Barbers, stylists face uncertainty without ability to see clients

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — For barbers and hairstylists, the nature of their occupation involves close contact with other people and now they do not know when they are going to be able to do that again.

Like many hairstylists, Katie Englehardt of Sculptures Salon and Spa in Folsom is an independent contractor.

“We aren’t eligible for any kind of benefits like unemployment benefits or anything like that. It’s scary, that’s for sure,” she told FOX40. “It’s scary and our industry, our community, our country has never seen anything like this before. So we don’t even know what to expect from here.”

She wants to connect with other stylists on Instagram and brainstorm ideas.

Keeping a salon open right now would be controversial but so would cutting hair outside a salon.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs oversees barbering and cosmetology. A spokesperson told FOX40:

We do not recommend anyone provide services in homes as the law states all cosmetology and barbering services must be performed in a licensed establishment. We recommend that everyone follow the Governor’s order to shelter in place and practice social distancing.

California Department of Consumer Affairs

“Because we’re up close and personal in people’s houses and faces and all that,” explained Danielle Parker of Lotus Studio Salon in Rocklin.

Parker said the salon’s landlord is still charging rent.

“Maybe for one month we’ll be OK but I’m not really sure if it goes much longer than that,” she said. “Yeah, we’re all nervous but I think we’re all going to be OK eventually. I really hope it doesn’t go too long.”

“Even if I wanted to stay open, it’d be very difficult because the entire building that I rent from is closed,” said Aaron Ralls, the owner of Lucky’s Barbershop and Men’s Club in Folsom.

Ralls said people have two choices.

“You can either have fear in your heart or faith, and I choose faith. So I’m just taking it in stride,” he said.

In the meantime, many will just have to put vanity aside, make peace with their gray roots and do what they can to stay tidy.

The stylists FOX40 spoke with did not recommend box dye kits.

“Because by the time we do open, you’ll be in a world of hurt and it’ll cost you so much more money to fix that mess. So whatever you do, do not box dye your hair,” Englehardt said.

If you have the means to help out a hairstylist at this time, it might be worth checking to see if they would like you to pay up front for future haircuts or buy gift certificates.

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