How students, hair stylists are handling shelter-in-place orders

How students, hair stylists are handling shelter-in-place orders

Photo Credits: Quinn Spooner / Aggie. A handwritten sign at Aggie's Barber Shop indicates that the shop is closed until further notice.

Reopening Davis salons, barbershops 

Yolo County officials extended the shelter-in-place order through May 31, with exceptions for religious drive-in services and construction, more than a month after the county issued the initial order. Social distancing measures have struck salons and barbershops in Davis as many students, the most substantial clientele, have gone home. In a press conference on April 28, Gov. Gavin Newsom presented the four phases for reopening California, with salons and barbershops remaining closed until phase three, which could be weeks or months away.

These shelter-in-place orders have led to financial hardships for some local business owners. 

Motown Guerrero, owner of Motown Barber, said several desperate clients have offered to meet him in a park or even asked him to come to their homes. Guerrero has limited his services to his family in his home and close friends. He wears gloves and a mask, and requires others to do the same, but he is still hesitant to cut hair. Guerrero plans to talk to his bank to apply for a loan to get him through the next couple weeks after finding no luck online. 

“The problem is that the government tells us there are these programs we can apply for, but when you go online and apply, there’s nothing there,” Guerrero said. “They said the website would be up by April 28, but I gave up.”

At the time this article was written, the Professional Beauty Association began accepting applications for a $500 relief fund.

Guerrero relies on students, especially students who stay in Davis during the summer. But that may look different this year. Guerrero said he plans to reopen, despite the social distancing measures. 

“I’m going to open on Tuesday because I have to do it,” Guerrero said. “I’m only going to do appointments and have one person at a time.”

Jacquie Crabtree is the owner of Strands Salon in Davis and a member of the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. Crabtree and her employees have been more fortunate in finding financial relief since they are, in fact, employees and not independent contractors — making them eligible to file before the CARES Act. There is, however, the question of paying rent at the four Strands Salon locations in Davis, Natomas, Elk Grove and East Sacramento. 

“The Davis landlord has been amazing, Steve Boschken,” Crabtree said. “He’s workable with us and understanding.”

Crabtree applied and received a personal protective equipment loan to prepare to reopen safely when the shelter-in-place order is lifted. She is also working to release health and safety guidelines for other beauty workers in California with the Board. 

“With the shelter-in-place, I understand that people are desperate to get their hair done, but I find it very selfish,” Crabtree said. “We need to care about our health more at this point, more than getting our hair done.”

Others are taking this time to experiment with scissors and clippers. Social media has been saturated with people buzzing their hair off and others attempting to dye their hair. 

Trevor Carpenter, a third-year computer science major, said there hasn’t been a better time to bleach his hair. 

“I’d been talking about it for a long time, so it wasn’t super impulsive,” Carpenter said. “I knew how I was going to do it and had a plan. Shelter-in-place just gave me the motivation to finally do it.”

Written by: Josh Madrid — arts@theaggie.org