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Last updated: September 09, 2020

Nancy Pelosi Defies California Salon Rules, Gets Hair Done Indoors

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Screenshot via San Francisco KTVU.

San Francisco Salons Have Been Closed For Almost 6 Months; Pelosi Faces Backlash

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been outspoken on her support for COVID-19 restrictions in places like San Francisco, where salons have been closed for nearly 6 months and were only just permitted to offer outdoor-only services. But when surveillance footage leaked of Pelosi visiting a San Francisco salon—wearing her mask around her neck, indoors—the hairdressing community was outraged.


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e Salon SF owner Erica Kious said she rents chairs to independent stylists. One of the chair renters texted her Sunday letting her know Pelosi would be there for an appointment Monday.

“I was like, are you kidding me right now? Do I let this happen? What do I do?” Kious told Fox News. She noted that because her stylists rent chairs from her, she doesn’t feel she can control what they use the salon for, as “they’re not paying” at this time. Kious described Pelosi’s visit as “a slap in the face that she went in, you know, that she feels that she can just go and get her stuff done while no one else can go in, and I can’t work.”


Pelosi’s staff said the speaker has a regular stylist who typically goes to Pelosi’s house to do her hair, but that person was not available on Monday and referred Pelosi’s staff to a stylist at e Salon SF because it is where Pelosi’s regular stylist used to work, according to CNN. The California 12th District lawmaker, representing the San Francisco area, is seen on camera not wearing a mask while moving from room to room with wet hair, though the stylist she is with is wearing a mask.


“The speaker always wears a mask and complies with local [COVID-19] requirements,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a statement to The Washington Post. Hammill said Pelosi briefly moved her mask while getting her hair washed. “This business offered for the speaker to come in on Monday and told her they were allowed by the city to have one customer at a time in the business. The speaker complied with the rules as presented by this establishment.”


Salons in San Francisco have been closed since mid-March, and were never allowed to reopen even when other areas of California were able to take clients indoors. San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced last week that salons could reopen for limited outdoor services only starting Sept. 1.


Stylists across the state have been protesting in recent weeks after being put through the wringer with confusing and sometimes conflicting messages from the state, Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Board of Barbering & Cosmetology. To read more about the situation in California and to see what areas of the state are allowing indoor services, click here. There have been 9,293 positive COVID-19 cases in San Francisco, according to the state’s public COVID-19 dashboard.


BTC reached out by phone, email and social media to Kious and e Salon SF but did not get an immediate response. We will update this story with more information as it unfolds.
Disclaimer: e Salon SF in San Francisco is not affiliated with eSalon, the direct-to-consumer, at-home haircolor service.