HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. – Getting your hair styled or colored is one of life’s great pleasures or necessities, depending on who you ask. Jessica Rose has been styling hair at her salon in Hermosa Beach for seven years and she’s worked with some clients long enough to think of them as family.
Struggling to stay in business since the outset of the pandemic, it’s been a roller coaster of both emotions and revolving doors.
“It's hard when you put so much time, money and effort into being able to reopen again and you follow all the guidelines and rules perfectly to the ‘T’ and have state board come in twice to check and then to be closing down again,” said Rose, wiping down hair product for sale on her shelves.
She allows order pick-ups on weekends and will deliver to long-time clients for free.
First closed back in mid-March, Rose was allowed to reopen in May, but was mandated to shut down a second time on July 13. Now, Governor Newsom has announced a new plan for hair salons and barbershops to open once again, but under strict guidelines.
However, Rose doesn’t feel the new rules, such as operating outdoors under a canopy will work for her.
“You know, these chairs weigh just about as much as I do,” said Rose, struggling to move a chair outside. “I’m 5’3”, 120. So I’m going to need help bringing these chairs out every morning and I’m definitely going to need help after a long day in the heat bringing them back in.”
Clients will also not be allowed inside so that means no access to electrical or sinks, which means she won’t be able to color her client’s hair, which accounts for 70 percent of her business. But before she can even get started, Rose still needs to get permission.
“You need to see if you can apply for a permit to obtain outdoor services and you need to ask the county and your city if you’re allowed to,” said Rose. “And for most salons, that’s not even an option.”
And good luck getting through. Rose has been calling her city, but all she gets is voice mail.
“The party you have called, Hermosa Beach Hair Enforcement, is not available. You may leave a message after the tone,” said the outgoing message.
“Hi, this is Jessica from Jessica Rose Salon just calling again.”
To Rose, the new rules favor barbers who can perform dry cuts for men in minutes over stylists for women where coloring can often take hours. Mostly, she's worried about the safety of her clients.
“It is safer in the salon,” said Rose. “So my hope is to be able to open up sooner than later and to have all of the stylists in our industry’s voices be heard on why this isn’t fair and why this is dividing us.”