‘We were shocked’; Hair salons and barbershops prepare to reopen after state gives them the green light

Local News

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Hair salons and barbershops are now allowed to open immediately in 47 California counties following an announcement Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, saying those 47 counties have attested to the state that COVID-19 is under control in their areas.

In the Central Valley, Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, and Merced counties have all been approved. For most hair salons and barbershop owners, the news came as a surprise – but it was reason enough to celebrate.

RELATED: Newsom: Hair salons and barbershops cleared to open with “meaningful modifications”

“We are so excited we got our go-ahead and we can get back to work. This is our passion, this is what we do,” said the Great American Barbershop Owner Tye Featherstone. 

Many business owners scrambled to get in touch with employees who were laid off and make a plan to follow new state guidelines to open safely.

“Cosmetologists and barbers…we are extremely trained in disease and infection control. That’s what our schooling is about so we’re used to doing it already, we’re just upping that value,” said Featherstone.

But many salon owners, such as Tammie Riley of Hungry Hair in Fresno’s Fig Garden Village, offer more than a haircut.

“We still have a nail area, we have massages, I mean, we are still on hold for that,” said Riley.
In the meantime, Riley has ordered plexiglass dividers and has created a new cleaning protocol to ensure the safety of employees and clients.

“We are asking our clients to please be understanding. We are doing this for the safety of the client and staff and the last thing we would want to happen is for anything to happen to anyone,” said Riley.

At Fresno Amenities Day Spa, also in Fresno’s Fig Garden Village, new protocols are in place including requiring clients to either leave their belongings in the car or place them in a plastic bag to avoid chances of bacteria or viruses to spread on surfaces. 

Like Hungry Hair, they will only earn a fraction of what they normally would with their spa services closed. 

“I’m sure there are people who are scared to come in too, that’s why we want them to know we are doing everything we can for their safety,” said general manager Kimber Kembree.

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