Petition to open salons gaining traction online, but not all stylists are on board


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) — Its been nearly a month since hair salons were forced to close their doors to flatten the coronavirus curve.

Now, cosmetologists and clients from all over Arkansas are signing a petition to open salons back up.​

The petition has more than 22,000 signatures with the hopes of unlocking doors by the end of April, with safety precautions.​

However, not all hairstylists are on board.​

“I think the longer we stay closed the more chaotic it’s going to be,” said Jennifer Mullins, Salon Hue.​

Many hairstylists are ready to get back in the salon and clients are ready to get back in the chairs.​

“Today, I’ve probably already gotten four texts asking do you know when the salons are going to be back open,” said Mullins.​

Jennifer Mullins has been a hairstylist for nearly 15 years but with COVID-19 she’s been out of work for four weeks.​

So when a petition came across her Facebook timeline, trying to get salons back open she didn’t hesitate to sign it.​

“That adds a little bit of normalcy back into this world right now where everything is so unpredictable,” said Mullins.​

Mullins along with more than 22,000 people have already signed the petition directed at Governor Asa Hutchinson.​

The petition reads:​

“Allow hair and barber salons to soft open on April 27th. With one client at a time while wearing gloves and masks.​ Why is this important?​ Cosmetologists have been out of work for a while now. For some, it’s their sole source of income for their families. Most have their own space in their own area. They can still be socially distant from others in their salon. They can wear masks and gloves while only handling one client at a time.”​

“We can’t just always be scared or else we are just going to be here not working for another two or three months,” said Mullins.​

While Mullins agrees with the petition, not all stylists do.​

“There are definitely some stylists that don’t agree with it because of the social distancing aspect or they are nervous they are going to get sick or get someone else sick and I completely understand that,” said Mullins.​

Mullins said she thinks all stylists should be able to make their own choices to go back to work or stay in quarantine.​

At this time Mullins said she is still not able to collect unemployment due to being self-employed.​

Earlier this month, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced guidelines will be updated for who can apply for unemployment, that list will now include self-employed and independent contractors but a new system has to be built which will take a few weeks.​

To view the petition, click here.

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