MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Dozens of hairstylists in Collin County say they want to work on Friday and are willing to take the risk of the coronavirus that comes with close contact if their clients are.
Organized by the owner of Southern Sisters Salon in McKinney, they showed up in protest of the statewide ban preventing them from working, on the steps of the Collin County courthouse on Thursday.
“We have masks. We have PPE things. We are ready to go,” the owner told CBS 11 News.
Most stylists — like many of the 30 million Americans who have have filed initial unemployment claims since mid-March — are struggling.
“I have no unemployment that I’ve been filing for all those weeks. I’ve had to move out of my house to live with my son and I’ve lost my car,” said stylist Seandee Reagan who hasn’t worked in 43 days.
She was among more than 30 stylists and salon owners who want their message, that salons and barbershops should be included among other the businesses allowed to reopen across Texas on Friday to be heard.
“Right now people can go get the dogs groomed and that’s legal, people can go get Botox… that’s legal,” said Reagan.
One stylist said she has even offered free haircuts to protest the statewide order that prohibits 270,000 cosmetologists in the state from working.
But Governor Abbott told CBS 11 News on Thursday that hair salons and barbershops still pose a risk to spreading COVID-19.
“When you are in a hair salon, you’re having people very close together, who hopefully are wearing a face mask, but because of the closeness, it can increase the possibility of the transmission of things like COVID-19,” said Abbott.
But some in the industry are questioning Abbott’s possible agenda, telling CBS 11 News that extending the ban has more to do with the fact that the state doesn’t collect sales tax from it.
But for Reagan, there’s a simpler explanation.
“I’m kind of starting to think maybe Governor Greg Abbott is a little against women,” she said. “A lot of us are single moms like me who have no income whatsoever.”
Friday marks May 1, and for millions of Americans, including cosmetologists, rent and mortgage payments are due.