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Tarzana Hair Salon Owner Unsure If He Can Stay In Business With Only Outdoor Operations

TARZANA (CBSLA) – Hair salons and barbershops are scrambling to meet the new outdoor requirements which were approved by Gov. Gavin Newsom Monday.

Tarzana Hair Salon Owner Unsure If He Can Stay In Business With Only Outdoor Operations
MK Salon in Tarzana, Calif. July 21, 2020. (CBSLA)

The governor announced that hair salons and barbershops would be allowed to move some of their services outdoors, which sparked some confusion.

Newsom's order only allows them to offer limited personal care services: haircuts and blowouts, nothing that would require customers to go inside. The services must be performed under a canopy or tent.

On July 13, California Newsom ordered all the counties on the state's monitoring list – which currently numbers 33 -- to close indoor operations for hair and nail salons, along with tattoo parlors, gyms, houses of worship, shopping malls and movie theaters. That includes the entire Southland region and represents at least 80% of California's population.

Last week, Mike Farzaneh, owner of MK Salon in Tarzana, set up several outdoor stations in response. However, inspectors quickly contacted him saying he wasn't in compliance because his salon was offering chemical services.

"We can't do any chemical services, only haircuts and blow dries, which is probably about 30% of our business," Farzaneh said.

Newsom Monday said he had always intended for hair salons and barbershops to operate outdoors, but didn't realize how complicated such a process would be.

"Issues of chemicals and shampoos and perms, it was more complicated than some had considered, particularly as it relates to local ordinances," Newsom said.

Complicating matters more is that, by law, California salons are supposed to operate indoors only.

RELATED: North Hollywood Salon Remains Open Despite Shutdown Order

For Farzaneh, keeping his business alive has been akin to running a marathon: he's exhausted and there's no finish line in sight.

"As an owner, it's tough because everyone that works here is self-employed, so getting a PPP (loan) is not an option," Farzaneh said.

After surviving the initial pandemic shutdown, Farzaneh had invested in redesigning his salon for social distancing. In late May, L.A. County gave the green light for hair salons and barbershops to reopen indoor operations. Farzaneh did, until the second closure order came last week.

"It's killing us," he said.

Farzaneh isn't sure how many of his stylists will come back to work. Still, he plans to push ahead, adhering to the latest safety standards and hoping the public will do their part too.

"The sooner we abide by the rules, I think, the sooner we can get rid of it and get back to our lives," he said.

Farzaneh said he had hoped to set up a few outdoor stations Tuesday, but told CBSLA he didn't have any stylists on board yet. He had a Zoom chat scheduled with them Tuesday night in an effort to open for outdoor services at least a few times a week.

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