Vacaville barbershop owner speaks out about Gov. Newsom’s COVID-19 orders

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VACAVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) – Barbering and cosmetology guidelines were released Monday by industry officials following Governor Gavin Newsom’s approval for barbers and salons to offer services outdoors.

“Look, I was a Marine, I was a law enforcement officer and I’m just an American. And it’s un-American to be afraid, live in fear. We’re not going to be told what to do,” said Juan Demarais, the owner of Primo’s Barbershop in downtown Vacaville.

When the governor initially ordered all salons and barbershops to close, Demarais’ shop stayed open.

So, when the governor consented Monday to allow salons and barbershops to continue working with approved services moved outdoor, Demarais said it really made no difference.

“I wasn’t surprised at all. I mean, I saw it coming,” said Demarais.

The Department of Consumer Affairs and the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology issued guidance Monday recognizing that some barbering and cosmetology services may be safely performed outdoors as an option to help people get back to work in counties where indoor operations are closed, while still preventing the spread of COVID-19.

But the services still prohibited include all chemical hair services, such as perms, relaxers, coloring and dyeing, as well as shampooing and electrolysis.

For some salons, they said those prohibited services make up to 75% of their business.

“He’s going to allow whatever he feels is OK to go on, like rioting and looting. And he’s going to break the backs of small businesses just to make himself feel better,” said Demarais. “Honestly, I don’t care what he says.”

Demarais said business owners, especially of smaller businesses, should stand in solidarity and fight to stay open.

“It’s about providing for our children. It’s about providing for our families. A lot of my barbers are young fathers, young mothers and they have responsibilities,” said Demarais. “We’re not asking for a handout, we’re not asking for assistance, we’re asking to be left alone and work.”

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