Barbers/Cosmos are Essential

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Dear Governor Newsom,

I am Tye Featherstone Owner and Founder of The Great American Barbershop, a multi-location barbershop franchise. I have decades of experience in the Barbering & Cosmetology industry, which led to the founding of my barbershop franchise in 2015. We have multiple locations throughout California and have employed hundreds of highly trained professionals. We represent the growing concern of barbers and cosmos not being considered essential during this time. 

As the Governor, you have sent all Licensed Beauty Professionals threatening emails by way of the Barbering & Cosmetology Board in Sacramento. The threat is clear and real that you plan to strip our licenses permanently if we are to be found working and allegedly putting the community at risk. This threat further applies to counties and cities that have deemed our industry essential. This fear mongering is egregious and violates our freedoms, liberties, and our oaths to protect the health of our clients.

As Board Certified Licensees, we are highly trained with 1500 or more hours, devoted mostly to disease and infection control as mandated by the CDC guidelines. Outside of the medical field, no industry is more trained or knowledgeable in this practice - not police, fire, military, and certainly not dog groomers. It is outrageous that grooming a dog is considered essential and the grooming of a human is not.

The Barbering and Cosmetology Industry are the first responders to a client's skin, hair, and nails to identify disorders and diseases. Things like fungal infections, lesions, gland disorders, acne, and most importantly a variety of skin cancers. These are cancers that if detected early, can be prevented and prolong a client’s life in most cases. As Board Certified Licensees, we are trained to detect, educate, and instruct clients to seek a diagnosis from their primary physician or dermatologist. In some cases our training allows us to administer topical prescriptions under the supervision of a physician or dermatologist. That being said, to be considered a “non-essential business” is a disservice to the health and well being of all Californians. We demand that you reconsider what is essential when it comes to the health and safety of our clients.

You sir, are putting Californians at risk by insisting that Board Certified Barbers and Cosmetologists are non-essential. Please advise.

As for the rest of you, please sign this petition to get Governor Newsom to rethink barbershops and cosmos being essential. The safety of California is at risk.

Keep it handsome,

Tye Featherstone

CEO and Founder of The Great American Barbershop

***UPDATED*** Precautions we would take if essential:

Once allowed to open, we would continue to follow our CDC guidelines and training, including washing and sanitizing between clients and disinfecting tools and work stations. These licensed rules have always been in place. We will be adding extra precautions under the advice and council of medical professionals, thus including a questionnaire and temperature taking for barbers and a questionnaire for clients, distancing our stations 6 feet apart and enforcing masks for both client and barber. This applies to all of our locations moving forward. Clients will utilize our online check-in system and receive a text message when allowed to enter the shop to ensure no more than 10 people enter each shop. We can assure you that our spaces are large with vaulted ceilings. Only haircuts and medical checks would be permitted. To limit face exposure, we will not be performing our proper shaves and proper shampoos. In addition, no cash transactions will be accepted, only credit card, Apple Pay, and more. As you might expect hand sanitizer will be placed throughout the shops. And that makes our shops essentially cleaner than a hospital.