California Hairdressers Stage Peaceful Protest For The Right To Reopen
Cheyenne Wells (@blackstagbarbershop) was excited to reopen her Westwood Village barbershop, Black Stag Barbershop, in July, not only to earn some much needed revenue, but to also see her clients again. However, when Los Angeles County was placed on Gov. Gavin Newson’s coronavirus “watch list,” she was forced to close for a second time. “There is no way to explain what we have lost,” she explains. “It’s more than just money, we aren’t allowed to work in the trade that we have so much passion for.”
Cheyenne was one of the many beauty professionals that attended a peaceful protest in Los Angeles, Cali. where they advocated for the industry’s strong sanitation standards and for the right to reopen safely. Peaceful protests are being staged throughout the state, fighting back against the Governor’s claims that close-contact services contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Citing the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention study on two coronavirus-positive hairdressers in Missouri that serviced over 100 clients without transmitting the virus. Click here to read the study.
Since the second closure, the Governor and the California State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering have allowed hairdressers to resume services outdoors. But, services are limited and do not permit chemical or shampoo services. Stylists say this does not make any sense, as it is cleaner and more sanitary indoors.
Jaymie Dugan (@hairbyjaymienichole) a stylist from San Diego, drove almost two hours to participate in the protest. “We do everything in our power to make our salons a safe environment for our clients. We’re trained for 1,600 hours, including sanitation, and we’re out here fighting for our right to open safely,” she told BTC Editor Dina Ciccarelli.
Salon Republic Founder Eric Taylor, spoke with BTC about hairdressers’ frustrations with the second closure. “We are safe and effective with the [enhanced safety guidelines] and we’ve proven it. The CDC has endorsed these protocols that were put into place after the first moratorium. Why is Gov. Newsom the only Governor that can’t see that?”
He also discussed why moving services outdoors does not sustain an industry that has been suffering since March. “There are 20 pages of regulations in order to move salons services outside. The government said we can only do dry cutting outside, OK, well that is only 30 percent of the revenue of our industry. It’s impractical, unworkable and it is frankly ridiculous,” he explains.
BTC Team Member Jenn Malone (@jmalonehair) is frustrated with the outdoor guidelines because her services are specifically excluded. “I don’t do haircuts, I am a colorist. So where does this leave me?”
Gov. Newsom has made no comment on a possible reopen date for salons. In a press conference on Aug. 12, when asked about a reopen date for businesses that were forced to shut down again, he said, “The worst mistake we can make is run the 90-yard dash where we think we’ve got this and we walk away, and we revert back to the way things used to be. That’s why we have to be very cautious and deliberative.” He also said his administration is consistently re-evaluating and modifying reopening guidance, but again gave no date for reopening. For more information on upcoming protests, click here.
To See More From The Protest, Click Through The Slideshow