In solidarity with salon owners across California, Ted Gibson and Jason Backe, celebrity hairstylists and owners of LA's STARRING by Ted Gibson, are reopening their salon on August 17, five months to the day that salons in California were first shut down by the governor.
STARRING by Ted Gibson is ideal for social distancing by design, with salon chairs 8.5 feet apart in private "clouds," appointment-only booking, contactless check in and cashless transactions. The salon followed CDC guidelines set in place on July 17, but was forced to close due to a California mandate.
Gibson and Backe, with the support of civil rights attorney and trial lawyer Mark Geragos, are taking a stand for the industry in hopes to raise awareness of the frustrations of the beauty community.
“As an industry that is often overlooked, we will not be overlooked anymore. We are licensed in sanitation, anatomy and physiology. We are opening STARRING by Ted Gibson because we will not let ours and others' small businesses die,” said Gibson in a press release.
“On March 26, Governor Newsom's responded to legal and political pressure by opening up hair and barbershops followed later by nail and skin services. However, on July 13 the Governor reversed his position yet again. At the same time he offered what became largely an empty gesture of allowing some limited services to be done outside our shuttered salons, spas and shops (see the PBFC’s Statement re: Outside Services),” said Fred Jones, PBFC Counsel, in a statement. “Unfortunately, the result of these on-again, off-again, partial shutdowns have been a huge rise in bankruptcies and even larger percentages of underground services, which risk the financial security of our licensed professionals and health of our beloved clientele. The safest and most responsible salons are getting hit the worst by these prolonged shutdowns, since they are unwilling to do clandestine services in homes and cannot perform their high-level services outside under a tent. They prioritize safety and have remained in compliance with lockdown orders that have unfairly targeted our safe industry, which do not take into consideration our extensive training in cross-contamination, disinfection and sanitation protocols.”
“Our state government has classified salons and hair dressers as dirty and dumb," added Backe. "We are licensed professionals who are trained in sanitation protocol and at STARRING by Ted Gibson we are taking a stand to make sure that our voices are heard to save our small business and hairdressing community.”
“As a civil rights attorney who’s dedicated 37 years to protecting 'the little guy and gal' from unconstitutional and unfair treatment by much more powerful and abusive government agencies, my heart goes out to the beauty industry most of all," Geragos said in a statement. "They are an industry built upon formal education and training and state licensure that assures consumer protection; yet the same state that has given them their license to service their clients have now prevented them from working for 5 months, while large multinational corporate retailers and other so-called ‘essential businesses’ have not been locked down one single day,” says Geragos.