at risk.

  9. During prohibition there were speakeasies where you could get a drink in a basement somewhere. Has the world become so absurd that now we will have illegal hair cut dens?

  10. The only references I could find on Google to any early case of COVID-19 in California even remotely involving nail salons were these two articles in the Davis newspaper: https://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/first-yolo-county-covid-19-patient-details-illness-and-recovery/ and https://www.davisenterprise.com/forum/commentary-county-responds-on-first-covid-case/.
    Bottom line: there was no infection at the salon the subject patient visited.
    The Governor needs to tell us what exactly is the incident on which his draconian policy is based.

  11. Why can we go into Wal mart that has No Sanitized Carts it’s dirty in there. A Salon is Much CLEANER & smaller. This is absurd to me & thousands of business owners. Let’s Get the Real deal here. What is Going on?

  12. Where is our State Board? Why are you not out there fighting to get us open and back to work? Why have you not set up a new protocol? Shame on you!

    1. Yes, where is State board of Cosmetology?. Where are our guidelines. When are we going to get them do we can prepare and reopen? We are trained in disinfection and sanitation! We need to have at least a date and guidelines. We did our part now do yours!

  13. Looks like the hair and nail salons will have to start going to the customer by appointment only. Just think of the money they could save on renting or buying space. I think this is so unfair. Let them open. The only way this virus is going to be over with is by herd immunity, just like Sweden did.

  14. I/m sure our good governor does not own stock in any of the small businesses going under. Maybe we should check his holding in Walmart , Target , and Costco. He was pretty quick to send a billion dollars of tax payer’s money to China. Look at all the shady deals with the train to nowhere! I sure the billions of dollars would be helpful to those businesses! Don’t fret because when we are all homeless , we can get our beer , opiates, and cigarettes delivered for free! Like Nancey recently said “You need to look at the big picture”.

  15. The stupidity behind this is nothing but badly thought out political correctness. You can argue that sanitation procedures are nothing new to the barber and beauty industries which include unannounced visits from the CA state board. That’s all true enough. But the real deal here is about fairness. Grocers have remained open even though there’s no enforcement of social distancing other than at the entrances and checkout stands. Otherwise, just sanitizing shopping carts or baskets. Restaurants are about to reopen for the most part by limiting tables and increasing spacing. Retailers like Macy’s and Nordstroms are about to do the same based on the same principals. So then why are barber shops and salons, which are already spaced apart being penalized with delays? Same can said for gyms in which the majors already have workout stations spaced far apart. So why can’t all of these be allowed to do business with a few sanitation procedures, masks, disposable gloves, adjusted seating for those waiting for service or advanced scheduling? Come on, this isn’t rocket science.

  16. I’m fine right now. Doing someone’s hair doesn’t place high on my priority list, but my health does! I’m a 24 year licensed cosmetologist and PBFC does not represent me and mt thoughts at all.

  17. We the People will no longer stand by and allow this idiot to make up his own rules. All businesses have the right to open and be free Citizens. It is time to start taking politicians lives as they are trying to take ours.

  18. Isn’t there already a recall Newsom movement afoot? I thought I saw a guy outside a local grocery store collecting signatures before all this shutdown business started. Newsom is an idiot, I believed this long before he even became Lt. Governor nearly 10 years ago. What I find insulting is his whining about the State going broke, when the State HAD $25 Billion surplus, the so-called “Rainy Day Fund” set aside for just such occasions. But he blew through that PDQ and now he’s saying the Federal Government must rescue his sorry ass from the economic disaster that HE caused when he ordered the State shutdown. I say the State government was bloated and inefficient already, before the pandemic and the economy shutdown. It won’t hurt the state to lose about 1,000 to 1,500 worthless paper pushers. They talk about remaking our society because of the virus, but I say let’s remake our government and let society take care of itself.

  19. I find it interesting that a Barber in Michigan won his case against his democrat governor and is open for business, but the Catholic Chief Justice ruled in favor of our governor regarding church attendance. He limits us to 100 but does nothing about the 1000s crammed into small spaces while protesting or looting. Sensible citizens should look to those running for office other than the democrat tribe.

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