Hair salons and barbershops, along with their customers, finally got good news Friday after months of waiting: They can reopen Monday.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that hair salons and barbershops across California can resume indoor operations — with modifications.
However, nail salons will have to wait.
The state also introduced a new website where residents can see which industries are allowed to open and to what degree in the state’s 58 counties.
GV Wire℠ has learned that Fresno Mayor Lee Brand’s relationship with Newsom could have played a role in the reopenings.
Fresno County Highlighted
Fresno County got an early mention in the governor’s briefing Friday.
“As you can see here, hair salons and barbershops will be allowed to operate (in Fresno County) as soon as Monday,” said Secretary of California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly while taking reporters through the new website.
“This example of Fresno is just one of many examples,” said Newsom. “All of this is always subject to change if local health officers want to be more stringent.”
Newsom said he wanted individual counties to have the flexibility to decide whether it was safe for certain industries to reopen.
“Mayor Brand was instrumental in convincing the governor to open those businesses (salons and barbershops) earlier during the pandemic.” – City Hall spokesman Mark Standriff
Did Lee Brand Play a Hand?
Though not specifically mentioned during the briefing, there’s a chance Fresno Mayor Lee Brand played a role.
On Thursday, City Hall spokesman Mark Standriff told GV Wire℠ that Brand personally reached out to Newsom via text message asking for relief “specifically for Central Valley salons and barbershops.”
Brand’s father was a barber. GV Wire℠ was not told how Newsom responded.
Newsom didn’t mention Brand by name Friday. GV Wire℠ was in line to ask that question but was not called.
“Mayor Brand was instrumental in convincing the governor to open those businesses (salons and barbershops) earlier during the pandemic,” Standriff said.
Fresno County Department of Public Health
Fresno County public health officials blessed Newsom’s announcement.
“The Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH) will follow the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines: Blueprint for a Safer Economy. FCDPH will not impose more stringent requirements and will utilize CDPH’s minimum restriction for industry guidance,” the department said an email to GV Wire℠.
Salon Posh Owner Reacts
“When I heard the governor’s news today about allowing us to reopen I felt a sense of relief.” — Tanya Alvarado, Salon Posh owner
Following the governor’s announcement, GV Wire℠ texted Salon Posh owner Tanya Alvarado. She reopened her salon for a few days last week until being fined by the Fresno code enforcement.
“When I heard the governor’s news today about allowing us to reopen I felt a sense of relief,” said Alvarado.
The city fined her business $1,075 after initially giving her a warning. She’s since appealed her fine.
Her plan, pending approval by the county, is to reopen on Thursday. Alvarado said she wants to ensure that the salon follows the rules.
Professional Beauty Federation of California Still Not Happy
Fred Jones, attorney for the Professional Beauty Federation of California, said that Newsom should have allowed nail salons to reopen, too.
“Separating hair from nails and skin services is arbitrarily discriminatory, dividing our barbering and beauty industry along gender, racial and industry-sector lines.” — Fred Jones, attorney for the Professional Beauty Federation of California
“Continuing to give county health officers ultimate veto over our state-licensed industry is unworkable, given those municipal bureaucrats haven’t regulated our industry since 1927!” Jones said.
“Separating hair from nails and skin services is arbitrarily discriminatory, dividing our barbering and beauty industry along gender, racial and industry-sector lines. Relegated to the bottom tier, nearly all skincare professionals are women, and nearly 75% of all nail salons are first-generation Vietnamese immigrants.”
Jones said that every salon should reopen because they’re all licensed and have received hundreds of hours of state-approved training in cross-contamination and disinfection.