VENTURA, Calif. -- Hair salons up and down the coast are only allowed to reopen with outdoor services right now. One Ventura County salon owner says that just isn’t an option for her business.
In July, Governor Gavin Newsom said salons and barbershops could only offer services outdoors. The owner of Michael Kelley Salon and Day Spa in Ventura says that isn’t an option.
"Our salon is a huge color salon, and you can not offer those chemicals services outside,” Tara Gaston, owner of Michael Kelley Salon and Day Spa in Ventura. “It limited them to dry cuts, we shouldn’t even shampoo them. Limited them to very few money making situations.”
Gaston and her husband have owned the popular salon for nearly 26 years. She feels they could operate indoors safely.
"We are a safe environment,” said Gaston. “We are already trained in sanitation and cleaning protocols, so why us? Why are we supposed to be closed when other business are open that are not properly trained on sanitation on the regular basis.”
Gaston says she spent a a lot of money on sanitation equipment and so did the individual stylists who work there.
“We had lots of training,” said Gaston. “A lot of them invested $500 to $1,000 in sanitation equipment and different things that made them feel safe. They are out a lot of money.”
Gaston says stylists were able to get by on the extra $600 in weekly federal unemployment benefits, but those benefit ended last week.
“I have 32 people that work here and I say there is not one that isn’t suffering financially,” said Gaston.
She worries stylists could look for other ways to make money while they wait for restrictions to be lifted.
“I am fearful a lot of them are forced to do house calls, and then you are not safe either,” said Gaston. “The client is not safe and the stylists are not safe. They will be forced to make that judgment call unfortunately when they can not pay their bills.”