Salon owners want to set up shop outside as COVID-19 keeps doors closed

The Professional Beauty Federation of California and a state assemblyman from Fresno are asking Governor Newsom to waive a state regulation in order to allow stylists and barbers to operate outside.

Assemblyman Jim Patterson, (R) of Fresno, said it isn’t fair that the restaurant industry is allowed to operate outside with other industries are not. He said waivers were made by the Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control to allow for outdoor dining at restaurants. On Thursday, Patterson sent a letter to Governor Newsom asking him to waive a state regulation to allow barbers and stylists to operate outside.

“This is a simple solution,” Patterson said. “Just lift that restriction and allow these individuals some light at the end of the tunnel.”

The letter was signed by the Professional Beauty Federation of California. It asks the governor to temporarily waive the state code that requires all barbering, cosmetology, and electrology services to be performed in a licensed establishment.

“We want at least the option of being able to perform these services outside,” Fred Jones, attorney for the PBFC, said. “This isn't going to be a solution for a lot of our skin care professionals who are licensed estheticians. We can certainly do manicures outside. We can do simple haircuts.”

Insignia Hair Salon is Walnut Creek is prepared to move operations outside in the event that it is allowed, according to owner Regina Muslimova.

“Since restaurants are allowed to reopen outside we thought maybe we could do the same thing with all the safety procedures,” Muslimova said.

Some stylists and barbers are working quietly from their home or making haircut house calls.

“We would not prefer to do that, but some people do because they have to stay afloat and feed their families,” she said.

A spokesperson for the California Department of Consumer Affairs which oversees the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology released the following statement to KTVU:

“The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology understands the effect shutdowns have on businesses and is sensitive to that. As it stands at this moment, under current laws and regulations, the services cannot be performed outside. However, we are looking deeply into this issue and we're exploring options."