Hair stylists, salon workers beg Gov. DeSantis to let them work again
Ron DeSantis and Jerry Demings

Ron DeSantis
Stylists are sick of the government-ordered shutdown.

Haircuts and manicures may not be too far away, as the Governor held a roundtable Saturday to discuss the reopening of hair studios and nail salons.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, at an Orlando-area style shop, said he wanted to “get to yes” for an industry anxious to reopen.

He’s anxious also.

“I’ve got a mullet coming on,” DeSantis said, contrasting his scruff to the cleaner haircuts of “talking heads on TV.”

In allowing shops to open, DeSantis would satisfy people on the right who are weary of continued restrictions on movement and commerce.

As well, the Republican Governor will do so while acceding to a Democratic request, burnishing badly needed bi-partisan bona fides.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings sent the Governor a letter saying that scheduled appointments in salons would facilitate social distancing.

DeSantis noted the letter, lauding Demings and Orange County for handling coronavirus response well.

However, he did not announce the reopening of these much-missed consumer services.

Hair stylists made their cases that the time is now.

Nadine T., the owner of the OhSoooJazzy hair salon, noted abundant hand sanitizer and disposable capes.

“We want to keep our clients safe,” Nadine said.

John Henry, a barber, said that successful businesses have built reputations on doing the job the right way, adding that “we thrive on continuing to do the things we’ve always done along with the new changes that are taking place.”

Demings noted these “impassioned pleas … to reopen with the right sanitary measures in place.”

Demings added that regional leadership shares his view that salons are ready to move forward with restrictions.

Dr. George Ralls, chief quality officer at Orlando Health, stressed the importance of masks and additional cleaning expectations for workers and clients alike.

Barbershops and related salon services were deemed nonessential and closed by the Governor’s March stay-at-home order,

However, DeSantis had previously suggested the shops could reopen if stylists wore masks and gloves.

And his Reopen Florida Task Force made clear that the industry saw its own way forward.

Chants got louder outside the Orlando barbershop, as the roundtable went on. But on this matter, the Governor clearly would like to move forward as soon as possible.

For stylists, it’s not a matter of preference.

No one in that room had gotten a Paycheck Protection Program loan, and the bills are piling up for all of them, as revenue stays flatlined.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


One comment

  • Closed Doors

    May 4, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    I am a salon owner and have 10 stylists/nail techs that are out of work since March. We need to let them get back to work… SAFELY, but SOON. We are all suffering from this lockdown paranoia. If anyone is concerned about infection or their health or immune system is somehow compromised they can and should stay at home and stay isolated for their own safety. But please let the rest of us get back to work!!! We have bills to pay and lives to live and so far NO STIMULUS [email protected]$#%

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