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Haircuts in the Great Outdoors: Salons Begin to Move Outside

Pasadena salons find new customers as they practice their trade on sidewalks and in parking lots

Published on Thursday, July 23, 2020 | 5:49 am
A stylist works out Salon Yuriy on Green Street.

Getting a head start on Governor Newsom’s outdoor salon and barber regulations, at least one local salon has been offering its services in an outdoor parking lot tent since last week.

California Governor Gavin Newsom Monday issued an update to the current Stay at Home order, saying that with the proper equipment and safeguards, California barbershops and salons may practice their trade outdoors. But all State Health Department orders are reviewed by Pasadena’s own Public Health Department, which will then issue its own local orders and guidelines.

City spokesperson Lisa Derderian told Pasadena Now Wednesday,  “Pasadena’s current Health Office orders allow outdoor services. The (State) Board of Cosmetology initially did not allow outdoor services initially, but now they are allowing. The Pasadena Public Health Department does not license cosmetology services.”

Derderian also explained that businesses must apply for a permit through the Planning and Community Development Department to move operations to public property outdoors.

“As soon as their application has been approved, businesses can begin providing services.  All businesses must comply with issued industry-specific guidance,” she said.

But Chad  Brunochelli of Salon Passione dove into the parking lot right away, opening up a tent last week, before even the Governor had issued his orders.

“It’s been great,” he said Wednesday. Although business overall has been down since the first Stay at Home order was enacted, Brunochelli said,  “We are seeing a lot more customers now, people who like the idea of having their hair cut outside.”

Brunochelli also noted that City officials and inspectors have “not bothered” him since he opened his shop early.

Jessica Chavez of Salon Yuriy on Green Street shared Brunochelli’s enthusiasm for working outdoors.

“It’s going really well, actually,” she said of the shop, which opened onto a small sidewalk easement in front of the salon, which allows room for salon chairs and doesn’t impede sidewalk traffic.

“We ‘ve had more than a handful of guests today, and it’s working out really well. We’re maintaining our social distancing, our stations are more than six feet apart, and guests are still wearing their masks and coming in with their hair already shampooed.”

Currently, the salon has two stylists working, but will have three this weekend, said Chavez.

As Chavez said, the salon is careful to maintain distancing guidelines, since, as Derderian stressed, “It is absolutely possible to transmit and contract COVID-19 outdoors.”

But Derderian also noted that “studies have shown that the virus spreads more easily in closed areas where there’s less ventilation or room for airflow. The risk is lower outdoors because the ventilation is better than in most indoor settings.  Moving outdoors, in addition to complying with the guidance we have provided on social distancing, proper use of face coverings, and practicing good hand hygiene, lowers risk,” she said.

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