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Can you get a haircut? Stylists struggle with shutdown

Going to clients' homes comes with big risks
New Study Says Hair Dyes And Straighteners Are Linked To A Higher Risk Of Cancer
Posted at 10:15 AM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 12:33:42-04

Need a haircut soon? Or maybe your roots are getting dark and not looking great on all those Zoom and Skype calls?

Two weeks into a mandatory salon shutdown in most states, some clients are wondering if they can get a cut and color. And stylists, who are going into their third week with no income, are grappling with whether to go "off the grid" and cut hair.

At Studio 7 in Anderson Township, Ohio, the only work now for employees is cleaning. Their appointment books are frozen in time on March 16.

"We are all struggling," said owner Barbara Naylor. "We have no way of making any income."

She and the other Studio 7 stylist hope to see unemployment benefits promised as part of the stimulus. Independent workers are now eligible for unemployment, but state websites are jittery, and no one at the salon has seen a dime yet.

Stylist Mary Beth Jacobs worries about her bills but also worries about her customers, some of whom she has known for decades.

"I totally miss our clients," she said. "They are our family."

Customers requesting home hair cuts

Employees here are getting calls from clients asking if they can get an in-home cut and color or visit the stylist's home.

Naylor said that comes with big risks.

"We are not allowed to do services outside the salon or in-home or in their homes," she said. If someone reports them to the state, "our licenses could be revoked."

An equally big concern is their health.

"We cannot go to homes and be that close to people," Naylor said. "You cannot do hair from six feet away."

Jacobs is also telling clients not to come to her home.

"I don't want them to come to my house, 'cause you don't know where they have been and what they are carrying," she said.

Naylor realizes many stylists are taking the risk and going to client homes because they desperately need cash.

Here, it hasn't come to that yet. She has been providing her employees with some aid. Still, she's hoping, as their sign says optimistically, that they "will be back soon."

How you can help

Want to help your salon stay in business?

Visit them (call and make sure someone will be there), or go online and purchase a gift card for future use. That gives them a quick cash infusion.

And see if you can send a tip to your long-term stylist. They will appreciate it, and you don't waste your money.


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