Gov. Gavin Newsom has now released guidelines for hair stylists and barbers to operate outside.
In San Francisco hair salons have been closed since mid-March, while other counties have allowed salons to open only to order them to shut again. Haircuts, facials, manicures and even massages will be allowed outside under a ventilated canopy, with masks and social distancing.
The announcement was welcome news to Wendy Cooper, who owns the salon Classic Images in Livermore. She has a parking lot where she can set up a station.
"I’m making zero dollars and I’m personally covering our rent. And it’s tough...I want to make money, I want to contribute to my family. I don’t like not working. I think it’d be very hard for people that, they get to work and they can’t work, they get to work and they can’t work," she says of the on again, off again nature of restrictions. "I think it’s also very frustrating for clients because they want to get their hair done."
But, not all stylists may be returning to the salon just yet. Some have been staying busy by making clandestine house calls, which are turning out to be more lucrative.
"You’re making more money because the fact that you end up seeing everybody in that family, because everybody’s at home...you charge more for house calls because the fact there’s travel time," said one San Francisco stylist, who did not want to be named.
He said he is busier now than he was before the coronavirus pandemic, and four of the stylists at his salon have already told him they do not plan to come back anytime soon.