▶️ Scissors Sheathed: Barbershops and other businesses succumb to Brown’s statewide ‘stay home’ order

By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY

Today was the last day to get a haircut by a professional barber at L&K Barbershop in downtown Bend, or any barbershop anywhere in the state.

“Most people have been getting it cut shorter to make it last,” said Tracy Todd a barber with 23 years experience. “And I said we’ll have to wait and see what the governor says for how long we are supposed to be closed and we’ll have to go from there, step by step.”

Barbershops and hair salons are among the “non-essential” businesses that Gov. Kate Brown closed Monday by executive order to slow the spread of corona virus.

Barbershops were clean places even before coronavirus came along.

They operate under state health standards that require equipment such as scissors and combs to be cleaned between each use. Barbers already washed their hands between customers. In the past week L&K began spraying Lysol on the capes customers wear to keep hair off their clothes, and the barber chairs themselves.

“We can’t draw unemployment because we are all independent contractors. We pretty much live month to month. It’s going to be hard for everybody,” said Debbie Bennett, L&K Barbershop owner. “I realize it’s something we have to do because I don’t want anybody to get sick. I don’t want to pass it on to a customer or to the people who work here. 

Barber Bobby Tierney said this closure reminds him of the 2008 recession when he worked for a major construction company. 

“When they went down to bare bones, I just went to people who I know and started doing work here and there as I could,” he said. 

Tierney said he got into barbering to escape the ups and downs of the construction industry.

The barbers chuckled at the idea of people cutting their own hair during the closure. One suggested they’d charge more to clean up a bad do it-yourself-haircut after the barbershops are allowed to re-open.

“As soon as they lift the ban we are going to be more busy than we know what to do,” said barber Kevin Taylor. “There’s going to be a whole lot of shaggy folks coming in and we are going to be here to take care of them.”

The closure applies to tattoo parlors, facial spas, day spas, non-medical massage therapy, cosmetic stores, nail and tanning salons.

Any individual or shop that violates the closure order could charged with a Class C misdemeanor. Penalties can include 30 days in jail and up to $1,250 in fines.

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