California Salon Owner: Outdoor Opening ‘a Small Victory Inside a Big Battle’

July 24, 2020 Updated: July 26, 2020

Christina Maniaci, owner of Salon Touché in Redondo Beach, Los Angeles County, started outdoor operations as soon as Gov. Gavin Newsom allowed it on July 21. “Everything went great, and I actually really like being outside,” she told The Epoch Times.

While it is nice being outdoors, operations are limited there, and she still wants to urgently press for resumed indoor operations. 

When Newsom set guidelines allowing salons to operate outdoors—after initially banning all salon operations in 30 at-risk counties—those guidelines only covered some salon services, Maniaci said. 

“The guidelines were basically haircuts only, we couldn’t do any chemical services. And we can’t do any shampooing,” she told The Epoch Times.

Newsom halted many indoor operations statewide on July 13, including those at bars and movie theaters, amid rising numbers of reported COVID-19 cases. The renewed closures affect 30 counties on the state’s watchlist. 

Maniaci views his July 21 announcement that salons could resume some services outdoors as “a small victory inside a big battle.”

New guidelines posted on the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology’s website include a checklist for reopening outdoors, cleaning protocols, face covering requirements, and awareness about heat wave exhaustion. 

“All chemical hair services including, but not limited to, permanent waving, relaxing, bleaching, tinting, coloring, dyeing and straightening, Shampooing, and Electrolysis,” should not be performed, the board’s memorandum reads. 

Maniaci said she immediately set up her work stations on her salon’s patio when she got the news. She ordered overnight shipping on new supplies—sanitary items, sunscreen, and umbrellas. 

And since she can’t dye her clients’ hair, she’s making custom dyes for them to take home and apply themselves.

Epoch Times Photo
Christina Maniaci cuts a customer’s hair at Salon Touché in Redondo Beach, Los Angeles County, on July 22, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

“If they can buy it at the store, they could buy it from me,” Maniaci said. “And they’re glad to do that. They’re fine, they’ve been supportive, they’ve been really good.” 

But her business will take about a year or more to recover, she said, as she’s lost nearly 70 percent of her clientele. The remaining 30 percent are loyal clients of over five years. 

“It’s just ridiculous … there’s just no reason why we can’t be inside,” she said. “We have 1,600 hours of [health and safety] training. We’re trained to spot diseases, I mean I’ve spotted skin cancer on the ears and on scalps …  that’s just what we’re trained to do,” she said.