News > Coronavirus > Ted Gibson Reopens His L.A. Salon In Protest Of Forced Closures
Last updated: August 17, 2020

Ted Gibson Reopens His L.A. Salon In Protest Of Forced Closures

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Jason Backe and Ted Gibson outside STARRING by Ted Gibson in Los Angeles on Aug. 17, 2020.

In solidarity with salon owners across California, celebrity hairstylists and small business owners, Ted Gibson (@tedgibson) and Jason Backe (@jasonbacke) re-opened STARRING by Ted Gibson, their Los Angeles-based smart salon located on La Brea.


Choosing to reopen on Aug. 17 was symbolic, as it is five months to the day that California Gov. Gavin Newsom originally shut salons down in an effort to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Ted and Jason are leading by example in solidarity with many of more than 53,000 licensed establishments who have implemented COVID-compliant safety protocols and reopening. Ted and Jason have hired civil rights attorney and trial lawyer Mark Geragos, whose former clients include Winona Ryder, Michael Jackson and Colin Kaepernick.


Ted and Jason announced in a press conference in front of STARRING by Ted Gibson that they took out a small business loan to stay afloat, and needed to reopen their small business immediately. Ted took his first client at the reopened salon, celeb Jaime King, directly after the press conference.


Inside STARRING by Ted Gibson, where Ted took client Jaime King indoors. Hair services indoors are not allowed in Los Angeles County, per an order from Calif. Gov. Newsom.


STARRING by Ted Gibson is the world’s first smart salon, powered by Amazon and Alexa whose salon concept is based on the women’s desire to have an intimate, individualized, luxury experience. The salon is and always has been socially distanced by design with salon chairs 8.5 feet apart and within their own private and partitioned “cloud.” The environment is boutique and exclusive—by appointment only, with no front desk and no assistants. It is also completely cashless and without retail products. The salon has followed all Centers for Disease Control & Prevention guidelines that the CDC officially endorsed on July 17, yet was forced to close its doors for months. Today Ted and Jason along with the Professional Beauty Federation of California, said, “Enough is enough.”


Many hairdressers in California have been in flux when, after briefly being allowed to reopen, the Governor put more than half of the counties in the state on coronavirus “watchlists,” forcing salons, barbershops, nail salons and spas to either close again—or take their services outdoors. If a shop chooses to operate outside, it cannot do any services that include chemicals or shampooing.


After protests throughout the state and mounting outrage by beauty pros throughout California, some salons and shops came together and chose Aug. 17 to reopen despite mandated shutdowns. At the core of California stylists’ argument is that the CDC released data proving that two coronavirus-positive hairdressers wore masks while providing services and did not infect any of their 100+ clients. Plus, hairdressers must undergo rigorous sanitation and disinfection training—moving operations outside feels to many stylists like a slap in the face.


“As an industry that is often overlooked, we will not be overlooked anymore. We are licensed in sanitation, anatomy and physiology. We are opening STARRING by Ted Gibson because we will not let ours and others small businesses die,” said Ted.


“Our state government has classified salons and hairdressers as dirty and dumb. We are licensed professionals who are trained in sanitation protocol and at STARRING by Ted Gibson we are taking a stand to make sure that our voices are heard to save our small business and hairdressing community,” Jason said.


Despite most states enacting suggested or mandated shutdowns of beauty services in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, California is the only state to have a current shutdown in effect. 



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