PBFC Calls on Governor Newsom to Lift Shutdown

Posted April 28, 2020, under Advocacy, Hot Topics, Licensure, Schools/Students

Attached below is the content of a letter the PBFC just sent to Governor Newsom’s Cabinet Secretary over our State Board of Barbering & Cosmetology (and the Dept of Consumer Affairs):


Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency

ATTN:  Secretary Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez

915 Capitol Mall, Suite 350-A

Sacramento, CA 95814

Sent Via Facsimile: (916) 653-3815


Dear Secretary Ramirez:

The Professional Beauty Federation of California was established in 1999 to give a unified voice to our industry on issues of transcendent importance with the mission of raising the professionalism of beauty and barbering services in the Golden State.  Considered a “non-essential” business in “Stage 3” category of the Governor’s reopening plan, our salons and schools have been and will continue to be in lockdown for several more months.  The current shutdown has already financially squeezed a huge number of students, stylists and salon owners, which will only grow if this lockdown on our industry is extended “months not weeks” as just announced by the Governor for all Stage 3 services.  There will doubtlessly be rampant defiance as our industry’s desperation grows along with demand for our services.

We have over 500,000 individuals licensed by our State Board of Barbering & Cosmetology (“BBC”), with approximately 50,000 licensed establishments.  In addition, the BBC offers nearly 30,000 licensing exams each year to those wanting a career in our industry.  These folks — and their dependent families — have been in a holding pattern that they can’t maintain for additional “months not weeks.”

Our’s is an industry that is built upon a well-regulated foundation of state licensure and oversight, from beauty school programs reviewed/approved by state agencies, to a licensed exam administered by the state, to an inspection and enforcement regime that are all aimed at protecting the health and safety of our clientele.  When a growing number of individuals begin openly questioning state oversight, as they are now doing vis-a-vis the duration of the current shutdown order (see this independent, online petition that has already garnered over 60,000 signatures: https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/california-barbers-cosmetologists-esthetician-s-back-to-work-april-27th-soft-opening), we fear many will begin defying all of the laws that govern our trade.  The PBFC continues to support the Governor’s order, but our credibility is being tested like never before, given the growing desperation among our licensees.

We wanted to remind you of the extensive education that each of our professionals receive in the area of health/safety protocols specifically involving contagions, far exceeding many “essential” businesses currently in operation and “Stage 2” services.  We also know that the BBC is working proactively to establish additional, transitionary practices in anticipation of Governor Newsom lifting the lockdown.

Our hundreds of thousands of behind-the-chair professionals and industry stakeholders, working in tandem with BBC oversight, want to resume what we do best: lifting the spirits of our beautified clients in a safe, professional and well-regulated environment.  We need Governor Newsom and his Administration to allow us to do so much sooner than “months not weeks.”