On Tuesday the State of California Department of Public Health today announced that counties that have attested to meeting the criteria for accelerated re-opening may re-open hair salons and barbershops with modifications such as mandatory face coverings for both barbers or stylists and clients. State public health leaders noted that Californians staying at home and exercising caution when out helped flatten the COVID-19 curve. Public health leaders acknowledge that today’s announcement is also possible based on statewide indicators such as PPE, testing capacity, hospital surge capacity and hospitalizations.

Permitted activities include services that can be provided with both the worker and customer wearing face coverings throughout the service. These include haircuts, hair coloring, blowouts, weaves and extensions, braiding, lock maintenance, wig maintenance and hair relaxing treatments. 

Salon activities that cannot be done with face coverings on both the worker and client – or that require touching the client’s face – such as shaving, facial waxing, threading, eyelash services and facials – remain prohibited at this time in all counties. Likewise, nail salons remain closed. 

“Together, Californians have limited infections in our state, and because of that work, many counties may make a decision to restart modified hair and barber services,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health. “However, COVID-19 is still present in our communities and we are still at risk. As we venture outside our homes, it is critically important to keep physical distance, wear face coverings in public, and wash hands frequently to help protect yourself and those around you.” 


Under the new guidance to reopen, salons and barbers must: 

  • Implement measures to ensure physical distancing of at least six feet between and among workers and customers, except when providing haircutting and other close contact services.
  • Provide temperature and/or symptom screenings for all workers at the beginning of their shift and any vendors, contractors, or other workers entering the establishment.
  • Encourage workers and customers who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home.
  • Screen customers upon arrival and be prepared to cancel or reschedule customers who indicate they have any signs of illness.
  • Require workers and customers to use face coverings during the entire haircutting and other close contact hair services. 

More information about the state’s COVID-19 guidance is on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance web page

More information about reopening California and what individuals can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California

San Luis Obispo County Press Release

Places of worship, hair salons and barbershops in San Luis Obispo County can open with limited services and/or modifications to operations.

These changes are only effective upon approval by the County Department of Public Health, as directed by the State.

“We’re pleased to announce that our County Public Health Department has approved modified in-person religious service and hair salon and barbershop services,” said County Public Health Officer, Dr. Penny Borenstein.

The new State (PDF) guidance for religious services and cultural ceremonies encourages organizations to continue online services and activities, including protecting individuals who are most at risk for more severe COVID-19, and older adults and people with specific medical conditions. Places of worship can begin in-person worship/religious services and funerals with a maximum of 25 percent capacity or 100 attendees, whichever is lower. Religious children’s school instruction is still prohibited under the State’s order.

The new State (PDF) guidance for hair salons and barbershops limits services to those that can be provided with both the worker and customer wearing face coverings for the entirety of the service. Services such as waxing and facials that cannot be performed with face covering on both the worker and customer should be suspended until those types of services are allowed to resume. Personal services, such as nail salons, spas and massage are not allowed to open at this time.

Prior to reopening, SLO County places of worship and businesses must complete and sign the County “Ready to Reopen” toolkit’s COVID-19 Self-Evaluation & Certification Form for each facility. The toolkit, signage, and reopening public health criteria and guidance documents per industry can be found at EmergencySLO.org/reopen.