Barbershop owners and stylists ask for a reopening date

CLICK HERE, if you can’t see this photo gallery on your mobile device.

Salon owners and stylists in Santa Clara County require that the county public health department tell them when they will be able to reopen their beauty salons.

Two dozen salon owners and stylists protested outside the Santa Clara Department of Public Health building in San José on Monday afternoon, singing, “End the wait! Give us an appointment!

Unlike other reopening protests, all protesters wore face masks and kept separate from each other. Social distancing measures are key to his reopening argument: salon owners and stylists say their businesses are safer than many that have already reopened, and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to keep their workplaces safe. and toilets. They just want to go back to work.

“This is the new standard. Things won’t go back to where they were, ”said Erica Martin, stylist at W’s Salon in San José. “And it is time that you allow us to show you that we can operate safely. Let’s go back to our work environments and show him that we can follow the new guidelines and that we will follow the new guidelines. “

Classrooms in Santa Clara County have been closed since March 16, when the county closed all “nonessential services” to curb the spread of COVID-19. In the past few weeks, nearby counties, including Contra Costa and San Mateo, have allowed reopening of classrooms, but Santa Clara has not set a date for when its classrooms will be allowed to resume business.

Salon owners and stylists protesting Monday hope the date will be included as part of the new county health order, to be released later this week.

So far, Santa Clara County has reopened in-store purchases, takeaways, and cookouts, but not nail or nail salons. It is a division that protesters view with skepticism, arguing that their classrooms are already “cleaner than a Walmart.” They attribute that cleanliness to the required customer safety, disinfection, and sanitation training as part of the 1,600 hours of training required to become a licensed cosmetologist in the state of California.

If they reopen, the owners say, they’re also prepared to require stylists and clients to wear masks, check door temperatures, and only serve one client at a time. To demonstrate this, a protester wearing an eye protector over her face mask brought a lounge chair and a sample of the reopening provisions: gloves, cleaning spray and a thermometer.

They also referenced a highly publicized case in Missouri, where opponents of the reopening sounded the alarm after two stylists tested positive for COVID-19 after potentially exposing 140 clients. Finally, no new infections were linked to the salon.

“We are a very safe industry,” said Mary Hill, owner of Fabu Salon in Campbell. “It is very confusing to us why we are being selected. It is the other way around because we really are one of the cleanest industries. ”

Unable to reopen, protesters say their clients are crossing county lines to get their hair cut, and salons are struggling to stay afloat after months without business.

“My clients will only be loyal to me for so long, especially when they can go 20 minutes to fix their hair,” said Martin.

You were able to get a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program, but you are still reaching out to your savings because you are concerned that the loan is not forgivable. If Santa Clara County doesn’t reopen soon, he says, he may have to follow his clients to San Mateo.

“I have been in my classroom for over 15 years; I have been very loyal to the owner and would not want to have to do that, ”said Martin. “But if you can’t keep the doors open long-term, you can’t even pay the lease to continue service, then I’ll have to look for that option.”

For now, even though the classroom doors are closed, they still have to pay the rent.

Laure Chicoine, owner of the Nirvana Aveda Concept Salon in Los Gatos, has had to reschedule months of appointments. She told protest attendees that she had to suspend her employees in order to rent, which her landlord has not reduced.

But, he said, he is not charging rent to stylists who rent space at his location. The other protesters cheered.

One shouted: “You have come out ahead. What if the county is moving forward now!