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Essential worker status could hurt some hairdressers

Posted at 6:46 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 23:14:23-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Barber shops and salons are in a state of confusion as we head into a statewide stay-at-home order. The governor’s list of essential services include people in that industry, but the mayor of Tucson along with others mayors have urged those places to close. One hairdresser we talked to says it's putting her and her coworkers in a dangerous and unfair position.

"No way," she said referring to the possibility of following CDC guidelines. "We are supposed to be six feet from someone and a hairdresser has their hands on someone the entire time they are doing their hair."

This hairdresser didn’t want to show her face on camera because she’s caught in a tough situation at work. She’s an independent contractor and actually wishes her salon would close. Most clients have canceled appointments anyway, and she just doesn’t think its safe for anyone’s health.

"Because Governor Ducey has made us essential services our landlord is still expecting us to pay our rent."

Several barber shops and hair salons in our have closed on their own, but we found one near Broadway and Kolb stayed open until 5 p.m. Tuesday. The owner says they will be temporarily closing with the stay at home order despite being listed as essential. and said her stylists won’t be forced to pay rent for at least a few weeks.

The hairdresser we talked to says she wishes the governor’s order was more similar to the Tucson mayor’s which urged salons to close.

"Why is he not on the same page?"

She says she’ll just have to take the hit paying rent for a chair she won’t be using.

"I don’t want to put myself at risk, my family or my clients at risk nobody can be sure they haven’t been exposed and then they come in to get their hair done and they expose us."