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Photo by Michael Brown/KHTS News.

Santa Clarita Beauty Professionals Call For Reopening Of Salons, Tattoo Studios

Over a dozen local beauty professionals met in Stevenson Ranch Wednesday to share their frustrations over being forced to shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some stating that working outside was “not a real option” because it is “not sanitary.”

Jenn Boyd sits inside her permanent makeup studio. Photo by Michael Brown/KHTS News.

On Wednesday, around 20 beauty professionals ranging from barbers to tattoo artists met at Jenn Boyd Ink in Stevenson Ranch to express their frustrations over being forced to shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are put through the training to take care of ourselves, take care of our clients, and make sure that everything is clean and sanitary,” said Jenn Boyd, owner of Jenn Boyd Ink. “So it’s frustrating to see people going to Target and going to Walmart and touching things, and people walking around without masks, and knowing that it’s more of a danger to be in these stores than it is to be one on one with me, where I can control the behaviors of my client and make sure that everything remains sterile.” 

Salons and barber shops were initially allowed to re-open back in June, but were effectively shut down less than a month later when Governor Gavin Newsom announced that indoor operations for non-essential businesses in several counties, including Los Angeles, were to shut down amid rising COVID-19 case numbers.

When that announcement was made, state officials said that the shutdown would last for “at least three weeks.” Monday marked the three-week mark since the closure.

“Right now the guidelines that they’ve set forth seem almost impossible for us to meet to get off that county watch list,” Boyd said. “I’m hoping that they kind of scale back on those and look into each business and not lump us up together with everything else.” 

Boyd talking to the assembled group of beauty professionals. Photo by Michael Brown/KHTS News.

Boyd shared that she has spent between $70,000 and $80,000 on her education to become a permanent makeup artist, a vast majority of which is focused on safety and infection control.

“We’ve been practicing every protocol that they’ve come up with, the only difference is our clients will now be wearing masks. They weren’t before, but we always did,” she said. “We (will) take their temperature and have them sign an extra form, and that’s the only thing that’s changing.”

While salons and barbershops have been given the alternative to move some of their services outdoors, that option is not available to Boyd’s permanent makeup business, which operates under a tattoo establishment license.

“We are not allowed to work outside at all,” Boyd said. “So pretty much we’re completely closed. We have no options to work outside, and to be honest, we wouldn’t anyway. It’s not sanitary.”

See Related: Salon Workers Gather To Protest Closing of Indoor Operations For Salons

Other beauty professionals echoed similar sentiment Wednesday, with one sharing that it was “not a real option.”

“People are in a horrible position right now,” Boyd said. “I know some that have completely closed their doors for good. I know some that had to abandon their leases and sell everything in their salon just to pay their home rent. People are really suffering and losing their businesses right now.”

Boyd has been able to keep paying her rent using income from some of her other businesses, but that it “just doesn’t feel right paying rent on a space that we can’t use.”

“Luckily, we do have other businesses that are continuing to thrive, but for the studio and my employee that works for me, we have not made any money on services in five months,” she said. “It’s definitely a hard hit, especially when we still have to pay the fees and the rent to keep this place.”

Boyd and a fellow beauty professional listen to others share their frustrations. Photo by Michael Brown/KHTS News.

As of Wednesday, a total of 4,457 cumulative cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Santa Clarita Valley since testing began in March, making up just over two percent of the 197,912 cases confirmed within Los Angeles County.

“It’s a little maddening because I feel like here in Santa Clarita, we’re kind of a small pocket, and we’re kind of away from all of the big numbers that are being reported for L.A. County,” Boyd said. “Maybe they need to look into separating the smaller cities and the smaller areas and the valleys, and opening us up based on those numbers and not the numbers throughout the entire county.” 

However, Boyd and several other beauty professionals in attendance said that their desire to re-open did not mean that they were taking the pandemic lightly.

“If you walk into a salon and you see things aren’t going right, it’s your right to leave,” Boyd said. “Cancel that appointment, leave, go somewhere where you feel safe, and if you feel like you need to, you can report it. But we just need to be sure that we’re all doing our due diligence, and then we’ll all be safe.”

Boyd went as far as to invite Newsom to her studio so that she could show him that they could safely re-open. 

“I would love to invite him here and show him everything we go through on a daily basis and just enlightened him on the fact that we are super sanitary,” she said. “I think that somebody like him needs to really see what we go through on a daily basis to really appreciate that.”

Boyd shows the safety protocols in place at her studio. Photo by Michael Brown/KHTS News.

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Santa Clarita Beauty Professionals Call For Reopening Of Salons, Tattoo Studios

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About Michael Brown

Michael Brown has lived in Santa Clarita his whole life. Graduating from Saugus High School in 2016, he continued to stay local by attending The Master’s University, where he is currently studying communications. Michael joined KHTS in January of 2018 as a news intern, and has since gone on to become the After Hours News Director for the KHTS Newsroom. Since joining KHTS, Michael has covered many breaking news stories (both on scene and on air), interviewed dozens of prominent state and federal political figures, and interacted with hundreds of residents from Santa Clarita. When he is not working, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, as well as reading any comic book he can get his hands on.