Hair salon owners and stylists in Alameda County are pushing back on what has been a devastating past four months for their businesses.
All salons are still unable to open their doors do to rising COVID-19 numbers in Alameda County, so the local hair industry is looking to take matters into their own hands to be seen and heard by county officials.
“We have complied and we are done obliging,” said one local stylist.
It was a sentiment shared by almost 30 hair salon owners and stylists from the tri-valley area of Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin. They’re all looking to reopen their businesses despite restrictions from the county.
They say that their industry has met and even surpassed worksite sanitation guidelines and sterilization practices recommended by the county.
“We’re already licensed to be sanitary,” said Lila Robinson, manager of Bishops Cuts and Color. “We’re licensed by the same board that dentists and nurses are licensed by. Seventy-five percent of what we’re tested on is sanitation, so you can’t tell me that I’m not sanitary or ready.”
Flaunt Hair Designs owner and co-organizer of the event Christine Palmer said the industry should be considered essential, and county leaders should look at the tri-valley and its COVID-positive numbers separately from Alameda County at large.
“We’ve been watching it trend the last three days and Oakland and Hayward are the vast majority of the COVID-19 positive cases,” Palmer said. “All three Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton don’t even equal 1,000.”
“I think there’s plenty of evidence to support that we are essential workers,” she said. “It’s self-care, it’s mental health care, it’s anti-depressive.”
Over a week ago Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that hair salons would be given the okay to operate outdoors. But with the tri-valley summer heat, these stylists say it is nearly impossible to conduct services in a safe and sanitary manner outside.
Instead, they’re planning to open their doors in protest on August 17, with or without county approval.