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Stylists prepare to cut hair outdoors

Governor give green light for stylists and barbers to cut hair outdoors to prevent COVID-19
Mi Salon
Oliver Forster / KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - When The Barber Shop on State Street in Santa Barbara tried to open outside it was frowned upon by elected officials working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during a rollback of reopenings, but Gov. Gavin Newsom is now giving the idea a green light.

The Barbara Shop's owner said he is still trying to work with county on a safe outdoor space.

On Monday afternoon, the owner of Mi Salon in Santa Barbara was delighted to hear what Gov. Newsome had to say during a news conference.

He said salons and barbershops could work outdoors under tents or canopies, as long as no more than one side was closed to fresh air.

Raquel Mendoza plans to have a few of her Mi Salon stylists work outside in Victoria Court where there appears to be plenty of room.

Mendoza said she lost three relatives to COVID-19 in Chicago and won't be taking any chances.

"We are going to be able to do as much as we can, but of course take care of ourselves and our clients," said Mendoza.

She hopes to open at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

Mi Salon stylist Michael Valdez said, " We have just been praying and wishing that everything could open back up, so, we are excited."

He shared before and after photos of recent clients and said he is looking forward to cuts and colors and blow dries.

The salon may ask customers to wash their hair before they come to the outdoor salon or to wash out color at home until they have a sink set up.

In the meantime they will have spray bottles full of water to dampen hair before cuts.

They will wear face coverings at all times, and place their salon chairs at least six feet apart.

Potential customer Gail Common said, "I think its wonderful, I'll do it."

It's a victory for Santa Maria nail technician and instructor Candice Payne.

Payne gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition to win the approval of outdoor permits for people in her industry.

"As stylists we are well versed, we understand infection control, and so I think this is just another measure to help bring the [COVID] numbers down," said Payne.

It's better than losing more businesses and it appears customers are anxious to get haircuts after months of do-it-yourself styles and mistakes done at home.

Nail salons and massages therapists are also authorized to move their services outdoors, but tattoo artists will have to wait.

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Tracy Lehr

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