Salon, barbershop owners still waiting; want apology from Whitmer for suggesting to Google how to cut hair

"The governor is destroying what was a vibrant industry in Michigan," said Mike Sarafa.
Despite the governor lifting Michigan's stay-at-home order - salons and barbershops are still forced to stay closed.

"I'm absolutely flabbergasted the way this has been progressing that restaurants are opening before salons," said Sarafa, Alline Salon Group, representing 80 Michigan salons.

Members of the Safe Salons for Michigan Coalition testified before the Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic in Lansing Tuesday.

"We've been closed for 80-plus days, and a loss of $285,000 in revenue," said Rachel Harned, Bombshell Blowout Dry Bar and Salon.

The coalition recently gave Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with an eight pillar plan to safely reopen salons and barber shops, calling it a "comprehensive reopening plan" that includes sanitary and procedural measures to keep employees and clients safe.
Rep. Jack O'Malley (R) Dist. 101, Lake Ann: "You come up with protocols, you've submitted them, and you've heard nothing?"

"Correct," Sarafa said.

Members of the coalition say Whitmer is gutting the salon industry, resulting in daily loss of business to other states like Indiana and Ohio. Many are expecting permanent job and tax losses.
"Today we are at the mercy of the state government based on the emergency orders in place," said Rep. Matt Hall (R) Dist. 63, Battle Creek.
Members are also upset that Whitmer apparently said that people can simply 'Google' how to get a haircut - or throw their hair into a ponytail if they need to. The coalition demands an apology.
"It is insulting, degrading and a slap in the face, to an industry already reeling from forced closures and shut downs," Sarafa said.

"We are more than just hairstylists. It is more than just a haircut," said Harned. "So go ahead and Google how to get a haircut. I'm sure it will totally be the same."

"I'm very sorry that was said. It sounds very hurtful to you and the others," said Hall.

These folks are now asking for clarity, responsiveness and communication.

"Here, the governor and state government get an 'F' on that - a complete giant fail," Sarafa said.