Dozens protested outside county offices chanting, “masks on, save salons.” But the pleas came the same day the county reported two new outbreaks in “salon settings.”

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — San Diego salon owners want to be allowed to move their services back indoors after many in the industry petitioned to move outdoors. But the pleas came the same day the county reported two new outbreaks in “salon settings.”

Dozens protested outside county offices on Monday chanting, “masks on, save salons.”

They argue operating in a “controlled indoor environment” is safer than outdoors due to the sanitizing measures that take place.

“We have spent thousands of dollars preparing our salons and I would challenge any state inspector to come in and inspect our salons,” said Gayle Fulbright, owner of Headlines the Salon in Encinitas.

The other question is how the board of cosmetology is enforcing rogue hairdressers who may be operating in clients’ backyards.

Is there a “gray area?”

The California Department of Consumer Affairs said, “currently state regulation says workers have to perform services in outdoor areas with or adjacent to a licensed establishment.” 

“I know our state board inspectors are out there checking salons but this underground hairdressing… I don’t know how they can regulate that,” said Fulbright.

The board of cosmetology said it investigates all complaints received and has the authority to cite, fine, and take disciplinary action. That includes placing a license on probation and suspending or revoking a license altogether.

Meanwhile, protestors said their plan is to get vocal in Sacramento next. They hope to set up tripods and doll-heads on the capitol steps to send a messy message.

“So we’re going to show what doing hair outside looks like, which ought to be a pretty good visual,” said David Linde, co-owner of Headlines The Salon.

The protest is planned for August 11.

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RELATED: San Diego hair, nail salon owners set up outdoor services under new state guidance

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