ENCINITAS, Calif. — Hair stylists statewide are preparing to make a stand in Sacramento Tuesday, showing California leaders why working outside isn’t working for them.
The hope is that lawmakers will agree to let salons open back up for indoor services. One of the stylists heading to the state’s capitol is Gayle Fulbright, owner of Headlines The Salon in Encinitas.
“We go to school for 1,600 hours and 1,500 is about sanitation, I swear,” Fulbright said.
Salon owners are fighting for working indoors, where they feel it’s safest.
“There’s no control for us. We have no control over safety. We have no control over sanitation, and outside certainly isn’t clean and disinfected as it is in our salons,” said Connie Kecskes, owner of Bleach and Brawn in Vista.
Despite the challenges of being outdoors, some stylists, like Jennifer Lechowicz and her team at Twig Hair Lounge in Carlsbad, have tried.
“They don’t want to do it. They feel dirty, they’re sweaty and they’re not giving the service that they have been committed to giving all these years. It’s just not feasible,” Lechowicz said.
Even if salons commit to moving outside, services are limited to haircuts under the current state guidelines.
“Color is the money-maker. It’s 80% of our business,” said Fulbright.
Fulbright said the goal of Tuesday’s demonstration at the state’s capitol is to show lawmakers the tough working conditions stylists say they are experiencing when trying to move outside.
“We are going up there to gently rally, to let them know what it’s like to cut hair outside,” Fulbrigh said. “We’re going to set up tripods with mannequin heads and we are going to let the wind blow it around.”
Ultimately, the San Diego salon owners FOX 5 spoke with say they don’t understand why salons are being grouped together with businesses like restaurants or gyms that have experiences more frequent outbreaks of the virus.
“We haven’t gotten any numbers that justify us being shut down,” Lechowicz said.
As of the end of July, San Diego County public health officials reported one outbreak had happened in a salon and another in a barbershop. Statewide, stylists are pushing for California to allow working back indoors by Aug. 17.
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